Eshoo asks Gonzalez to probe Cheney

eshoo.jpgRep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, who chairs the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Intelligence Community Management, wrote Wednesday to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales urging him to determine whether Vice President Dick Cheney’s office is required to comply with government-wide regulations on handling classified information.

Since 2004, the Office of the Vice President has refused to submit to routine compliance audits of its handling of classified information, and now asserts it’s not bound by regulations on classified information security because it is not an “entity within the executive branch.”

Keep in mind this is an office in which two people have earned felony convictions in cases related to the mishandling of classified information: Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and aide Leandro Aragoncillo.

The National Archives’ Information Security Oversight Office, which ensures compliance with the regulations, asked the Attorney General in January to rule on whether the regulations apply to the Vice President’s office. So far, Gonzalez has not responded.

“Because the Office of the Vice President is deeply involved with classified programs, it is critical for the Attorney General to uphold the integrity of the system that safeguards classified information,” Eshoo said in a news release.

OK, let’s all wait for Gonzalez’ response: one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi, three-Mississippi…

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.