Cheney’s letter to Waxman is a “routine request” for Cheney to cooperate

Cheney's letter to Waxman is a "routine request" for Cheney to cooperate

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Published: Sunday, January 4, 2008

Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s decision to postpone his planned testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in the next few weeks has sparked a major scandal over how the Bush Administration has handled the investigation of the Iran-Contra scandal.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., issued an open letter to Cheney in which he said he was “sorry” that the Vice President was “taking the easy way out,” but said he believed the issue of the committee’s investigation “is now on the table” because the panel had sought his testimony.

Cheney, who has repeatedly refused to comply with the House’s requests for his testimony on the matter, said Wednesday in a letter to Waxman he might invoke the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution in response to questions about the matter.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.

Cheney’s latest missive to Waxman is just the latest in a string of incidents in which the Bush Administration has tried to push back against the investigation, and a flurry of phone calls between the former Vice President and other congressional leaders have resulted in a major breakdown in Washington power structure.

Cheney’s letter to Waxman, a Democrat who had been critical of the Bush Administration in the past, was described in House transcripts as being a “routine” request for Cheney to cooperate. It came just hours after he wrote to President Bush on the matter, saying he was “apprised of your administration’s attempts to stall the investigation.”

In his letter to Waxman, Cheney said he had already testified before the grand jury in the Iran-Contra case, and he “would not now testify again before a committee conducting a criminal investigation, particularly as you are currently engaged in an attempt to delay the investigation until after this election.”


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