Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Waxman subpoenas FBI for Bush & Cheney Plame interviews

The House Oversight Committee on Monday - just days before Scotty McClellan will appear before the Judiciary Committee on Friday - subpoenaed records of the FBI's interviews with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney during the investigation into the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson in an act of political revenge after her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson wrote the now-famous New York Times op-ed in 2003 that brought up the issue of stroked intel to sell the war that aWol was intent on starting.

Waxman said that McClellan's book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," also raised suspicion that Dick Cheney had directed McClellan to "mislead the public."

Waxman also wants the unredacted transcripts of FBI interviews with McClellan, former White House political adviser Karl Rove, Libby and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said the department was reviewing the subpoena to determine how to respond. The committee set a deadline of noon next Monday for the Attorney General to respond.
McClellan wrote that Bush and Cheney directed him to "exonerate" Libby in his daily news briefings and that Cheney may have been among the senior White House officials who knew the truth but encouraged the former spokesman "to repeat a lie." McClellan also contended that Bush told him he'd authorized the leak of Plame's name.

Bush said in a 2004 news briefing that "If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of."

Last week, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Keith Nelson turned down the committee's request for the FBI reports on Bush and Cheney, saying that the committee's request "raises serious separation of powers" and confidentiality concerns.

However, Waxman said there were "no sound reasons" that the Justice Department couldn't release the documents. He's accused the Justice Department of blocking Fitzgerald from turning over the documents.
A spokesman for the Justice Department, Peter Carr, said the department was reviewing the committees subpoena to determine how to respond.

The two-year investigation by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald into the outing of Plame yielded the conviction if I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on charges of obstruction, perjury and lying to the FBI. Bush bought Libby's silence when he commuted the sentence but did not pardon him - had he pardoned him, he would have been immune from further prosecution and brought before the committee and forced to spill his guts about the whole rotten crew.

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