Published: Wednesday March 12, 2008
Refuses to provide legal opinions on executive power
The Bush Administration's Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel is refusing to turn over a document providing its analysis of Bush's justification for executive orders.
Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Federation of American Scientists, the office said the document was "classified."
Steven Aftergood, who writes the Secrecy News blog for the Federation, requested the legal opinion after a Democratic senator referenced it on the Senate floor.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the freshman senator who ousted Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) in 2006, said he'd reviewed three documents that outlined Justice Department opinions.
"For years, under the Bush administration, the Office of Legal Counsel within the Department of Jus
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