David Addington?

Really, really doesn’t want to be deposed by CREW.

Last week, the judge in CREW’s lawsuit against Vice President Dick Cheney approved our request to take the depositions of David Addington, Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff.

On the eve of that deposition, Vice President Cheney and the other defendants filed an emergency petition for a writ of mandamus with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Mandamus is an extraordinary remedy and defendants seek it here to have the D.C. Circuit intrude directly into the district court litigation by demanding that the district court judge vacate her discovery orders. The petition is based on a claim that the discovery authorized by the district court raises serious separation of powers concerns merely because the deponent is David Addington.

I double dog dare the Appeals Court to tell David Addington that, even if such a deposition would present a problem according to Article II, separation of powers complaints are not available to the Fourth Branch.

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  1. FormerFed says:

    Boy, I hope they nail this asshole. He is one of the primary enablers for Cheney and maybe even more arrogant than most Bushies.

    • sojourner says:

      It does leave you wondering who the worst of the bunch is, doesn’t it? With the financial meltdown, the Iraq debacle, the White House implication in the USA firings, etc etc, perhaps they are all beginning to worry about mobs of angry citizens…

      No one much paid attention, it seems, to the misdeeds that these idiots performed — until now. The financial mess has touched just about everyone, and when you mess with someone’s pocketbook you get their attention!

      Going back to your argument, though, Addington probably deserves his own little place in hell… I just hope that I never see anything of his ilk again.

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        You mean Circle 8 of Dante’s Inferno… reserved for the fraudulent,
        thieves, and deceivers?

    • bmaz says:

      Addington is NOT getting “thrown under the bus”. I really don’t know why you keep propagating this line; it is nonsense. If Addington goes down, it will be over all of their cold dead bodies. He holds the keys, they “throw him under the bus” and every one of them will be in prison or worse. This is the silliest meme I have heard in quite a while.

      • BayStateLibrul says:

        Indeed. Addington is the Master of the Universe, although he resides not in Greenwich, Connecticut….

        • WilliamOckham says:

          They wouldn’t have to throw Addington under the bus. If Cheney asked him to, Addington would figure out how to drive the bus over himself all the while defending Cheney’s right to ask him as an important unitary executive perogative.

          Addington probably shows up in his high school yearbook as the guy ‘most likely to spend years in jail for contempt of court for refusing to answer questions about something he believes was right.’

  2. sojourner says:

    Gosh, EW… It just occurred to me that they are afraid of what could happen to them in the justice system that they have all so lovingly snubbed and sidestepped. They still have 60 days in which they could just say that they don’t have to respond. Wouldn’t that be a show?!

  3. JohnLopresti says:

    The deposition should be interesting. Crew has had enduring support from the judge pursuing the issue with fourth Branch, including the order September 24 for the vice president’s office to tone down the prior restraint analogs in its motion to stay discover and the like. I would expect Addington to launch a common front committee and start fundraising with Miers and Bolten, while acting USA JTaylor temporizes. I think this is the direction Cheney wants to take the confrontation although Crew ostensibly might be a lesser opponent than one based on a subpoena duces tecum issued from the a lower chamber committee in congress. The only endgame idly left for pursuit, the classic Cheney comicbooks plot goes, would be installing Todd to serve as shadow president after rerouting a few tabulator computer outputs on election eve. Trouble is, that shallow plan discounts the shifts occurring in the electorate in the post penumbral epoch long after conventions boosted Nielsens. Addington still is in the fullback jersey for the groundgame. But I hope Crew avoids the redaction zebra so there is some semblance of production of documents, and so the entire depo is openGovernment style.

  4. emptywheel says:

    Fuck if I know. If only we had lawyers around these parts to figure that out.

    ;-p

    Though I would assume they’ll push this right up to Antonin and Sam, right?

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, I am looking for one of those barristers. Where is a decent one when you need them? It has been a good long while since I did such an application. I got sent to a hot judge, but I think that was during August, and they run skeleton during August through early/mid September here. Because it is an emergency petition, it may just be one. I’ll see what I can find out.

      • Ishmael says:

        I don’t understand the use of mandamus – although perhaps it is just a different use of terminology between our systems, if you tried to use a prerogative writ (as we call them) like mandamus or certiorari, presumably as a way of impugning jurisdiction, in the context of a civil case and an interlocutory decision by a judge as to discoverability ( and thus a stringent test on appeal in our system), you’d likely be slapped down by the rule against collateral attack. Or maybe that is the rationale, the test on appeal for the interlocutory order on discoverability is too high? Or does that vary on the District you are in?

        I just re-read that, and it sounds like a lot of inside baseball! Apologies to the other commenters!

  5. WilliamOckham says:

    I love their emergency motion for a stay. They equate Addington with a cabinet officer in arguing that he shouldn’t have to sit for deposition.

  6. pdaly says:

    emptywheel and bmaz,

    Thanks for all the posts over the last few days.
    I’m still catching up on old posts. I was away this weekend.
    (in DC of all places. Happened to notice that Bank of America is directly across the street from The Treasury Department, and diagonally across the street from the White House. For some reason PNC plaques are on the Bank of America building, too. Who owns what these days?)

    I noticed one small error in the Gonzalez/Card visit to the hospital timeline:
    “11:00PM: Comey and Olson go to DOJ together.”

    I believe you meant the “White House.”

    emptywheel, you mention in a recent post notice how closely Gonzales’ words were during his Senate testimony. Words were similar, but I also noticed Gonzales referred to “program” singular at one time and “programs” at another time. Hoping you can take this further than my mere observation.

    Back to Friday posts for me. I’ll catch up soon, I hope.

    • Citizen92 says:

      In DC, PNC bought the former Riggs Bank. That one on the corner of 15th and Pennsylvania was their flagship.

      Riggs was a privately-held DC “institution,” but was also doing some serious money laundering for the Saudis and Equitorial Guinea. And that took them down the tubes.

  7. Citizen92 says:

    CREW wants to hear from you if you have *good* questions that are relevant to the scope of the Addington deposition.

    CREW’s email addresses are relatively easy to figure out. I suggest contacting Anne Weismann. Serious questions only. I know there are many here who have good, serious, probing questions that would be useful.

  8. WilliamOckham says:

    I have to say Cheney and Addington have hubris, if nothing else. In the discovery order, the judge said:

    This absence of a full legal explanation is consistent with Defendants’ course of conduct and their apparent belief that they need to explain their positions only on a “need to know” basis.

    In their motion for stay, Cheney and friends say:

    As in Cheney, this Court should not permit highly intrusive discovery into conduct and opinions of the Vice President and his closest advisors on the basis of an incorrect legal premise.

    Shorter Cheney:
    We won’t explain what our positions is, but we guarantee you we will prevail on appeal.

  9. Mary says:

    Where is the Petition for Writ? At the CREW site the link is for the Motion for Stay Pending Application for Writ, but no application for Writ is incorporated in that and I don’t see any other link for it.

    So they are asking for the stay when they haven’t even gotten around to filing the writ yet? Or is it just not linked? It’s phrased as though the application for writ is going to be in the future.

    22 – I’m not sure since I haven’t been following closely and reading the filings but my understanding is not that the issue is technically one of discoverability. I could be wrong, but just looking at the pleading list from the Crew site, I would spec that what you have is the original complaint, then a request for an Injunction regarding existing and future records. Loyal Bushie at the DOJ says – no no no, Cheney can do whatever he wants with his records bc we’ve filed an affidavit that [under Bush’s determination of law] Cheney is complying with PRA and these guys have no standing anyway.

    Plaintiffs win the injunction request and as best I can tell it is on that ruling that loyal Bushies are going to go to the Circuit and ask them to mandamus the lower court to ???? well, to do something dispositive of the case, which would then mean the discovery would be unnecessary. So it reads as if the motion to stay discovery is because there is, or will be. a petition for mandamus of some kind (as opposed to an appeal of an interlocutory order?) that would be dispositive of the case. Since mandamus is reserved for directions to perform ministerial acts and not meant as a substitute for an appeal of an order where there are legal issues, I’m not sure exactly what they are getting at – maybe Taylor’s just read so many references to how the Dems should get the DC courts to mandamus him to serve/enforce the Congressional subpoenas that he’s just curious.

    Or – more likely – I have no clue what is going on from just the cursory listing and a writ has been filed already. I should go an read carefully through the motion for stay, but a fast glance (relying probably too much on subheadings) didn’t really reveal what they were going to ask that the lower court be ordered to perform.

    • bmaz says:

      I talked to the clerks office. The case number in DCCCA is 08-5412, but I haven’t had a chance to look for it since earlier, when it was not yet on PACER. She indicated that it would almost certainly be a panel, but none assigned yet.

  10. Mary says:

    34 – Is all the concern about video of the depo just a normal litigator-y thing, or is it possible they are worried he won’t show up on film?

    • stryder says:

      Zingers of the week
      [email protected] on ew’s 60 post
      “She could be Mother Teresa, Clarence Darrow, Joan of Arc, and a Hockey Mom complete with Cover Girl’s decade commemorative set of lipsticks, it doesn’t really matter.”
      and now this
      “Is all the concern about video of the depo just a normal litigator-y thing, or is it possible they are worried he won’t show up on film?”

  11. lllphd says:

    well, separation of powers complaints may not be available to the fourth branch, but i do believe barnacles are.