Court Orders NYTimes Reporter to Testify in PlameGate

A federal judge today ordered New York Times reporter Judith Miller to testify before the grand jury investigating the leak of the identity of former CIA operative Valerie Plame. [Text of opinion.]

In a decision made public Thursday, U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan rejected Judith Miller's claim that as a reporter she should not be compelled to testify about confidential sources. Federal prosecutors are trying to find out who in the Bush administration leaked the identity of Valerie Plame, whose name was published by syndicated columnist Robert Novak on July 14, 2003. Novak cited two "senior administration officials" as his sources. It can be a felony to leak the name of an undercover officer.

In his ruling, Hogan said Miller's testimony "is necessary for completion of this investigation ... and is expected to constitute direct evidence of innocence or guilt."

In a related development, the administration official who was the source for an article by Walter Pincus of the Washington Post decided to reveal his/her own identity to the prosecutor running the grand jury, letting the reporter and the paper off the hook. Pincus gave a deposition describing the conversation but not naming the source.

It can be a crime to reveal the identity of a covert CIA employee if the disclosure is intended to expose the employee, and if it is done by someone authorized to receive such information in the course of official duties. Pincus has said previously that he does not believe his source committed a crime.

The investigation is far from over. The grand jury just issued new suboenas for documents and testimony to a reporter from Time Magazine, who recently lost a round to claim privilege.

Under threat of jail for contempt of court, Cooper agreed to be questioned three weeks ago about conversations he had with I. Lewis Libby, a senior aide to Vice President Cheney.

Sounds like his q & a session opened up a bigger can of worms. So, is Libby going to take the fall, or will it go higher than that? Or is Libby now out of the woods because another source has come forward?

Kevin Drum has been following this investigation since day one. He'll have the answers.

< Blog Update | RNC Protest Kicker Update >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort: