McConnell doesn't want you to know, no doubt fearing there will be the same kind of firestorm when we learn who has been schmoozing him as there was when we learned who was schmoozing Jello Jay Rockefeller. Thankfully, a Federal Judge thinks we ought to know this information before Congress passes its amendment to FISA (h/t Mad Dog for the heads up).
The Director of National Intelligence must quickly release documents relating to 2007 meetings with telecoms concerning proposed amnesty bills for companies that helped government's secret domestic spying program, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. The Northern California District Court judge ruled that the government must produce the documents by December 10 so that the public can be informed about the extent of telecom lobbying before Congress votes on immunity.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is leading a lawsuit against AT&T for the telco giant's alleged cooperation with internet monitoring and call record data-mining, asked for the documents in September via a government sunshine request.
The group asked for documents detailing meetings between telecoms and the nation's top spy office, as well as meetings between the spies and legislators. The government agreed to the civil liberties request to 'fast-track' the request.
But months later the DNI still hadn't released any of the 250 unclassified pages of documents or the 65 pages of classified material, prompting the EFF to ask for a judge to force a document dump before Congress finishes work on bills amending the nation's spy laws.
Now, frankly, we may not get those documents before the final debate on this bill. Reid originally had the Senate debate scheduled for Tuesday; it has been rescheduled, but the new date has not been announced (and in any case, it sounds like it'll be in the next week or so, so almost certainly before the 10th). That's rather troubling, because it seems that McConnell was stalling the production of these documents precisely for this purpose: he originally said he could have the initial release on November 30. But somehow, it has taken another court hearing to reinforce even that deadline. And originally, McConnell wanted to hand over the documents on December 30--which was almost certain to be after the passage of the bill.
Also note--it's not just the telecom lobbyists that McConnell has to release. It's also his meetings with Congress. You know, the big long luncheon with DiFi?
So what do you think McConnell is trying to hide?