Skip to comments.Judge orders partial release of Cheney CIA leak interview
Posted on 10/01/2009 9:38:30 AM PDT by STARWISE
A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to release notes and summaries of former Vice President Dick Cheney's 2004 interview with Special Prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald in the CIA leak case, but is allowing the deletion of what may be some of the most interesting details in the documents.
In a ruling issued Thursday morning, Judge Emmet Sullivan flatly rejected claims by both Bush and Obama appointees at DOJ that the entirety of the records should be withheld because their disclosure could discourage White House officials from cooperating in future investigations. The judge said the prospect of such inquiries was "incurably speculative" and could not permit a judgment that such a chilling effect was likely to occur. He said the impact of such an argument would be "breathtakingly broad" and "be in direct contravention of 'the basic policy' of" the Freedom of Information Act.
The judge's ruling came in response to a FOIA suit filed by liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
While the judge rejected the government's overarching claim that the records could be kept secret, he accepted arguments from Obama Office of Legal Counsel acting chief David Barron that disclosure of some passages from Cheney's interview could chill Executive Branch deliberations.
In a likely disappointment to aficionados of the CIA leak case, however, Sullivan appears to have okayed the withholding of details about Cheney's talks with CIA Director George Tenet about Ambassador Joe Wilson's trip to Niger, talks with National Security Adviser Condi Rice, discussions regarding the 16 words in the 2003 State of the Union Address, discussions about how to respond to press inquiries about the leak of CIA officer Valerie Wilson's identity, and Cheney's involvement in declassification discussions.
"Judge Sullivan rightly rejected a Justice Department interpretation of the FOIA that would have allowed the government to withhold virtually any law enforcement record even where an investigation has long since been concluded," Melanie Sloan of CREW said in a statement e-mailed to reporters. We are disappointed, however, that the judge allowed DOJ to withhold portions of some records because the American people deserve to know the truth about the role the vice president played in exposing Mrs. Wilsons covert identity. High-level government officials should not be permitted to hide their misconduct from public view.
The Justice Department had no immediate comment on the ruling.
Cheney was never charged in connection with the CIA leak probe, though his chief of staff, Lewis Libby, was convicted of lying to investigators and obstructing justice in the case. Cheney was on Libby's witness list but was never called. However, at trial, Fitzgerald said the leak put a "cloud over the vice president."
President George W. Bush commuted Libby's jail sentence, but Cheney has expressed disappointment that his ex-aide was not granted a full pardon.
Some key language from Sullivan's decision Thursday:
DOJ has not and cannot describe with any reasonable degree of particularity the subject matter of the hypothetical proceedings, the parties involved, when such proceedings might occur, or how the information withheld here might be used by these hypothetical parties to interfere with these hypothetical proceedings. DOJ may be correct that the precise scope of an investigation or the statute under which a proceeding is likely to be brought need not be discerned in order to conclude that a proceeding is reasonably anticipated under Mapothers reasoning. Under this Courts reading of the statute and the relevant caselaw, however, the category of proceedings must be more narrowly defined than simply any investigation that might benefit from the cooperation of some senior White House official at some undetermined future point regarding some undefined subject...
In this sense, the category of proceedings that DOJ asks this Court to conclude are reasonably anticipated could encompass any law enforcement investigation during which law enforcement might wish to interview senior White House officials. Such proceedings might include an investigation into alleged criminal activity that physically took place in the White House; financial wrongdoing by a White House official that took place before or during his or her tenure in the executive branch; misconduct relating to official responsibilities, such as the breach of national security protocol that formed the basis of the Plame investigation; or even an event occurring outside the White House with only tangential connection to one or more White House officials.Thus conceived, it becomes clear that the scope of the proceedings described by DOJ is breathtakingly broad....
The information withheld by DOJ [as deliberative] recounts the ingredients of the decisionmaking process, and for that reason the information withheld qualifies as predecisional despite the fact that the interview in which the information was disclosed took place after the decisions were made.
Chris Matthews will get a weeks worth of shows out of this.
Would someone please provide a link to the thread that started with that pic when it was originally published (was it in Vanity Fair?), but eventually included some most excellent modifications of same.
It was hilarious.
Let me get this straight. The jusge ordered a partial release? Therefore... If not read properly in an entire context this will reflect very unfavorbly for Cheney?
No, it was a FR thread (I just searched - there are a lot) that started with the B&W pic but then the pic got photoshopped/captioned several times and it was a hilarious thread. Still looking for the thread.
When in doubt, go back to Bush, Cheney, or Rove. Bring up “Plamegate” or Scooter Libby. Anything possible to distract from the disastrous Democrat ObamaCare bill, cap and tax, and the poor economy.
Have they looked over Obama's international campaign donors list yet?
So they are REACHING to re try plameGate?
Then if that does not work...
Obama will further allow the Holder to attack the CIA in public hoping to put Bush/Cheney/ Ashcroft lawyers in jail?
You’re killing me!
Democrat traitorous leaks don’t matter. Only fake Republican leaks are investigated ad infinitum. Get the facts straight! /s
Thanks Dead. I should have known it was you. It was the Looter guy pic.
“Yo Spy Lady” LOL
Nothjing like progression ... ROFLOL
Nothing like progression ... ROFLOL
Democrat traitorous leaks dont matter. Only fake Republican leaks are investigated ad infinitum. Get the facts straight! /s”
You are right thank you!
Bring it on suckers. We will not be distracted by a redacted document upon which history will be attempted to be rewritten.
Boondoogle it was, and boondoggle it will be.
Or maybe it will encourage some more contemporary CIA leaks?
...oh please, not these people again.
They are lifelong, vainglorious children who are emotionally and intellectually incapable of leading, building or defending anything because they only love themselves. Scumbags all.
What’s it cost to get someone up here to clean off my keyboard and monitor..... you are cracking me up.
That was hilarious!!
Judge releases Cheney papers in Plame probe
A federal judge on Thursday ordered the release of documents that could shed light on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s role in the leak of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.
But U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan also ruled that portions of the documents, notes from a 2004 FBI interview with Mr. Cheney, must remain secret.
The 67 pages of notes relate to the leak of Mrs. Plame’s identity, an event leading to a protracted investigation that resulted in the conviction of Mr. Cheney’s former chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr., on charges of lying to a grand jury.
The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sought the notes through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that had been opposed by the Justice Department during both the Bush and Obama administrations.
The case put the Obama administration in the paradoxical situation of defending Mr. Cheney, who is one of its most persistent critics.
The Justice Department said Thursday it is reviewing Judge Sullivan’s decision.
While it remains unknown whether the Justice Department will appeal, it must decide soon. Judge Sullivan ordered that the notes be released by Oct. 9.
In ordering their release, Judge Sullivan rejected the Justice Department’s arguments that the notes should be kept secret because revealing them may discourage top White House officials from cooperating with future criminal investigations.
CREW whose initials stand for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington presents itself as a non-partisan, public interest group, which litigates and brings ethics charges against corrupt politicians. Its website (citizensforethics.org) states that CREW, “targets government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests.
We will help Americans use litigation to shine a light on those who betray the public trust Despite this idealistic language, the degree to which CREWs litigators target Republicans and spare Democrats lends credence to the view expressed by many Washington observers that CREW is little more than an attack machine for George Soros Shadow Party.
Shadow Party Agenda
The Shadow Party is a tightly-coordinated network of private groups through which Soros disburses campaign cash and exerts influence over the Democrats. In 2004, the Shadow Party raised more than $300 million for Democrat candidates. This gave Soros unprecedented power to bend the Democratic Party to his will. After the election, Soros operative and MoveOn PAC director Eli Pariser declared, Now its our party: we bought it, we own it (5)
Shadow Party operative Robert Borosage expressed a similar view at the time. A hard-left militant during the 60s, Borosage now serves as co-director of the Campaign for Americas Future, a leftwing activist group which has received more than $300,000 from Soros Open Society Institute. In a November 29, 2004 article in the Marxist journal The Nation, Borosage and Nation editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel wrote:
[P]rogressives drive this party now - we provide the energy, the organizers, the ground forces, the ideas, and much of the money. We should organize the opposition [against Republicans]. Progressives should mount a powerful assault on Republican boss Tom DeLay. (6)
It is probably no coincidence that CREW executive director Melanie Sloan was thinking along the same lines. “Since I started [with CREW], the main thing I wanted to do was to go after Tom DeLay, Sloan told the Wall Street Journal in May 2005. DeLay is my top target. The Journal reports:
“A former assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Ms. Sloan engineered an ethics complaint against Mr. DeLay in the House, asked the Internal Revenue Service to audit a pair of Mr. DeLay’s fund-raising committees and sued the Federal Election Commission to obtain more information about possible financial ties between Mr. DeLay and a Kansas utility.
She also urged the Justice Department to investigate Mr. DeLay for his role in promising fund-raising help to a family member of Nick Smith, at the time a Republican House representative from Michigan, in exchange for Mr. Smith’s vote on Medicare legislation.” (7)
CREW was joined in its campaign against DeLay by a swarm of Soros-funded groups, all posing as non-partisan watchdogs
among them Common Cause, Democracy 21, Public Citizen, Public Campaign and the Campaign Legal Center. (8)
The above-named groups have all received large contributions from Soros Open Society Institute. Common Cause has received $650,000; Democracy 21, $300,000; Public Citizen, $275,000; and Public Campaign, $1.3 million.(9) The Campaign Legal Center acknowledges on its Web site that it too has received generous financial support from the Open Society Institute.
Most of CREWs targets have been Republicans. On those few occasions when it picks fights with the left, it tends to target people like Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, whom Democrat leaders regard as competitors or spoilers. (10)
On March 14, 2006, The Hill newspaper reported that CREW had targeted 14 Republican legislators for lawsuits or ethics complaints, but only one Democrat (Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas). (11)
CREW was founded by Democrat activists Norm Eisen and Louis Mayberg. Eisen is an attorney. Mayberg is president and co-founder of the Bethesda, MD mutual fund management firm ProFund Advisors LLC.
CREWs 990 IRS filing for 2001 lists its three founding directors as Louis Mayberg, Mark Penn and Daniel Berger. Mayberg and Berger are prominent Democrat donors. Mark Penn is a top Democrat strategist and pollster.
Melanie Sloan ~ C.R.E.W
12 Oct 2006 //
“Q. Kingston said CREW is a 527 organization (a political organization that is not regulated under federal election laws)?
A. We are a non-partisan, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.
Q. There is the suggestion in the criticism that CREW has a relationship with billionaire George Soros, who has funded a number of liberal and Democratic organizations. What is CREW’s relationship with Soros?
A. George Soros’s foundation, the Open Society Institute, is one of our donors. We don’t have any personal or ongoing relationship with George Soros or any of his political folks. They have no knowledge of what we do, no input whatsoever over our daily activities. I think George Soros heard about this the same time that everybody else did - when Brian Ross broke the story.
Q. How much money have you received from George Soros?
What’s that about? I hadn’t heard it.
Let’s see, am I going to bed now or am I just getting up???
That business about George Soros’ money taking out the 14 Republicans is not surprising. The most influential Republicans across the country lost in 2006. Weldon of the northeast was investigating some group, and they shut him down. Mark Foley, George Allen, the westerner (J.D. ????), and others. It figured to be something like him giving the word. Now that all those liberals have the government, look at the mess we have.
It was Richard Armitage. The MSM will not tell the truth!
It’s not in VP Cheney’s purview .. it’s the US Atty Fitzie’s interview with him.
Didn’t they refuse to turn over those papers once before because of “security reasons”?
Horse face dropped the ball on the senate floor about a sensitive satellite we had up I forgot the exact quotes but being a Leftist Traitor of the highest order he got a pass.
They always do. I am soooo tired of them all.