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Isikoff: 'A New Cheney-Gonzales Mystery'
Published: Sunday June 24, 2007
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Michael Isikoff is reporting "a new Cheney-Gonzales mystery" in the current issue of Newsweek. It has recently become known that Cheney's office has refused to comply with an executive order requiring annual reports on security measures, claiming that the vice president is not part of the executive branch. The government official responsible for enforcing the order, J. William Leonard, complained about this last January to Attorney General Gonzales, asking for an official ruling, but he never received a response.

Isikoff asks, "Why didn't Gonzales act on Leonard's request? His aides assured reporters that Leonard's letter has been 'under review' for the past five months—by Justice's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). But on June 4, an OLC lawyer denied a Freedom of Information Act request about the Cheney dispute asserting that OLC had 'no documents' on the matter, according to a copy of the letter obtained by NEWSWEEK. Steve Aftergood, the Federation of American Scientists researcher who filed the request, said he found the denial letter 'puzzling and inexplicable'—especially since Leonard had copied OLC chief Steve Bradbury on his original letter to Gonzales."

Congressional investigators have now become interested in the matter, according to Isikoff, and Rep. Henry Waxman has told Newsweek that he plans to investigate the Justice Department's handling of the issue.

Link to full Newsweek story