Valerie Plame, Patrick Fitzgerald and Sullivan's Readers

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I enjoy much of what Andrew Sullivan has to say on things, and his reader’s emails are oftentimes just as intriguing.

I don’t know what Fitz knows. But I think he is one inch from prosecuting the leak itself – at least his public comments leave the impression that he’s pissed about it – and the only thing holding him back is that he’s afraid he can’t prove state of mind. Proving state of mind is really hard in any case — and it’s especially hard when the defendant is an intelligent career political operative with an expensive white collar defense lawyer. I think Fitz can do it, and I think Fitz thinks he can do it, but he seems to be playing it cautious. Why?

Let’s just take the Espionage Act. Fitz clearly said that Plame’s position was classified, he implied strongly that it related to national security, and as Josh Marshall pointed out in a recent post, the indictment itself states that both Cheney and Libby knew the precise division of the CIA where she worked, which by definition made her covert. So right there – as soon as he tells that to Miller – you have a prima facie violation of the Espionage Act.

Fitz also said, “I don’t buy that theory [that one should never use the Espionage statute], but I do know you should be very careful in applying that law because there are a lot of interests that could be implicated in making sure that you picked the right case to charge that statute … You want to know what their motive is, you want to know their state of knowledge, you want to know their intent, you want to know the facts.” He went on to lament the fact that Libby had lied, thus throwing the proverbial sand in his eyes.

As I often say, read the whole thing.

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