Chney refusal to turn over records may soon end up in court
January 28, 2002 4:22 AM   Subscribe

Chney refusal to turn over records may soon end up in court Th eEnron scandal begins to mirror the Clinton Whitewater affair, with an apparent suicide, the use of executive priviledge, congressional groups investigating. Now all that is needed is some sex and an independent prosecurtor.
posted by Postroad (14 comments total)
A little early in the morning for correct spelling? :) Perhaps Whitewater is a bit little league in comparison to Enron. We've got real money involved and real people getting hurt. We've got real coverups in progress and real political corruption. Real doesn't compare to small fry allegations. Remember there were endless investigations and no convictions with Whitewater (well, one.) As far as the sex thing, we've got media personalities all over doing that to the current administration. Even the kinky stuff, like boot licking and butt kissing (Tom Brokaw anyone?)
posted by nofundy at 5:37 AM on January 28, 2002

I, for one, agree with the administrations stance on this. The executive branch has to be able to get advice from whoever it wants, in complete confidentiality. Of course, I may be a bit backwards on this because I supported most of Clinton's executive priviledge calls too.

Congress has been expanding it's powers for the last 30 years and it seems it might be getting a little too big for it's britches. Take a look at the mess 'advise and consent' for judicial and cabinet nominations has been for the last four or five administrations. None of what's been going on in washington over the last 30 years is good for the 'seperation of powers'.
posted by revbrian at 6:11 AM on January 28, 2002

revbrian: What a bunch of crap. The administration is now basically saying, "We have something to hide so you have to fight to get it." Volunteering the records in light of the Enron debackle does nothing to compromise future privilege as the legal landmarks can be defined in court later.All they are doing now is making themselves look dirty regardless of their previous stance.

BTW: My utter nausea at the idea that Enron may have unduly influenced energy policy doesn't change this.
posted by shagoth at 7:00 AM on January 28, 2002

no, one of the powers of the legislative branch is oversight, excersizing this power is not a case of the congress overstepping it's power.
posted by rhyax at 7:14 AM on January 28, 2002

[What a bunch of crap. ]

I can see this is going to be an enlightened discussion.

What the administration is saying is "There are important principles at stake in ensuring that the president and vice president can continue to receive unvarnished advice necessary for good decision-making"

I don't disagree with that statement.

[...Enron may have unduly influenced energy policy...]

I'm not sure they unduly influenced it, and it sounds like you may not be sure either. I've no doubt they influenced it, as they (and every other energy company) have a right to do, just as environmental and consumer groups do.

[no, one of the powers of the legislative branch is oversight]

No one said it wasn't.
posted by revbrian at 7:20 AM on January 28, 2002

The Los Angeles Times: TV Trying to Find Enron Tale's 'Sexy' Side.
posted by Carol Anne at 7:35 AM on January 28, 2002

It seems to me that the administration is using the same tactic it used during the 2000 election when dealing with the allegations of Bush's drug use :
refuse to answer the question--or in this case, refuse to provide the requested information-- stonewall and hope that the people asking the questions get the message and go away
posted by ajayb at 7:47 AM on January 28, 2002

As I heard a comment on the radio this morning -- Cheney will probably be forced to hand over the papers in the end, so why not just give it to them? Does he =really= think Congress will give it up? Is he trying to play a game of chicken, trying to see if Congress has the guts to take this farther?

I may be a news junkie, but my memory capacity runs a bit low from time to time -- can anyone tell me if this behavior has actually worked in a previous administration? Has Congress ever given up a request for documents from the President or V-P?
posted by meep at 8:27 AM on January 28, 2002

revbrian -- executive privilege was designed to be used to protect national security interests. It was certainly not intended to be used as a shield from the eyes of the public when dealing with public policy such as energy. This claim is completely bogus, as is the effort of Bush to access to the thousands of records that were supposed to become public under the Freedom of Information Act recently, mostly having to deal with the Reagan-Bush era. If you do not believe that he is trying to hide something then you have your head in the sand. And yes, I thought that Clinton was wrong when he tried to invoke executive privilege too.
posted by d_brown3 at 8:35 AM on January 28, 2002

[executive privilege was designed to be used to protect national security interests...I thought that Clinton was wrong when he tried to invoke executive privilege too.]

We just disagree then. I think the executive branch needs a modicum of privacy in it's internal workings. I fail to see how turning the white house into an episode of 'the real world' is going to do anything but harm.

[Has Congress ever given up a request for documents from the President or V-P?]

Not really sure. I think the end-game is the Supreme Court. They have upheld cases like this before, and they have overturned privilege as well. It depends on the circumstances. Cheney has said he'll go to court and I think he has a better than 50% chance here.

[This claim is completely bogus]

BTW, you might want to try "I think", or "In my opinion" so you don't sound like the pope issuing decrees.
posted by revbrian at 8:51 AM on January 28, 2002

About eight months ago, after meeting with a few environmental groups to get their input on energy policy, Cheney held a big, sunny press conference with enviro representatives to tout the fact that he was "open to all views." He then promptly ignored their suggestions, and went with a program that eschewed conservation in favor of increased production and oil refinement. Cheney paraded the enviro groups in front of the cameras when it suited his PR purpose. For him to now claim that the executive branch needs "confidentiality" when it comes to corporate advisers is disingenuous and weak.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:40 AM on January 28, 2002

Executive privilege is traditionally used to protect communications between a (Vice) President and his internal staff and advisors, not between a President and external advisors or campaign contributors. In fact, Congress has final oversight into the workings of all areas of government to protect against quid pro quo and cronyism.
Oh, and if you're interested, there was an interesting discussion about this on today's Connection.
posted by bshort at 10:02 AM on January 28, 2002


You heard it here first.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 10:40 AM on January 28, 2002

Now all that is needed is some sex and an independent prosecurtor

"Did somebody call? Because I haven't been doing anything for years..."
posted by owillis at 1:51 PM on January 28, 2002

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