Senators Discuss Republican Theft of Documents

by TChris

A report that should provide additional insight into how Republican Senate staffers gained unauthorized access to confidential memoranda prepared for the use of Democratic Senators has not yet been made public, but Senators met privately to discuss it.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who viewed the report on Wednesday with ranking Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont, would not reveal what Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle said in the report before closing the committee meeting to the public and the media. Only senators and their top Judiciary Committee lawyer were allowed inside.

But "whether any criminal laws were broken, the improper access was wrong and unjustifiable," said Hatch, who blamed "two misguided former Senate staffers" for the computer intrusion.

Leahy wants the Committee to release those parts of the report that would not compromise a potential criminal investigation. Information released to date indicates "that the computer intrusion went on for at least two years starting in 2001, and that thousands of documents were downloaded."

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