Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cheney may invoke executive privilege after saying he wasn't part of executive branch

Weeks after claiming that it was not a part of the executive branch, the Office of Vice President Dick Cheney appears to be readying an independent assertion of executive privilege.
The move emerged in an exchange of letters with the Senate Judiciary Committee, which granted an extension for the White House to comply with a subpoena on documents related to President George W. Bush's domestic spying program.
Counsel to the Vice President Shannen Coffin appeared to imply that Cheney's office may assert executive privilege after it finishes reviewing documents that are responsive to the committee's subpoena. The documents are due today.

"While the Office of the Vice President reserves legal protections that apply in this matter, we look forward to working to meet the Committee's needs for information and on legislative matters to protect the Nation," Coffin wrote.
Coffin's letter to the committee came with a similar letter from White House Counsel Fred Fielding. In contrast, Fielding's letter made no reference to any kind of 'legal protections' or executive privilege.
Cheney's attorney also seemed to suggest the President and Vice President's offices were on the same plane.
"We continue our efforts to identify documents responsive to the subpoena and request an extension of time for response to the subpoena parallel to that afforded to the Office of the President," she wrote.
Fielding, who is Bush's attorney, contacted Senate Judiciary Chairman More
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