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Legislators Ask DOJ to Investigate NASA General Counsel

Members of a subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Technology recommended the Department of Justice investigate and possibly prosecute Michael Wholley, general counsel of NASA, for alleged obstruction of justice and destruction of government records.

In a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Reps. Brad Miller and James Sensenbrenner, chairman and ranking member of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee, accused Wholley of destroying recordings of a meeting between NASA administrator Michael Griffin and members of NASA's inspector general office.

The April 10 meeting concerned the conduct of NASA inspector general Robert Cobb. In January, the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency found Cobb had abused his authority and "lacked an appearance of independence from NASA officials." Miller and Sensenbrenner allege that by destroying the recordings, Wholley knowingly impaired the subcommittee's ongoing investigations.

Speaking before the subcommittee last month, Wholley admitted he smashed CDs that held the recordings because he didn't want them to be made public under freedom of information laws. "I did not believe it wise to have these in any way become records," he told the subcommittee. "... I personally made the decision to destroy them."

Staff Writer

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