Republican and Democrat Together Urge Criminal Probe of NASA General Counsel

Brian Zick

Jesse Lee at The Gavel reports: Chairman Brad Miller and Ranking Member F. James Sensenbrenner of the Science Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight urged the Department of Justice today to investigate and possibly prosecute Michael Wholley, the general counsel of NASA, for obstruction of justice and destruction of government records. Subcommittee Chairman Miller and Ranking Member Sensenbrenner have referred the matter to DOJ for investigation and possible prosecutions. Jesse Lee has posted the full text of the letter sent to Attorney General Gonzales. From the letter: Dear Mr. Gonzales:By this letter, we are referring Michael Wholley, the general counsel of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to the Department of Justice for investigation into and possible prosecution for obstruction of justice and destruction of government records under 18 U.S.C. § 1505, 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c) and 18 § U.S.C. 2071.On May 24, 2007, Mr. Wholley testified before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the House Science and Technology Committee that he had personally destroyed the video records of an April 10 agency meeting between NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and the staff of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) because: f they were retained and filed, they could become [government] records by virtue of that retention. From my perspective … I did not believe it wise to have these in any way become records, subject to release under FOIA [Freedom of Information Act]… .I personally made the decision to destroy them, and I did so by breaking them into pieces and throwing them in the trash.

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