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  Judge rules Cheney's hobnobbing with business leaders not a state secret

All Headline News | October 20, 2006
By Linda Young

Washington, D.C. (AHN) - A federal judge ordered the Bush administration to hand over logs of visitors to both the office and residence of Vice President Dick Cheney.

In January 2002, the General Accounting Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the US Congress, announced it planned to to sue the White House for documents that gave details of meeting between corporate executives and an energy task force headed by Cheney. Then in June, the Washington Post Newspaper asked for logs of all Cheney's visitors for the previous two years.

The U.S. Secret Service turned down the Post's request and government attorney's called it "a fishing expedition into the most sensitive details of the vice presidency," CNN reported.

But, U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina disagreed. In his ruling issued Wednesday he gave the Secret Service until the end of the next week to produce the records, or identity them and justify withholding them.

Along with logs of Cheney's visitors, the newspaper requested logs of visitors to his legal counsel, spokesman, aides and advisers.

In court documents the government attorneys claimed that releasing the logs would detract from Cheney being able to obtain advice.

"This case is about protecting the effective functioning of the vice presidency under the Constitution," attorneys wrote.

There have been other lawsuits over records, and one last month revealed that key individuals associated with the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal obtained more than 100 meetings inside the White House.


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