Via Instapundit, three lying Congressman (Robert Wexler, Luis Gutierrez, and Tammy Baldwin) are seeking Dick Cheney’s impeachment. One of their misleading arguments falsely suggests that Cheney deliberately misled Scott McClellan regarding the Plame leak:
Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has indicated that the vice president and his staff purposely gave him false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert agent to report to the American people, it is even more important for Congress to investigate what may have been an intentional obstruction of justice.
Did Scott McClellan really say that? Well, there was a brief media firestorm when McClellan’s publisher printed a brief and ambiguous excerpt from his upcoming book that, without any context, could be read as supporting the Congresspeople’s accusation:
The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.
There was one problem. It was not true.
I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President’s chief of staff, and the President himself.
If that excerpt were all we had to go on, these Congesscritters would be able to argue that there is a basis for their assertion.
But it’s not all we have to go on. And their assertion is a lie.
McClellan’s publisher quickly made it clear that McClellan was not claiming that Bush had deliberately lied to him:
McClellan doesn’t suggest that Bush deliberately lied to him about Libby’s and Rove’s involvement in the leak, said Peter Osnos, founder and editor-in-chief of Public Affairs Books, which is publishing McClellan’s memoir next year.
“He told him something that wasn’t true, but the president didn’t know it wasn’t true,” Osnos said in a telephone interview. “The president told him what he thought to be the case.”
In an interview with CNN in March, McClellan said he had said what he “believed to be true at the time” and “it was also what the president believed to be true at the time, based on assurances that we were both given.”
He said he spoke directly with Rove and Libby. Referring to press briefings he gave in 2003 denying Rove and Libby’s involvement, McClellan told CNN: “Knowing what I know today, I would have never said that back then.”
There is no basis to say that Cheney deliberately misled McClellan, any more than there is to say that Bush did.
Wexler, Gutierrez, and Baldwin have absolutely no basis to argue that, according to McClellan, “the vice president and his staff purposely gave [McClellan] false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson.” That’s a shameful lie. McClellan has said no such thing. As a basis for Cheney’s impeachment, this is nothing more than dishonest political theater.
If you fall for it, you’re a sucker.
P.S. Michelle Malkin has been doing a great job keeping an eye on this lunacy — see, for example, here.