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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dramatic foreshadowing from 2005 on Congress' 2007 probe of L'Affair Plame

From Fitzgerald's October 2005 press conference when the Libby indictment was announced:

QUESTION: Would you oppose a congressional investigation into the leak of Valerie Plame's identity? And if not, would you be willing to cooperate with such an investigation by handing over the work product of your investigation?

FITZGERALD: I guess that's two questions, and I know I can answer the second part, turning over the work product.

There are strict rules about grand jury secrecy if there were an investigation. And, frankly, I have to pull the book out and get the people smarter than me about grand jury rules in Chicago and sit down and tell me how it works.

My gut instinct is that we do not -- very, very rarely is grand jury information shared with the Congress.

And I also think I'd have to be careful about what my charter is here. I don't think it's my role to opine on whether the Justice Department would oppose or not oppose some other investigation. So I'm certainly not going to figure that out standing up here with a bunch of cameras pointing at me.

In the likely looming showdown between grand jury secrecy plus executive privilege/separation of powers plus DoJ work-product privilege on the one hand, and Congressional curiosity-through-subpoena on the other, I predict that there will be a lot of posturing and frustrated Congress-critters at the end of the day. Expect much smoke and heat, little if any light. And the Democrats will blame everything on Dubya.

Posted by Beldar at 06:32 AM in Law (2007) | Permalink


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(1) JS made the following comment | Mar 12, 2007 2:05:31 AM | Permalink

Beldar, Anyone,

Three points/issues that I would like to hear opinion or fact on.

1. Novak wrote, originally and now again recently, that Plame "suggested" her husband for the Niger mission. Krauthammer recently wrote that Plame "recommend" him. Its one thing if someone FIRST thought of Joe Wilson for the trip and then asked for her opinion, its another thing if in discussion about sending a fact finder to Niger (Africa), she first put Joe Wilson's name on the table. Which is it? If its the former, it is sloppy and lame reporting because it is immaterial. If it is the latter, it still has mileage for me.

2. In his NYT 'What I didn't find' piece, Wilson wrote that "there was nothing secret about my trip." First, it is very hard for me to believe that in the CIA this mission was considered and labeled UNCLAS. Second, I have reread the State Dept INR memo of July 7, 2003, 2 pages, and litterally everything is classified Secret/No Foreign. In other words, contrary to Wilson's assertions the mere information that the CIA dispatched Joe Wilson to Africa to investigate Iraq and Yellow cake was classified. Depending on the truth of this, when he leaked to Christoff (?), Pincus, and then did his NYT thing, he was wittingly disclosing classified information. Any takers on this?

3. The third thing that I can't get over is that he did not submit a written report when he returned. I've done my share of after action/trip reports on matters a lot less consequential than the facts he was trying to establish in Africa.

If nothing else, what this matter says about the CIA in 2002 scares the s**t out of me.
Regards, JS

[Edited for profanity per blog guidelines — Beldar]

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