Prosecutor, Libby make new filings in CIA leak case

Ron Brynaert
Published: Wednesday April 12, 2006

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Both sides in the CIA leak case made new court filings on Wednesday, RAW STORY has found.

Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the CIA leak case, formally corrected his earlier filing in court - as the New York Times reports in Thursday's edition - and attorneys for Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, submitted a memorandum in reply to the government’s response to defendant’s third motion to compel discovery.

Also, The New York Times published a belated correction for an article based on the earlier filing, containing an excuse for not acting sooner which many critics might find bizarre or hard to believe.

Among other things, Libby's filing slams the media for "falsely" accusing him of lying to a New York Times writer when he leaked classified information in the spring of 2003; an action which was recently revealed in another filing by the special prosecutor to be upon President Bush's authority, though perhaps not directly.

"Perhaps not surprisingly, given the media’s overwhelming interest in this case, an erroneous statement in the government’s response brief led to stories in the press that falsely accused Mr. Libby of making inaccurate statements – or even lying – to reporter Judith Miller about the contents of the NIE," a footnote in Libby's filing reads. "The government has since written a letter to the Court to indicate that, consistent with his grand jury testimony, Mr. Libby did not tell Ms. Miller "that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium."

"Instead, during his testimony, Mr. Libby drew careful distinctions between the key judgments of the NIE about WMD and its section on uranium," Libby's filing continues. "Accordingly, there is no basis for the media reports that accused Mr. Libby of misrepresenting the key judgments of the NIE to Ms. Miller."

Excerpts from the New York Times article:


The prosecutor in the CIA leak case has corrected an assertion he made in a court filing last week about actions taken by I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, to disclose portions of a prewar intelligence report on Iraq.

The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, formally filed a one paragraph corrective letter on Wednesday to Judge Reggie B. Walton of U.S. District Court, changing a sentence in the earlier filing. The passage had said Libby had been authorized to disclose to a reporter a "key judgment" from the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that said Iraq was vigorously trying to obtain uranium.

Fitzgerald's amended version changed the wording so that the passage would say that Libby was authorized to disclose "some of the key judgments of the NIE, and that the NIE stated that Iraq was vigorously trying to procure uranium."

The distinction between the two versions is that the second accurately stated that the finding about Iraq's efforts to obtain uranium was in the report, but was not among its "key judgments," a term used in intelligence reporting to indicate that a stated conclusion represents the consensus of intelligence agencies.



The New York Times also published a correction for their April 9 article based on the original Fitzgerald filing which was "undercut" by the revision.

The correction also contains an unusual reason for the paper's failure to correct the record as many news organizations did on Wednesday. The correction claims that messages - presumably sent by Fitzgerald's office or Libby's attorneys - went "unnoticed."

"Although Mr. Fitzgerald formally filed his corrective yesterday, accounts of it were provided to some news organizations on Tuesday night, and were the basis for news articles yesterday," the correction read. "The Times did not publish one, as other organizations did, because a telephone message and an e-mail message about the court filing went unnoticed at the newspaper."


(Special thanks to Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake for sending RAW STORY the Libby filing. RAW STORY will have more on Libby's memorandum on Thursday; Talk Left has more details.)