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Holder does not rule out scenario of drone strike on U.S. soil

By Terry Frieden, CNN Justice Producer
updated 4:52 PM EST, Tue March 5, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Attorney general responds to U.S. senator about drone program
  • Issue was raised as part of Senate consideration of CIA nominee
  • White House turns over documents on targeting Americans overseas

Washington (CNN) -- Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday stopped short of entirely ruling out a scenario in which a drone strike would be ordered against an American citizen on U.S. soil.

In a letter to Sen. Rand Paul, Holder said it was possible, "I suppose," to imagine an "extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate" under U.S. law for the president to authorize the military to "use lethal force" within the United States.

The issue was raised during Senate consideration of John Brennan to be CIA director.

The Justice Department earlier in the day turned over new documents outlining the legal rationale for lawfully targeting Americans overseas who are involved in terror-related activities that threaten the United States or its interests.

But Paul wanted to know if the administration's drone policy could be carried out on American soil.

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