Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Neverending Story

MSNewsweek recently reported on Attorney General Mukasey's denial of a subpoena requesting the FBI 302 interview form from Cheney's 2004 sit-down about the Plame matter, expressing frustration and disappointment for Henry Waxman and for all the wasted champagne and party hats.

If noting else the story drew Tom Maguire out of his self-imposed Plame moratorium, postulating correctly that due to the nature of this claim the champagne and party hats could return during an Obama administration if the man of consensus so desires. As to Darth Cheney:
And Fitzgerald introduced a copy of the Wilson op-ed marked up in Cheney's handwriting with a mention of Wilson's wife.
Which leaves me a question. If Cheney was focusing on Wilson's wife from early June and was supposedly the first one to tell Libby why did he mark up a newspaper column from July 6 as if it was something new? Did he forget? After all, he's old and kinda sickly (consistency is a virtue).

Team Newsweek was full of questions, such as why the White House allowed Rove's 302 to be given to the committee but not Cheney's. Their hired expert said it was nearly unprecedented. Well, I'm neither an expert, lawyer, or hired, but it seems possible that Cheney's FBI interview might have focused on his White House conversations with close advisors, the very core of any executive privilege claim. If Rove's 302 focused mainly on what he told reporters, or what others in the administration below level of prez had told him, then it makes some sense.

Yes, both Cheney and Bush submitted themselves to interviews yet after hearing those interviews Fitzgerald didn't go after either, suggesting there wasn't much there of an incriminating nature. That leaves a standard privilege argument.

And while Newsweek seemed to delight in leaving the sinister impression this was virgin territory it's not everyday Congress has access to a vice-presidential 302. Waxman was essentially attempting to make an end run around the White House, which is likely why Mukasey characterized it as such, and why he got the buzzer sound.

But back to Maguire's question--will Obama carry the torch if elected? He'll get pressure from some of the hardest nutrooters, like some rapid Republicans pressured Bush vis a vis the Clintons in 2001. But Bush wouldn't even go after Hillary for stealing the furniture or messing up the W keys. History and 50 bucks says Obama will take the same path.

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