Monday, December 3, 2007

fitz's "libby caper" interview transcript -- with dick cheney -- being withheld by white house

chairman waxman has written newly-
minted attorney general michael mukasey
today, seeking four-month delayed documents.

now, as many have pointed out,
if the transcripts henry waxman
seeks had been formally sworn,
under oath, and before a grand jury,
they would likely be beyond the reach
of this request. however, special
counsel patrick fitzgerald allowed
mr. cheney, among others, to speak
in a more informal f.b.i. interview
setting -- so, as irony would have
it, at some least parts of those f.b.i.
302 interview reports/transcripts
are presumptively fair game for rep.
waxman's oversight committee -- even
patrick fitzgerald has said so.

only the white house still blocks
these f.b.i. 302 reports from being
produced to the house oversight committee.
as waxman's letter makes plain, this
stone-walling is both baseless, and unprecedented.

here are the key paragraphs:

. . .According to a Justice Department official, Mr. Fitzgerald has also designated for production to the Committee reports of interviews of certain White House officials. However, to date, four months after the Committee's request, he has been unable to produce these documents to the Committee because the White House has not consented to their production. Committee staff has asked Justice Department staff to provide, but has not received, a date by which the White House will determine whether it will allow Mr. Fitzgerald to produce the documents.

There is no legitimate basis for the withholding of these documents. Mr. Fitzgerald has apparently determined that these documents can be produced to the Committee without infringing on his prosecutorial independence or violating the rules of grand jury secrecy. As records of statements made by White House officials to federal investigators, outside the framework of presidential decision-making, the documents could not be subject to a valid claim of executive privilege. . .

The Committee is conducting a vitally important inquiry into whether the White House followed the required safeguards in protecting Ms. Wilson's identity and responding to an exceptionally serious breach of national security. As Mr. McClellan, the former White House Press Secretary, now asserts:
I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the Vice President, the President's chief of staff and the President himself. . .

Because of the implications of Mr. McClellan's assertions, I am asking for your personal assistance in obtaining the documents being withheld by the White House. These documents are directly relevant to the Committee's investigation, and they have been determined by Mr. Fitzgerald to be appropriate for release to the Committee. I believe they should be provided to the Committee without any additional delay and without redactions or other limitations dictated by the White House. . .

I recognize that President Bush and his counsel may not want this information provided to Congress. But the role of the Attorney General is to administer the laws with impartiality.

The Justice Department provided the exact same information to Congress during the Clinton Administration. There is no special standard for President Bush that exempts him and his senior advisors from responsible congressional oversight.

If you have any questions regarding my request, please contact me personally or ask your staff to contact David Rapallo or Theodore Chuang of the Committee staff at(202) 225-5420.

this will get interesting quickly, for
AG mukasey cannot be for the rule of law,
and fair oversight, and at the same time,
come out against this emminently reasonable,
and long-delayed, request. . . i smell a
contempt citation for cheney, in the making,
here, as he will never willingly let these
documents be made available to rep. waxman,
or senator leahy. buckle up!