Thursday 22 August 2002

John Ashcroft may face subpoena for spying on Americans

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is threatening to subpoena US Attorney General John Ashcroft because the US Justice Department has rejected a committee request to reveal how it is using new so-called "antiterrorism powers" to monitor Americans. In a letter sent to the Judiciary Committee last week, Bush administration officials refused to detail how often they have used the new powers under the USA Patriot Act. Justice Department spokeswoman Barbara Comstock said Tuesday the information would be sent to the House Intelligence Committee and that other House members would have access to it.

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