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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Or what? Or we shall taunt you a second time?
Posted by Jill | 6:34 AM
Henry Waxman is sending what's going to turn out to be just another empty threat to Attorney General Michael Mukasey:

For more than one year, the Oversight Committee has been seeking documents from the Department of Justice relevant to our investigation into the leak of Ms. Wilson’s identity. Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has cooperated with the Committee’s investigation, providing documents directly to the Committee and releasing others to you for production to the Committee. Two of the documents that Mr. Fitzgerald has provided to you for production to the Committee are the reports of the FBI interviews of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Despite the Committee’s repeated requests, you have consistently refused to provide these reports to the Committee or unredacted versions of the reports of FBI interviews with White House staff. In response to the Committee’s June 16 subpoena, you wrote: “we are not prepared to provide or make available any reports of interviews with the President or Vice President from the leak investigation” because of “core Executive Branch confidentiality interests and fundamental separation of powers principles.”

In deference to your concerns and in a further attempt at accommodation, the Committee will not seek access to the report of the FBI interview of President Bush at this time. The report of the FBI interview with Vice President Cheney needs to be produced, however. The Vice President’s former chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, told the FBI that it is “possible” that the Vice President instructed him to disseminate to the press information about the identity of Ms. Wilson. The Committee cannot complete its inquiry into this serious matter without the report of the Vice President’s FBI interview.

The arguments you have raised for withholding the interview report are not tenable. When the FBI interview with the Vice President was conducted, the Vice President knew that the information in the interview could be made public in a criminal trial and that there were no restrictions on Special Counsel Fitzgerald’s use of the interview. Mr. Fitzgerald clarified this key point last week, writing to the Committee that “there were no agreements, conditions, and understandings between the Office of Special Counsel or the Federal Bureau of Investigation and either the President or Vice President regarding the conduct and use of the interview or interviews.”

Vice President Cheney’s attorneys have consistently maintained that he is not an “entity within the executive branch.” Whether this unusual claim is accurate or not, I am aware of no freestanding vice presidential communications privilege, let alone one that covers voluntary and unrestricted conversations with a special counsel investigating wrongdoing. There certainly was no such understanding when our Committee sought the FBI interview report of an interview with Vice President Gore. The Justice Department produced the interview to the Committee despite the fact that it contained discussion of official White House business.

In his closing remarks in the criminal trial of Mr. Libby, Special Counsel Fitzgerald stated: “There is a cloud over what the Vice President did that week.” Your cooperation in this matter could go a long way to dispelling this notion or perhaps confirming Mr. Fitzgerald’s fears. Either way, this Committee and the American people are entitled to know what happened. For similar reasons, you should also produce the unredacted versions of the interviews with White House staff that the Committee has subpoenaed.

Does anyone actually believe that this White House, or this Justice Department, is actually going to respond to a Congressinal subpoena? Nancy Pelosi may have this release up on her web site, but this is the woman who took impeachment off the table, no matter how large the magnitude of Bush Administration crimes, and now she is urging Waxman's committee to NOT enforce the subpoena that Kark Rove ignored.

Unless Congress is prepared to put its money where its mouth is, I'm getting tired of these "sternly-worded letters" that appear more and more to be simply grandstanding designed to appease those who still believe that the Administration's oath to uphold the Constitution means something.

Well, count this person unappeased.

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Blogger dguzman said...
Add me to that count. I hate to sound like I'm giving up, but what's the use at this point? It's pretty obvious that whether people like Waxman, Conyers, Dodd, and even Feingold and Kucinich have their hearts in the right place or not, their gestures are just that: gestures. Without true follow-through (arrest warrants, anyone?), they might as well just shut up and quit pretending. There's nothing I hate more than a hypocrite.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Looks like end game to me. Guess who won?