745 days ago, George Bush commuted Scooter Libby’s sentence, thereby ensuring that Scooter Libby would not testify about whether–as all the evidence indicated–Dick Cheney had ordered him to leak Valerie Wilson’s identity to Judy Miller. 745 days ago, for all intents and purposes, the investigation of Dick Cheney’s involvement in outing a CIA officer ended in the dead end of Scooter Libby’s successful criminal obstruction of justice.
Yet DOJ describes CREW’s efforts to get Cheney’s interview report via FOIA to be an attempt to get "a ruling that would make public interview reports of high ranking White House officials immediately upon the conclusion of the relevant investigation." For the whizzes in DOJ, I guess, 745 days equates to "immediate."
But that’s not the only heap of stupid they bring in this filing.
Next, these whizzes argue that if DOJ turns over Cheney’s interview, then senior White House officials will no longer provide criminal investigators a "full account of relevant events."
This argument, however, is ultimately immaterial because, while in some circumstances public pressure could possibly force a White House official to sit down for an interview, it cannot ensure that that official will be willing “to provide law enforcement officials with a full account of relevant events,”
Dudes! Let me tell you a secret about this case!! It ended in a successful perjury and obstruction of justice prosecution that revealed–among other things–that convicted felon Scooter Libby had worked out a cover story with Dick Cheney before Libby first testified to the FBI! Had Cheney given a "full account of relevant events," then Scooter Libby probably wouldn’t have been prosecuted successfully (or, at the least, Judy Miller wouldn’t have had to testify or Cheney would have been charged with obstruction himself).
Next, DOJ claims that a precedent in which the release of a summary of deliberations was found not to constitute a waiver over the source documents of that deliberation applies here, in which key source documents have already been released, but which wouldn’t–DOJ argues–constitute a waiver for the interview report which is fundamentally a summary. For DOJ, a precedent finding that a summary doesn’t equal source is the same as a source not equaling a summary.
The D.C. Circuit held that the release of the report did not constitute a waiver of privilege and that the White House could retain privilege over all documents that had not specifically been provided to individuals outside the government. Id. at 741. Continue reading