The Plame Game goes to the grand jury
Via Tom Maguire, I see that the Valerie Plame investigation is moving forward. Here’s Time on the latest: Sources with knowledge of the case tell TIME that behind closed doors at the E. Barrett Prettyman federal courthouse, nearby the Capitol, a grand jury began hearing testimony Wednesday in the investigation of who leaked the identity ...
Sources with knowledge of the case tell TIME that behind closed doors at the E. Barrett Prettyman federal courthouse, nearby the Capitol, a grand jury began hearing testimony Wednesday in the investigation of who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame to columnist Robert Novak and other journalists…. Grand juries aren’t always used in criminal probes, but they are the preferred way to go in cases with potential political fallout, if only to lend credibility to the result. One conclusion to be drawn from this latest step, said one lawyer familiar with the case, is that investigators clearly have a sense of how the case is shaping up. “They clearly have a sense of what’s going on and can ask intelligent questions” to bring the grand jury up to speed. A grand jury is not a trial jury, but is used as an investigative tool and to decide whether to bring indictments in a case…. [T]rue to form, the Bush administration continues to be extremely tight-lipped about the investigation — even internally. “No one knows what the hell is going on,” says someone who could be a witness, “because the administration people are all terrified and the lawyers aren’t sharing anything with each other either.”
[A]s long as Rove is not tagged, the WH spin will be, we let the professional investigators handle it, and the process worked. Which, by pleasant coincidence, seems to be the truth. (emphasis added)
I’m of two minds on this. On the one hand, the convening of a grand jury suggests that demands for a Congressional investigation are probably premature and overblown. On the other hand — and I might be reading too much into one anonymous quote — the White House is worried about something.
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Twitter: @dandrezner
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