Thursday :: May 22, 2003

Texas DPS Did Destroy Documents After Democratic Complaints

by Steve

Remember my post from yesterday on possible problems for Ridge, Bush, and Tom DeLay over the misuse of the Department of Homeland Security staff in the Texas DPS hunt for Democrats? I speculated that if it would be very problematic for the Bushies if it could be shown that DPS senior officials gave the email order to destroy documents after Washington Democrats, namely Joe Lieberman, raised a fuss over the misuse of DHS resources for a political witch-hunt.

Guess what? According to today’s New York Times:

The Democrats in Washington demanded their investigation on May 14. That was the same morning a commander at the Department of Public Safety sent the e-mail notice.

A copy of the notice shows that it was forwarded to the lieutenant identified by the office of the Texas House speaker as the public safety officer who had called the Homeland Security Department about the plane. The aircraft belonged to Representative James E. Laney, a Democrat who had been the House speaker until Republicans gained control after last year's elections.

Democrats today seized on that addressing, saying it suggested that the police lieutenant, Will Crais, was being instructed to erase his communications because they were the subject of an investigation.

Plus, the destruction of documents by DPS appears to be a violation of state laws in Texas, leading to a possible grand jury.

Tom Ridge goes before the House Judiciary Committee today, and although it will be a friendly GOP-controlled committee, he won’t be able to duck the questions from Texas Democrats, and any effort by the GOP leadership to squelch this will only make it worse.

Update: Tom Ridge did stonewall today at the hearing, claiming he couldn't turn over the tapes and other information because of a criminal investigation underway by DHS.

Steve :: 8:00 AM :: Comments (4) :: Digg It!