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Waxman: We’ll Hold Mukasey in Contempt

Henry A. Waxman, (D-Calif.), chair of the House oversight committee, said the committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Michael Mukasey in contempt, unless Mukasey forks over a transcript of an FBI interview with Dick Cheney about Valerie Plame. Mukasey has not complied with a committee subpoena that demanded an interview Cheney had with special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald about leaking the identity of Plame, a one-time covert CIA agent.

It’s been a year since Waxman first asked the then Alberto Gonzales-led Justice Dept. to produce interviews Fitzgerald had with Cheney and President George W. Bush. In a letter to Mukasey, Waxman said that he’s dropped his request for Bush’s interview citing "a further attempt at accommodation." But Waxman has said he thinks the Cheney interview is essential, as Scooter Libby, Cheney’s former chief of staff, told Fitzgerald it was "possible" Cheney told him to leak Plame’s identity.

Waxman’s letter also notes that Cheney once described the vice presidency as "not an entity of the executive branch." Surely, then, Mukasey won’t claim executive privilege on behalf of Cheney during the contempt vote July 16.

Mukasey could wind up with the dubious distinction of having two separate Congressional committees hold him in contempt. The House Judiciary Committee asked him to produce these same interviews with Cheney, plus a ton of other documents, yesterday. There is still no word yet from that committee whether Mukasey has cooperated and what future action will be taken.

For enthusiasts of the Valerie Plame saga, it’s shaping up to be one last, glorious summer.

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