NEWSWEEK has learned, President Bush?s chief lawyer has privately signaled that the White House may seek to invoke executive privilege over key documents relating to the attacks in order to keep them out of the hands of investigators for the National Commission on Terror Attacks Upon the United States?the independent panel created by Congress to probe all aspects of 9-11.
Some commission members now fear a showdown over the issue?particularly over extremely sensitive National Security Council minutes and presidential briefing papers?could be coming in the next few weeks. ?We do think it?s important to engage this issue relatively early?i.e., now,? says Philip Zelikow, the executive director for the commission, who is negotiating with administration lawyers to inspect documents and interview senior officials.
In case you were wondering what would come of Cheney's continual stonewalling over Enron, this is it.