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Judge Upholds Media Subpoenas in CIA Leak Case (PLAME/WILSON)
Reuters ^ | August 9, 2004 | James Vicini

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.


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cia; cialeak; fitzgerald; leak; plame; wilson
"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.

That's an interesting notation by the judge. Is "harrassment" usually cited by journalists avoiding testimony?

1 posted on 08/09/2004 12:30:57 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: cyncooper; Fedora

Here's the Time story.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/992437/posts


2 posted on 08/09/2004 12:34:13 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: cyncooper
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.

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....

3 posted on 08/09/2004 12:35:45 PM PDT by Red Badger (The FOURTH ESTATE is the FIFTH COLUMN!.....)
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To: cyncooper

So is this ruling good or bad for Bush?


4 posted on 08/09/2004 12:37:35 PM PDT by 12 Gauge Mossberg
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To: cyncooper
Hard to believe anyone in the Bush administration would leak anything but Depends to Matt Cooper, who is married to Clinton loyalist Mandy Grunwald.
5 posted on 08/09/2004 12:38:10 PM PDT by YaYa123 (@Bob Novak On UNFIT FOR COMMAND.com)
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To: YaYa123

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)?


6 posted on 08/09/2004 12:41:23 PM PDT by swilhelm73 (When Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, his son murdered 2,000 people in the Abu Gharib prison in *one* day.)
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To: YaYa123

Exactly.

See other thread---Cooper's might go to JAIL. I'll go find the link.


7 posted on 08/09/2004 12:42:09 PM PDT by cyncooper ("We will fear no evil...And we will prevail")
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To: YaYa123
Court Holds Reporter in Contempt in Leak Case (WILSON/PLAME)

Time Magazine's Cooper Threatened with Jail for Not Revealing Source

8 posted on 08/09/2004 12:43:17 PM PDT by cyncooper ("We will fear no evil...And we will prevail")
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To: Red Badger
The journalists who were shopped on this story - should either shut up with respect to the grand jury and everyone else - or give testimony, under oath. But they should not have the privilege of commentary on this, soto voce to the Washington journalism community, while refusing to give their evidence to the grand jury. This investigation is going to cost tens of millions by the time it is all done and the journalists who refuse to testify will just increase the cost. Given what we know about Wilson's credibility and zeal to do work on behalf of the possible Kerry Administration - I think there could be some interesting results in this matter. Can you say blowback?
9 posted on 08/09/2004 12:44:07 PM PDT by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: cyncooper

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".


10 posted on 08/09/2004 12:45:44 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: YaYa123; ConservativeMajority; marron; cyncooper; Fedora
These "leaks" came after Novak's article. The Time mag article reminds of Tenet's statement about Wilson not mentioning "forgeries" or documents at all in his 2002 oral report. Which is interesting, Wilson's NYTimes piece doesn't mention anything about documents or forgeries. But before that he related "anonymously" to Pincus, Kristof, the Independent and Rangwala that he proved the documents were forgeries, though American intel did not have them at the time. He usually claims now that he gathered information about the "signatures" which would be necessary. The agents who interviewed him say he didn't say anything about that. However, even if US didn't have the documents, they had reports mentioning the names on the documents. Which then folds into the issue whether his wife told him about them.

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.

11 posted on 08/09/2004 12:46:24 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: 12 Gauge Mossberg

"So is this ruling good or bad for Bush?"


It depends on whose name comes out.



12 posted on 08/09/2004 12:46:33 PM PDT by bad company ((<a href="http://www.michaelmoore.com" target="_blank">Hatriotism))
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To: oceanview

He may have already spoken to the gj.


13 posted on 08/09/2004 12:48:25 PM PDT by cyncooper ("We will fear no evil...And we will prevail")
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To: bad company

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?


14 posted on 08/09/2004 12:49:04 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: bad company; 12 Gauge Mossberg

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.


15 posted on 08/09/2004 12:50:34 PM PDT by cyncooper ("We will fear no evil...And we will prevail")
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To: cyncooper

I bet if the journalists weren't turning in a Republican the Judge whould have ruled differently!


16 posted on 08/09/2004 12:50:46 PM PDT by ItsTheMediaStupid
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To: ItsTheMediaStupid
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.

17 posted on 08/09/2004 12:59:59 PM PDT by cyncooper ("We will fear no evil...And we will prevail")
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To: cyncooper

Stand tough, Tim!

Free Tim Free Martha Free Tim Free Martha Free Tim Free Marth!


18 posted on 08/09/2004 1:08:58 PM PDT by TomGuy (After 20 years in the Senate, all Kerry has to run on is 4 months of service in Viet Nam.)
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To: Shermy

Good points in your post #11.


19 posted on 08/09/2004 1:12:19 PM PDT by cyncooper ("We will fear no evil...And we will prevail")
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To: cyncooper

http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/09/29/novak.cia/

"Nobody in the Bush administration called me to leak this," Novak said on "Crossfire." "There is no great crime here."


20 posted on 08/09/2004 1:17:39 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Shermy

Thanks! Lots of interesting developments on this story today.


21 posted on 08/09/2004 1:23:47 PM PDT by Fedora
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To: ItsTheMediaStupid

Remember, last week Carl Cameron, of Fox, confirmed that a senator from Alabama (Shelby?) revealed classified info to him. I don't think it matters one way or another to the judges.


22 posted on 08/09/2004 1:40:05 PM PDT by rabidralph (If you can read this tagline, then stop.)
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To: All

Mission to Niger
Robert Novak
July 14, 2003
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/robertnovak/printrn20030714.shtml

The CIA leak
Robert Novak
October 1, 2003
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/robertnovak/rn20031001.shtml

Novak Recuses Self from CIA Leak Probe
Posted by Scott Ott
December 31, 2003
http://www.scrappleface.com/MT/archives/001463.html

Court Holds Reporter in Contempt in Leak Case (WILSON/PLAME)
Washington Post ^ | August 9, 2004 | Carol D. Leonnig
Posted on 08/09/2004 12:37:45 PM PDT by cyncooper
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1188142/posts


23 posted on 08/09/2004 3:04:32 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Unlike some people, I have a profile. Okay, maybe it's a little large...)
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To: ItsTheMediaStupid
I believe the parties involved in this attempted smear are in for a big, unpleasant surprise, and it will happen before the election. It'll go down in history as the "October Surprise Autogoal". ;')
24 posted on 08/09/2004 3:05:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Unlike some people, I have a profile. Okay, maybe it's a little large...)
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