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Schakowsky Plans September Hearings on CIA Program

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), chairwoman of the Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said Wednesday that she will hold hearings in September to learn why the CIA misled Congress about a secret counterterrorism program.Schakowsky said she has been working on a draft document outlining issues that she wants to cover and is awaiting documents from the CIA, which may come in as soon as this week. From there, Schakowsky said, she will put together a potential witness list, which may include former Vice President Dick Cheney. “I want to move quickly,— Schakowsky said. While most hearings have to be closed, she said she “definitely— wants public hearings, too.Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) is still mapping out the full committee’s plan since learning of the program last month, when CIA Director Leon Panetta told the panel that his agency has concealed information and misled lawmakers since 2001.Since then, new details have emerged that suggest Cheney directed the CIA to keep the program hidden from Congress.Schakowsky wouldn’t say who is on her witness list, although, when asked whether Cheney is a leading contender, she said, “Sure.—The Illinois Democrat said she expected that, if Cheney were called to testify, he would exert executive privilege to avoid coming in. “But that’s not to say that he wouldn’t be on the list,— she said. “We haven’t made that determination. He could actually be subpoenaed.—As she prepares for the hearings, Schakowsky said she wants to make sure that she words her questions in a way that doesn’t allow witnesses to avoid giving complete answers.“I still am always concerned that we ask exactly the right question because, at least in the past, it’s been hard to get all the information that we need,— she said.

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