U.S. Resists Order In Wiretapping Case

The Obama administration says it has no obligation to provide access to a top-secret document in a wiretapping case, setting up a showdown with the judge who ordered that it be released.

Justice Department lawyers, in a response Friday with the Federal District Court in San Francisco, also argued that Judge Vaughn R. Walker had no cause to penalize the government over its refusal to turn over the document.

Judge Walker on May 22 threatened to punish the administration for withholding the document, which he ordered be given to lawyers suing the government over its domestic wiretapping program.

The judge has ordered department lawyers to appear before his court on Wednesday to make the case why he should not award damages to the Oregon chapter, now defunct, of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation. That group is challenging the wiretapping program.