War Critic Suing Secret Service Agents After Remarks to Cheney Wants VP Subpoenaed

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An attorney for a man arrested after telling the vice president that his policies in Iraq were "disgusting" asked U.S. marshals Thursday to force Dick Cheney to testify about the matter.

Steve Howards has said he lightly touched the vice president on the arm after making the comment at a mall in Beaver Creek, a resort town two hours west of Denver where Cheney was attending a conference in June 2006.

Howards said he was questioned by a Secret Service agent about whether he touched or assaulted Cheney, then was handcuffed and told he would be charged with assault. He was eventually charged with harassment, but the count was later dropped.

He sued the agents who arrested him, but a hazy picture of the incident remains, according to court documents.

Attorney David Lane mentions in the papers a "shocking lack of consistency" among the defendants and witnesses as to what occurred.

"Mr. Cheney is clearly the best eyewitness to the events in question," Lane said in the motion to subpoena him.

Cheney's spokeswoman, Megan Mitchell, said Thursday that she was aware of the motion but referred calls to the Department of Justice. Officials there did not immediately return a call for comment after hours Thursday.

Cheney could have sat down for a deposition, Lane said, but "instead he is fighting us tooth and nail every step of the way to avoid telling the truth about what happened."

Howards, a 55-year-old environmental consultant, said in the 2006 lawsuit that his First Amendment right to free speech and his Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure were violated.

Lane also represented a University of Colorado professor who drew criticism after comparing some Sept. 11 victims to Nazis. Ward Churchill was fired after a plagiarism investigation that the professor called fraudulent.