Judith Miller Released, Will Testify Before Grand Jury:
Okay, now I am really puzzled. New York Times reporter Judith Miller has agreed to testify before the grand jury in the Valerie Plame investigation, and has been released from jail where she was serving a sentence for contempt of court arising from her failure to testify. According to Editor & Publisher, Miller agreed to testify after speaking with Dick Cheney's chief of staff:
"She was released after she had a telephone conversation with the Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, sources said. In that conversation, Libby reaffirmed that he had released Miller from a promise of confidentiality more than a year ago, sources said."The New York Times offers this report:
The agreement that led to Ms. Miller's release followed intense negotiations between Ms. Miller; her lawyer, Robert Bennett; Mr. Libby's lawyer, Joseph Tate; and Mr. Fitzgerald. The talks began with a telephone call from Mr. Bennett to Mr. Tate in late August. Ms. Miller spoke with Mr. Libby by telephone earlier this month as their lawyers listened, according to people briefed on the matter. It was then that Mr. Libby told Ms. Miller that she had his personal and voluntary waiver.Am I missing something, or was the jailing of Judith Miller not about high principle and the First Amendment but about a factual dispute as to whether Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff had really waived his confidentiality? If you're Bob Bennett, Judith Miller's top-shelf lawyer, wouldn't you try to clear this up before your client spent three months in jail? Something about this seems fishy to me.
But the discussions were at times strained, with Mr. Libby and Mr. Tate asserting that they communicated their voluntary waiver to Ms. Miller's lawyers more than year ago, according to those briefed on the case. Mr. Libby wrote to Ms. Miller in mid-September, saying that he believed her lawyers understood that his waiver was voluntary.
Others involved in the case have said that Ms. Miller did not understand that the waiver had been freely given and did not accept it until she had heard from him directly.