July 19, 2005

OLD SCORES (via Mike Daley):

The Fitzgerald-Miller Grudge Match (Laura Rozen, July 19th, 2005, Village Voice)

Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, the guy who sent New York Times reporter Judith Miller to jail this month, squared off against her in another case involving Miller's administration sources. The issue: Fitzgerald, as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, was asked to investigate who told Miller, back in the fall of 2001, that the Bush administration was about to put a Chicago-area Muslim charity on a U.S. government list of designated terrorist groups. Miller, who had been reporting on the charity's alleged ties to terrorist figures for more than two years, got the tip, and shortly thereafter her Times colleague Philip Shenon reportedly called the Global Relief Foundation, and in asking for comment, alerted its officials that the group's assets were about to be frozen.

Some U.S. counter-terrorism officials and the 9-11 Commission find reason to believe the charity destroyed documents overnight in advance of an FBI raid (a charge Global Relief's lawyer has denied in the press). "I think there are people in the government who are concerned about her [Miller's] behavior in that case," a former U.S. government counter-terrorism official told the Voice, on condition of anonymity.

Asked to investigate the leak, Fitzgerald convened a grand jury and sought Miller and Shenon's phone records. On February 24, a federal judge sided with the Times against the Justice Department in the case (NYT v. Ashcroft), ruling that the newspaper has a First Amendment privilege to shield its confidential sources by blocking government access to phone records. The government has appealed the decision.

Times attorney Floyd Abrams tells the Voice the paper won the Global Relief matter using the same arguments it lost with in the Plame case. [...]

Does Abrams think Fitzgerald is nursing a grudge against Miller based on the Global Relief case? Abrams hesitates.

Man, if she loses that appeal she may never get out.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 19, 2005 6:01 PM

Too bad Judge Hogan didn't order Sulzberger into lock-up as well.

Posted by: ratbert at July 19, 2005 11:15 PM

One of the reasons I don't get upset when a 'journalist' ends up in prison or dead for political reasons pretty much anywhere on the globe.

Posted by: bart at July 20, 2005 8:42 AM