10/10/2005

TalkLeft: Fitzgerald's Letter to Scooter Libby's Lawyer

Fitzgerald's Letter to Scooter Libby's Lawyer

Here's something new: A copy of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's letter(pdf) to Libby's lawyer Joseph Tate, dated September 12, 2005. [Via How Appealing.] Some points from the letter, old and new:

* Libby was interviewed in October and November, 2003. He testified twice before the grand jury in 2004.
* Libby testified about his recollection of conversations with Judith Miller that occurred during their July 8 meeting and their July 12 phone call.
* Libby was the indiviual specified as "an identified government official" in Miller's subpoena.
* Fitzgerald assumed Miller remained in jail either in spite of the subpoena or because Libby thought it was not in his best interest to encourage her to testify.
* As a result of reading recent press articles, he now thinks there might have been a communication between Libby and Miller regarding the waiver.
* He wants Libby to know that he can reach out to Miller and assure her the waiver is valid and encourage her to testify and it will not be considered obstructive conduct.

* Libby doesn't have to communicate with her or encourage her to testify, and he is not asking him to do so, he is just saying it's ok.

The New York Sun reports:

in a written reply to Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Tate said he was baffled by the prosecutor's missive. "To say I am surprised at its content is an understatement," Mr. Tate wrote in his September 16 letter, made public by the Times last week. He insisted that he unequivocally reaffirmed the waiver to a lawyer for Ms. Miller more than a year earlier. "Neither my client nor I imagined that her decision to go to jail could be affected by anything that we could do," Mr. Tate said.

Miller lawyer Floyd Abrams confirms Libby's reaching out was a factor in Miller's change-of-mind, but also reiterates that a major component of her decision was Fitzgerald's agreement to limit questioning to Libby...

So, is Tate leaking this letter now? I'd say so. He's the only one who would have it. [I checked the fax number on the top and it seems to belong to the Sun reporter.] Is it just that a battle seems to have erupted between him and Abrams over their prior discussions? Or is he courting public opinion for Libby in case of an impending Indictment, and if so, what is he trying to show that is helpful to Libby?

TalkLeft: Fitzgerald's Letter to Scooter Libby's Lawyer

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