A Texas judge has set an arraignment for Vice President Dick Cheney, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other officials accused of involvement in prisoner abuse.
Presiding Judge Manuel Banales said Wednesday he will allow them to waive arraignment or have attorneys present rather than appear in person Friday.
Banales also said he would issue summonses, not warrants. That allows them to avoid arrest and the need to post bond.
A Texas grand jury has indicted outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on charges related to alleged abuse of prisoners in Willacy County federal detention facilities, CNN reported.
Cheney's stake in the Vanguard Group, which holds interests in the private prison companies that run the detention centers, was cited in the indictment. Cheney is accused of a conflict of interest and "at least misdemeanor assaults" on detainees through his ownership interest.
Gonzales is accused of using his position during his time as Attorney General to block an investigation into abuses at the detention centers, located in south Texas.
The Kansas Republican Party has suspended party voting privileges for 17 precinct leaders in Johnson County who gave donations to Democrats running for public office this year.
State party officials, led by Republican Chairman Kris Kobach, approved a loyalty plank in the party’s constitution last year: Anyone holding a party position who donated money to a Democrat would forfeit his or her voting rights. This is the first election in which the provision has been enforced.
Convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff told his colleagues at his former law firm that he had an “agreement” regarding communications with a former assistant to then-Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, perhaps the most substantial documented tie between Abramoff and the White House to date.
In the email, dated Feb. 27, 2001, Abramoff reprimands a colleague who asked him to use Susan Ralston – Special Assistant to the President George W. Bush and then-Bush senior adviser Karl Rove – to arrange a meeting with the President for one of his clients.
Less than a month ago, Democrats excoriated President Bush and his administration over the conduct of the White House Office of Political Affairs, and a House panel recommended the office be closed or reorganized.
With Democrat Barack Obama preparing for his move into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the calls to reform the office, which coordinates the president's initiatives with key factions of his party, have grown silent, and all indications are that a political apparatus will continue to exist in the White House for the foreseeable future.
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