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Cheney Flip Flops on 4th Branch Claim

by Pamela Leavey

Politico reports this morning that “Dick Cheney’s office is abandoning a justification for keeping the Vice-President’s secret papers out of the hands of the National Archives.” Bowing under pressure from Democrats including John Kerry (see here and here), senior Bush administration officials told The Politico, Cheney’s office “will no longer pursue” the 4th branch defense to keep classified papers out of the National Archives.

Politico notes Kerry’s initial letter to Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington and asserts that certain wording in the Addington’s response amounts to “throwing in the towel,” on Cheney’s claim.

David S. Addington, Cheney’s chief of staff and counsel, wrote in a three-paragraph letter to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) on Tuesday that the executive order on classified national security information does not give the archivists authority over the president or vice president.

Addington said that therefore it “is not necessary in these circumstances to address the subject of any alternative reasoning.”

That amounted to throwing in the towel, according to administration officials speaking on condition of anonymity. The White House has no plans to reassert the argument there is any vice presidential distinction from the executive branch, the officials said.

The WaPo weighed in calling Addington’s response to Kerry’s letter, the “first public written explanation… for its refusal to comply with an executive order regulating the handling of classified material, arguing that the order makes clear that the vice president is not subject to the oversight system it creates for federal agencies.”

The WaPo also noted, what was reported here last night, John Kerry was not impressed with Addington’s response and posed further questions to Addington.

3 Responses to “Cheney Flip Flops on 4th Branch Claim”

  1. Thanks to Senators Kerry and Reid, Congressman Emannuel for holding Shooter’s feet to the heat.

  2. This guy should be thrown out of office, locked up and never aloud to get out. He has made an absolute joke out of the VP office and for that matter the office of President. Shooter is bad for America and the world.

  3. John,

    What really bugs me is a post on Huffpo about Kucinich’s introducing legislation for Dick’s impeachment ridiculing Kucinich.

    Please, we need somebody to be willing to take that leap. When you’re up against someone with Cheney’s mentality about his own infallibility and legal immunity, it is no time for beating around a Bush….