Video: Who is David Addington

msnbc.com
updated 11/4/2005 10:13:24 AM ET 2005-11-04T15:13:24
STORY

Lewis “Scooter” Libby was the most influential advisor to a vice president in history — powerful, but clearly not irreplaceable.

After his indictment, Libby resigned and Cheney named another one of his most trusted advisors to be his new chief of staff.

His name is David Addington.  Next to Libby, he may be the most discrete staffer in all of the White House.

He is “very bright, loyal, discrete” said David Gribben, who has worked with Addington and is one of the vice president's oldest friends.

Like Libby, Addington is a man very much in Cheney's image and also a controversial figure.

According to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's indictment, Addington was one of the officials that Libby spoke with about Valerie Plame before her covert CIA status was revealed.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said, “We all know Vice President's office was the nerve center of an operation to sell the war and discredit those who challenged it.”

Today Democrats on Capitol Hill demanded it’s time that Cheney clean house.

"For a Vice President's office that needs a fresh start this team seems to be a stale move to hunker down and get in the bunker," said Democrat Charles Schumer.

But that's not likely to happen.

In fact, Cheney's decision to name Addington was also one more signal this Vice President has no plans to change his ways. 

Addington has been at the center of some of the administration's fiercest fights: As the vice president's lawyer, he advocated enlarging presidential powers; He kept Cheney's meetings with corporations over energy policy a secret; He was the primary author of an August 2002 opinion from the Justice Department that said torture might be justified in some cases.

He's currently fighting to exempt the CIA from a proposal by Senator John McCain to ban cruel and inhuman treatment of enemy combatants.

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