Vice President Cheney’s bizarre assertion that the Office of the Vice President (OVP) is not part of the Executive Branch. (If it isn’t, where does it fit in our Constitutional system, or does it?) As a result, since 2003, he has unilaterally exempted his office from compliance with Executive Order 12958 which requires information about its classification and declassification activities be provided to the National Archives so that national security materials can be safeguarded. In 2004, the OVP blocked an on-site inspection by the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) part of the National Archives. In mid 2006, the ISOO wrote to Cheney’s Chief of Staff David Addington twice on the subject but received no answer. In January 2007, the ISOO asked Alberto Gonzales and the DOJ to resolve the matter. Cheney’s response was to seek to abolish the ISOO and eliminate the National Archives’ ability to refer disputes to the DOJ.
Additionally, in 2001 the OVP refused to tell the GAO as part of its oversight function who had participated in Cheney’s Energy Task Force. This was a governmental request and is different from the Sierra Club lawsuit. (The GAO sued but the case was dismissed by a compliant conservative judge John D. Bates on the grounds that the GAO lacked standing and that the matter fell outside the purview of the court.) Cheney has also refused to disclose travel paid for by special interests as required by law. Since 2004, he has denied requests to name the political appointees on his staff. He has asserted control over Secret Service documents which detail visitors to his residence and exempted these from Freedom of Information requests. Finally, per Executive Order 13233 of November 2001, the Vice President is given authority to prevent public release of his (the OVP’s) papers after he leaves office.