U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan was on another tear yesterday. At a hearing, he scoffed at Obama administration arguments for why former Vice President Dick Cheney’s 2004 interview with special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald should remain secret. Fitzgerald was investigating how CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity got leaked. Ultimately, Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, was convicted of obstruction of justice in the matter.. The liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) wants to know why Cheney didn’t get prosecuted, and has sued for release of the interview.
But Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Smith said disclosure would have a “chilling effect” on future administration officials’ willingness to cooperate voluntarily with investigations, and that officials might not comply with future requests out of fear ”that it’s going to get on ‘The Daily Show’ .”
“Says who?” Sullivan said.
Former Attorney Genreal Michael Mukasey — that’s who, Smith said. Problem is, the Bush administration’s formal argument against release of the interview came in a filing from former Office of Legal Counsel head Steven Bradbury, who is also under investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility for his role in authorizing torture. Not the most credible advocate.
“Bradbury’s a political appointee. I don’t know what his experience was,” Sullivan said, according to news accounts.
David Sobel, the attorney for CREW, called it “disappointing” that the Obama administration is taking the same line as the Bush administration. But hey - the Obama people must know they’ll eventually be under investigation themselves for something, god knows what. But it’s inevitable.
Read the Politico story here, the Washington Post story here, and the Associated Press story here.
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Emmet Sullivan Scoffs at Obama DOJ Reasons for Protecting Cheney | Main Justice…