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Bush Claims Privilege Over Cheney Interviews

Posted on Jul 16, 2008
White House / Eric Draper

One of the benefits of saturating the American people with scandal is that folks eventually stop paying attention. That’s certainly the case with Plamegate, which is still being investigated despite the president’s best efforts to the contrary and a public that has generally moved on.

George W. Bush, at the urging of his attorney general, has claimed executive privilege over documents that could reveal the extent to which Dick Cheney was involved in the outing of the CIA agent.

AP via Google:

President Bush has asserted executive privilege to prevent Attorney General Michael Mukasey from having to comply with a House panel subpoena for material on the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.

A House committee chairman, meanwhile, held off on a contempt citation of Mukasey—who had requested the privilege claim—but only as a courtesy to lawmakers not present.

Among the documents sought by House Oversight Chairman Henry Waxman are FBI interviews of Vice President Dick Cheney.

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By troublesum, July 18, 2008 at 12:56 am Link to this comment

Its a little late in the day for democwats to start being concerned about corruption in the Bush administration.  With a 20% approval rating the president still gets what he wants from congress.  Pelosi always talks that way just before elections.  After the election she goes to the white house for tea and kissy face.

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By GW=MCHammered, July 17, 2008 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“You know, God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States, a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject,” Pelosi replied. She then tsk-tsked Bush for “challenging Congress when we are trying to sweep up after his mess over and over and over again.”

(and amen, Outraged)

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By bat guano, July 17, 2008 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Peee - loosi - sure glad you didn’t impeach these scumbags when you had the chance huh… Ahole.

Must be just professional courtesy. The same reason that sharks don’t attack lawyers.

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By Alan, July 17, 2008 at 8:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We have not “moved on”.  We note that it is
delinquent Pelosi who has moved on to the trough
where the slop of the day, every day, is
“impeachment is off the table”. Well isn’t that
just peachy.

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By cyrena, July 17, 2008 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Henry Waxman works!!

•  “..A House committee chairman, meanwhile, held off on a contempt citation of Mukasey — who had requested the privilege claim — but only as a courtesy to lawmakers not present…”

*held off* but ONLY as a courtesy to lawmakers –not present-.

Go Henry!

•  “,,Waxman rejected Mukasey’s suggestion that Cheney’s FBI interview on the CIA leak should be protected by the privilege claim — and therefore not turned over to the panel.”—“We’ll act in the reasonable and appropriate period of time,” Waxman, D-Calif., said. But he made clear that he thinks Mukasey has earned a contempt citation and that he’d schedule a vote on the matter soon.—“This unfounded assertion of executive privilege does not protect a principle; it protects a person,” Waxman said. “If the vice president did nothing wrong, what is there to hide?””
Again. Thank you Congressman/Chairman Waxman.

•  “…” Mukasey wrote to Bush. “I believe it is legally permissible for you to assert executive privilege with respect to the subpoenaed documents, and I respectfully request that you do so.”..

Bullshit. What is this that he respectfully ‘request’ that Bush break the law on behalf of the Cheney Doctrine of Unitary Executive, and have the despicable and unethical gall to couch it in terms of protecting the separation of powers. That is exactly what this is NOT! It’s a total mockery of the separation of powers, which is what has described Cheney’s Unitary Executive Doctrine for nearly a decade if not longer. He was doing this same shit in the Nixon and Regan admins.

Mukasey is just another one of the fascist shadow government.

•  “..The Bush administration had plenty of warning. Waxman warned last week that he would cite Mukasey with contempt unless the attorney general complied with the subpoena. The House Judiciary Committee also has subpoenaed some of the same documents from Mukasey, as well as information on the leak from other current and former administration officials.’…

OF COURSE they had plenty of warning. They’ve been getting warnings, (at least from Waxman, and Patrick Fitzgerald back when he prosecuted Libby) for years. Doesn’t matter. Rove’s had multiple warnings as well, and finally ran for cover. They don’t care. They’ve been engaged in criminal behavior for years, and with impunity. And, just like any other low-life criminal does when they get caught, they find a skanky low-life attorney to help them evade the law. Ergo, Mukasey. We knew all of that before he was even confirmed to take over for the previous low-life skank that was Gonzo.

But, I digress. My point was to say again, that NOT every single democrat in our Congress is a waste. Most maybe. But Henry Waxman, and his devoted and professional staff, along with a handful of other Congressional reps and even a few Senators, HAVE been doing their jobs, and for a long time now.

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By Voice From the Wilderness, July 17, 2008 at 8:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Then:  Anyone responsible for leaking Valerie Plame’s identity will no longer be part of this administration.

Now: Executive privilege claim.

It was Nixon’s claim of executive privilege that finally led to the Watergate coverup’s unraveling.  But then we had judges and eventually an Attorney General who put principle above politics.  I never thought I’d live to find those days a beacon of hope.

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By Sang Ze, July 17, 2008 at 5:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush is the decider. Let it go.

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By Marsha, July 17, 2008 at 4:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anyone else would be arrested for obstruction of justice.  When will something be done about these crimminals.  They (bush/cheney) deserve nothing more than a prison cell.

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By Outraged, July 17, 2008 at 2:32 am Link to this comment

Re: GW=MCHammered, July 16

Your comment: “Aren’t these the punks we despised in high school?”

> Personally, I don’t think they’re actually that… I think that they’re more the ones that when you just stood right up to them and said “bring it on” they were the ones who TOTALLY promised to kiss your ass and maybe give you their lunch money and find someone to “buy you beer” next Friday night.  You know… the worst of the worst…the true ass kissers.  The ones who were never PERSONALLY worth your time or trouble, but you thought you that maybe should call them out since they appeared to enjoy that “big man, little dick” philosophy of running around TERRORIZING those who would never hurt a fly.  Yeah…that’s who I think they are.  So, I agree…although… I think you’re being too kind.

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By Thomas Billis, July 17, 2008 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

Bush has extended “executive privilege to any conversations any staffer has had with anyone since college.When asked if this was similar to the “cone of silence"in “Get Smart” the president replied"do you think I am keeping them quiet cause I intend to get smart?”

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By samosamo, July 17, 2008 at 12:32 am Link to this comment

And I might also point out the intensity of his jabbing finger along with the almost white knuckled left hand almost crushing the podium in regal definance of having to protect his partner in crime. So how long before one or the other might rat the other out to save his own ass?

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By samosamo, July 17, 2008 at 12:25 am Link to this comment

I would like to draw everyone’s attention to both w & dick’s body language, how dick looks subdued and allowing w to POINT HIS FINGER HARD ON THE PODIUM with that defiant ‘don’t you dare cross this line’ look on his sorry face, acting as if he is in control and deciding and daring anyone to cross this line.
Any takers? He’s calling you out.

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By Outraged, July 16, 2008 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment

Part 2

From Voice of America:

““There is no, either historic or legitimate legal position that this administration has to assert executive privilege at this time, and it is being done solely to try to stop this committee from moving forward, and this committee should not, should not accede to this contemptuous device by the president and his attorney general,” said Congressman Kucinich.”

Thank you Dennis Kucinich.  This should definitely be pursued even if it takes years.

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By Outraged, July 16, 2008 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment

Part 1.

Rep Waxman and the Oversight Committee should pursue this issue doggedly.  This is a serious matter and if the allegations are accurate, treasonous.  Not only could Plame herself have been in jeopardy but possibly the security of the country.  This could also expose more conclusively some of the deceptions and who EXACTLY were involved in the lead up to the “preemptive” attack on Iraq.

According to Washington Independent:

“The House oversight committee is deferring to Mukasey and Johnson’s executive privilege claims right now but that may not last for long. If the committee gets a majority vote to officially hold either in contempt, the matter would then go before for the full House.  Then if the House votes—again with a simple majority—to hold either in contempt, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has a few options:

-Refer the matter to the Justice Dept. This is what happened when the House voted to hold White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former top White House adviser Harriet Miers in contempt this February. Attorney General Michael Mukasey promptly declared that they will not prosecute Bolten, Miers or any other Bush administration officials. So, presumably, for the rest of the Bush administration, this option is essentially off the table.

-Sue the White House. The House Judiciary Committee chose this rather novel path after the Justice Dept. ignored the Bolten and Miers charges. The committee filed a motion in federal court asking a judge to uphold their subpoena demanding Bolten and Miers provide Congressional testimony about fired U.S. Attorneys.

-Lock them up in a cell. Congress has “inherent contempt power.” This means that if someone is held in contempt by the House or Senate, the House or Senate sergeant-at-arms can physically arrest and imprison the contemptuous official. The official would likely then be held in a cell in the basement of a House office building”

In addition, Newsweek had this:

....Normally, claims of executive privilege are invoked to protect the disclosure of the president’s communications with his top advisers. But in this case, the White House invoked the claim to keep secret Cheney’s responses to FBI agents (hardly what anybody would call his advisers), who were grilling him as part of the now-closed criminal investigation headed by Fitzgerald…..

....“Creative is a good word to describe it,” said Mark Rozell, another executive-privilege expert who is a professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, about the attorney general’s contention. “This is really an argument to protect the White House’s own political interests and save it from embarrassment.”

As a practical matter, White House officials—including presidents and vice presidents—must cooperate with Justice Department criminal investigations involving their administrations, noted Michael Bromwich, a former federal prosecutor who investigated White House wrongdoing during the Iran-contra affair and later served as the Justice Department’s inspector general…..

....“Among the documents that Waxman had subpoenaed—which the White House also refused to turn over Wednesday—were notes taken by then deputy national-security adviser Stephen Hadley about conversations he had with Cheney and other White House officials during the course of the probe. Other subpoenaed material included papers relating to the preparation of President Bush’s 2003 State of the Union speech and internal notes about how to rebut criticism by Plame’s husband, former U.S. ambassador Wilson, that the speech’s claim that Saddam Hussein was seeking uranium from Niger was untrue.”

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By GW=MCHammered, July 16, 2008 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THIS IS THE “Cartoonists Have Their Say” STORY

The photo here of hunchback dick and manless bush is the true cartoon. The No Accountability voucher does not exist, boys. How droll. Aren’t these the punks we despised in high school?

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By ApprxAm, July 16, 2008 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

After Iraq…the failure to manage Afghanistan and the economy, to secure the border and national security, Cheney/Bush will spend the later months of the term exculpating the minions.

Does the Constitution allows for self-pardoning?

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By samosamo, July 16, 2008 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

By RAE, July 16 at 5:36 pm #

is somehow a God-given decree that all the “little people” should just accept at face value and SHUT UP

w believes it but he pays rush, bill otriviality, seen hanover and ann cutlery to tell the masses to shut up and quit whinning. You know, the ones that are fair and balanced?

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By RAE, July 16, 2008 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

The American people, who I think secretly long for their President to have the allure and stature - class? -of, say, a King or Queen, have instead elevated some very sorry-assed ego-maniacs to the position.

I’ll bet Bush basks in the delusion he’s “King of the World.” I’ll wager he actually believes that whatever he “decides,” however idiotic and/or mean-spirited it may be, is somehow a God-given decree that all the “little people” should just accept at face value and SHUT UP.

The Congress of the United States - the House of Representatives - should have the last and final “say” on any issue that concerns the citizens of the United States. Presidential vetos and “executive privileges” should be abolished. The Administrative Branch should be just that… there to ADMINISTER the policies as approved by Congress in a manner approved by Congress, and nothing else.

I’m absolutely positive that Congress - these representatives of the people - will also come up with real legislative clangers and will simply have to live with the consequences. At least the mistakes will be of their own making not imposed on them by some half-wit in the White House.

I love to dream, don’t I?

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By samosamo, July 16, 2008 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

Yeah! Don’t let up. Though the mountain of issues to investigate and prosecute is daunting, keep plugging. As late in the game as it is to look into and investigate this daunting mound of criminality, keep at it. To stop and let go on by will kill this country. The available NEWS has too much in it that implicates just about everyone of the administration from w all the way down to dog catcher, well maybe that lowly ole neocon in the office after hours cleaning up after the masters have gone off the celebrate at the local watering hole.

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By jobart, July 16, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We,like thinking Americans have continued to place blame on the corporate-controlled MSN for under-reporting truths or having a biased-based agenda. We,as a group,attempt to place ALL the blame for this malfeasance of the truth upon the neocons. The concept that we all accept of “don’t shoot the messenger” remains viable in most situations. The “I was lied to, therefore I lied”has always sufficed as an acceptable rationale for “being wrong”. However, if the opinion given of an “unbiased” newsperson is professed, then that“opinion” MUST reflect a modicum of total “objectivism”, without being subjected to a viable,subjective opinion. This tenet of reporting is the basis of “truthfulness” in news, per se. So, as a possible adjustment to the state of things, let’s look to prosecute the “extremists”, whether right or left (I assume it would be easier to start with the RIGHT). They are, surely more vulnerable/culpable and, certainly more punishable than the “BIG GUYS”.  Put the FOX guys on trial for “promoting” opinions that “hurt” our country. Maybe this could be a tactic that at least gives them cause to slow down and realize that, given a need for legal defense, the neocons would look the other way.  Put Rush, O’Rielly, Hannity , and the other neocon shills under the “microscope” of true patriotism. I bet they, as the “bought and paid for weasels that they are, would “crumble faster than month old Keebler crackers. Just my 2-cents. I apologise for being “off topic” here, but I needed to get this “out of my system”. Re: the other stuff…I’m not regularly commenting but(be sure) that I’m reading and enjoying (most) of the “fun” going on.

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