'Creative' Bush Order Shields Cheney from Plame Probe

Cheney's FBI interviews kept from Congress with executive privilege claim
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2008 3:07 AM CDT
'Creative' Bush Order Shields Cheney from Plame Probe
"A cloud hangs over what the vice-president did," the court heard during the trial of 'Scooter Libby' for his involvement in the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite )

President Bush has invoked an unprecedented executive privilege claim to bar FBI interviews with Dick Cheney from a congressional committee probing the leak that exposed Valerie Plame as a CIA agent, Newsweek reports. The Bush order argues that turning over the records of Cheney's grilling concerning the scandal would violate the president's right to confidential communication with his advisers.

"Creative is a good word to describe it," scoffed an executive privilege expert. "This is really an argument to protect the White House's own political interests and save it from embarrassment." Many questions still surround Cheney's actions relating to the dangerous exposure of the wife of Iraq war critic Joseph Wilson, but the Bush order will effectively prevent answers from becoming public. (Read more Valerie Plame stories.)

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