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UNITED STATES v. POINDEXTER

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


February 22, 1990

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JOHN M. POINDEXTER

The opinion of the court was delivered by: GREENE

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

 HAROLD H. GREENE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Defendant has petitioned for leave to serve subpoenas duces tecum on four congressional committees and five United States Senators. The government has filed a response indicating that it objects to only a few paragraphs in the proposed subpoenas. Since the Court considers that the government's objections are well taken, it quashes the paragraphs in question, but authorizes service of the remainder of the subpoenas, subject to any claims of privilege by Congress or by the individual Senators. *fn1"

 Discussion

 On November 15, 1989, defendant petitioned for leave to serve subpoenas duces tecum ad testificandum on four congressional committees, sixty-five Senators and Congressmen, the White House, and the National Security Agency. On December 6, 1989, the Court denied the petition, without prejudice to the resubmission of more reasonable subpoenas. *fn2"

 On January 16, 1990, defendant filed a renewed petition for a smaller number of narrower subpoenas, accompanied by a detailed explanation of his basis of need for each subpoena. The renewed petition seeks leave to serve subpoenas on four congressional committees *fn3" and five Senators. *fn4" The Court will address each subpoena in turn.

 The subpoena to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence requests information on (1) documents relating to two briefings involving defendant and members and staff of the committee, one of which is referred to in the indictment; *fn5" and (2) documents relating to a November 20, 1986 review by two committee staff members of top secret intelligence concerning Iran. *fn6" The government raises no objection to the issuance of the subpoena.

 Defendant further seeks leave to issue subpoenas to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Armed Services Committee. The government takes issue with only one aspect of these subpoenas: certain items in the subpoenas request documents previously requested and possibly produced in the North case. *fn7" Defendant observes that his subpoenas are narrower than those issued in North, and that they direct the committees' attention to very specific information. He maintains that he is entitled to inquire whether this specific information exists and, if so, whether it has been produced in response to subpoenas in North.

 The argument lacks merit. Defendant implicitly acknowledges that the information he seeks is part of a larger category of documents that were subpoenaed in North.8 He is unable to assert that the documents were not previously produced; rather he demands that the Congress inform him whether they have been. Defendant, in short, makes no attempt to inform the Court why he cannot determine for himself whether these documents have already been produced. His failure to do so is particularly troubling because his first proposed set of subpoenas to the Congress also sought information similar to that produced in North, and the Court at that time directed him to eliminate this flaw before renewing his petition. *fn9" Defendant obviously has not done so. For these reasons, and because the defendant has not met his burden of showing that the subpoenas comply with Rule 17(c), Fed.R.Crim.P., the Court will quash all portions of the subpoena that duplicate subpoenas issued in North.

 Finally, defendant petitions for leave of the Court to serve subpoenas on Senators Byrd, Dole, Lugar, Stevens, and Thurmond regarding meetings on November 12 and 14, 1986 at which defendant and the Senators were present. *fn10" The government does not object to these subpoenas, subject to its right to object at trial to the admission of the documents.

 Conclusion

 Since the government has raised no objection, the Court authorizes issuance of the subpoenas, except to the extent that they duplicate subpoenas served and responded to in North, and subject to any future claims of privilege on behalf of the Senate, the House of Representatives, or the individual Senators.

 Accordingly, it is this 22nd day of February, 1990

 ORDERED that paragraph 2 of the subpoena to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, paragraphs 2 and 3(a) of the subpoena to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and paragraph 2 of the subpoenas to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and to the House Armed Services Committee, be and they are hereby quashed; and it is further

 ORDERED that the petition is granted as to the remainder of the subpoenas, and defendant may serve upon the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Armed Service Committee, and Senator Robert C. Byrd, Robert J. Dole, Richard G. Lugar, Ted Stevens, and Strom Thurmond the subpoenas duces tecum submitted to the Court, except as described above. The return date for those subpoenas is March 8, 1990, and any motions to quash shall be filed by that date.


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