Lawyers for I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former White House official indicted on perjury charges, plan to seek testimony from journalists beyond those cited in the indictment and will probably challenge government agreements limiting their grand jury testimony, people involved in the case said Tuesday.
"That's clearly going to be part of the strategy - to get access to all the relevant records and determine what did the media really know," said a lawyer close to the defense who spoke on condition of anonymity....
In interviews, lawyers close to the case made clear that the defense team plans to pursue aggressively access to reporters' notes beyond the material cited in the indictment and plans to go to the trial judge, Reggie B. Walton of United States District Court, to compel disclosure as one of their first steps....
The prospect of another legal battle over access to reporters' records "could be worse for the media" than the Miller showdown, said Lucy Dalglish, head of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. "You now have a situation where you have a government investigation hung completely on testimony from journalists, with journalists turned into witnesses, and that is a scary notion."
Ms. Dalglish said that unlike the special prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who was restricted partly by Justice Department regulations on subpoenaing reporters' notes, Mr. Libby's defense team will not be bound by those same rules.
"This is a very unsettling case, and it could take years in the courts to resolve," she said.
November 16, 2005
"A government investigation hung completely on testimony from journalists, with journalists turned into witnesses ... a scary notion."
Have you really thought through what Scooter Libby's defense is going to be like for the press?