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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Plame Gossip

Amidst all the Cheney, this potentially explosive article by Jason Leopold yesterday got completely lost.
Sources close to the investigation into the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson have revealed this week that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has not turned over emails to the special prosecutor's office that may incriminate Vice President Dick Cheney, his aides, and other White House officials who allegedly played an active role in unmasking Plame Wilson's identity to reporters.......

The emails Gonzales is said to be withholding contained references to Valerie Plame Wilson's identity and CIA status and developments related to the inability to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Moreover, according to sources, the emails contained suggestions by the officials on how the White House should respond to what it believed were increasingly destructive comments Joseph Wilson had been making about the administration's pre-war Iraq intelligence.


These emails are separate from the allusions to the "non-archived" (disappeared) emails in the Fitzgerald letter two weeks ago.

At this point, this is just a source telling Jason, in true Deepthroat style, where to dig next. But this article doesn't make it quite clear whether Gonzales was asked for these documents specifically and refused on some grounds, or whether they were withheld from a broader discovery effort.

Either there is a previously unknown battle behind the scenes between Fitzgerald and the White House over "classified" emails being protected under some legal argument, OR, we have some pretty damning evidence of an administration wide conspiracy to shield Cheney from any legal exposure.

At this point, I cannot tell.

4 Comments:

  • Very interesting about the email, but hardly supprising. I've said that Gonzolas is really the senior Whitehouse legal counsel.

    By Blogger Left of Center, at 9:34 AM  

  • Yeah, but the uncertainty of the circumstances could make this a pretty big deal.

    If the AG was hiding, rather than arguing about withholding the information requested, he would have committed a crime by my understanding. Certainly they'll argue executive privilege or national secrets or whatever, but if that's what happened, that's a pretty slippery legal ledge to be standing on.

    If this is all above board and Gonzales has kept the court apprised of what he's witholding, and it is currently under argument, that's somewhat significant, but not earthshaking.

    Thinking about this, I figure that it must be the latter, because the former would be legal suicide. But I don't know for sure.

    Mike

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:56 AM  

  • Gonzales finds himself confused as to his current role...again. Even if counsel Gonzales were to asserted executive privelege, AG Gonzales should be doing everything in his power to get these into Fitzgeralds hands...or recusing himself completely from any involvement in the affair.

    Gonzales needs to make a decision. Course, he could just resing. That would be my preferred course of action.

    By Blogger Kvatch, at 2:24 PM  

  • Well, the "dual post" benefits him and the admin. The only way he leaves it is if he's forced.

    Mike

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 5:47 PM  

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