Bush - Cheney Records were Subpoenaed

In June 2008 a House of Representatives committee subpoenaed records of the FBI's interviews with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney concerning the investigation into the leak of a covert CIA officer's name.

Former Ambassador Joseph Plame had accused White House officials of leaking his wife's identity to retaliate for his criticism of the Iraq War.

The committee on oversight and Government Reform demanded documents from then Attorney General Michael Mukasey days before former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan was expected to testify about Cheney's role in leaking CIA officer Valerie Plume's identity to the news media in 2003.

The committee chairman at the time, Henry Waxman, D-California, asked for the transcripts in late 2007 and again in June of 2008 after the committee received an unedited transcript of grand jury testimony in which former Cheney aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libbey was quoted as saying,"it was possible that Cheney" had told him to leak Plame's name.

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

Former Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said, "the department" had to review the subpoena to determine how to respond.

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

Waxman had accused the Bush Administration and the Justice Department of blocking Fitzgerald from turning over the documents.

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

After a two year investigation by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, Libby was indicted and convicted in connection with the leak on charges of obstruction of justice, perjury, and lying to the FBI

Bush commuted Libby's sentence and Fitzgerald acknowledged that he did not anticipate indicting Rove. Consequently, the investigation was essentially over.

Frederick Bryant
September 4, 2009
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