July 16, 2008

White House Refuses Release of Cheney Tape

The White House has cited executive privilege in refusing to turn over FBI interviews with Vice President Dick Cheney on the leaked name of a CIA operative.

The position came in response to a July 16 deadline from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee which included Cheney in its investigation of who leaked former CIA agent Valerie Plame's name to the media, The Hill, a Washington political newspaper, reported Wednesday.

Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., held off a vote to hold Attorney General Michael Mukasey in contempt for his claim of executive privilege on documents coming from outside the White House.

But were not going to end it today. Were going to move forward. We are not going to accept this answer that he's given to us, said Waxman.

A Justice Department letter noted that congressional committee staff had been permitted to look at FBI reports, with limited editing, of interviews that agents conducted with senior White House staff.

We are not prepared to make the same accommodation for reports of interviews with the president and vice president because the confidentiality interest relating to those documents are of a greater constitutional magnitude, wrote Keith Nelson, principle deputy assistant attorney general.