Dick Cheney Rejoins The Executive Branchby Doug Mataconis
Compelled perhaps by the rather creative proposal by Congressman Rahm Emanuel to cut off funding for the Office of the Vice-President based on assertions that the Veep is not part of the Executive Branch of Government, Vice-President Cheney has now apparently decided to rejoin the Executive Branch of the Federal Government:
Dick Cheney’s office is abandoning a justification for keeping the vice president’s secret papers out of the hands of the National Archives, while asserting a new argument for withholding them.
Officials working for Cheney had tried to claim he is separate from the executive branch, but they will no longer pursue that defense, senior administration officials tell The Politico.
The decision follows a threat by Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), the No. 3 House Democrat, to try to cut off the office’s $4.8 million in executive-branch funding, and a letter from Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) asking for the reasoning behind the argument.
Welcome back to the United States, Mr. Vice-President. But what’s this about a new argument for withholding secret documents ?
David S. Addington, Cheney’s chief of staff and counsel, wrote in a three-paragraph response to Kerry on Tuesday that the executive order on classified national security information does not give the archivists authority over the president or vice president.
Addington said that therefore it “is not necessary in these circumstances to address the subject of any alternative reasoning.”
In other words, we’re still not going to comply with the law and we’re not going to tell you why.