Libby Attorneys Allowed To Press Reporter About Plame Sources January 31, 2007Posted by notapundit in US News.
WASHINGTON (AP)–Attorneys for former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby will be allowed to narrowly question journalist Judith Miller about other government officials she spoke with regarding an outed CIA operative, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
Libby’s attorneys want to discredit the former New York Times reporter, whose testimony directly conflicts with what Libby told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents investigating the Central Intelligence Agency leak. He is accused of lying and obstructing that investigation.
Miller testified for more than two hours Tuesday about two conversations she had in mid-2003 with Libby regarding the CIA operative, Valerie Plame. Those conversations are at the heart of Libby’s perjury and obstruction trial because they allegedly occurred well before Libby says he learned Plame’s identity from another reporter.
Miller’s testimony was to continue Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said attorneys could question Miller about who else she spoke with about Plame and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson. But Walton also said that attorneys could not ask about her about conversations regarding prewar intelligence on Iraq and a possible uranium deal in Niger – issues that Wilson was raising publicly in 2003.
Libby’s attorneys want to show that Miller may have learned Plame’s identity elsewhere because she was asking questions about Wilson. They also believe she selectively remembers certain conversations but not others.
“If she’s talking to lots of people about Joe Wilson, the likelihood is somebody may have mentioned, ‘His wife works at the CIA,’ ” defense attorney William Jeffress said. “It’s my belief she cannot name a single person she talked to about Joe Wilson. I don’t think this is an issue about sources. It’s a question of credibility.”
Variations of Plame’s name appear in her notes, but Miller said she believes Libby was the first to discuss it.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s case began as an investigation into who leaked Plame’s name to reporters at a time when her husband was criticizing the Bush administration. Three years later, nobody has been charged with the leak. Libby is accused of obstructing the case and lying to investigators.