President Bush has invoked an unprecedented executive privilege claim to bar FBI interviews with Dick Cheney from a congressional committee probing the leak that exposed Valerie Plame as a CIA agent, Newsweek reports. The Bush order argues that turning over the records of Cheney's grilling concerning the scandal would violate the president's right to confidential communication with his advisers.
"Creative is a good word to describe it," scoffed an executive privilege expert. "This is really an argument to protect the White House's own political interests and save it from embarrassment." Many questions still surround Cheney's actions relating to the dangerous exposure of the wife of Iraq war critic Joseph Wilson, but the Bush order will effectively prevent answers from becoming public.