Sunday, October 23, 2005
Patrick Fitzgerald's time with the grand jury is running out. His options include indicting, not indicting, or asking to continue his investigation.
In the background is "The Miller Mess," discussed here. Right now Judith Miller must be wondering if she is receiving criticism because of her testimony concerning "Scooter" Libby. Or is it that she spent 85 days in jail and then did not know the source of the information. (see prior posts here, here and here) And this does not even begin to get to any inconsistencies that might exist regarding these events. (see post here).
Clearly Fitzgerald will be careful in making sure that he has probable cause before issuing any indictments (see here) But it is also important that action be taken to punish improper conduct. As repeatedly stated: "[t]he bottom line is that someone leaked the name of a CIA agent. That's serious and that's a problem." And if individuals are keeping the prosecutor from getting to the bottom of events because of obstructive conduct, false statements, or perjury, then he needs to consider these charges. In these circumstances, use of these charges would not be considered a government use of "short-cut" type offenses.
If Patrick Fitzgerald can't make the case now, he should not give up - but continue the investigation until such time as the perpetrators are found. The leak of a CIA identity is too important to our national security to leave this event as an unsolved mystery.