Subpoenas to agriculture secretary stand

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is the only one who can explain the relationship, if any, between his decision to request a USDA official’s resignation and a blog post.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A judge has turned aside an administration effort to quash subpoenas to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, whose testimony is being sought in a lawsuit filed against the late blogger Andrew Breitbart.

Former Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod sued Breitbart and his colleague Larry O’Connor after Breitbart posted an edited video of Sherrod, who is black, supposedly making racist remarks. Sherrod’s words were taken out of context.

Sherrod and O’Connor subpoenaed Vilsack, who has said he requested Sherrod’s resignation. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said Vilsack is the only one who can explain the relationship, if any, between a decision to request Sherrod’s resignation and the blog post. In seeking to quash the subpoenas, the Obama administration said the information being sought is already on the public record.



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