Democrats demand special prosecutor to investigate Cheney
2 June 2004
WASHINGTON, June 2 (Summary of Reuters Article) - Democrats in the U.S. Congress asked the Department of Justice to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether Vice President Dick Cheney illegally caused the military to award a lucrative Iraqi oil contract to his former employer, Halliburton. The request for a special prosecutor follows the release of a new Army e-mail which indicates Cheney "coordinated" action on the contract, which required Halliburton to extinguish Iraqi oil well fires during the commencement of the Iraq war. Eleven Democratic members of the House of Representatives called for a special prosecutor in a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft. "The public deserves to know the truth about whether the Vice President has illegally commingled his official and personal dealings," said the letter from Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, and 10 other House lawmakers. "This is a very serious charge ... if indeed it is true, then it not only ought to be investigated, but corrective action needs to be taken," Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota told reporters outside the Senate. "Certainly an explanation from Vice President Cheney and the White House is called for. The sooner that happens, the better," Daschle said. A Justice Department spokesman said the attorney general would review the Democrats' letter and "respond accordingly." Cheney's office has denied any illegal influence in awarding Halliburton the no-bid contract to repair Iraq's oil infrastructure.