Plans from Nigerian authorities to charge former Vice President Dick Cheney over an alleged $180 million bribery payment made to secure a $6 billion natural gas contract for Halliburton while he was CEO of the company could be boosted by a forthcoming WikiLeaks release of transmissions between the United States and the African nation.
On Thursday's edition of "The Ed Show" on MSNBC, host Ed Schultz and John Nichols of The Nation talked about the need for the Department of Justice to launch its own probe into the matter based on their belief that the "highly-politicized" Bush DoJ had not taken sufficient steps to investigate the supposed misconduct. If they did, they argued, future WikiLeaks dispatches could play a part.
"Maybe there might be some cables that might have been intercepted?" Schultz asked.
"It's highly significant. Look, Dick Cheney literally went over to the CIA three and four times a day at some points during his vice presidency," Nichols responded. "There's nobody who was more engaged with cable traffic than this guy, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if WikiLeaks has another package for us to look at with regard to this."
Cheney attorney Terrence O'Donnell issued a statement addressing the allegations in question on behalf of the former vice president:
This matter involves the activities of an international four-company joint venture (which included KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton) well over a decade ago. The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated that joint venture extensively and found no suggestion of any impropriety by Dick Cheney in his role as CEO of Halliburton. Any suggestion of misconduct on his part, made now, years later, is entirely baseless.