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The U.S. Congress “Considers a Lawsuit against the White House“

The U.S. Congress “Considers a Lawsuit against the White House“

Posted January. 28, 2002 09:29,   


- Lawsuit against Cheney

The U.S.’s biggest environmental organization, the Sierra Club, filed a lawsuit against Vice President Dick Cheney at the San Francisco district court on the 25th, demanding the identities of the personnel who were contacted by Cheney’s energy task force during last May’s energy policy draft, which was favorable to Enron Corp. This is the first time that a high official in the Bush administration is sued in relation to the Enron scandal.

The Sierra Club’s executive director Carl Pope insisted that "The American people have the right to know what is happening." The Sierra Club had been insisting that Cheney gave energy corporations preferential treatment, such as granting permission for extracting oil from Alaska’s wildlife preservation area. The Sierra Club supported the Democratic party’s candidate, Al Gore, in the 2000 presidential election.

- Lawsuit of Congress and the White House?

U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker, head of the General Accounting Office (GAO), requested Cheney for relevant documents of the energy task force several times so far and warned that "If the information is not provided, we will sue Vice President Cheney soon." This is the first time that GAO is raising a lawsuit against institutions or personnel belonging to the federal government.

The Washington Post also pointed out that Cheney’s energy advisers met with Enron authorities 6 times recently and reported that Congressmen want to understand how corporations like Enron affected the energy policy.

Cheney and GAO are negotiating over the documents, but difficulty is expected as Cheney recently announced to Republican senators that he will not present the information that GAO wants.

- The White House’s `cut-off` strategy

As the issue is quickly growing serious, the White House is striving to cut its connections to Enron.

In his letter on the 25th, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., the director of the White House`s Office of Management and Budget, directed the General Services Agency to confirm whether the federal government signed various contracts with Enron and its accounting corporation, Arthur Andersen, under appropriate business customs. The total amount of the federal government’s contracts with Enron and Arthur Andersen is known to reach 70 million dollars.

Ki-Heung Han eligius@donga.com