February 20, 2006

Libby Tries To "Greymail" Fitzgerald

From E&P:
Lawyers for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, are asking a federal judge to force Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to turn over evidence ranging from communications between reporters and their sources to highly sensitive intelligence briefings provided to President Bush...

In a 32-page response to Libby's requests filed with the court late Thursday, Fitzgerald said he has turned over more than 11,000 pages of classified and unclassified evidence to the defense -- more than he is required under law...

A key request by the defense is for access to every Presidential Daily Brief -- a summary of the threats against the United States and its interests worldwide -- from May 2003 to March 2004.

Fitzgerald said the request amounts to 277 intelligence reports and called it "nothing short of breathtaking."

The prosecutor quoted Cheney as describing the PDBs as the "family jewels" of government, and warned U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton that turning over such highly classified documents would provoke a lengthy legal battle with the president.

"The defendant's effort to make history ... is a transparent effort at 'greymail,'" Fitzgerald said, referring to past attempts by government officials charged with wrongdoing to derail their prosecutions by trying to expose national security secrets.

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