WASHINGTON – The CIA said Wednesday it would begin handing over documents to Congress about the destruction of videotapings showing the harsh interrogation of two terror suspects after the House Intelligence Committee threatened to subpoena two agency officials.
Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said Wednesday he had prepared subpoenas for former and current CIA officials and attorneys if they won’t appear before the committee voluntarily. The panel rejected a Bush administration request that it defer to an executive branch preliminary inquiry and has launched its own investigation into the videotape destruction.
Reyes wants acting CIA general counsel John Rizzo and Jose Rodriguez, the former head of the National Clandestine Service, to testify to the committee on Jan. 16. Rodriguez is the official who directed that the tapes, which document the interrogation of two al-Qaida suspects in 2002, be destroyed.
He told reporters the CIA had agreed to begin providing documents regarding the 2005 destruction of the tapes this week. That could be as early as today, according to senior intelligence officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the legal inquiries. If that doesn’t happen, the committee will subpoena them too, Reyes said. The document request includes records related to the 9/11 Commission and to al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, whose attorneys were seeking interrogation videos.
Rizzo will testify, though the CIA has not committed to a date. Rodriguez has his own lawyer, so his arrangements were being made separately.