But not if his buddy Mukasey has his way.
The Justice Department this week released Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s recommendation that President Bush invoke executive privilege in refusing to release to Congress transcripts of Dick Cheney’s conversations with the FBI.
…The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requested the transcripts along with other documents related to its investigation into the leak of former CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity.
…The Oversight Committee’s final report took specific issue with this law enforcement claim.
“There is no basis to support the proposition that a law enforcement privilege, particularly one applied to closed investigations, can shield from congressional scrutiny information that is important for addressing congressional oversight concerns,” the committee’s report says. “The Attorney General did not cite a single judicial decision recognizing this alleged privilege. Even the Department’s own opinions that he cited, which do not have the force of law, only apply the privilege to open law enforcement inquiries, not to closed matters like the Special Counsel investigation.”
Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a still-highly confidential FBI report, admitted to federal investigators that he rewrote talking points for the press in July 2003 that made it much more likely that the role of then-covert CIA-officer Valerie Plame in sending her husband on a CIA-sponsored mission to Africa would come to light.
Cheney conceded during his interview with federal investigators that in drawing attention to Plame’s role in arranging her husband’s Africa trip reporters might also unmask her role as CIA officer.
Cheney denied to the investigators, however, that he had done anything on purpose that would lead to the outing of Plame as a covert CIA operative. But the investigators came away from their interview with Cheney believing that he had not given them a plausible explanation as to how he could focus attention on Plame’s role in arranging her husband’s trip without her CIA status also possibly publicly exposed. At the time, Plame was a covert CIA officer involved in preventing Iran from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, and Cheney’s office played a central role in exposing her and nullifying much of her work.
Via Murray Waas.
It seems like a foregone conclusion that Cheney was indeed instrumental in revealing Plame’s identity in his attempts to discredit her husband after he revealed Bush Administration lies. To create some semblance of justice in America, it is important that Cheney pay for his lawlessness. It is incredibly troubling that the AG himself is at the center of the fight to prevent justice. Why? Does he sincerely believe that this executive privilege exists on its own merits? That is improbable, to put it lightly. So, what does he have to gain by playing Cheney apologist? What, indeed?
It sounds like the Oversight Committee may just ignore Mukasey and go for the gold. Lord, I hope so. No one should be above the law.