Tags: GAO | Sues | Cheney

GAO Sues Cheney

Friday, 22 February 2002 12:00 AM

"We have been ready to defend this important constitutional principle since last summer," said spokeswoman Anne Womack, "and we look forward to a court review of the matter."

The General Accounting Office, in its suit filed Friday in U.S. District Court, is seeking to find out which energy-sector executives met with Cheney and other members of the National Energy Policy Development Group.

The filing came weeks after the GAO had publicly warned of legal action if requested documents were not handed over.

"This is the first time that the GAO has filed suit against a federal official in connection with a records access issue," the GAO said in a statement. "We take this step reluctantly.

"Nevertheless, given GAO's responsibility to Congress and the American people, we have no other choice."

The White House says turning over relevant documents would adversely affect the executive branch's ability to obtain confidential advice.

On Thursday, it disclosed that U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson would be the White House's lead advocate in any court battle that may ensue.

The Justice Department, as a result of another suit by a public-interest law firm, has ordered the White House and eight government agencies to keep all documents related to the task force, which helped the president draft energy policy.

"Our repeated attempts to reach a reasonable accommodation on this matter have not been successful," the GAO said. "Now that the matter has been submitted to the judicial branch, we are hopeful that the litigation will be resolved expeditiously."

Cheney has repeatedly balked at the demands, ostensibly because in a July 18 letter to the White House, the GAO included "minutes or notes" from meetings on its list of documents the GAO wants the White House to turn over.

But GAO Comptroller General David Walker has said the office has no interest in hurting the White House's ability to hold constructive meetings with stakeholders and purposely removed that demand in an official Aug. 17 report to leaders in Congress and the White House.

"In communications with the vice president's counsel," the GAO reported Aug. 17, "we offered to eliminate our earlier request for minutes and notes."

Instead, the GAO is seeking the names of meeting participants, dates and times.

Jennifer Millerwise, the vice president's spokeswoman, had said the White House would fight the case in court, in part, to protect its prerogative to have constructive policy discussions without congressional interference.

"The president and the vice president are committed to defending this important constitutional principle," Millerwise had said. "They want to leave the White House in better shape than when they got here." Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

All rights reserved.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
We have been ready to defend this important constitutional principle since last summer, said spokeswoman Anne Womack, and we look forward to a court review of the matter. The General Accounting Office, in its suit filed Friday in U.S. District Court, is seeking to find...
GAO,Sues,Cheney
443
2002-00-22
Friday, 22 February 2002 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved