Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Fitzgerald Demands Cooper Testimony

Even after Time Inc. caved last week and handed over internal communications between Matthew Cooper and his editors regarding the leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity, the prosecutor in the case, Peter Fitzgerald said Monday that Cooper will still have to testify before the grand jury in the case, the AP reports.

Also on Monday, Fitzgerald said he would oppose requests from Time's Cooper and Judith Miller of the New York Times to serve any 'jail sentence' in home confinement. In filings to the court, Fitzgerald said home detention would only allow the two to continue defying the court's order to testify, "negat[ing] the coercive effect contemplated by federal law." Fitzgerald added "Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality - no one in America is."

Cooper and Miller will appear in court again tomorrow, and the judge in the case, Thomas Hogan, could send them to jail at that time for contempt of court.

Speculation over the cause of Fitzgerald's dogged pursuit of the two reporters has led many to believe that the investigation's focus has shifted from finding out who leaked Plame's identity to whether there may have been a cover-up organized by some in the White House to shield the leaker. Karl Rove has recently been tagged as a key participant in the ongoing saga.

It is hard to imagine another scenario in which Fitzgerald would be maintaining his calls for testimony from Cooper and Miller now that he has the emails from Time, Inc. Tomorrow's court session could get quite interesting indeed.


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