WASHINGTON, July 8 (UPI) -- A political ally of President George W. Bush warned the president in May that the administration may have violated the law on secrete intelligence programs.
The New York Times reported Saturday it had obtained a copy of a sharply worded May 18 letter to Bush from Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., warning that the administration may have broken the law by failing to inform Congress of secret programs -- and risked losing Republican support on national security matters.
Hoekstra -- the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee -- did not specify which intelligence activities he believed had been hidden from Congress. Hoekstra referred to programs not revealed to the public, the Times reported.
Intelligence officials have appeared at two closed committee briefings to answer questions from Hoekstra and other members.
U.S. intelligence agencies routinely conduct secret programs, but under the National Security Act, agencies are required to keep congressional intelligence committees "fully and currently informed of all intelligence activities."
Even in the case of especially sensitive covert actions, the law requires briefings for at least the leaders of the committees and the House and Senate from both parties.