Waxman to Mukasey: Send Plame documents

White House appears to be stalling on production of notes of interviews with Bush, Cheney, Rove.

Published December 3, 2007 4:32PM (EST)

Patrick Fitzgerald turned down an invitation to talk with Rep. Henry Waxman and other members of Congress about the Valerie Plame case earlier this year, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been cooperating. In a letter released today, Waxman says that Fitzgerald has given the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform a number of relevant documents, including FBI reports of interviews agents conducted with CIA and State Department officials and others.

What Fitzgerald hasn't turned over: similar FBI reports on interviews with current and former White House officials, including Karl Rove, Stephen Hadley, Andy Card, Dan Bartlett, Scott McClellan, Dick Cheney and Geoge W. Bush himself. Waxman says in his letter that Fitzgerald has "designated for production to the committee reports of interviews of certain White House officials" but has been "unable to produce these documents to the committee because the White House has not consented to their production."

In his letter, Waxman asks Attorney General Michael Mukasey for his "personal assistance" in obtaining the documents the White House is withholding. "These documents are directly relevant to the committee's investigation," Waxman writes, "and they have been determined by Mr. Fitzgerald to be appropriate for release to the committee. I believe they should be provided to the committee without any additional delay and without redactions or other limitations dictated by the White House." Because the documents dealt with interviews with FBI agents and not internal White House deliberations, Waxman argues that they can't possibly be protected by any claim of executive privilege.

"I recognize that President Bush and his counsel may not want this information provided to Congress," Waxman tells Mukasey. "But the role of the attorney general is to administer the laws with impartiality." Then he notes that the Justice Department didn't seem to have any trouble giving Congress FBI reports on interviews of White House officials when Bill Clinton was president.

By Tim Grieve

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

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