Reporters File Motions to Quash Libby Subpoenas

Reporters subpoenaed by Lewis "Scooter" Libby filed their motions to quash today. Some of them, including Andrea Mitchell, filed paper documents, and the Court has now ordered them to file electronically, so they should be available tomorrow if not later tonight.

Judith Miller and Time Magazine did file electronically -- lengthy responses, arguing the subpoenas are overbroad, vague and not directed to admissible evidence. Time argues that Libby is on a fishing expedition in seeking documents from Time editors and reporters other than Matthew Cooper, the only Time employee endorsed as a witness in the case.

Both filed the actual subpoenas listing the sought-after documents as exhibits. Here is Libby's subpoena to Time (pdf) and here is Libby's subpoena to Judith Miller.

From Time's Motion to Quash:

Mr. Libby is plainly seeking to learn about communications that may have occurred and documents that may exist--rather than request that specific documents be produced. It is well-settled that Rule 17 does not provide a basis for this type of fishing expedition.

....the subpoena is unduly burdensome and oppressive in that it intrudes on and disrupts newsgathering activities protected under the First Amendment. The subpoena demands, among other things, communications between reporters and editors, as well as communications between reporters and sources. The subpoena also demands draft articles, unpublished notes and information collected in the course of newsgathering, and would reveal the thought processes of reporters and editors in discussing, writing and editing news stories--including articles that postdate events at issue in the indictment by more than two years, such as Mr. Cooper's two articles about his own grand jury testimony.

In a footnote, Time argues:

The subpoena is also insufficiently specific. Request #2, for example, demands "[a]ll documents, whenever prepared or received, indicating or suggesting that any employee or agent of Time Inc. other than Matthew Cooper was aware prior to July 14, 2003 that the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson was employed by the CIA." This request purports to require Time to make a determination of whether a document "suggest[s]" that an agent of Time had a particular piece of knowledge.

As to Judith Miller, she makes many of the same arguments in her motion to quash, particularly objecting to Libby's broad request for documents over a six week period, from June 7 to July 14, including phone records, her professional calendar and notes which are not limited to Libby or the Wilsons or this case.

< Bad Laws and Second Chances | Duke Indictment and Status of the Two Charged >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Notice which news organization isn't mentioned in the WaPo article. The Washington Post did mention there Libby subpoena in passing in an article last week.
    In a related development, The Post yesterday was subpoenaed by Libby's defense team to produce records related to the case that the newspaper had not turned over to Fitzgerald. Eric Lieberman, a counsel at The Post, said the newspaper would comply by providing Libby with a complete copy of a memorandum by Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward from his interview with Libby on June 27, 2003. WaPo 4/14/06

    sp there/their

    Re: Reporters File Motions to Quash Libby Subpoena (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 07:25:11 AM EST
    PolyUSA-Nice catch PolyUSA!! Funny. Bernstein....I am surprised that they did not have their own copy from the start. They may as well have had a hand in writing it.

    Re: Reporters File Motions to Quash Libby Subpoena (none / 0) (#4)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 09:15:10 AM EST
    Squeaky - Props for being able to stay on top of this byzantine mares nest of information and disinformation. Youre "a better man than I."

    Re: Reporters File Motions to Quash Libby Subpoena (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 20, 2006 at 08:40:41 AM EST
    Jondee- I have no interest in following sports, so I follow this. Not such a big deal. Not much different than anyone who remembers sport stats. Looking up at the mountain is much more daunting than taking small regular steps. After some time passes, while looking down into the valley, most say 'that wasn't so hard'. Small pieces followed over time adds to a big pile of Info.