WASHINGTON - JULY 3 - Yesterday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released a report entitled Crossing the Line: The Bush Administration's Efforts to Expand Its Powerful Reach, which details the Bush administration’s repeated constitutional overreaching and abuse of executive power and prerogative.
Crossing the Line demonstrates that Vice President Dick Cheney is quietly, but diligently, working to establish case law that equates the power of the vice presidency with the power of the presidency; and that the Bush administration is intent on expanding the power of executive privilege well beyond constitutional bounds
- Recently it was revealed that the vice president has unilaterally exempted himself and his office from the executive order that governs the safeguarding of classified national security information.
- In response to a suit filed by Valerie and Joseph Wilson against Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials, Mr. Cheney argued that as vice president he is entitled to absolute immunity from suit.
- In response to a CREW suit over visitor logs, the administration is attempting to reclassify Secret Service documents as presidential documents under the exclusive control of the White House. The vice president has argued that the constitutional protections afforded the presidency apply with equal force to his office.
- In a suit filed by CREW over a FOIA request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for Hurricane Katrina-related documents, the government invoked the presidential communications privilege, suggesting an attempt to cover-up what President Bush actually knew before, during and after the hurricane devastated the Gulf Coast.
- During the course of CREW’s FOIA lawsuit against the White House Office of Administration (OA) for documents relating to five million missing White House emails, the OA claimed that it was responding “as a matter of administrative discretion,” not because the OA is an “agency” bound by the FOIA.
Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW said today, “Vice President Cheney and Bush administration officials are working hard to reconfigure the executive branch to conform with their preference for absolute power rather than with clearly established constitutional boundaries. CREW’s report depicts an administration out of control.”