‘Wash Post’ Drops Legal Battle For Cheney Records

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By: Joe Strupp

The Washington Post has backed off a legal fight against Vice President Dick Cheney, in which the paper had been demanding Secret Service logs of visitors to his office and residence, the New York Sun reported today.

A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Post, which had “prompted a flurry of press attention and court action just prior to the November election,” has been withdrawn, The Sun reported.

“We have decided not to pursue litigation further, though we believe we would have prevailed in the court of appeals as we did in the trial court,” a Post attorney, Eric Lieberman, said in an e-mail to The Sun. He said the paper had “a fundamental goal” of getting the records to inform voters before the election and failed in that regard.

The Post withdrew its lawsuit in a notice filed with the court. The Sun reported that a Post official said “concerns about the cost of the litigation and about angering the White House did not play a role in the paper’s decision.”

Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride told The Sun that “the government did not veer from its position that releasing the logs would violate the Constitution by interfering with the vice president’s ability to seek candid advice.” “That has not changed,” she added.

“Disclosure of the records at issue could reveal an ever-expanding mosaic that would allow observers to chart the course of Vice Presidential contacts and deliberations in unprecedented fashion,” government attorneys said last fall. “Such an unwarranted intrusion into the most sensitive deliberations of the Vice Presidency cannot be countenanced.”

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