Skip to comments.CIA leak probe may be nearing end game - lawyers
Posted on 09/08/2005 12:47:23 PM PDT by SolidSupplySide
WASHINGTON - New York Times reporter Judith Miller, locked up for refusing to reveal who told her a covert CIA operatives name in a probe that may be nearing a conclusion, works part time at the jail laundry helping clean fellow inmates green jumpsuits and dirty linens.
Between shifts at the laundry, Miller works at the library on a card catalog of the jails books, said attorney Floyd Abrams, offering new details about Millers life behind bars after meeting with her on Wednesday.
Abrams, who represents The New York Times, said Miller was "safe" but that conditions in jail were "grim."
This week Miller marked two months -- 65 days as of Thursday -- at the Alexandria Detention Center just outside Washington for refusing to testify to a grand jury trying to determine who in the Bush administration leaked CIA operative Valerie Plames identity.
Abrams said Miller remained "resolute" and would not reveal her confidential source to a grand jury in the case, which could shake up an administration already reeling from criticism over its response to Hurricane Katrina. The probe has ensnarled President George W. Bush President George W. Bushs top political adviser, Karl Rove.
But lawyers close to the investigation say there are signs that the 20-month-long inquiry could be wrapped up within weeks in a final flurry of negotiations and legal maneuvering.
Asked if talks were under way with special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, a Justice Department prosecutor, to secure Millers testimony and release, Abrams said: "If there are any discussions, they would be private."
"She is there (in jail) for a reason. At this time, the reason is still there. She made a promise and, unless properly released from her promise by her source, she has no choice but to continue to take the position that shes taking," Abrams said.
He declined comment when asked if Miller, who was sent to jail on July 6 though she never wrote an article about the Plame matter, had reached out anew to her source for a clear release from confidentiality that would allow her to testify.
Attorney Theodore Boutrous, who represents Time magazine and its reporter, Matthew Cooper, said Millers "standoff" with Fitzgerald may be coming to a head.
"Either Fitzgerald still needs Miller or he doesnt," Boutrous said. "Its who blinks first. ... You would think something needs to happen soon, one way or another."
Unlike Miller, Cooper avoided jail by agreeing to testify after saying he received the "express personal consent" of his source to reveal his identity. The first person to tell him about Plame was Rove, Cooper said.
Plames husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson, said the leak was meant to discredit him for criticizing Bushs Iraq policy in 2003 after a CIA-funded trip to investigate whether Niger helped supply nuclear materials to Baghdad.
Several lawyers involved in the case say Fitzgerald was likely to wrap up his inquiry this fall, if not sooner, though they say they have not heard from his office in weeks.
The outcome could have political implications for Bush, whose approval ratings are already the lowest of his presidency.
After initially promising to fire anyone found to have leaked information in the case, Bush in July offered a more qualified pledge: "If someone committed a crime they will no longer work in my administration."
Prominent Democrats have called on Bush to fire Rove, the architect of his two presidential election victories and now his deputy chief of staff, or block his access to classified information.
Roves attorneys said Rove did nothing wrong and has been repeatedly assured he is not a target of Fitzgeralds investigation.
When Miller was jailed, chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan said she must stay there until she agreed to testify or for the rest of the grand jurys term, which lasts into October.
But if no deal is reached, lawyers say, Fitzgerald could step up pressure by threatening Miller with a longer sentence. Millers attorneys, in turn, could argue she has no intention of testifying and that her continued incarceration is of little consequence to Fitzgeralds case since others have revealed their sources.
LIVING A FLOOR BELOW MOUSSAOUI
An investigative reporter who covers national security and foreign policy issues, Miller is one of about 440 inmates at the Alexandria Detention Center, according to its spokesman, Capt. Tony Davis.
Miller has been in a U.S. jail longer than any other newspaper journalist to protect a source, according to Abrams. The previous record-holder, he said, was a journalist from The Los Angeles Times who served for 48 days.
The Alexandria facility where Miller is being held has housed some of the nations most notorious spies and terror suspects. One floor above Millers cell is Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person convicted in connection with the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Like other inmates, Miller has a small cell, which gets some natural light through a window and is "locked down" for the night at about 11:00 p.m. The cell is equipped with a toilet, a sink and a bed.
Davis declined to discuss Millers daily routine. Speaking generally, he said, inmates assigned to laundry detail help wash jail linens and blankets, as well as green jumpsuits marked with the word "PRISONER."
So Judith Miller is in jail protecting the Bush administration?..Yeah, right..
I guess the Katrina Bush bash is over...back to the Valerie Plame attack...:-)
Isn't that statement false? If the "journalist" can't even get simple facts straight, why should we believe anything written in his article?
Yeah, the Katrina plan is obviously starting to fail, so Plame is the "Old Reliable" scandal. LOL.
Give it up, libs.
Abrams: ITS A JAIL! Its spozed to be grim.
Let's play pin the tail on the donkey.
Well, since Rove releases anyone to talk about this and did so publically, we can only assume she is protecting Joe Wilson himself.
There's no way she would protect a rebuplican.
I'd guess she's protecting Mandy Grunwald...and Mandy's best friend "Hillary Clinton" (who was named after Sir Edmund Hillary). Yeh, right....Bwahahahahaha
They need one with "Katrina", "Karl Rove", "Cindy Sheehan", "WMD", "Iraq War", "Afghanistan War", "Ohio 2004" and "Florida 2000" to get up every day and ask the globe
"Who do I blame Bush for today?"
I emailed them challenging them to give up their (multiple) sources that it was a Bush Administation official or print a retraction..
I detect a crack in Judy's armor...
Let's hope you're right, cyn.
Spew du jour:
the dream scenario here is the Fitzgerald goes away with no indictment, but dumps a case regarding the conduct of the CIA itself into the lap of DOJ, who convenes another grand jury on that matter to which Miller's testimony would be applicable - and she remains in jail. she is holding out now because she sees the light at the end of the tunnel - another month perhaps. let her look at another year, and she'll sing.
Oooh. That WOULD be interesting.
Nobody in the administration said anything about firing anyone found to have leaked.
The statement was about breaking the law and/or leaking classified information knowingly. Big diff and something this adminstration would not do. Obviously.
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