Obama lawyers try to protect Cheney from Daily Show

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BY RAW STORY 

 

Tired of waving the national security flag, Obama administration lawyers are apparently trying another tactic to get the courts to back Bush administration arguments which never worked to prevent the release of critical documents. Forget Qaeda or North Korea, late night hosts who tell jokes are why the government should retain its secrets.

“A federal judge yesterday sharply questioned an assertion by the Obama administration that former Vice President Richard B. Cheney’s statements to a special prosecutor about the Valerie Plame case must be kept secret, partly so they do not become fodder for Cheney’s political enemies or late-night commentary on The Daily Show,” R. Jeffrey Smith reports for The Washington Post.

The AP reports, “Justice Department lawyers told the judge that future presidents and vice presidents may not cooperate with criminal investigations if they know what they say could become available to their political opponents and late-night comics who would ridicule them.”

“If we become a fact-finder for political enemies, they aren’t going to cooperate,” Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Smith said. “I don’t want a future vice president to say, `I’m not going to cooperate with you because I don’t want to be fodder for ‘The Daily Show.’”

More from the Post:

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan expressed surprise during a hearing here that the Justice Department, in asserting that Cheney’s voluntary statements to U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald were exempt from disclosure, relied on legal claims put forward last October by a Bush administration political appointee, Stephen Bradbury. The department asserted then that the disclosure would make presidents and vice presidents reluctant to cooperate voluntarily with future criminal investigations.

But career civil division lawyer Jeffrey M. Smith, responding to Sullivan’s questions, said Bradbury’s arguments against the disclosure were supported by the department’s current leadership. He told the judge that if Cheney’s remarks were published, then a future vice president asked to provide candid information during a criminal probe might refuse to do so out of concern “that it’s going to get on ‘The Daily Show’ ” or somehow be used as a political weapon.

Sullivan said Bradbury, who was the acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel, was not obviously qualified to make such claims and that they were in any event unsubstantiated. Sullivan said the department needed new evidence, if it hoped to prevail, and said the administration should supply him with a copy of Cheney’s statements so he could directly assess whether the claims are credible.

Politico’s Josh Gerstein adds, “Sullivan didn’t decide immediately whether the summary and notes of the Cheney interview should be made public, but the judge said Bradbury’s declaration was inadequate to justify withholding the records. He ordered the Justice Department to supplement its filings by July 1 and to produce the documents for him to examine in private.”

 

http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/06/19/judge-rejects-argument-cheney-needs-to-be-shielded-from-daily-show/

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One Response to “Obama lawyers try to protect Cheney from Daily Show”

  1. fullbodytransplant Says:

    Have you seen the new Obama Superhero Cartoon?

    Brilliant stuff:

    http://fullbodytransplant.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/obama-superhero-cartoon/

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