I’ve spoken to a number <$NoAd$>of lawyers over the last 24 hours about what would be standard and appropriate practice for the White House in turning over documents to the Justice Department investigators, particularly the degree to which the counsel’s office gets to review the documents for issues of privilege and/or relevance.
This from this morning’s gaggle …
Q Democrats are raising questions about the fact that the Counsel is going to be screening the material before, for relevance, as you said, before turning it over. They say that the past practice, in fact, is that the Counsel’s Office didn’t do that, that that’s up to the prosecutors to decide what’s relevant and what’s not.
McCLELLAN: Yes, it’s —
Q Past practice is simply send it all over for —
McCLELLAN: Well, one, I disagree at the way you characterize it and the premise of what you’re saying. It is standard practice for the Counsel’s Office to be the point of contact to get the information to the Department of Justice that they requested. And that’s exactly what — keep in mind, we are here to assist the Department of Justice get to the bottom of this, because no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than we do. And the sooner the better, as far as we’re concerned. And that’s why we — the Counsel’s Office will be moving as quickly as they can to get the information to the Justice Department that they requested.
Q Well, they don’t dispute that the Counsel’s Office is typically the point of contact — what they say is, though, is that in the past, the Counsel’s Office’s doesn’t filter for relevancy, the Counsel’s Office’s has sent everything over to Justice that’s responsive to — that fits —
McCLELLAN: That’s right, exactly, that’s responsive to the request.
Q Well, they say that —
McCLELLAN: And I said — and, remember, I said yesterday they’re welcome to look at other materials if they want. I mean, the President made it very clear that we will be cooperating fully.
More to come on this …