Working on confirmation now, but I’m hearing word that George Bush just took his second step in the cover-up of Cheney’s leak of Valerie Wilson’s identity–by invoking executive privilege to shield Cheney’s interview with Fitzgerald.
No, I’m not surprised by this, if this turns out to be true. But if IS true, then it marks the second time that Bush will have used his privileges to shield something either terribly embarrassing–or downright illegal.
Update: Oversight Committee won’t confirm–but they have postponed their vote on contempt for Attorney General Mukasey to review their options.
Update: Here’s Mukasey:
I am greatly concerned about the chilling effect that compliance with the Committee’s subpona would have on future White House deliberations and White House cooperation with future Justice Department investigations. For the reasons set forth above, I believe it is legally permissible for you to assert executive privilege. I respectfully request that you do so.
Shorter Mukasey: "Please don’t make me go to jail to cover-up the Vice President’s smear job!!"
Update: Waxman hits the right notes:
The claim of executive privilege is ludicrous.
We are not seeking access to the communications between the Vice President and the President. We are seeking access to the communications between the Vice President and FBI investigators. The Vice President talked with the FBI investigators voluntarily and he did so knowing that what he said could be disclosed publicly in a criminal trial. Mr. Fitzgerald told us that "there were no agreements, conditions and understandings" that limited Mr. Fitzgerald’s use
of the interview in any way.
This unfounded assertion of executive privilege does not protect a principle; it protects a person.
The President is wrong to shield Vice President Cheney from scrutiny. In our system of government, even the Vice President should be accountable for his actions.