Jefferson City — State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, today issued the following statement regarding claims made about subpoenas issued by the Senate Interim Sanctity of Life Committee. Senator Schaefer said he would like to set the record straight after reading recent false claims about the Senate-issued subpoenas, which are being propagated by news outlets and on social media. According to Sen. Schaefer, deceptive statements made about the Senate-issued subpoenas requesting personal information are completely inaccurate and unfounded.
“We are not requesting, nor have we ever sought to gain, personally identifiable information,” Sen. Schaefer said. “The Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life never requested any personally identifiable information. That was further clarified in a letter to Planned Parenthood in March.”
Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Resolution 1793 makes it clear that no personally identifiable information was sought through the subpoenas’ issuance.
“Whereas, correspondence between the counsel for the President Pro Tempore and Planned Parenthood of the Saint Louis Region (PPSLR) dated March 21, 2016, removed any possible ambiguity by clarifying that the subpoena duces tecum did not seek any personally identifiable information from any client…”
These resolutions, if passed, would enforce the subpoenas issued by the president pro tempore to Mary Kogut of Planned Parenthood and Dr. James Miller of Pathology Services, Inc. So far, both have refused to comply. The subpoenas were issued to exercise the Senate’s ability to gather outside information pertinent to an investigation. While it has been done in the past, there is no record of anyone being in contempt or refusing to comply with a Senate-issued subpoena until now.
“This is not so much about the context of what was subpoenaed, but the integrity of the process,” Sen. Schaefer said. “The subpoena process gives the Senate the ability to get information when it comes to public policy and public spending. If we don’t have that ability, the government is at a severe disability to do its job.
“The power to subpoena information falls clearly in the purview of the Senate. The Senate has the ability to subpoena public and private individuals and entities. We need to uphold the integrity of the process and enforce these subpoenas.”
Debating this resolution on the Senate floor is the next step in the process. Senator Schaefer says the Senate has given ample time for PPLSR and Pathology Services, Inc. to raise their objections with the body. The Senate will now debate whether their objections are reasonable. Both subpoenaed individuals have been asked to appear before the Senate Committee of the Whole at 2 p.m., April 18, 2016.
Senator Schaefer’s two resolutions, SCS SR 1793 and SCS SR 1794, recognize that both Kogut and Miller and Pathology Services, Inc. failed to comply with official Senate requests and appear to have no lawful excuse for their noncompliance.