The press balks

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Late last night Time, Inc, the New York Times, and NBC, Judith Miller, Andrea Mitchell and Tim Russert responded to Libby's supoena requests. The pleadings were slow being posted on the Court's online site. The Washington Post has sumarized them, while Cboldt, a Just One Minute contributor, posted the Time, Inc response.

Time argues the document request is not relevant and argues the First Amendment privileges already rejected by this Circuit in the earlier case involving the grand jury subpoenas in this case directed at Judith Miller, Matt Cooper and Time. It also reprises the argument that the discovery is barred by common law privilege. This same Circuit rejected that argument  in Wen Ho Lee's civil case where the Washington Post's Walter Pincus was compelled to testify as to the sources for his reports on the case.

The significant thing to me is that the pleading tacitly admits that  Time employees  other than Cooper have notes involving Wilson.

Additionally, if Time was asked about the same interviewees as the New York Times was, (Miller's subpoena indicates she was asked to produce her notes about interviews with the same eight people) the mystery I raised the other day may be answered. The Time, Inc. Motion to Quash details who they were asked about:

4. All documents reflecting communications by any employee or agent of Time Inc. concerning former Ambassador Joseph Wilson prior to July 14, 2003, with any of the following persons: Ari Fleischer, Mark Grossman, Eric Edelman, Bob Grenier, Cathy Martin, Joseph Wilson, George Tenet, and Bill Harlow.

As for Tim Russert, a key prosecution witness, NBC responds that he has no documentation responsive to the request.

Judith Miller and Andrea Mitchell have also moved to quash the subpoenas directed to them as did NBC and the NYT.

Libby argues — and there certainly is public record evidence supporting his view — that the Wilson/Plame story was well in circulation in Washington in the summer of 2003, that he heard these reports from reporters and from other offcials accounts of conversations with reporters. He also says he needs the requested material to impeach the testimony of the government's witnesses — Cooper, Miller and Russert. The issue will most certainly be resolved by the Court on the issue of relevancy.

I expect that the Constitutional and common law privilege issues will be unavailing, though they may provide a basis for an interlocutory appeal to the Circuit Court should the Court —as it is likely to — rule against the media on those arguments.

Most of the named interviewees will be familiar to the readers. Robert Grenier is a particularly interesting choice. Grenier is the CIA official Libby asked about Wilson's trip on June 11, according to  paragraph 7 of the indictment. He was removed from his post this year:

The CIA's top counterterrorism officer was relieved of his position yesterday after months of turmoil atop the agency's clandestine service, according to three knowledgeable officials.

Robert Grenier, who spent most of his career undercover overseas, took charge of the Counterterrorism Center about a year ago after a series of senior jobs at the center of the Bush administration's national security agenda.

When al Qaeda struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, Grenier was station chief in Islamabad, Pakistan. Among the agency's most experienced officers in southwest Asia, Grenier helped plan the covert campaign that preceded the U.S. military ouster of al Qaeda and its Taliban allies from Afghanistan.

Clarice Feldman   4 19 06

Late last night Time, Inc, the New York Times, and NBC, Judith Miller, Andrea Mitchell and Tim Russert responded to Libby's supoena requests. The pleadings were slow being posted on the Court's online site. The Washington Post has sumarized them, while Cboldt, a Just One Minute contributor, posted the Time, Inc response.

Time argues the document request is not relevant and argues the First Amendment privileges already rejected by this Circuit in the earlier case involving the grand jury subpoenas in this case directed at Judith Miller, Matt Cooper and Time. It also reprises the argument that the discovery is barred by common law privilege. This same Circuit rejected that argument  in Wen Ho Lee's civil case where the Washington Post's Walter Pincus was compelled to testify as to the sources for his reports on the case.

The significant thing to me is that the pleading tacitly admits that  Time employees  other than Cooper have notes involving Wilson.

Additionally, if Time was asked about the same interviewees as the New York Times was, (Miller's subpoena indicates she was asked to produce her notes about interviews with the same eight people) the mystery I raised the other day may be answered. The Time, Inc. Motion to Quash details who they were asked about:

4. All documents reflecting communications by any employee or agent of Time Inc. concerning former Ambassador Joseph Wilson prior to July 14, 2003, with any of the following persons: Ari Fleischer, Mark Grossman, Eric Edelman, Bob Grenier, Cathy Martin, Joseph Wilson, George Tenet, and Bill Harlow.

As for Tim Russert, a key prosecution witness, NBC responds that he has no documentation responsive to the request.

Judith Miller and Andrea Mitchell have also moved to quash the subpoenas directed to them as did NBC and the NYT.

Libby argues — and there certainly is public record evidence supporting his view — that the Wilson/Plame story was well in circulation in Washington in the summer of 2003, that he heard these reports from reporters and from other offcials accounts of conversations with reporters. He also says he needs the requested material to impeach the testimony of the government's witnesses — Cooper, Miller and Russert. The issue will most certainly be resolved by the Court on the issue of relevancy.

I expect that the Constitutional and common law privilege issues will be unavailing, though they may provide a basis for an interlocutory appeal to the Circuit Court should the Court —as it is likely to — rule against the media on those arguments.

Most of the named interviewees will be familiar to the readers. Robert Grenier is a particularly interesting choice. Grenier is the CIA official Libby asked about Wilson's trip on June 11, according to  paragraph 7 of the indictment. He was removed from his post this year:

The CIA's top counterterrorism officer was relieved of his position yesterday after months of turmoil atop the agency's clandestine service, according to three knowledgeable officials.

Robert Grenier, who spent most of his career undercover overseas, took charge of the Counterterrorism Center about a year ago after a series of senior jobs at the center of the Bush administration's national security agenda.

When al Qaeda struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, Grenier was station chief in Islamabad, Pakistan. Among the agency's most experienced officers in southwest Asia, Grenier helped plan the covert campaign that preceded the U.S. military ouster of al Qaeda and its Taliban allies from Afghanistan.

Clarice Feldman   4 19 06