Ex-Fannie Mae chief loses round

WASHINGTON - A federal judge yesterday threw out a subpoena by former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines that would have required the White House to hand over documents related to an investigation of the government-chartered agency.

"I will grant the motion to quash it for now but leave open the door" for another subpoena, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said.

Raines, who was forced out in December 2004, is seeking administration documents for his defense against shareholder lawsuits alleging that he overstated profit by $6.3 billion to meet bonus targets when he headed Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. buyer and backer of home loans. Raines said the papers would show that the White House spread rumors to suppress Fannie Mae's share price.

Leon said Raines did not make a compelling case that the documents would support his claims.

- Bloomberg News

White House fights logs ruling

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration asked a federal judge yesterday not to force the release of White House visitor logs until it can appeal a ruling that the documents are public.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth had rejected the government's secrecy arguments and ordered the Secret Service to turn over the visitor logs to a liberal watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, that had sought them through a public records request.

Lamberth did not immediately decide on the government's request to put the ruling on hold. The logs in question relate to White House visits involving nine conservative religious commentators, including James Dobson, Gary Bauer and Jerry Falwell.

- AP

Same-day tapes in death-row case

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court said yesterday that it would quickly release audiotapes after hearing arguments Jan. 7 over the death penalty.

The death-row cases of Kentucky inmates Ralph Baze and Thomas Clyde Bowling Jr. present the question of whether the mix of drugs and the way they are administered in executions in three dozen states violate the Constitution. The court last considered a challenge to an execution method in 1879.

The immediate, same-day release of audio tapes following arguments in major cases started in the 2000 presidential election, when the justices decided appeals of the Florida recount controversy in favor of George W. Bush.

- AP

Elsewhere:

Newly sworn-in

Veterans Affairs Secretary James B. Peake promised yesterday to work with Congress and other federal agencies to act on the recommendations of a bipartisan commission to improve services and health care for veterans.

A Chappaqua, N.Y.,

neighbor of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, disbarred lawyer Carlos Perez-Olivo, was charged yesterday with murder in the 2006 killing of his wife, Peggy Perez-Olivo, who he claimed had been shot by a stranger on a dark suburban road.