Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Plame Investigation

From an article today in National Journal, it looks like obstruction of justice charges against Scooter Libby will be at least one of the charges brought in the CIA leak investigation. In four interviews, two to the FBI and two to the grand jury, he did not disclose an earlier phone conversation he had with Judy Miller about Joe Wilson and his wife. That, coupled with the possibility that he or his attorney actively encouraged Miller not to testify is a pretty easy case of obstruction. If Libby is truly innocent of the CIA leak, this was a very, very boneheaded move.

National Journal has a pretty good write up on the current developments.

Libby Did Not Tell Grand Jury About Key Conversation

By Murray Waas, special to National Journal
Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2005

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.

Libby also did not disclose the June 23 conversation when he was twice interviewed by FBI agents working on the Plame leak investigation, the sources said.

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald apparently learned about the June 23 conversation for the first time just days ago, after attorneys for Miller and The New York Times informed prosecutors that Miller had discovered a set of notes on the conversation.

Miller had spent 85 days in jail for contempt of court for refusing to testify before the grand jury about her conversations with Libby and other Bush administration officials regarding Plame. She was released from jail after she agreed to cooperate with Fitzgerald's investigation. Miller testified before the grand jury on September 30, and attorneys familiar with the matter said that she agreed to be questioned further by Fitzgerald today.

Meanwhile, in recent days Fitzgerald has also expressed significant interest in whether Libby may have sought to discourage Miller-either directly or indirectly through her attorney-from testifying before the grand jury, or cooperating in other ways with the criminal probe, according to attorneys familiar with Miller's discussions with prosecutors.

During two interviews with FBI agents and in two subsequent grand jury appearances, Libby discussed at length a July 8, 2003, conversation about Plame that he and Miller had at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., as well as a July 12 telephone conversation with Miller on the same subject four days later.

(Full Story)

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