WASHINGTON — The Bush administration asked an appeals court Wednesday to overrule a federal judge and allow the White House to keep secret any records of visitors to Vice President Dick Cheney's residence and office.
To make the visitor records public would be an "unprecedented intrusion into the daily operations of the vice presidency," the Justice Department argued in a 57-page brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
The government was responding to an October order, by U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina, to release two years of White House visitor logs to the Washington Post. The newspaper, researching the access lobbyists had to the White House, sought Secret Service records for anyone visiting Cheney and top aides and advisors.
Urbina questioned the government's argument that the logs are protected by Cheney's right to executive privilege.