NEWS MEDIA UPDATE · WASHINGTON, D.C. · Confidentiality/Privilege · Jan. 31, 2007
Judge allows limited questioning about Miller’s sources
Jan. 31, 2007 · The two-day testimony of former New York Times reporter Judith Miller concluded today after a federal judge ruled that I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s attorneys could only ask limited questions about Miller’s sources for information about CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Before the first part of Miller’s testimony was brought to an end Tuesday, Libby’s defense attorneys attempted to question Miller about other sources who she might have obtained information from. They said the answers could go toward the credibility of Miller, who spent 85 days in prison in 2005 for refusing to reveal who told her the identity of Plame, the wife of former ambassador and Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson.
Miller’s attorney, Robert Bennett, objected to the questioning and insisted on further conferring with Miller on the matter.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton agreed to hear the arguments from Libby’s defense attorneys and ruled Wednesday that Libby’s attorneys could question Miller only about who she discussed Plame and Wilson with. Walton said Libby’s defense team could not ask about other issues raised in the column Wilson penned in the Times, in which he said reports that Iraq attempted to purchase uranium from Niger were unsupported.
Miller eventually testified Wednesday that she heard about Plame from sources other than Libby but could not remember who those people were.
Miller’s memory surfaced as one of the major topics during her testimony, as Libby’s defense attorneys tried to show that it was faulty.
The attorneys pointed to the fact that Miller could not remember the details of a June 2003 meeting with Libby — when she says she first learned of Plame’s identity — when she testified before the grand jury in 2005. But on Tuesday, she went into detail about the meeting, saying a review of her notes helped clarify information she was previously unable to remember.
Also on Wednesday, Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper testified that there were three sources for his information about Plame: White House adviser Karl Rove, former Time reporter John Dickerson, and Libby.
Libby is on trial for perjury and obstruction of justice.
(United States v. Libby; Media Counsel: Robert Bennett, Washington, D.C. for Judith Miller) — AG