News

    Bush Blocks Congressional Inquiry on CIA Leak Case

    Asserting executive privilege, President Bush has refused to comply with a congressional request for documents relating to the leak of the identity of former CIA operative Valerie Wilson.  VOA's Dan Robinson reports, a House committee delayed a vote on citing the U.S. attorney general with contempt in connection with the matter:

    Attorney General Michael Mukasey communicated the White House position in a letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by Democrat Henry Waxman. 

    The panel had issued a subpoena to compel the Bush administration to give Congress the transcript of an FBI interview with Vice President Dick Cheney, along with other documents.

    Majority Democrats have continued to investigate the affair, which involved leaking of the CIA identity of Valerie Plame Wilson, wife of former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson, to the media.  Joseph Wilson was a key critic of Bush administration justifications for the Iraq war.

    Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis Libby, was convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice and giving false statements to federal investigators in the case, in which he and a State Department official were involved in leaking Wilson's identity.

    Libby acknowledged to investigators at one point that it was possible Cheney had ordered the identity of the former covert agent revealed.  Libby's two-and-a-half-year jail sentence was commuted by President Bush.

    Congressman Waxman called the White House assertion of executive privilege ludicrous, and while delaying a panel vote on the contempt citation for Mukasey, said this:

    "As the committee considers its next steps, I hope the president and vice president will also consider theirs," said Congressman Waxman. "Congress and the American public are entitled to know what role the president and the vice president played in the despicable outing of Ms. Wilson.

    Ranking panel Republican Tom Davis protested to Waxman as other Democrats made statements, and asserted that Republicans needed more time to assess the attorney general's letter.

    The two men had this exchange:

    DAVIS:  "You have obviously spent some time getting your staff wound up on the politics of this and I would like to move ahead to the bills that were on notice to do this morning."

    WAXMAN:  "All members were informed that on the agenda this morning was to vote for contempt of the attorney general of the United States, and that is a serious matter and members are concerned about it."

    Angry Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich urged Waxman to proceed with the contempt vote, asserting the White House is merely trying to shield the vice president from further scrutiny:

    "There is no, either historic or legitimate legal position that this administration has to assert executive privilege at this time, and it is being done solely to try to stop this committee from moving forward, and this committee should not, should not accede to this contemptuous device by the president and his attorney general," said Congressman Kucinich.

    Attorney General Mukasey said the executive privilege claim is not an attempt to conceal information from Congress, but an effort to protect the separation of powers and what he called the integrity of future Justice Department investigations of the White House.

    Waxman rejected Mukasey's assertion that the FBI interview with Vice President Cheney has anything to do with internal White House deliberations.  The White House action, added Waxman, has darkened the cloud over the vice president and left important questions unanswered. 
     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora