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February 11, 2007
Masterful summation of Plame situation
The anonymous author who uses the pen name Fedora has done a masterful job of summing up the Plame case. Everything you wanted to know is found here. His conclusion:
Since Fitzgerald’s investigation began, numerous reporters have quoted anonymous sources describing grand jury testimony. In some cases these leaks seem to come from the defense, but in other cases sources have implied inside knowledge of Fitzgerald’s team. For instance, in a July 15 Washington Post article, Mike Allen quoted sources who had “reviewed” grand jury testimony:
Sources who have reviewed some of the testimony before the grand jury say there is significant evidence that reporters were in some cases alerting officials about Plame's identity and relationship to Wilson--not the other way around.
--Mike Allen with Carol Leonnig, “Rove Confirmed Plame Indirectly, Lawyer Says: Bush Aide Said Columnist Told Him Name”, Washington Post, July 15, 2005, A01
Interestingly, Allen had previously coauthored an article with Dana Priest quoting an anonymous senior administration official who claimed that Plame’s name was leaked in revenge. Observers have noted that neither Allen nor Priest were called as witnesses in the leak investigation, prompting speculation that the prosecution did not need their testimony because their source was directly cooperating with investigators.
National Journal reporter Murray Waas has also quoted sources claiming “firsthand knowledge” of grand jury testimony:
In two appearances before the federal grand jury investigating the leak of a covert CIA operative's name, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, did not disclose a crucial conversation that he had with New York Times reporter Judith Miller in June 2003 about the operative, Valerie Plame, according to sources with firsthand knowledge of his sworn testimony.
--Murray Waas, “Libby Did Not Tell Grand Jury About Key Conversation”, National Journal, October 11, 2005
A week after Waas’ article, AP’s John Solomon quoted sources “directly familiar with testimony. . .witnesses gave before the grand jury”:
The Rove-Libby contacts were confirmed to The Associated Press by people directly familiar with testimony the two witnesses gave before the grand jury. All spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of the proceedings. . .
Rove testified that he never intended any of his comments to reporters about Wilson's wife to serve as confirmation of Plame's identity. Rove “has always clearly left open that he first heard this information from Libby,” said one person directly familiar with Rove's grand jury testimony.
--John Solomon, “AP: Rove, Libby Discussed Reporter Info”, October 19, 2005
Recently, Waas similarly cited “sources with first-hand knowledge of the testimony”, as well as attorneys with access to witness’ phone records:
During testimony before the federal grand jury in the CIA leak case, a federal prosecutor approached Libby with a copy of the marked-up column and asked if he recalled the Vice President expressly raising the same issues with him. A small amount of grand jury testimony has been made public in court filings by the special prosecutor. Additional accounts of what occurred in the grand jury were provided by sources with first-hand knowledge of the testimony. . .
Cheney told Libby that he wanted him to leak the report to the press, according to people with first-hand knowledge of federal grand jury testimony in the CIA leak case, and federal court records. . .
The second telephone conversation between Libby and Miller lasted for 37 minutes, according to telephone records examined by attorneys familiar with her grand jury testimony.
--Murray Waas with Brian Beutler, “CIA Leak Probe: Inside The Grand Jury”, National Journal, January 12, 2007
It seems ironic that for someone professing such concern over the alleged leak of a CIA agent’s identity, Patrick Fitzgerald seems to have been so unconcerned to prevent the leaks of grand jury testimony violating the rights of the accused and the integrity of the judicial process.