Skip to comments.Judge Upholds Media Subpoenas in CIA Leak Case (PLAME/WILSON)
Posted on 08/09/2004 12:30:56 PM PDT by cyncooper
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday upheld subpoenas to compel testimony of journalists at NBC News and Time magazine in a special prosecutor's probe into whether Bush administration officials illegally leaked a covert CIA officer's name to the news media.
U.S. District Chief Judge Thomas Hogan rejected requests to quash subpoenas issued to Tim Russert of NBC's "Meet the Press" and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine on the grounds they violate the reporters' privilege under the Constitution's First Amendment.
The subpoenas were issued by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and seek to require Russert and Cooper to appear before a federal grand jury to testify about conversations they had with an unidentified government official.
"To be clear, this court holds that Cooper and Russert have no privilege, qualified or otherwise, excusing them from testifying before the grand jury in this matter," Hogan ruled in the 11-page opinion.
"There have been no allegations whatsoever that this grand jury is acting in bad faith or with the purpose of harassing these two journalists," the judge wrote.
A number of top administration officials have been questioned in the leak investigation, including President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Colin Powell.
The grand jury has been hearing testimony from administration and government officials in an attempt to establish who leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame to the media last year.
Plame is the wife of Joe Wilson, a former ambassador who was asked by the CIA to travel to Niger in February 2002 to check reports that Iraq had tried to buy enriched uranium from the African country.
A newspaper columnist disclosed Plame's identity in July last year and Wilson accused the Bush administration of having leaked the information to pay him back for having publicly taken issue with the president's uranium claim.
The White House subsequently said Bush should not have cited the claim in his 2003 State of the Union address.
Disclosing the identity of a clandestine intelligence officer is a federal crime as is leaking classified information to the media.
Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney in Chicago, was appointed by the Justice Department late last year as special prosecutor, an announcement made at the same time that Attorney General John Ashcroft stepped aside from the politically charged probe.
That's an interesting notation by the judge. Is "harrassment" usually cited by journalists avoiding testimony?
Here's the Time story.
WRONG! Plame is the wife of Joe Wilson, who used his CIA wife's position to get her to RECOMMEND her husband for the assignment.....nepotism is okay as long as you don't get your family involved....
So is this ruling good or bad for Bush?
One does wonder what the Demies have been smoking. Ignoring everything else, wouldn't the Bush team have leaked, if they choose to do so, to a Deborah Oran, or a Dorothy Rabinowitz, a Susan Schmidt, ot some other reporter that isn't a rabid leftist or war opponent (Novak)?
See other thread---Cooper's might go to JAIL. I'll go find the link.
Time Magazine's Cooper Threatened with Jail for Not Revealing Source
good. there is no "reporter's privilege" right in the Constitution, at all. Let them take the 5th if they want to, although I don't see how answering these questions would cause them to incriminate themselves.
when is Novak testifying? I want someone to get on that stand at say "Wilson told me his wife was at CIA at a cocktail party we both were attending".
His statements about proving the forgeries could be just bragging, taking credit for what the IAEA reported in March 2003. Or it could be something more.
"So is this ruling good or bad for Bush?"
It depends on whose name comes out.
He may have already spoken to the gj.
that is the risk here, but not just that they will tell the truth and someone at the WH will be implicated - what I fear is that they will lie, and get up there and say "person X in Cheney's office told me". then it becomes a "he said, she said" kind of case, how do you prove it?
Well, let's put on our thinking caps, 'k?
Since nobody supporting Bush or anybody in his WH "leaked" Plame's name (I've expounded at length before on that particular aspect before), then it isn't Bush or his people that should be worried.
I bet if the journalists weren't turning in a Republican the Judge whould have ruled differently!
Why don't you walk us through your contention these journalists would be "turning in" a Republican?
I say all evidence points away from that.
Stand tough, Tim!
Free Tim Free Martha Free Tim Free Martha Free Tim Free Marth!
Good points in your post #11.
"Nobody in the Bush administration called me to leak this," Novak said on "Crossfire." "There is no great crime here."