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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Justice Department argues for protection of Cheney's interview

The Justice Department is arguing that the release of Dick Cheney's interview with prosecutors concerning the CIA leak case could create a chilling effect, Politico reported. Department attorney Jeffrey Smith argued his case in front of Judge Emmet Sullivan in an FOIA lawsuit, which seeks the release of Cheney's interview records. Smith asked that the records be kept secret for five to 10 years so that it would be more likely for the information to be used "for historical purposes and not for political embarrassment." Sullivan has not stated his opinion on the case but did say at one point that the Justice Department seemed to be asking him to create a new vice presidents' exemption to the FOIA.

President Barack Obama’s Justice Department is arguing that former Vice President Dick Cheney’s interview with prosecutors in the CIA leak case should remain secret for five to 10 years to persuade high-level government officials to cooperate in future investigations.

“In making public the vice pesident’s interview, you will chill them,” Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Smith told Judge Emmet Sullivan during a two-hour hearing Tuesday on a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking release of records about the Cheney interview, which took place in 2004.

Sullivan sounded highly skeptical of the government’s arguments, but he said he had not decided how he would rule in the case. "Where do I draw the line? This happened five years ago,” the judge said. “Would there be impediments to putting this information in a time capsule?”

More here.

Also, My Take On the DOJ Argument To Withhold Cheney Interview from The FOIA Blog: "The government has stated that Cheney did not ask for confidentiality when interviewed, meaning exemption 7(D) of the FOIA doesn't apply."

And, Saving Dick Cheney from 'The Daily Show'? from Politico: “The government doesn’t want to have what’s in these documents end up on a late-night comedy show,” Sullivan said.

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