Thursday, March 04, 2004

Watergate 2: Electric Boogaloo

The update:

WASHINGTON -- Four Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are pressing the Bush administration to disclose any role government officials may have had in secret snooping by Republican aides on the computer files of Democratic committee members.

In the latest escalation of bitter fights over nominations to federal courts, four of the nine committee Democrats sent letters to the White House and the Justice Department last week asking if administration officials were "involved in or aware of" the intrusion on Democrats' files, or had received any information about them.

The letters were signed by Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the committee's top Democrat, and by Senators Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, Charles E. Schumer of New York, and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois.

"We believe," the senators wrote, "that the administration's `by whatever means necessary' approach to judicial nominations . . . greatly contributed to the atmosphere in which Republicans committed these acts."