CBS News White House correspondent Peter Maer reports Texas authorities are complaining that the Secret Service barred them from speaking to Cheney after the incident. Kenedy County Texas Sheriffs Lt. Juan Guzman said deputies first learned of the shooting when an ambulance was called.Judd also offers some snippets from today's White House Press Briefing, during which Scott McClellan was asked about local officals being prevented from speaking with Cheney and whether the accidental shooting could constitute a criminal offense:
The Secret Service is looking into how the case was handled at the scene, Maer added.
QUESTION: Scott, there’s a report coming out of a sheriff’s deputy there who said that he was prevented from interviewing the vice president by the Secret Service. Do you know anything about that? And is that appropriate?Meanwhile, the National Review Online's Byron York shares that Cheney’s spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride, called NRO to confirm that Cheney and the property owner, whose call to the local media provided the first insight into the incident, directly discussed the decision to go public:
MCCLELLAN: No, I don’t know anything about that. You have got to direct that to the Secret Service. My understanding was that Secret Service took the appropriate steps to inform law enforcement.
QUESTION: Under Texas law, is this kind of accidental shooting a possible criminal offense?
MCCLELLAN: I won’t even speculate on that, but I think the sheriff’s office or the local law enforcement office has already commented on that and said it was a hunting accident.
Cheney and Katharine Armstrong did discuss telling the public about the incident. "The vice president was on the Armstrong ranch, and they were talking directly," McBride said. "The vice president and Mrs. Armstrong agreed that the media should be notified, and Mrs. Armstrong called her local paper."Which raises the obvious question, if Cheney had decided that the media shouldn’t be notified, would we ever have known?
(Crossposted at AlterNet PEEK.)