July 16th, 2008
12:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Bush keeps Cheney's CIA leak interview under wraps

President Bush used executive privilege to avoid turning over FBI interviews with Vice President Cheney.

President Bush used executive privilege to avoid turning over FBI interviews with Vice President Cheney.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush has blocked the release of Vice President Dick Cheney's interview with investigators probing the leak of a CIA agent's identity, invoking executive privilege Wednesday to keep that document and others under wraps.

Bush asserted the privilege claim at the request of Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who has been under pressure from a congressional committee to turn over the transcript of Cheney's interview, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said. Mukasey argued that releasing the transcript would discourage
future witnesses from being questioned outside grand jury proceedings.

The records stem from the investigation into the 2003 exposure of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, whose husband had accused the Bush administration of twisting the intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was convicted of obstructing justice and perjury in connection with the disclosure, but was not charged with leaking her name.

Filed under: Dick Cheney • President Bush
soundoff (178 Responses)
  1. david

    this whole administration should be tried in international courts, you can pick the charge! this is what happens when the population does nothing but accept their representatives word that they are doing the people's work! i say, keep all our tax dollars in this country until we start doing what 70% or more of the people want! ATTENTION!! we have the right under the constitution to withhold our tax dollars until the government does its job right? its the only way! otherwise we'll continue to finance the world's problems and make tyrants like these wealthy!

    July 16, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. Can we just be American?

    Bush Administration gets away with so much – why does this administration has so much power? Does the Constitution mean anything to the Administration? I mean I sort of knew nothing will come out of this issue – I mean this Administration get away with anything ... then when I read the out come I am like okay... but when I think deeply I am like why? Why, why, why is he not up for impeachment? Why does Chaney can make major contract deals, shoot friends, and out our own people and get away with it... now I am terrified! We have to change the imbalance of power as it has been totally abused. The only way to go is Obama in 08 as McSame or McBush will be just as abusive – their policies mirror!

    July 16, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Carmen Colorado

    Another cover up, what is new? Yet not one person can do anything about this, that is why he just keeps putting the screws to US (the people) and then just smiles (that sh smile of his). This is worst than Watergate and Bush and Cheney have NO RESPECT for anything or anyone. We do have a Constitution but Bush has done away with this. Bush and Cheney are the worst people that could have held this office, they have done so much damage to the people of the USA and the world. November can't come soon enough.

    July 16, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Kris Hussain from AZ

    Sad this is one of the most secretive Administrations in our life time. Obama 2008!

    July 16, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. Louis


    July 16, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. Clinton/Clinton '08

    If we had an Attorney General worth his/her salt with Senator Kuccinch's guidance we could have ended the Error on Terror, The Leak near the Potomic and Corruption on the Hill years ago.

    Unfortunately Justice has been BLIND to acts on the AMERICAN public for the past 7+ yrs.

    Now these two have destroyed not only the American Dream of home ownership but are now trying to keep it under wraps, it seems the only body that's ensuring the 'truth' be known is CNN.

    To bad it will be 25 yrs before the real 'truth' be known. A generation of our children will be exposed to this unethical and immoral example until the 21st Century version of the 'Pentagon Papers' is published.

    July 16, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. Alex_58

    I agree mostly with John (2:23 pm ET). Are Bush's actions questionable – OF COURSE. But its not like other administrations (Democratic and Republican alike) were that much different. Its just par for the course.

    I want a different administration enough to vote for an unknown commodity.

    Obama '08!

    July 16, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. Greg O

    Hey Kathy did you forget about Jimmy Carter? Double digit inflation, gas rationing, Iran hostages, it sure didnt take Reagan long to get our captives back. Yeah Bush hasnt been the greatest but Jimmy Carter is by far the worst we've had thus far. And if Obama wins it will be close as to who is worse him or Jimmy.

    July 16, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. Veteran for McCain

    Kim from Dallas, TX,

    Your comment: Yes, Clinton was held responsible for FAR LESS than what has been covered up with Bush and company (AKA the Bush Crime Family).

    My comment: Are you kidding me? Bush is doing what ANY other President would do and that's protect his VP. In this case who knows what the transcripts say, but if they are released then that sets a prescedent. One that then leaves no past discussions, meetings, private hearings safe from the public. I'm sorry but there are some things that we (as the general public) don't need to know. I would love to hear some of the things that Clinton said during his trials and such, but I never will and I'm ok with that. As for Bill doing FAR LESS than President Bush, don't think so. He not only committed adultery as President, but he did it in the OVAL OFFICE for goodness sake. He then lied about it when everyone already knew what happened. He lowered the world's opinion of us and gave the wrong impression to our youth about what moral's they should follow.

    July 16, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. Gary

    The leak came from Cheney's office which means it was approved my Mr. Cheney himself. Enough said. That is the reason people did not want to cross people in the Bush Administration.

    July 16, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  11. Clinton/Clinton '08

    Is this an example of where the apple (G.W. Bush) infested with a worm (D. Cheney – member of both administrations) fell so far from the 'Tree' Daddy Bush?

    No wonder G.W. Bush hasn't supported the Kioto Treaty, Go Green by approving offshore, in your eye Arnold S, drilling.

    Solution – Each of these gentlemen get lifetime salaries of $400K per year for Bush and $? for Cheney. Obama/McCain – will you solemnly to GARNISH their lifetime salaries until the Error on Terror is completed paid back? – PLEASE

    July 16, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Dave

    If Bush and Cheney spent the rest of their lives behind bars, it wouldn't be long enough.

    July 16, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    I recall the quote from when the Watergate scandal had erupted. I don't recall who said it, but the quote is as relevant now as it was then. "Someone who doesn't have anything to hide should come as clean as a hounds tooth."

    I guess this administration has a great deal to hide!

    July 16, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. tom

    veteranformcain--yes clinton lied and had sex in the whitehouse but he didnt tell a lie that got thousands killed and he didnt give tax breaks to the rich so he could run up the national debt. and clinton and gore didnt both make millions off the war and out of control gas prices.

    July 16, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. Proud New York

    All of you who support Bush should be forced with live with the Taliban because you're mentality isn't far off. Intolerance is your motto.

    July 16, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Peggy - Tx

    Rob, It would have been ok to fire all the attorneys, but to pick who to fire based on how aggressively an attorney pursued Dem's is against the law. But this article was not about that particular illegal act, it was about another illegal act that was much worse. Bush lied about the reasons we went to war and to cover that fact up he commited treason by exposing a US CIA operative.

    Clearly impeachable stuff- he belongs in jail. Better to wait to bring charges so Cheney will not pardon him after he is impeached.

    July 16, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. Bill Stapp

    The President is keeping the doubling of the national debt under wraps, too.

    July 16, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Ian

    What happened to punishing those responsible, George?

    July 16, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Mary

    This and the war are the reason I would not be able to vote for McCain.

    Both say they are moral yet this type of politics is not moral. I can’t morally vote for anyone who voted for the war and continues to say they should stay in this unwarranted war. Both Bush and McCain voted for it and continue to legitimize an unwarranted war.

    If someone votes for McCain its like saying to the Republican party that its ok to do this type of politics.

    Economy in shambles, unwarranted war, cover-ups, CIA squealing, mortgage crisis, record debt, …………



    July 16, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. Steve/Houston,TX for Obama

    There is no room to complain about anything Bush has done or not done. This what America wanted in 2000 and 2004. Don't complain now!

    July 16, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Joan

    If he has nothing to hide, why not release the documents?

    July 16, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. Joshua College Station TX

    "Executive privilege"?!!!! Sounds like, "above the law privilege".

    Why can't we hold these guys accountable? They belong in prison!!!! Nixon resigned for so much less, and Clinton was impeached for nothing compared to this. Impeach them!

    If we don't do something, what does our system mean?

    Mukasey, by the way, is showing his true colors. That man is now an accessory to all this administration's crimes by keeping them under wraps and safe from scrutiny. He belongs in prison now too.

    July 16, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. Ken

    Veteran for McCain - you win the PRIZE! - I have never heard such infantile, intellectually bankrupt equivocating in my life. I now see what it takes for an individual to be one the 29% true-believers. That people like you have your hands on the controls of a democracy is truly frightening. The image of a slack-jawed twit in front of a broken-down still with a swastika on it just won't go away.......

    July 16, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. David from Ohio

    I really wish the Supreme Court had an opportunity to rule on Executive privilege and educate Bush and his cronies on how far it actually extends. Then we can have the fine people he appointed to office testify to Congress without the benefit of their illusory privilege.

    July 16, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    So much for wanting to get to the bottom of it.
    So, if the CIA people are to go get the bad guys, why does President Bush get any credit for being a leader of war on terror (at least against Americans) when he's not making prosecution of people who out -"hurt" – those CIA people who have the job of protecting us?
    Or, giving pardons to those who were convicted of being part of the team who hurt the CIA people?
    I wont go all out and say treason like Texas Trail Dog, but come on people. And we want more of this type of governance under Senator McCain? Or the exec signatures on legislation he doesn't agree with?

    It's time for a change.

    July 16, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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