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US House panel asks Mukasey to obtain CIA leak documents

[JURIST] US House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) [official website] has asked US Attorney General Michael Mukasey to help the committee obtain transcripts of interviews with US President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and five White House aides from the criminal investigation into the Valerie Plame leak scandal [JURIST news archive], according to Monday reports. In a letter [PDF text] Monday, Waxman said that the White House has blocked Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald from handing over the transcripts [letter, PDF] to the Committee. Waxman expressed hope that Mukasey would not bow to White House objections to turning over the documents, noting that there was precedent for US Attorneys General acting independently to help Congressional committees: former US Attorney General Janet Reno independently provided FBI interview reports to Congress. Waxman is seeking transcripts, reports, notes and other documents relating to interviews with Bush and Cheney, as well as interviews with former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, White House Senior Advisor Dan Bartlett, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, and former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. AP has more.

In August, the US Department of Justice argued [JURIST report] that the White House Office of Administration is not subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [text] requests in response to a lawsuit filed by an advocacy group to force the Office of Administration to turn over information about missing White House e-mails regarding the CIA leak investigation and the US Attorney firing scandal [JURIST news archive]. Last month, a federal judge ordered the White House to preserve all of its e-mail records [JURIST report] by saving back-up disks.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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