Judge denies request to subpoena Cheney

Judge denies attorney’s request to subpoena Vice President Cheney in lawsuit over man’s arrest.

AP News

A judge denied a request to subpoena Dick Cheney in a lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was wrongfully arrested for comments he made to the vice president about the Iraq war.

Steve Howards’ attorney, David Lane, had argued that Secret Service agents involved in Howards’ arrest in Beaver Creek in June 2006 told different versions of the incident and that only Cheney could clear up what happened.

In denying Lane’s motion Tuesday to have U.S. marshals serve Cheney with a subpoena, U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer said Lane had “not made a sufficient showing to warrant a deposition at this time.”

Howards claims in his lawsuit that he was arrested and his constitutional rights violated when he happened upon Cheney and his security detail at a mall and took the opportunity to tell him: “Your policies in Iraq are disgusting.”

Lane said Shaffer’s rulings, including those blocking the release of videotapes that Lane said show the agents accusing each other of lying and trying to cover up what happen, have been very protective of the government.

“It’s a temporary setback, but he’s basically saying come back and try again,” Lane said.

Howards said he approached Cheney in a crowd in the resort town two hours west of Denver when he saw him shaking hands and posing for photos. He said he made the comment about the Iraq War and then left.

Howards alleges that Secret Service agent Virgil D. “Gus” Reichle Jr. questioned him minutes later, “badgering” him about whether he touched or assaulted Cheney. Howards said Reichle handcuffed him and told him he would be charged with assault.

At the jail, Reichle told Eagle County deputies to issue Howards a summons on a state charge of harassment, according to the lawsuit. The district attorney later dismissed the charge.

“Only the vice president can tell us whether he believed he had been `assaulted’ as Reichle contended, or harassed as the Eagle County charge indicated,” Lane argued.

In his ruling, Shaffer said Lane hadn’t shown that the information he’s seeking can only come from Cheney, a legal requirement when seeking testimony from high-ranking officials.