The newswires and blogs are buzzing this evening with new tidbits of information about Fitzgerald’s investigation into the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame’s name by “senior administration officials” in June/July 2003.

As SusanHu noted in her earlier diary, Judith Miller of the NYT is scheduled to appear before the grand jury for a second time on Wednesday. This appearance will allow Fitzgerald to question Miller about her previously undisclosed conversation on June 23, 2003 with Scooter Libby – which neither one of them, reportedly, brought to the attention of Fitzgerald before last week. Obstruction charges, anyone?

From the wires and the blogs, we have these new details tonite:

1) the possible release date of a NYT piece on Miller’s testimony
2) the content of Miller’s “newly discovered” notes
3) a push by several Democrats for a full report by Fitzgerald
4) speculation on the involvement of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG)


On the NYT piece about Judith Miller’s testimony before the grand jury, an Editor & Publisher article informs us:

At The New York Times, meanwhile, Keller wrote in his memo to staffers: “Judy met this afternoon with the special counsel to hand over additional notes and answer questions. She is to return to the grand jury Wednesday to supplement her earlier testimony. We’ll be reporting this in the paper, of course. It means that for a couple more days she remains under a contempt-of-court order, and is not yet clear of legal jeopardy.”

The Washington Post reports on the contents of Miller’s notes:

Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who has indicated he is nearing a decision about whether to charge anyone in the case, questioned Miller about notes she said she discovered last week involving a June 23, 2003, conversation with Cheney’s top aide, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, according to a source familiar with Miller’s account.

According to the source, the notes reveal that the two discussed Bush administration critic and former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV about three weeks before the name of Wilson’s wife, covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, appeared in a syndicated column written by Robert D. Novak.

That is significant news since we now know that the two did discuss Wilson as early as June, 2003.

One analyst noted today that it is unlikely Fitzgerald will wait until the final day of the grand jury’s term to announce any possible indictments, so the countdown may not last as long as we think.

The New York Times tells us in its Wednesday edition that several Democrats have now signed on to a letter requesting that Fitzgerald submit a final report to Congress following the conclusion of his investigation:

In another development, four senior House Democrats wrote to Mr. Fitzgerald in a letter dated Oct. 12, urging him to issue a final report to Congress when he concludes his inquiry. Such a report, they said, should address “all indictments, convictions and any decisions not to prosecute.”

The letter was signed by the top Democrats on their respective committees: John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, Judiciary Committee; Jane Harman of California, Intelligence Committee; and Tom Lantos of California, International Relations Committee. The letter was also signed by Rush D. Holt of New Jersey, the senior Democrat on the intelligence panel’s policy subcommittee.

A report, the letter said, would assure the public that “the investigation of this serious matter has been undertaken with utmost diligence and has been free of partisan, political influence.”

The representatives said Mr. Fitzgerald had the authority to issue such a report under the terms of his appointment as special counsel at the Justice Department.

As for the possible involvement of Chief of Staff Andrew Card’s WHIG, the Washington Post ran a lengthy and detailed story in August, 2003 about its participation in the planning for the Iraq war and their focus on possible nuclear threats. Thus, one can conclude that the members of that group would have been very concerned about any information that might have proven their evidence unsound.

The group met weekly in the Situation Room. Among the regular participants were Karl Rove, the president’s senior political adviser; communications strategists Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin and James R. Wilkinson; legislative liaison Nicholas E. Calio; and policy advisers led by Rice and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, along with I. Lewis Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff.

There’s Libby. And, there’s Rove. Who else may Fitzgerald be considering as he decides who to indict – if anyone?

Note: Earlier this evening, the Huffington Post speculated that the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News were “working on stories that point to Vice President Dick Cheney as the target of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation into the leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s name.” I’ve read the (subscription only) Wall Street Journal article and it doesn’t tie Cheney into this story at that level of involvement. Sorry. We have yet to see what Bloomberg might post.

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