Cheney’s Mystery Visitors
By Michael A. Fletcher
Monday, June 4, 2007; A13
So you thought that maybe, just maybe, Vice President Cheney was mellowing in his controversial campaign to reestablish executive powers and prerogatives that he feels had been eroded since Watergate. Okay, so you didn’t think that. And you were right not to.

A Sept. 13, 2006, letter from Cheney’s counsel, Shannen W. Coffin, to the Secret Service that surfaced last week made clear that Cheney intends to exercise “exclusive control” of the logs showing who is visiting him or his staff at the White House compound or at the vice presidential residence at the Naval Observatory.

In the letter, Coffin reiterated Cheney’s position that the vice president’s office should be the sole keeper of the visitor logs and the Secret Service should not. Other administrations have relinquished the records in the face of congressional investigations.

But the Bush administration’s policy puts the visitor records out of reach of the Freedom of Information Act and off-limits to reporters and interest groups trying to determine who is meeting with the vice president or his staff.

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