If Whittington Dies, A Grand Jury is Likely
The New York Times reports that the White House has dropped its tone of levity over the Cheney shooting of Texas lawyer Harry Whittington, following Whittington's heart attack this morning, caused by a pellet that lodged or migrated to his heart.
The turn for the worse in Mr. Whittington's health changed the White House response to the hunting accident as well as the response of local law officials in Texas. Officials there said that they were monitoring the case and Carlos Valdez, the district attorney in Kleberg County, said a fatality would require a new report from the local sheriff and, most likely, a grand jury investigation.
Attytood has more on lobbyist and Texas ranch owner Katharine Armstrong. Our prior post on Armstrong and her family's connections is here, and a related post on Kenedy County, hunting ground for the Texas political heavyweights is here.
Happiness may be a warm gun, but it looks like Cheney could get cold-cocked over this. He still hasn't made a public statement and even the White House thinks he should.
What is Cheney hiding? What is his relationship with Katharine Armstrong and Pamela Willeford, the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland? Why isn't Willeford listed as an eyewitness on the incident report? She was right there with Cheney, not seated in car watching from a distance. Were they drinking while they were hunting? The report says no, but it was written before Cheney or Whittington were interviewed, so either the Secret Service or Armstrong must have been the source of the information. Was alcohol consumed at lunch? Where does Karl Rove fit in this story? Like Cheney, he's a frequent guest at the Armstrong Ranch. Was it his P.R. strategy to have Armstrong be the one to tell the press?
How angry is Lynne Cheney? [incorrect statement deleted.]Do you think she knew who his hunting partners would be?
Will this be the final straw in the already tense relationship between Cheney and Bush? Will Bush hang Cheney out to dry? He wouldn't do it just over the shooting. If it happens, is it a sign that Cheney is about to get defrocked for his role in the Valerie Plame leak?
Cheney's already lost the public relations battle on this one. I bet he's wishing he was in an undisclosed location.
Song of the day for Cheney: Bad Moon Rising.
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