Saturday, October 22, 2005

Special Counsel Fitzgerald's New Website

On Wednesday, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's office put up a website (here) through the Department of Justice that contains documents related to the case, the most recent being an Aug. 27 memorandum from the Deputy Attorney General about supervision of the Special Counsel.  The site is still rather barren, with links to documents appointing Fitzgerald, two press statements, and the decision on the reporter's privilege.  A Los Angeles Times story (here) notes that the spokesman for the office cautioned not to read into the decision to launch the site anything about possible decisions to seek indictments, noting that the website was long overdue.  It's awfully hard to resist doing so, however. 

Adding fuel to the fire, a Reuters article (here) states that the grand jury investigating the leak of Valerie Plame's identity as a covert CIA operative met on Friday with two prosecutors from the Special Counsel's office, but it does not appear that any witnesses were called to testify.  As the legal advisers to the grand jury, it is a fair assumption that the prosecutors' discussion concerned whether the evidence gathered during the investigation meets the requirement to return an indictment: probable cause.   Even with that fairly low threshold for an indictment, it is doubtful in a high profile case like this that the Special Counsel would seek an indictment unless there is strong evidence of criminal conduct. (ph)

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