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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The plot thickens at the Department of Just Us

It appears that Cheney and his thugs were given open access to Justice Department files on criminal investigations, possibly including the investigation of Scooter Libby:

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) questioned the Attorney General about the independence of the Justice Department and communications with the White House on pending cases or investigations.

He then pointed to a May 4, 2006 memorandum signed by Gonzales which showed that the Office of the Vice President had been granted parallel privileges with the Executive Office of the President on communicating directly with the Justice Department's staff on criminal and civil matters.

"What - on earth - business does the Office of the Vice President have in the internal workings of the Department of Justice with respect to criminal investigations, civil investigations, and ongoing matters?" the Senator asked.

Gonzales was stumped, "As a general matter, I would say that's a good question."

Whitehouse then pointed out that in the same memo, the Chief of Staff and Counsel of the Vice President were also explicitly granted the same authority.

"On its face - I must say - sitting here, I'm troubled by this," Gonzales added.


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