Texas Police Destroy Search Records on Democrats
                   GOP caught using Homeland Security to get advantage on Democrats

                  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic lawmakers invoked memories of Watergate on Wednesday as they
                  denounced the destruction of documents by Texas police in a search last week for runaway Texas state legislators.
                  "Not since Richard Nixon have we seen such a dangerous abuse of federal resources for political purposes or such a
                  dangerous cover-up," said Rep. Martin Frost, dean of the Texas Democratic congressional delegation.

                  A U.S. Department of Homeland Security agency said last week that Texas police had misled it in seeking help
                  to find a plane carrying some of the missing politicians. Democrats in the U.S. Congress demanded an investigation.

                  On Wednesday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Texas police destroyed documents concerning their search for
                  more than 50 Democratic lawmakers who fled to Oklahoma to block a redistricting plan designed to give Republicans more
                  seats in the Congress.

                  The absence of the Democrats meant there was no quorum in the Texas legislature, preventing any votes. Legislature
                  rules allow the speaker to order the arrest of members trying to thwart a quorum.

                  The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said it was required by privacy protection measures to destroy the materials
                  in question. "This was not a criminal matter, so we could not legally maintain that information," a statement said.

                  But Democrats said they wanted to know if any state or federal laws had been broken, and asked Homeland Security
                  Secretary Tom Ridge to investigate.

                  Democrats in the U.S. Congress have charged that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was inappropriately
                  employed in the hunt and blasted Republicans for calling in law enforcement officials in an effort to settle a partisan
                  political dispute.

                  In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security's office of inspector general, Democrats renewed their call for release
                  of a tape recording of telephone conversations between the DPS and a department agency.

                  "One lesson of Watergate should be to release all tapes quickly, not destroy them immediately," said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a
                  Texas Democrat.

  back to  bartcop.com

Privacy Policy
. .