Fitzgerald Gets New Boss in Leaks Probe

With James Comey's departure today from the Justice Department, some wondered who would inherit his oversight of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. Comey himself made the designation today before he left...it will be David Margolis, who has been a Justice Department lawyer for 40 years.

Margolis, whose title is associate deputy attorney general, is taking the place of Deputy Attorney General James Comey, whose last day of work was Friday. Comey will be Lockheed Martin's new general counsel.

Comey made the designation of Margolis. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has stepped aside from the probe because he was White House counsel when Valerie Plame's name was leaked in 2003 and he has testified to the grand jury investigating the unauthorized disclosure.

Comey gave broad discretion to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago when he was appointed to investigate the leak in December 2003. Margolis is not expected to alter Fitzgerald's mandate in what are likely to be the final months of his investigation. The grand jury ends its term in October.

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  • Re: Fitzgerald Gets New Boss in Leaks Probe (none / 0) (#1)
    by aw on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:16 PM EST
    From the federal govt's own Office of Personnel Management: David Margolis Associate Deputy Attorney General Office of the Deputy Attorney General Throughout his extraordinary public service, Mr. Margolis has served with honor and distinction. He has become the Department of Justiceís embodiment of integrity, determination, and judgment. Of particular note, he set up the process by which the Departmentís disciplinary system for its lawyers has been opened to public scrutiny thereby fostering public confidence and at the same time assuring that the important privacy rights of federal employees are protected. In addition, Mr. Margolis was instrumental in helping to develop and implement one of the Departmentís most important ethical initiatives, the formation of the Professional Responsibility Advisory Board, which provides Department attorneys with consistent training and guidance on professional responsibility issues. It is a measure both of Mr. Margolisí integrity and of the high esteem in which he is held within the Department that Mr. Margolis was selected to be the Professional Responsibility Advisory Boardís first chairperson.

    Re: Fitzgerald Gets New Boss in Leaks Probe (none / 0) (#2)
    by aw on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:16 PM EST
    Or else it was the Office of Professional Responsibility. One of those.

    Re: Fitzgerald Gets New Boss in Leaks Probe (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:16 PM EST
    i think this was a good call, just on its face. as a 40 year veteran, he's been through multiple administrations, of both parties. he's either really, really devious, or non-partisan, and just looking for the truth. i'm going to go out on a limb, and guess that he will cover fitzgerald's back, regardless of where the investigation leads.

    Re: Fitzgerald Gets New Boss in Leaks Probe (none / 0) (#4)
    by CMike on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:17 PM EST
    Here's a question for anyone who knows. Is it unusual for a grand jury to wait until the end of its term to issue all its indictments? Doesn't a grand jury usually roll out indictments as it proceeds?

    Re: Fitzgerald Gets New Boss in Leaks Probe (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:02:18 PM EST
    Elizabeth de la Vega writes about Fitzgerald's case in the LA times (via brainwave at kos): "PUNDITS RIGHT, left and center have reached a rare unanimous verdict about one aspect of the grand jury investigation into the Valerie Plame leak: They've decided that no charges can be brought under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 because it imposes an impossibly high standard." And then goes on to tell us how everyone is wrong.