WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The FBI must make public most of its interview with former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney on the leak of a CIA operative's identity, a federal court ruled.
While the investigation into CIA agent Valerie Plame's outing in 2003 concluded long ago, administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama asked that Cheney's 2004 interview with Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald be kept sealed, arguing its publication would deter future presidents and vice presidents from cooperating in criminal investigations, The Hill reported Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled Thursday most of the interview notes could be made public. He also ruled that White House officials could withhold any information deemed essential to national security.
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which filed the lawsuit, praised Sullivan's ruling while expressing dissatisfaction with the national security exceptions.
"Judge Sullivan rightly rejected a Justice Department interpretation of the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) that would have allowed the government to withhold virtually any law enforcement record even where an investigation has long since been concluded." CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said. "We are disappointed, however, that the judge allowed (the Justice Department) to withhold portions of some records because the American people deserve to know the truth about the role the vice president played in exposing Mrs. Wilson's covert identity."