Newsdate: Sept. 6 Deadline for White House Response to GAO

September 5, 2001


The deepening standoff between the White House and Congressional investigators over access to information about how the Bush-Cheney administration formed its energy plan may start coming to a head Sept. 6, 2001.

That is the deadline set by law for the White House to respond to a "report" filed Aug. 17, 2001, by the General Accounting Office in pursuit of information on whom VP Cheney's energy task force met with as it drew up the plan. If the White House does not respond by that date, the Comptroller General may go to court seeking the information.

The White House may have reasons beyond executive privilege for refusing the information. An August 26, 2001, story in the Los Angeles Times, revealed a good bit of what the GAO has so far been unable to get. Judy Pasternak's story said the Cheney task force came up with recommendations boosting the financial interests of energy companies and industries which had contributed heavily to the Bush campaign. It also pointed to several apparent conflicts of interest involving White House officials participating in the task force. Times piece.