Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Pickle expects to deliver his report on the Judiciary Committee’s leaked Democratic memos on Monday, setting the stage for a full examination of what occurred in a scandal that has left an already bitterly divided committee at a near-partisan standstill.
A Senate aide said Monday that Pickle would miss his own end-of-February deadline for completing a final report on the probe, but that Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and ranking member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will probably get it Monday. “It may slip a day or two,” the aide said.
Hatch has not made a final decision on how the panel will handle the report, other than that all 19 Judiciary members will get to view it. It’s unclear whether a full version will be released publicly immediately or whether the panel will digest it and then redact portions before releasing it.
Democrats are anxious to see if Pickle makes the case that any criminal charges could be filed for either improper accessing of the files or improper release to the public, a process that began in mid-November with a Wall Street Journal editorial that excerpted portions of about 14 Democratic memos that discussed efforts at blocking President Bush’s judicial nominees.
Two former aides to Judiciary have already resigned for playing roles in accessing the memos.