“We therefore request that you direct the Justice Department to provide members of the House Judiciary Committee the opportunity to review all legal opinions relied upon by your administration related to the use of lethal force to target specific terror suspects or the broader use of signature strikes,” they wrote. “Congress is perfectly equipped to confidentially handle sensitive information, and we are willing to discuss whatever safeguards you believe necessary to protect the information.”
Publicly, administration officials have alternately argued that further disclosure of classified Office of Legal Counsel advice would jeopardize intelligence sources and methods, and that it is extremely rare that such documents are disclosed to Congress. The House Judiciary Committee’s letter stated that the administration had not answered its three previous requests for the documents.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.