Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent the following letter to Director of National Intelligence Admiral John M. McConnell Sunday, requesting that access to documents relevant to telecommunications immunity be granted to any Senator who feels he or she needs to see them prior to voting on these matters:
December 16, 2007
Admiral John M. McConnell
Director of National Intelligence
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Washington, DC 20511
Dear Admiral McConnell:
As you know, the Senate will begin debate on the FISA Amendments Act of 2007 this week. Among the issues the Senate will consider is whether to grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that are alleged to have assisted the government in its warrantless wiretapping program. You recently wrote in the New York Times that immunity is one of the three most critical issues in this bill.
We appreciate that you have provided access to the documents necessary for evaluation of this issue to the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, as each has in turn considered it. As the debate now moves to the full Senate, I believe it is of critical importance that all Senators who will be called upon to vote on this important question have an opportunity to review these key documents themselves so that they may draw their own conclusions. In my view, each sitting Senator has a constitutional right of access to these documents before voting on this matter.
I strongly urge you to make the documents previously provided to the Intelligence and Judiciary Committee regarding retroactive immunity available in a secure location to any Senator who wishes to review them during the floor debate. I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.
Senate Majority Leader