[Ed. Note: be sure to catch emptywheel’s previous post regarding the release today of Cheney’s interview materials.]
There is a lot in Cheney’s interview report–we’ll have a busy weekend. But for the moment, let’s start with this bit:
After the Vice President again mentioned that he was pressed for time, two separate requests were made to Vice President Cheney in an effort to assist the DOJ/FBI investigation into this matter. First, an FBI waiver form was presented to the Vice President and copies were given to his attorneys. It was explained to Vice President Cheney that his signature was being sought on the waiver form in order to release any reporters with whom the Vice President may have had conversations about the subject matter of this investigation, from promises of confidentiality arising from any such conversations. Vice President Cheney acknowledged receipt of the FBIs waiver form but declined to sign until his attorneys have had sufficient time to review it.
Cheney refused to release the reporters he spoke with of confidentiality.
Now, over the course of his interview, Cheney was asked and he denied speaking with Novak and Cooper (and claimed to have no knowledge of discussions with Judy). The sole key journalist in question he didn’t deny any knowledge about was Woodward (and, though less important, Andrea Mitchell). But he basically denied speaking to any journalist.
And then he refused to sign a waiver of confidentiality over his conversations with journalists.
Couple that with a few more data points.
- When Libby was first asked to sign such a waiver, he too refused to sign it.
- When Novak was first asked to testify, he refused to testify until he could limit his testimony to those who had signed such waivers (and he originally limited it to Armitage, Rove, and Harlow).
- The only question Judy Miller refused to provide some answer to when I posed a bunch of questions about her involvement was about seeing Cheney in Jackson when she saw Scooter (the Aspen comment).
- After Novak was interviewed in September 2004, someone–presumably Fitzgerald–searched for records of contacts between Novak and the White House on a bunch of days, including July 7, 2003, the day before Novak spoke with Armitage.
- Judy refused to testify about her conversations on this subject until she could limit her conversations to Libby.
If Cheney spoke to both Novak and Judy–and there’s reason to believe he might have–he refused to expose those conversations to the scrutiny of Fitzgerald.