McClellan Ducks Questions on Role of Alcohol

In the White House press briefing today, Scott McClellan was asked about the influence that alcohol may have had on the shooting.

QUESTION: Some are still concerned with the fact that the vice president was not interviewed by local police until the day after. And now we’re hearing that there was alcohol at lunch a couple hours prior to, and the investigators did not have a chance to talk to the vice president or find out the blood alcohol level at that time. That is not a nice, neat package. And there’s still a concern —

MCCLELLAN: Well, I don’t think you characterized the full picture there. I think you ought to look at what law enforcement officials have said on that very matter. …QUESTION: But the vice president himself addressed the issue that he had alcohol hours prior to. And no one tested.


MCCLELLAN: If you want to continue to pursue this, you can do that. I think most Americans recognize this is what it is, which is a hunting accident, a terrible hunting accident where someone was injured.…QUESTION: But, Scott, with the average American, if that situation were to be the case, it would be investigated and a blood alcohol level test would be taken.

MCCLELLAN: Maybe you ought to look at what the sheriff’s department put out about that very matter, and they interviewed people.

The sheriff’s report does not address this question. The report does not indicate that the sheriff’s office ever took a breathalyzer test or any other blood-alcohol test. Moreover, the report indicates that although the sheriff’s office was contacted at 5:30 pm on Saturday night, they waited until 8:00 am the next morning to interview Cheney.


The report does claim that when Harry Whittington was finally interviewed on Monday, the interviewing officer said Whittington “explained foremost there was no alcohol during the hunt.” Today, Whittington’s doctors said again that they had “no comment” about whether blood tests have revealed any alcohol in his blood.

The sheriff’s report doesn’t address the question. That’s why McClellan needs to.