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View Diary: Cheney Lied to Prosecutors; Fitz Suspects Emails Destroyed; Gonzales Withholds Emails (Poll) (269 comments)

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  •  Associated Press Update Feb 17, 2006 (none)
    Hunting accident takes the heat off Cheney, for now AP , WASHINGTON
    Friday, Feb 17, 2006,Page 7

    Republicans say they are pleasantly surprised that the intense media coverage of the hunting accident has shifted attention from the case of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff. Libby is accused of misleading investigators about who leaked the identify of a CIA official.

    In documents released two weeks ago, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald said he understood that Libby's superiors authorized him to disclose to the media details of a secret report that is central to the investigation.

    What does Cheney know?

    "It's nothing I can talk about," he said in a television interview on Wednesday. "I may well be called as a witness at some point in the case and it's, therefore, inappropriate for me to comment on any facet of the case."

     The hunting accident "really has gotten Scooter Libby out of the press," said Deb Gullett, a Republican activist from Phoenix, Arizona who is chief of staff to the city's mayor. "But it will come back."

    "Should he have said something sooner about the accident? Of course he should have. But is it the end of the world? Of course not," she added.

    Fellow Republicans said growing anti-war sentiment and President George W. Bush's warrantless spying program are bigger political problems for Republicans.

    "At the White House press briefing, I think two-thirds of the questions were about this [hunting accident] when we have Iraq and a whole slew of other issues to deal with," including the CIA leak case, said J. Everett Moore Jr., a Washington lawyer and former chairman of the Delaware state Republican Party.

    "The bad news is he's talking about shooting a man, blaming the victim and covering it up," said Democratic consultant Jim Jordan. The White House initially suggested Whittington was at fault for putting himself in range of Cheney's rifle.

    "The good news is he's not talking about his indicted chief of staff or ordering the leaking of classified information," Jordan said.

    Don't these Republicans just frost your flakes?

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