Harry Reid

Bush opens wiretap documents to House

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080124/ap_on_go_pr_wh/terrorist_surveillance

Bush opens wiretap documents to House

By PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writer

Ending months of resistance, the White House has agreed to give House members access to secret documents about its warrantless wiretapping program, a congressional official said Thursday.

The Bush administration is trying to convince the House to protect from civil lawsuits the telecommunications companies that helped the government eavesdrop on Americans without the approval of a court. Congress created the court 30 years ago to oversee such activities.

House Intelligence and Judiciary committee members and staff will begin reading the documents at the White House Thursday, said an aide to Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas.

Reyes and ranking Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan requested the documents in May, saying they would not support telecom immunity without them. The Senate committees were given the documents last fall.