White House Stonewalls Waxman’s Inquiry Into Cheney-Linked MZM Contracts

mwade4.gifOn March 26, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote a letter to White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten demanding “all contracts, subcontracts, and task orders between MZM, Inc. … and the Executive Office of the President.”

As ThinkProgress has reported, there is good reason to believe fired U.S. attorney Carol Lam was targeting the White House’s connections to MZM contractor Mitchell Wade, who pled guilty to paying more than $1 million in bribes to former Rep. Duke Cunningham. Despite no record of having ever received a federal contract, Wade’s firm received a $140,000 contract in 2002 to provide a system to screen the President’s mail.

In his letter, Waxman requested that the White House provide documents relating to the White House-MZM contracts as soon as possible, but in no case later than Friday, April 6. But the North County Times reports Waxman has yet to receive the information he requested.

“The White House response is clearly not adequate at this point,” Waxman said in a written response to questions from the North County Times.

On Friday, the White House gave its initial response to Waxman’s March request, with President Bush’s special counsel Emmet T. Flood saying there would be a delay.

“Once we are able to fully evaluate the scope and implications of the letter’s requests, we will soon provide your committee with an appropriate response,” Flood wrote.

Asked about the committee request Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Jeanie Mamo would only say, “We have advised members of Congress that we are looking into this matter.”


On Tuesday, Waxman wrote the White House, saying in no uncertain terms that he expects some answers.

“Mr. Flood did not provide any of the information or documents the Committee requested,” he wrote in the letter.

Waxman said he is willing to grant an extension, but that “any extension should be accompanied by a firm and expeditious schedule for production.” He noted that on Jan. 23, his committee asked DHS to provide it with documents on the Department’s $30 billion contract with Boeing to design and build a comprehensive border security plan. Fifteen days later, he received 1,800 pages in documents in response to the request. By contrast, Waxman noted, “The [MZM] contract is small and complying with the request should not be complicated.”