Helgerson and Cheney
The Fox one, perhaps predictably, focuses on Helgerson’s reported interactions with Cheney, providing a counterpoint to Jane Mayer’s portrayal of discussions between the two men as heated.
"The VP (whom I had long known reasonably well, as, in a non-IG capacity, I used to brief the House Intelligence Committee on a weekly basis when he was an active Member) received me graciously and asked a number of good and appropriate questions. Despite what you may have read elsewhere, he did not attempt in any way whatsoever to intimidate me or influence what we were finding, concluding and recommending," Helgerson wrote in an e-mail to FOX News.
Of course, if Helgerson was briefing the committee regularly during this period, it is likely he was interacting with Addington, then a Counsel on the committee. Also at that time, one of CIA’s young lawyers, John Rizzo, was "the Agency’s focal point in dealing with the joint congressional committee investigating the Iran-Contra Affair." So, curiously, Cheney, Addington, Rizzo, and Helgerson were probably all involved with the House Intelligence Committee during the Iran-Contra issues.
Given the description he gives of his relationship with Cheney, I’m particularly interested in Helgerson’s description of how and why Cheney got a briefing.
"Only infrequently do IG reports take on such significance that they need to be briefed to the VP, and when this is the case, normally White House or NSC Counsel, or the VP’s own staff, receive the material first and then inform the VP as they see fit," he wrote.
Helgerson said that at the time the review had been completed, he and others in the spy agency briefed a number of key parties about the program and the IG’s findings. They included members of the White House, the National Security Council, Congress and the Department of Justice.