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Cheney's chief of staff subpoenaed

  • Story Highlights
  • House Judiciary Committee subpoenas David Addington in terror investigation
  • Addington is Vice President Cheney's chief of staff
  • The committee is investigating treatment of suspected terrorists after 9/11
  • Justice Department lawyer John Yoo has agreed to appear voluntarily, officials say
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A House of Representatives committee has subpoenaed Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff as part of its investigation into the treatment of suspected terrorists, the White House confirmed Tuesday.

David Addington was served with the subpoena shortly after the House Judiciary Committee approved it Tuesday morning, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

Cheney's office told the committee last week Addington would appear before a Judiciary subcommittee if subpoenaed, but only if the panel limited its questions.

"He said he would respond appropriately, and I'm sure he will," Perino said.

The committee is investigating how Bush administration lawyers drew up rules governing the treatment of suspected terrorists after the September 11 attacks.

Critics say those rules opened the door to the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody.

Although the administration insists that it does not allow torture, it has acknowledged authorizing the use of "waterboarding" against three suspected al Qaeda figures in the past.

The technique was used on prisoners by the Spanish Inquisition, Cambodia's Khmer Rouge and the World War II Japanese military, according to human rights groups.

CIA Director Michael Hayden told the House Intelligence Committee in February that waterboarding is no longer part of the CIA's interrogation program.

In a May 1 letter to the Judiciary Committee, Cheney legal adviser Kathryn Wheelbarger said Addington would agree to be subpoenaed if the committee limits questions to his "personal knowledge of key historical facts" and avoids questions about Cheney's discussions with President Bush.

Those discussions and any recommendations made by the vice president could be covered by a claim of privilege, Wheelbarger wrote.

Another official involved in drawing up the administration's interrogation procedures, former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo, has agreed to appear before a Judiciary subcommittee voluntarily, committee aides said.

Yoo is the author of a 2003 memo advising the Pentagon that treatment fell short of torture unless it caused pain equivalent to "death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions."

The memo was renounced by the Justice Department after its disclosure and was recently declassified.

CNN's Terry Frieden contributed to this report.

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