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Friday, November 18, 2005

The Turning of the Screws

Look who dropped another hint in a legal brief. Yep -- Patrick Fitzgerald is turning the screws a little tighter. Again. Looks like whatever maneuver Booby was attempting didn't faze Fitz one bit.

Um. What a shocker. Ahem.
Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said in court filings that the ongoing CIA leak investigation will involve proceedings before a new grand jury, a possible sign he could seek new charges in the case.

In filings obtained by Reuters on Friday, Fitzgerald said "the investigation is continuing" and that "the investigation will involve proceedings before a different grand jury than the grand jury which returned the indictment" against Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
Say you are an Administration official who hasn't yet come completely clean. And you've just witnessed Rover planting the knife in Scooter's back in the press, day in and day out leading up to the Libby indictment.

Do you:
(a) continue to hunker down and hope that Rove and others in the Administration have ethics to not plant a knife in your back in a scrambling effort to save their own hide (mwahahahaha), or

(b) begin to contemplate singing like a canary before someone else beats you to Fitz's office?
Honestly, it's one thing for all of us to speculate that Fitz can use a sitting grand jury for further proceedings. It is a whole other level of hurt to have him come right out and say in black and white that he is planning on doing just that. In an official court filing.

Now that's some impressive screw turning. Can't you just feel things tightening down another turn or two?

Sure hope journalists are staking out the offices of all the attornies representing the principals in this case, along with the Federal courthouse and the offices that Fitz and company have been using. Could be a busy time over the Thanksgiving holidays.

I have a few requests for some turkeys that I'd like to see served up on a platter.

(Will update when I can get my hands on a copy of the filing.)

UPDATE: More on this from Carol Leonnig from the WaPo, including this added information on the potential release of some information in the Libby indictment matter:
Fitzgerald was scheduled to appear in federal court today to argue that much of the evidence gathered in his investigation -- material to be used in his prosecution of Libby -- should be withheld from the public or news media before trial.

He initially sought a blanket protective order preventing Libby's defense team from releasing any of that information. The proposed protective order was formally opposed by Dow Jones & Co., which owns the Wall Street Journal, and the Associated Press. But in a court filing late Thursday, the special counsel offered a compromise that might give the news media access to some of the evidence against Libby before his trial, the Associated Press reported.

Fitzgerald's latest filing said he is "mindful that as much of the conduct of pretrial litigation and the trial itself should be conducted in open court with publicly filed documents."

The compromise would restrict the defense's disclosure to the media of grand jury transcripts and personal information about witnesses, such as phone numbers and addresses, AP reported. Fitzgerald argued for the "need to preserve the confidentiality of grand jury proceedings" and pointed out that "the grand jury's investigation is ongoing."

Fitzgerald said he would pursue a separate protective order covering classified information.
I don't normally do a long quote like this from an article, but the whole of the information was something that I thought folks here would want to read.

Interesting day. More as I get it.