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FatDave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:06 PM
Original message
Immunity Sought for Cheney, Top Officials
Source: Washinton Post

Attorneys for Vice President Cheney and top White House officials told a federal judge today they cannot be held liable for anything they disclosed to reporters about covert CIA officer Valerie Plame or her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.

...

Attorneys for Cheney and the other officials said any conversations they had about Plame with each other and reporters were part of their normal job duties because they were discussing foreign policy and engaging in an appropriate "policy dispute." Cheney's attorney went farther, arguing that Cheney is legally akin to the president because of his unique government role, and has absolute immunity from any lawsuit.

"So you're arguing there is nothing -- absolutely nothing - these officials could have said to reporters that would have been beyond the scope of their employment true or false?," U.S. District Judge John D. Bates asked.

"That's true, your honor. Mr. Wilson was criticizing government policy," said Jeffrey S. Bucholtz, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's civil division. "These officials were responding to that criticism."

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...



Didn't the supreme court rule that a sitting president was not immune from civil suits for the sake of the Paula Jones trial? Isn't that clear precedent?
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Megahurtz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Immunity.
Give me a Fucking Break. :eyes:
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. That sounds like guilt to me. nt
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes to the Paula Jones decision
That's exactly right. And ironic, don't cha think, that it'll be used against these treasonous bastards.
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FatDave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Now that I think about it, that ruling might've been on executive privilege.
But it's hard to remember. It was so long ago, and I'm getting so...what's the word...unyoung?
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Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. ....
not is it only getting harder to remember, it is coming at us from all sides, and faster and faster. Its like information overload...I'm having to struggle to keep the issues well-defined and separate the accurate analysis from the spin (actually, that leads down a troubling epistemological rabbithole...).

And try to remain informed on local issues, which is where a bunch of the unlauded vigilance is needed.


...unyoung...I shall have to remember that one for the next time my kids chide me unmercifully...unyoung...

:D
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
4. I predict a WHOLE LOT of legal maneuvering, for a variety of reasons,
for BushCo over the next year or so. Immunity will be handed out like Gatorade at a marathon.
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jamesinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
5. They are arguing apples and oranges I think
When they talked about it in public with reporters, that was not their job, nor was it a secure classified conversation. What they chose to reveal was classified information and became a breech of security. That is what this case is about, not about them discussing policy among themselves. Outing a CIA agent to combat media stories is not part of the job or scope of the VP's office.
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peaches2003 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
6. Sad but true
They have so destroyed the Constitution and the US government that they truly believe what they are saying is true. They think they are royal and above the law.
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kurth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
7. Go to jail
Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
8. I seem to remember that....it caused the statement under oath
that lead to the impeachment of a PRESIDENT. So a president has to testify and can be sued for something that happened 15 years ago...but a vice president can't be even required to answer questions about something that happened a few years ago. Something that is akin to treason, giving the name of an undercover agent. Golly sure pays to be a republican vice president as opposed to a democratic president.
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Sanity Claws Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
9. Different issue
With the Paula Jones matter, the issue was whether the President could be sued for events that occurred before his presidency or whether he was immune while president so that he is not distracted from his current duties. They were not arguing whether he could ever be sued.
Cheney et al are arguing that what they did was within their official duties and thus they are immune.
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FatDave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. So then that's a two-parter?
It has to be ruled that:

1: What they were doing was part of their "official duties". And...
2: They cannot be held accountable for anything done as "official duties"?

Doesn't sound to me like the judge is gonna go for either.
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Sanity Claws Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. You pretty much hit it
That's their argument and the judge doesn't seem to be buying it.
Do you know who appointed this judge? If it's a Bush appointee (Daddy or Baby Bush), he may make a loony ruling. Bush appointees are known to do that, as you know.
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JBear Donating Member (318 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #17
38. Don't forget....
Not counting votes was equal treatment under the law...

:bounce:
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #9
43. I see the problem with that. It'd make murder legal, literally.
Let's say they got one of Cheney's people to do a hit on a government critic... say the husband of a CIA agent who'd gotten too big for his britches. They'd claim that this was resolving a policy dispute... with a bullet. Since it advances national security by silencing a war critic, immunity applies.

Therefore, in the same vein, outing a CIA agent improperly falls under official duties and immunity thereof, because outing a CIA agent is proper behavior for a government official with a security clearance, if it is in the interests of VP Dick Cheney.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
11. They think they are kings.
Edited on Thu May-17-07 05:18 PM by tabasco
It is mind boggling that Cheney is arguing he could disclose ANY military or national secrets and it would be hunky dory.

THESE PEOPLE ARE TRAITORS! :mad:
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
13. Off to the GREATEST...
:kick:
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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
14. if it's a response to criticism
and all so innocent.... then why does Cheney want immunity?
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
15. For all but treason, there's pardons.
Edited on Thu May-17-07 05:24 PM by Gregorian
So even if you are trying to protect the rest of the gang, it sounds like you have something bigger to protect.
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mikelgb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
16. 333
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
18. Now THAT argument is rich.
Edited on Thu May-17-07 05:29 PM by loudsue
What in the hell are they thinking? They should be going to JAIL. Crimes committed are all part of the job? Well, with this administration, that truly is the case. By the nature of his question, it doesn't sound like the judge was going for it.

:kick:
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MissWaverly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
20. Here's the not immune speech from the Supremes
Edited on Thu May-17-07 06:06 PM by MissWaverly
I had posted it, it's in my journal here. If the Judiciary may review the legality of the President's official
conduct then I suggest that they get to it immediately, all delays and excuse set aside.

"The fact that a federal court's exercise of its traditional Article III
jurisdiction may significantly burden the time and attention of the Chief
Executive is not sufficient to establish a violation of the Constitution...
It is settled law that the separation-of-powers doctrine does not bar
every act of jurisdiction over the President of the United States...
If the Judiciary may severely burden the Executive Branch by reviewing the
legality of the President's official conduct...it must follow that the federal
courts have the power to determine the legality of his unofficial conduct..
We therefore hold that the doctrine of separation of powers does not require
federal courts to stay all private actions against the President until
he leaves office."

Page 41-42 No Island of Sanity by Vincent Bugliosi, Paula Jones v Bill Clinton: The
Supreme Court on Trial, Ballantine Books
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
21. Um, didn't they get the SC to agree that the president *can*
be sued? Otherwise, what was that Paula Jones BS all about?
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #21
33. The Paula Jones BS was all about giving the public
"Clinton fatigue" so that it would be easier for the repubs to market and sell a complete and utter buffoon as their presidential candidate.
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MissWaverly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #21
47. it was about the president is not above the law
*at least if he's a democrat
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George II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
22. Immunity
It was decided that a sitting president couldn't be sued WHILE president. After leaving office all bets are off.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
23. Bwahahahahaha!
The country club affirmative defense. If I admit to it, then you can't judge me.
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
24. They want immunity *and* impunity.
The "restoration of honor and dignity" in this administration just rolls on and on. :eyes:
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
25. "because of his unique government role"???
huh?
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cosmicdot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
26. Judge Bates
Bates, John D.

Born 1946 in Elizabeth, NJ

Federal Judicial Service:

Judge, U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Nominated by George W. Bush on September 4, 2001, to a seat vacated by Stanley S. Harris; Confirmed by the Senate on December 11, 2001, and received commission on December 14, 2001.

Professional Career:

-First lieutenant, U.S. Army, 1968-1971
-Law clerk, Hon. Roszel C. Thomsen, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
-Private practice, Washington, DC, 1977-1980
-Assistant U.S. attorney, Office of the U.S. Attorney, District of Columbia, 1980-1987
-Chief, Civil Division, Office of the U.S. Attorney, District of Columbia, 1987-1997
-Deputy independent counsel, Office of the Independent Counsel, 1995-1997
-Private practice, 1998-2001

Race or Ethnicity: White

Gender: Male

http://www.fjc.gov /

experience as a judge prior to appt.: zero
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cosmicdot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. p.s.
Edited on Thu May-17-07 07:47 PM by cosmicdot
fwiw: Bates was confirmed by 97 Senators' 'yea' votes; not one Democrat opposed him
(3 not voting were all Republicans)


http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/r...

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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #26
45. -Deputy independent counsel, Office of the Independent Counsel, 1995-1997
one of Ken Starr's guys then huh?

oh this bodes well.... :sarcasm:
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
27. So Clinton, a sitting President, could't be granted immunity in the Paula Jones lawsuit, but
Cheney and company can be?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/p...

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Paula Corbin Jones can move forward with her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton. The court's forceful decision rejected Clinton's argument that sitting presidents should have legal immunity from allegations involving their personal conduct.


Yesterday's ruling nonetheless eliminated what Clinton's lawyers thought would be their best gambit the argument that the nation's chief executive has a job so demanding that he should be protected from civil lawsuits until leaving office. To make their case, they relied chiefly on an earlier court decision that said presidents are immune from lawsuits for their official actions, arguing that therefore a president should have temporary immunity from lawsuits involving personal conduct as well.


The Supreme Court yesterday spurned Clinton's contention that he should not have to defend himself against Jones until 2001, finding that nothing in the Constitution allows a sitting president to postpone a private civil damages lawsuit.
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #27
35. Difference is...one relates to work-related actions while in office...
but Clinton's related to personal non-work related actions occurring before he took office as President.

I don't agree that Cheney should be given any sort of immunity, but the two situations are completely different.
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MissWaverly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #35
48. Yes, but the Supreme Court said the Judiciary may judge
Edited on Fri May-18-07 04:18 PM by MissWaverly
the actions of the Executive Branch to see if it is legal, that's what they mean by official conduct, "on the job"

If the Judiciary may severely burden the Executive Branch by reviewing the
legality of the President's official conduct...
\Cheney also = "Executive Branch" so he is covered under the Paula Jones decision as well.
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laylah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
28. Excuse me
but I call BULLSHIT! Those low life MF's need to be treated just as you or I would be. Dammit...immunity my ass!
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
29. Why do they need immunity if they didn't do anything wrong?
In fact, why do they even need lawyers? That's what the freepers asked about Clinton.

Why doesn't Chicken Dick just go up there and tell the truth?
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
30. Outing a CIA agent was not part of their jobs.
That is an unbelievably weak argument, but -- it may well work.
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5X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
31. That is an outright admission that they outed Plame to get back at
Wilson. Checkmate.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
34. BULL SHIT!
CHENEY needs to be held accountable.
He wants immunity so he can falsely pin this on someone else.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
36. IMP PEACH them all!
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Generator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
37. Jail sought for Cheney, top officials
A gal can dream. Sentence that "scooter" person to forty years, squeeze him and see if he can make lemonaide. Again..dreaming.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
39. Sweet! That must mean they really need it. I knew Plame had a strong case
not that I need this confirmation, but still.
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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
40. Immunity HELL! IMPEACH!
INDICT! PROSECUTE! SEND TO PRISON FOR LIFE! And have a 24/7 video cam on them so that the People and the World can keep an eye on them, all of Bu$hCo including Colin, Rice, Rummy, Gonzales, etc., etc. etc.....
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
41. Olbermann said the judge replied that only the President had absolute immunity
But then again, he WAS referring to Cheney...

:evilgrin:
rocknation
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appleannie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
42. Bates ruled Cheney energy meeting could remain private.
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xxqqqzme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #42
46. Thanks for that tidbit - I was wondering how
Edited on Fri May-18-07 03:32 PM by xxqqqzme
one would go about finding previous rulings from yet another unqualified crony, w/ an appreciation appointment.

Does not bode well, considering the energy ruling.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 02:36 AM
Response to Original message
44. Aha-Guilty as Sin!
:puke:

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