Thursday, December 15, 2005

Rumsfeld Subpoenaed In House's Katrina Inquiry

(AP) WASHINGTON A House committee investigating the government's response to Hurricane Katrina issued a subpoena Wednesday to force Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to turn over documents but stopped short of sending a similar legal demand to the White House.

The subpoena commands Rumsfeld to produce internal records and communications about the Pentagon's response to the Aug. 29 storm, including efforts to send supplies to victims, stabilize public safety and mobilize active duty forces in the Gulf Coast. It requires the Pentagon to deliver the documents, spanning from Aug. 23 to Sept. 15, from Rumsfeld and eight other top military officials by Dec. 30....

The chairman of the special House committee rejected, for now, legal action against the White House, but left open the possibility of a future subpoena. Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., asked lawmakers to wait until after a private briefing Thursday at the White House before deciding whether to go ahead with a subpoena....

Louisiana has handed over more than 100,000 documents to the committee. Though the White House said it has provided 450,000 documents, lawmakers said it has claimed executive privilege to refuse e-mails sent to and from White House chief of staff Andrew Card.

And lest we forget...
The hearing came as FEMA pledged to continue paying for hotel rooms for evacuees still unable to find apartments, trailers or other stable housing by Feb. 7, a month beyond the agency's cutoff date....

An estimated 40,000 families still are living in hotels, compared with a peak of 85,000 two months weeks ago....

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