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Cheney says he gets to decide which records to archive
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Los Angeles Times/Associated Press

Los Angeles Times/Associated Press, December 19, 2008
Posted: January 9th, 2009

Dick Cheney's lawyers are asserting that the vice president alone has the authority to determine which records, if any, from his tenure will be handed over to the National Archives when he leaves office in January. That claim is in federal court documents asking that a lawsuit over the records be dismissed. Cheney leaves office Jan. 20, potentially taking millions of records that might otherwise become public. Cheney is being sued by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group that is trying to ensure that no presidential records are destroyed or handled in a way that makes them unavailable to the public. The 1978 Presidential Records Act requires that all presidential and vice presidential records to be transferred to the National Archives immediately upon the end of the president's last term and charges the archivist with preserving and controlling access to presidential records. The law allows exceptions for personal or purely party records. But the law is unclear on how disagreements will be resolved about disputed records, said Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists. "Decisions that are made in the next couple of weeks may prove irrevocable. If records are held from the archivist now, they may never be recovered," Aftergood said. A judge in September ordered Cheney to preserve all records while the suit continued.

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