Thursday, March 05, 2009

Cheney ordered to testify under oath

This will be very interesting. After 9-11 Cheney's Secret Service detail had a habit of arresting protesters who got too close to the Veep or said anything to him.

Here is an article from the Rocky Mountain News (RIP) from 2006 telling the story of Steve Howard (and John Blair who's crime was having a protest sign near a Cheney event).

On June 16, 2006, Steve was walking his 7 year old son to a camp at Beaver Creek CO when he discovered the Veep was present shaking hands and greeting admirers at an AEI forum. Steve walked over to the crowd, shook hands with Cheney and told him, "I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible." He then walked away unmolested until he was arrested 10 minutes later by the Secret Service and the local police for "assaulting" Dick Cheney and hauled off to the county jail. He was released later that day and within a few weeks, the charges were dropped for obvious reasons.

Steve filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Secret Service agents involved and Cheney as Veep. Depositions taken in the lawsuit of the agents involved have apparently been ugly, with the agents turning on each other and accusing their colleagues of unethical and perhaps illegal activity in the arrest of Howard. The NYTs has details here. The Times has also posted some witness depo transcripts here and here.

Cheney, who is represented by the DoJ, has successfully resisted giving a deposition in the case, but no more. The NYTs reports today that Cheney has now been compelled by a Federal District Court judge to give a video taped deposition in the case, under oath. I'm sure the DoJ will appeal the ruling, but it's hard to imagine that the plaintiff would not have a right to the testimony of a party to a law suit.

Sounds like it's past time to settle this lawsuit which makes me wonder if one or more of the parties are just being unreasonable.

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