Bush Considering Adding Signing Statement To Enron Verdict
Addington Sees Court Muting President’s Powers; “It’s What Campaign Contributions Are All About,” Says Convicted Enron Chief
President Bush, according to sources, is expected today to add a Signing Statement to the court verdict of last Thursday, convicting Enron Chairman Ken Lay and CEO Jeff Skilling of massive fraud, allowing the two Enron executives to “ignore the findings”, citing the reason of “national security”.
This fuels the speculation that provisions were made in the Secret Energy meetings, conducted by Vice President Dick Cheney, that would absolve Enron executives, as well as others in attendance, should they be convicted on any white collar crimes.
“It’s interesting,” says Dix Whitcomb, editor of the newsletter "Our Laws Are Different", “that the President is using a Signing Statement, versus a Presidential Pardon. The White House is clearly marking out turf, extending its territory.”
Cheney’s “Cheney” Driving Force
The prime advocate of this move is David Addington, Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff. Addington has been the leading figure in the Bush Administration, pushing the use of Signing Statements.
Addington, first as legal council to the Vice President, and then being bumped up to his current position after the indictment of former Cheney Staff Chief I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, is said to have been immersed in scanning laws and legislation, flagging them for action by the Cheney, that would interfere or limit presidential powers.
Both Addington and the Vice President’s office refused comment.
Afraid Blair Would Apologize
According to Whitcomb, and other sources on Capitol Hill, Addington had the paperwork prepared last Friday, for the President to add his Signing Statement to the verdict. With British Prime Minister Tony Blair in
“That probably had more to do with Blair,” offered Whitcomb. “A lot of people in the White House were nervous, had the President done the Signing Statement on Friday, Blair would babble some kind of apology for it.”
Just the day before, Blair, and President Bush – for the first time – admitted mistakes made in the invasion of
For that it was extemporaneous comments, and not legal precedent, Addington was stymied in issuing a Signing Statement for the President’s apologies.
Pressure From Cheney, NeoCons
It is being reported that, right after the apology comments on Thursday, the Vice President’s office put pressure on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield to pull the Lincoln Group off all other projects, to have them prepare rebuttal stories, softening the President’s comments, and pumping up the success of efforts in
Pressure, supposedly from Vice President Cheney himself, was said to be applied to the British as well, to have Blair’s comments put into “proper context”.
“This was a real slap in the face,” said Holly Martins, Publisher of Axis of Evil Illustrated, a quarterly publication that is rumored to be a house magazine for the Project for The New American Century (PNAC). “If the President is retreating on us, going soft ... Well, there’ll be hell to pay, I can tell you that.”
Martin intimated that an invasion of
“It’s all about making the proper investment”
The Department of Justice is said to be “steamed” that the President may issue a Signing Statement on the Enron verdict.
“They need to get their signals straight,” offered on DOJ attorney who was on the Enron team but spoke with The Garlic on the condition their identity would not be revealed. “We could have done a lot of things different ... Not been aggressive ... Lose evidence ...Only pursue some puff charges ... To go through what we did, only to have the President sign it away, that’s disappointing.”
Sonny Earl, editor of a Supreme Court newsletter that monitors the court's activities, 'OMIB" ('The Original Men In Black') says the Signing Statement would “throw a big money wrench” in the Appeals process.
“It depends on what Lay and Skilling do,” added Earl. “With the Signing Statement, they can just walk away from this ... They don’t, necessarily, have to appeal this thing now – unless the DOJ challenges it – and don’t place any bets that Attorney General Gonzales is going to go down that road.”
When reached for comment, Skilling referred reporters to his lawyers.
After beginning to say “no comment, former Enron Chief Lay just smiled and said “That’s what campaign contributions are all about ... It’s all about making the proper investment.”
The Bush team held off on the Enron Verdict Signing Statement because they were afraid that "Blair would babble some apology for it"