Grassley wants 'unredacted' memo justifying killing of US citizen

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) applauded a court ruling requiring the Obama administration to release its redacted legal justification for killing a U.S. citizen in Yemen, but said he wants some lawmakers to be able to read the whole report.

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“The targeted killing of American citizens by their own government should be one of the most fundamental reasons to ensure checks and balances are in place,” Grassley said Monday. “Up to this point, the Obama administration has been hiding behind a Cliff’s Notes version of the justification that gave no legal analysis for the killings.”

Grassley’s comments came the same day the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit voted unanimously for the Justice Department to release the redacted memo to the public.

“The 2nd Circuit’s ruling is a positive development,” Grassley said. “And, while the Justice Department is readying a redacted version of the memo to the American public, they should start preparing to provide access to the Judiciary Committee the unredacted copies of any and all legal opinions drafted by the Office of Legal Counsel that pertain to the targeted killing of U.S. citizens abroad.”

Grassley is ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and has been critical of the administration’s legal justification for killing Anwar al-Awlaki — a U.S. citizen who had joined al Qaeda — with a drone strike in 2011.

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