Leahy, Specter Send Letter To Attorney General About FBI-ATF Cooperation

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) Thursday sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey asking him to provide the Judiciary Committee with information about how he is mediating disputes between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), as reported May 10 in The Washington Post.


The ATF was brought under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which was passed after the September 11 terrorist attacks to streamline efforts to protect national security.  According to the Post report, the FBI and ATF are duplicating programs to identify and combat domestic terrorist threats and other domestic criminal matters.  The Leahy-Specter letter to Mukasey asks the Attorney General to inform the Committee “of the full extent of the disputes between the FBI and the ATF and the steps” the Department is “taking to resolve these continuing turf battles.”  The letter also asks the Attorney General to advise the Committee of any measures the Department of Justice is “implementing to ensure that resources are not wasted on duplicative programs administered by the two agencies.”


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