Holder, Gates subpoenaed in Fort Hood case

April 19, 2010 at 7:23 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 19 (UPI) -- A U.S. Senate subcommittee Monday subpoenaed Attorney General Eric Holder and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to testify about the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting.

The subpoenas -- to appear before the Senate Homeland Security Committee April 27 -- were issued by Chairman Joe Lieberman, Ind-Conn., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the ranking Republican on the committee, ABC News reported.

Lieberman and Collins want to compel the two Cabinet members to tell lawmakers what the federal government knew about Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, the accused Fort Hood shooter, before the Nov. 5 incident that left 13 people dead and about 30 wounded.

Lieberman and Collins said they resorted to the subpoenas because the Obama administration was dragging its feet, the U.S. network said.

"We have repeatedly sought your departments' cooperation for more than five months," the letter said. "Our efforts have been met with delay, the production of little that was not already publicly available, and shifting reasons for why the departments are withholding the documents and witnesses that we have requested."

Lieberman said he wanted to learn what information the government had about Hasan's contacts with radical Muslim cleric Anwar Awlaki.

The subpoenas demand information on contacts between Hasan and Awlaki in the months before the shooting spree.

"Given the warning signs about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's extremist radicalism, why was he not stopped before he took thirteen American lives?" the letter asks.

Gates has said it's not a matter of the administration hiding information from Congress but making sure nothing is done to negatively impact Hasan's prosecution.

Hasan, 39, who is to be tried in military court, was wounded during an exchange of gunfire and is paralyzed from the waist down. He was moved to the Bell County Texas jail April 9.

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