Holder Asked for Answers on DEA Use of NSA Data

Reuters reported yesterday that several Congresspersons and Senators have written Attorney General Holder seeking answers to questions about the report that the DEA used information collected by the National Security Agency (NSA) in criminal investigations unrelated to terrorism and the collection of foreign intelligence.

It appears the first letter was from Congressman John Conyers, Jerrold Nadler and Bobby Scott on August 9. It asked these questions and requested an answer by August 26:

1. Which components of the U.S. Department of Justice have access to information collected by the government under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act?

2. Does the Drug Enforcement Administration, or any other component of the Department of Justice, use or give to any other federal, state, or local agency foreign intelligence surveillance information collected under FISA for the purpose of criminal investigation or criminal prosecution? If so, with what frequency? Under which authorities is such information collected?


3. Does the Drug Enforcement Administration, or any other component of the Department of Justice, use "parallel construction" or any other similar technique to obscure the source of evidence that may be used in a criminal investigation?

4. Has any component of the Department of Justice ever used or given to any other federal, state, or local agency for their use, foreign intelligence surveillance information in a judicial or administrative proceeding without providing the notices required by law?

5. Under the doctrine announced by the U.S. Supreme Court in Brady v. Maryland, an accused has a right to examine evidence that may be favorable to the defense. Under Brady, if the government has deliberately obscured the source of evidence used in a criminal trial-though "parallel construction" or any other technique-what remedies are available to the defendant?

6. Has the Department of Justice launched its own investigation of this revelation? If so, when can the House Judiciary Committee expect to receive your preliminary findings?

Reuters reports "the matter will be discussed during classified briefings scheduled for September, Republican and Democratic aides said."

So did the Senators just sign on to the August 9 letter or did they raise additional questions?

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