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October 28, 2005

Why Not Charge For The Leak?

-- by Dave Johnson

Prosecutor Fitzgerald made it pretty clear that he isn't prosecuting for the leak itself because he can't, and that is the source of the Obstruction of Justice charge. He was obstructed from getting to the truth. From the Patrick Fitzgerald Press Conference Transcript (you'll love where this is posted):

And what we have when someone charges obstruction of justice, the umpire gets sand thrown in his eyes. He's trying to figure what happened and somebody blocked their view. As you sit here now, if you're asking me what his motives were, I can't tell you; we haven't charged it. So what you were saying is the harm in an obstruction investigation is it prevents us from making the fine judgments we want to make.
And later in the press conference,
What I'm simply saying is one of the harms in obstruction is that you don't have a clear view of what should be done.

Posted by Dave Johnson at October 28, 2005 2:51 PM

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Tracked on October 28, 2005 3:36 PM


I do indeed love where that's posted! I watched the news conference. There's an awful lot that Fitzgerald isn't really free to say, and he had a lot to say about how serious a crime obstruction of justice really is. And wow, can he ever prove that one! I think he did a wonderful job of researching this case and can even prove that Libby was the first to leak Plame's name. That might be why he hasn't indicted Rove yet.

He pointed out that all those White House guys have security clearance and there was no crime in them discussing Plame's job among themselves. It was leaking it that was the crime. He also pointed out that normally he wouldn't have gone after reporters to force them to expose their sources, but this case was remarkably different because if there was a crime, THAT was the crime. In other words, this bunch was counting on the reporters to protect them from prosecution.

Posted by: MJ at October 28, 2005 4:23 PM

I don't get it - Rove et al. have pretty much admitted at this point that they leaked Plame's name, and that's a violation of both their security oaths and the Espionage Act, isn't it? Why can't he get indictments for it?

Posted by: Avedon at October 28, 2005 5:30 PM

Avedon, did you see or read the part of Fitzgerald's presentation about how US prosecutors actively avoid interpreting US national security law too much like the Official Secrets Act, EVEN IF IT READS PLAINLY TO BE RATHER LIKE IT? That was, for me, the most puzzling part of what he said.

Posted by: Anonymous at October 29, 2005 1:00 PM

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