I have no idea what took them so long, but Dow Jones and the Associated Press are suing to unseal the affidavit Fitzgerald filed when he sought contempt sanctions against Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper, arguing that since he knew at the time that Armitage was the source of the leak, it is hard to know on what basis he represented to the Court that the reporters' testimony was necessary to his investigation. Quote:
"Recently the public learned that the special counsel's pursuit of those reporters was entirely unnecessary for him to determine who leaked Ms. Plame's name to Mr. Novak," lawyers for the news services wrote. [snip]
Lawyers for the news organizations said the public has the right to know why, despite that knowledge, Fitzgerald testified that he needed the testimony of reporters to continue the investigation. The only way to know that, the lawyers argued, is to unseal Fitzgerald's affidavits and the court's full legal opinion on the issue.
I have been arguing this point for some time. And in my letter to the Office of Professional Responsibility, I said:
Further, the affidavit he filed in the Miller appeal was a model of misdirection and disingenuousness clearly designed to mislead the Court. Taken as a whole, the affidavit conflates the Armitage leak to Novak with Libby's quite apparently innocent conversations with other reporters, presenting a materially false impression of the facts the prosecution already had determined. Whether Libby's recollections of those conversations were accurate, or his conversational partners' recollections were more accurate, both sides to each conversation recall something entirely benign.
I ask you to focus attention in particular on paragraphs 9-17 and 81 of that affidavit and read them in light of recently revealed facts: that Armitage told Novak and Woodward earlier and in far greater detail about Plame's role and identity than did Lewis Libby or Karl Rove who were pilloried for three years for innocent, passing comments to reporters who asked THEM about information, reporters who already seem to have known about Plame's identity due to the indiscretions of Plame and Wilson. From these facts alone it is readily apparent that these reporters already knew about Plame's employment and her relationship to Wilson. These obvious facts should have lead an unbiased investigator or prosecutor to examine the source of that knowledge--whether it was due to the well documented indiscretions of Plame and Wilson themselves or whether, like the leak to Novak, their knowledge derived from conversations with Richard Armitage.