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Leahy, Specter: Turn over tapes

From NBC's Ken Strickland
The bipartisan leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee is asking the Justice Department to find, save, and turn over any remaining video or audio tapes of enhanced interrogations. The request was made today in a letter from Committee Chairman Pat Leahy and ranking Republican Arlen Specter.

They write, "Our request expressly includes copies, remnants, fragments and extant recordings of the tapes reportedly destroyed of waterboarding, wherever recorded and wherever currently held. If those recordings are in the possession, custody or control of the United States or can be obtained by the United States, we request them on behalf of the Committee."

While DOJ has previously refused to share information with the committee, citing conflicts with the department's own inquiry, the leaders say parallel investigations have occurred in the past and is "pursuant to our oversight and legislative responsibilities."

Among other things, the leaders specifically ask for "preservation orders" of all recordings and documentation related to interrogations or the destruction of interrogation tapes. They also ask that the White House, CIA and other relevant agencies or contractors be canvassed for additional tapes.

The letter was sent to Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell.