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Senate Questions Attorney General Gonzales on Wiretapping Program

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday that President Bush refused to grant security access to investigators looking into the National Security Agency's phone-tapping program.

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  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    Following previous appearances before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had been criticized by Chairman Arlen Specter for his responses or his failure to respond to many of the committee's questions.

    So one week in advance of today's hearing, Specter sent Gonzales a list of issues the attorney general could expect would be covered. And to save time, he also asked that Gonzales address those issues in his prepared opening statement.

    But this morning, the chairman clearly wasn't satisfied with the promptness of the attorney general's response.

    SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R), Pennsylvania: The committee is very disturbed by your failure to comply with our rules in submitting your statement on time. It wasn't submitted until late yesterday afternoon, early evening.

    There has not been an opportunity to review it, and serious consideration has been given to not permitting you to make an opening statement because of your failure to comply with the rules. And let me say, if there's a repetition, we will do just that.

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