Well, that's that

The Bush tapes are now in the hands of the president's lawyer -- never to be heard again.

By Tim Grieve
Published March 1, 2005 1:14PM (EST)

Those tapes of George W. Bush -- the ones in which he admits to smoking marijuana, hints at cocaine use and plots his campaign for presidency -- seem to be gone for good now.

After playing some of the tapes for the media and suggesting that the worst was yet to come, Doug Wead reversed course and said he shouldn't have betrayed the president. When Wead made his apologies last week, he said that he would work with his lawyer to get the tapes "back to the president to whom they belong." But that's not what Wead did, exactly. If he'd given the tapes back to the president, they might have been available for public review, albeit after Bush leaves office, under the Presidential Records Act. Instead, the New York Times reports this morning, Wead gave the tapes to Bush's private counsel.

The distinction was not lost on the White House, where spokesman Trent Duffy said: "The tapes are in private hands, not at the White House, and as far as the White House is concerned, this is a closed matter."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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