Court Orders Release of Cheney FBI Interview in Plame Case

On October 1, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered the release of records of former Vice President Cheney’s interview with the FBI in the Valerie Plame Wilson leak investigation. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the public-interest group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) had sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) seeking release of the records.

Judge Sullivan agreed with CREW that because the investigation is now over the Department of Justice (DOJ) cannot withhold all documents based on an exemption that protects law enforcement records from disclosure. Judge Sullivan rejected DOJ’s argument that future White House officials would be unwilling to cooperate with law enforcement inquiries if these records were released.

The Court agreed, however, with the DOJ’s view that portions of the records are privileged, meaning they do not have to be released, because some discuss internal agency deliberations, while others reflect communications between the president and vice-president.