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Russert Held in Contempt in CIA Leak Case
AP ^ | August 9, 2004 10:16 PM | CURT ANDERSON

Posted on 08/09/2004 2:40:43 PM PDT by Former Military Chick

Russert Held in Contempt in CIA Leak Case

Monday August 9, 2004 10:16 PM

By CURT ANDERSON

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge held a reporter for Time magazine in contempt of court Monday for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the leak of the identity of a covert CIA officer.

In an order issued July 20 but not made public until Monday, U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan ruled that Time's Matthew Cooper and ``Meet the Press'' host Tim Russert were required to testify ``regarding alleged conversations they had with a specified executive branch official.''

NBC News issued a statement saying that Russert already had been interviewed under oath by prosecutors on Saturday under an agreement to avoid a protracted court fight. The interview concerned a July 2003 phone conversation he had with Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby.

Time and Cooper, however, did not agree to be interviewed and intend to appeal the judge's ruling, said Managing Editor Jim Kelly. If Time loses those appeals, Cooper could be jailed under Hogan's order until he agrees to appear and the magazine could be fined $1,000 a day.

``We are disappointed in the decision,'' Kelly said. ``We don't think a journalist should be required to give up a confidential source. We're going to appeal it as far as it goes.''

Neal Shapiro, president of NBC News, said the network agreed that forcing reporters to testify about their sources is ``contrary to the First Amendment's guarantee of a free press.'' Shapiro said Russert answered ``only limited questions'' about the conversation with Libby ``without revealing any information he learned in confidence.''

The subpoenas of Russert and Cooper were issued by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago, who was appointed as a special prosecutor in the leak case. Hogan denied the claims by the two journalists that they were protected by the Constitution from having to testify.

``There have been no allegations whatsoever that this grand jury is acting in bad faith or with the purpose of harassing these two journalists,'' Hogan wrote in an 11-page ruling.

The investigation concerns the leak last summer to syndicated columnist Robert Novak of the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame. Disclosure of an undercover official's identity can be a felony.

Plame's name appeared in Novak's column on July 14 last year, about a week after her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, published a newspaper opinion piece criticizing President Bush's claim in the 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq had tried to obtain uranium from Niger.

Wilson had been sent by the CIA to Niger to check the allegation, and he concluded it was unfounded. Novak wrote that Plame had suggested her husband for the mission, a claim Plame and Wilson have denied.

NBC said in its statement that Russert told Fitzgerald in the interview that he did not know Plame's name or her identity as a CIA officer, and that he did not provide that information to Libby. The statement said that Libby had told the FBI about his conversation with Russert and requested that it be disclosed.

A number of Bush administration officials have appeared before the grand jury or have been interviewed by prosecutors and the FBI.

Bush himself was interviewed in the White House on June 25, and earlier this month Secretary of State Colin Powell was interviewed.

^---

On the Net:

Hogan's decision: http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/04ms296a.pdf


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cialeak; contempt; nbc; russert
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This will be interesting.
1 posted on 08/09/2004 2:40:43 PM PDT by Former Military Chick
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To: Former Military Chick

Sooo-weeeee! Time to squeal, Timmy! Give us the Full Beatty!


2 posted on 08/09/2004 2:41:57 PM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Petronski; cyncooper; TomGuy

Free Tim!!!!!!


3 posted on 08/09/2004 2:43:37 PM PDT by Dog (Edwards threatening Al Qaeda is like Pee Wee Herman threatening Lucca Brazzi.)
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To: Former Military Chick

I don't see anywhere in the article that it says Russert has been held in contempt. Just Cooper.


4 posted on 08/09/2004 2:43:59 PM PDT by Brandon
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To: Petronski

I ain't tell 'em nuthin!

5 posted on 08/09/2004 2:44:26 PM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Petronski; Dog; cyncooper; TomGuy

Must tell you I did get a chuckle out of this. Would be interesting to see what he would do to protect a source if he HAD to.

I know Novak can just don't know about .... Russert.


6 posted on 08/09/2004 2:45:16 PM PDT by Former Military Chick (I previously posted under Military Chick)
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To: Brandon

Agreed, that's some really crappy journalism.


7 posted on 08/09/2004 2:45:33 PM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Former Military Chick

Article says the Time reporter held in contempt, not Russert.


8 posted on 08/09/2004 2:45:41 PM PDT by spyone
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To: Brandon

Russert testified.

Cooper did not.


9 posted on 08/09/2004 2:45:53 PM PDT by pacocat
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To: Brandon

I don't see it either. Very false headline.


10 posted on 08/09/2004 2:46:02 PM PDT by what's up
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To: Former Military Chick

Are these esteemed journalists being quite to protect evil members of the Bush Administration?


11 posted on 08/09/2004 2:46:28 PM PDT by PeoplesRepublicOfWashington
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To: Former Military Chick

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."


12 posted on 08/09/2004 2:46:37 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: pacocat
Russert is a snitch!!!!!!!!!!
13 posted on 08/09/2004 2:47:21 PM PDT by Dog (Edwards threatening Al Qaeda is like Pee Wee Herman threatening Lucca Brazzi.)
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To: Former Military Chick
NBC said in its statement that Russert told Fitzgerald in the interview that he did not know Plame's name or her identity as a CIA officer, and that he did not provide that information to Libby. The statement said that Libby had told the FBI about his conversation with Russert and requested that it be disclosed.

Looks like Cheney's staff is more than willing for these RAT journalists to spill their guts in the Grand Jury as they have nothing to hide and it appears Mandy Grunwald's husband may, indeed, have something to hide.

14 posted on 08/09/2004 2:47:28 PM PDT by Steven W.
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To: spyone

You know as usual the title does NOT reflect the article. Go figure. But, I do think this has to make him feel a bit well squirmish.

There must a bit more to this then we see.


15 posted on 08/09/2004 2:47:52 PM PDT by Former Military Chick (I previously posted under Military Chick)
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To: spyone

Wasn't Valerie Plame first outed by Aldrich Aimes to the Soviets in the 90's?

It makes all these other claims a little silly.

DK


16 posted on 08/09/2004 2:48:15 PM PDT by Dark Knight
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To: Brandon

It's hard for reporters to write articles when they're not handed them directly from staffers at the DNC.


17 posted on 08/09/2004 2:48:23 PM PDT by Steven W.
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To: Former Military Chick

I think they should absolutely have to reveal their sources. I do not think they should necessarily ALWAYS have to reveal their sources. But they should have to have a pretty darn good reason not to. Where'd all that "the public's right to know" rhetoric go? The media elites are two-faced.


18 posted on 08/09/2004 2:53:01 PM PDT by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Legislatures are so outdated. If you want real political victory, take your issue to court.)
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To: Petronski
NBC said in its statement that Russert told Fitzgerald in the interview that he did not know Plame's name or her identity as a CIA officer, and that he did not provide that information to Libby.

Isn't the concern the other way around??

19 posted on 08/09/2004 2:53:19 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Petronski
Some more crappy journalism here.

Wilson had been sent by the CIA to Niger to check the allegation, and he concluded it was unfounded. Novak wrote that Plame had suggested her husband for the mission, a claim Plame and Wilson have denied.

And the Senate Intel Committee produced the letters where Plame suggested her ego-maniac husband for the 'mission'.

20 posted on 08/09/2004 2:54:11 PM PDT by Ditto ( No trees were killed in sending this message, but billions of electrons were inconvenienced.)
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To: Former Military Chick
Ok, I need help from a true liberal.

Now that Tim is contemptible [snicker], do we sing "We shall over come" or "Kumbyah"?
21 posted on 08/09/2004 2:57:44 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

I believe it is.


22 posted on 08/09/2004 2:58:51 PM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Shermy
Isn't the concern the other way around??

Yes, appareently.

CNN reported that Russert agreed to testify as long as the questions were limited to a phone conversation with Scooter Libby. Libby himself asked Russert to testify about the phone call.

23 posted on 08/09/2004 3:02:51 PM PDT by jackbill
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To: spyone
Well, I hold him in contempt, does that count? :)
24 posted on 08/09/2004 3:03:35 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("I actually was going to throw like a man before I threw like a girl." JFK 7/25/2004)
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To: spyone

I hold Russert in contempt.


25 posted on 08/09/2004 3:05:08 PM PDT by StumpyPete
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To: Brandon
Shapiro said Russert answered ``only limited questions'' about the conversation with Libby ``without revealing any information he learned in confidence.''

Is it being inferred by this sentence?

26 posted on 08/09/2004 3:05:32 PM PDT by NavySEAL F-16 ("proud to be a Reagan Republican")
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To: Former Military Chick

We complain about BIASED AND MISLEADING HEADLINES all the time... Now Tim Russert gets a taste of journalistic malpractice.


27 posted on 08/09/2004 3:08:09 PM PDT by WOSG (George W Bush - Right for our Times!)
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To: Former Military Chick
In an order issued July 20 but not made public until Monday, U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan ruled that Time's Matthew Cooper and ``Meet the Press'' host Tim Russert were required to testify ``regarding alleged conversations they had with a specified executive branch official.''

It sounds like Richard Clarke to me.

28 posted on 08/09/2004 3:09:00 PM PDT by af_vet_1981
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To: Former Military Chick

Russert has to be among the dumbest looking talking heads on fading network news.


29 posted on 08/09/2004 3:10:22 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: Former Military Chick
I posted this earlier, so for cross reference:

Court Holds Reporter in Contempt in Leak Case (WILSON/PLAME)

I see it is indeed The Guardian that inaccurately reports in their headline that Russert was held in contempt. It was NOT. It was Matt Cooper with TIME, husband to Clintonista Mandy Grunewald.

30 posted on 08/09/2004 3:19:29 PM PDT by cyncooper ("We will fear no evil...And we will prevail")
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To: Dog
NBC said in its statement that Russert told Fitzgerald in the interview that he did not know Plame's name or her identity as a CIA officer, and that he did not provide that information to Libby. The statement said that Libby had told the FBI about his conversation with Russert and requested that it be disclosed.

So. Let's mull over why Russert did not want to talk after Libby waived any confidentiality. Later I'm going to look up the Wilson appearances on MTP and see if Tim let Wilson make charges about Libby unchallenged.

31 posted on 08/09/2004 3:22:26 PM PDT by cyncooper ("We will fear no evil...And we will prevail")
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To: Former Military Chick

Speak Timmy, Speak!!!


32 posted on 08/09/2004 3:22:29 PM PDT by pete anderson
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To: Former Military Chick

Forgive me for apparantly being out of the loop, but what does all this have to do with Rusert and this other guy? I thought the leak went to Novak.

I would appreciate a clarification/explanation.


33 posted on 08/09/2004 3:22:33 PM PDT by 1L
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To: Shermy

Glad to see you found this.


34 posted on 08/09/2004 3:24:01 PM PDT by cyncooper ("We will fear no evil...And we will prevail")
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To: Former Military Chick
Uhh....
This report leads the reader to believe that Cheney's office "leaked" Plame's name, but near the end of the piece there's this little switcheroo....

NBC said in its statement that Russert told Fitzgerald in the interview that he did not know Plame's name or her identity as a CIA officer, and that he did not provide that information to Libby. The statement said that Libby had told the FBI about his conversation with Russert and requested that it be disclosed.

So rather than Cheney's office leaking to Russert, it appears that Russert called Cheney's office (perhaps seeking a confirmation?) and ended up leaking something to them.

This is weird.

35 posted on 08/09/2004 3:25:00 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Former Military Chick

Joe Wilson outed his own wife just to stir up controversy. Knowing damn well the media and their democrat colleagues would take the bait and run with it to damage the Bush administration. This is a phony trap and if Cooper is forced to testify he will reveal the dems were behind the whole thing and he will no longer be invited to all the liberal dinner parties.


36 posted on 08/09/2004 3:25:30 PM PDT by Ron in Acreage (Kerry is a threat to national security)
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To: Dog

37 posted on 08/09/2004 3:26:49 PM PDT by Howlin (Saving Private Hamster)
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To: 1L
Forgive me for apparantly being out of the loop, but what does all this have to do with Rusert and this other guy? I thought the leak went to Novak.

I would appreciate a clarification/explanation.

Some of us long ago discarded that notion. But I will say that Wilson *claimed* that the "leak" was "shopped" to 6 different reporters (I don't have time to type out all the problems with his allegation, but please feel free to search FR) and that Novak was the one to run with it.

38 posted on 08/09/2004 3:27:14 PM PDT by cyncooper ("We will fear no evil...And we will prevail")
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To: Former Military Chick

Book 'em Dano!


39 posted on 08/09/2004 3:27:32 PM PDT by GOP_1900AD (Stomping on "PC," destroying the Left, and smoking out faux "conservatives" - Right makes right!)
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To: Steven W.
Looks like Cheney's staff is more than willing for these RAT journalists to spill their guts in the Grand Jury as they have nothing to hide and it appears Mandy Grunwald's husband may, indeed, have something to hide.

Yep.
This is looking more and more like your classic sting operation.
That scumbag Cooper would have sung like a canary by now if there was anything damaging to Bush or Cheney to be told.

40 posted on 08/09/2004 3:28:49 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Former Military Chick; Liz; Howlin; ALOHA RONNIE; RonDog; Mudboy Slim
"Meet the Press" host Tim Russert were required to testify "regarding alleged conversations they had with a specified executive branch official."

One day behind bars with cell mate Bubba, and Russert will be singing like the Birdman...

41 posted on 08/09/2004 3:29:23 PM PDT by Libloather (What did Bergler stow - and when did he stow it?)
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To: Former Military Chick

42 posted on 08/09/2004 3:30:03 PM PDT by Revolting cat! ("In the end, nothing explains anything!")
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To: cyncooper
"shopped" to 6 different reporters

Russert....Cooper........Novak....who are the other three reporters?

43 posted on 08/09/2004 3:31:57 PM PDT by Dog (Edwards threatening Al Qaeda is like Pee Wee Herman threatening Lucca Brazzi.)
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To: Dog

Andrea Mitchell was another.

The problem with Joe's assertion is when he speaks he is clearly (well, clearly to those who see how he frames his accusation and the context which points to a certain timeframe) referring to media contacts with the administration AFTER the Novak article appeared.

Ah, Brit reporting the Cooper contempt cite right now.


44 posted on 08/09/2004 3:37:21 PM PDT by cyncooper ("We will fear no evil...And we will prevail")
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To: Dog

Oh--and the other two reporters were with Newsday, I believe.


45 posted on 08/09/2004 3:37:52 PM PDT by cyncooper ("We will fear no evil...And we will prevail")
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To: Revolting cat!

A face only a terrorist could love??


46 posted on 08/09/2004 3:41:09 PM PDT by Former Military Chick (I previously posted under Military Chick)
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past
I think they should absolutely have to reveal their sources.

Yes I agree they like to envoke their shield deal as a member of the press. I just wonder who decides that wont take court time. I do think this will be a hit to russert. He TRIES to be the middle ground, this little scandal might humble him.

47 posted on 08/09/2004 3:43:36 PM PDT by Former Military Chick (I previously posted under Military Chick)
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To: Ron in Acreage

Bingo...

For the first time, this whole thing is starting to make sense. Joe Wilson et al planned this whole thing and got the typical DEM "goon" squad of reporters and Clintonistas to supposedly out Mrs. Wilson -- and then blame it on the Republicans.

Now the truth is coming out. I'm expecting to see some RATs do time in federal prison with their cell mate being Sandy Berger.


48 posted on 08/09/2004 3:49:19 PM PDT by BushisTheMan
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To: Former Military Chick
This will be interesting. Now these liberal democrat activist judges are going after the first amendment and the liberal media doesn't like it.

I wonder if they will ever learn?
49 posted on 08/09/2004 4:42:06 PM PDT by chainsaw (VOTE AMERICAN - VOTE REPUBLICAN)
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To: Howlin

With that image, you could confuse the daylights out of the next newbie that asks "what's a ping"!


50 posted on 08/09/2004 4:46:57 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("I actually was going to throw like a man before I threw like a girl." JFK 7/25/2004)
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