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FBI wants more subpoena power granted by Congress

[JURIST] FBI Director Robert Mueller [official profile] went before the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] on Wednesday to argue that Congress should provide the FBI with the power to issue its own subpoenas, without court approval, so that it can expedite information collection in terrorism investigations. Mueller gave a recent example involving North Carolina State University [university website] where FBI agents lacking a subpeona were initially rebuffed this month when they sought enrollment records for a former graduate student who may have been linked to the London bombings. North Carolina State was eventually served with three subpoenas and turned over the records. Some Senators including Dianne Feinstein [official website] (D-CA) question giving the FBI anti-terror subpoena power without some Justice Department supervision. Lawmakers are still debating whether to include FBI subpoena power in a package of amendments to the USA Patriot Act [JURIST news archive], although the subpoena power was initially rejected in the House [JURIST report]. The Chicago-Tribune has more.

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