Monday, November 28, 2005

Another Reporter to Testify in the Plame Investigation

An AP story (here) reports that a second Time reporter, Viveca Novak, will testify before the grand jury regarding her conversations with Robert Luskin, Karl Rove's attorney during the investigation.  It is unclear whether Novak's testimony relates at all to the recent revelation by Bob Woodward that a senior administration official leaked information about Valerie Plame's status as a covert CIA agent in June 2003.  It may be that Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald is focusing on Rove's knowledge of the disclosure of Plame's identity, and perhaps even whether Luskin tried to dissuade Novak from revealing information about contacts with Rove. 

If the latter is the case, then Luskin may be a focus of a potential obstruction of justice case along with (or perhaps in lieu of) Rove.  To prosecute an attorney for obstruction, however, the government would have to overcome the protection afforded to attorneys in 18 U.S.C. ยง 1515(c), which states: "This chapter does not prohibit or punish the providing of lawful, bona fide, legal representation services in connection with or anticipation of an official proceeding."  If the Administration was hoping Fitzgerald's investigation would wind down after the Libby indictment, the Special Counsel may instead be like the Energizer Bunny -- and just as annoying as the commercials. (ph)

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