Abbe David Lowell was quoted in the December 22 edition of the New York Times regarding whether the C.I.A.'s withholding of videotapes documenting the interrogations of two al Qaeda operatives violated federal law. Mr. Lowell said the question of whether the agency had broken the law by omitting mention of the videotapes was "pretty complex," but said he "wouldn’t rule it out." Mr. Lowell also said that because the requests were not subpoenas issued by a court or Congress, C.I.A. officials could not be held in contempt for failing to respond fully. Apart from that, however, it is a crime to make a false statement "in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch," Mr. Lowell remarked.