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N.Y. Times Reporter to Again Testify Before Grand Jury in CIA Leak Case

Judith Miller turns over new notes and plans to 'supplement' earlier testimony, her boss says.

October 12, 2005|Richard B. Schmitt | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — New York Times reporter Judith Miller agreed Tuesday to make a second appearance before a federal grand jury after turning over newly discovered notes and meeting with prosecutors investigating the naming of a CIA operative, the newspaper said.

Miller agreed to testify today to "supplement her earlier testimony," New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller said in an e-mail to the Times staff.

The request, from special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald, followed a meeting between Miller and Fitzgerald on Tuesday at which the reporter turned over "additional notes" and answered questions, Keller said.

Fitzgerald is believed to be near the end of a 21-month investigation into whether the Bush White House illegally disclosed the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame in a bid to discredit an administration critic, former envoy Joseph C. Wilson IV, who is married to Plame.

The prosecutor has cast a wide net, interviewing numerous journalists and administration figures. They include White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, who is expected to make a fourth appearance before the grand jury this week.

Although Fitzgerald may seek to extend its term, the grand jury he has been using to investigate the case is set to expire Oct. 28.

Miller, 57, a Times investigative reporter and foreign correspondent, testified for three hours before the grand jury Sept. 30 about conversations she had with vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Miller had initially refused to cooperate with Fitzgerald, and spent 85 days in jail for contempt of court.

She relented, she said, after Libby gave her personal assurances that allowed her to testify and released her from a pledge of confidentiality. Miller never wrote about Plame.

Keller did not elaborate about the new testimony that Miller planned to offer. In his e-mail, he said the development "means that for a couple more days she remains under a contempt-of-court order, and is not yet clear of legal jeopardy."

The paper has reported that she planned to discuss with Fitzgerald a conversation she had with Libby on June 23, 2003, and that her notes indicated Wilson was discussed. The paper said Miller discovered the notes after her first grand jury appearance and offered them to the prosecutor, who subsequently sought her appearance again before the grand jury.

The conversation could be significant because it suggests that administration figures were discussing Wilson with reporters even before he wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times on July 6, 2003, that criticized the intelligence the administration used to launch the war in Iraq.

Eight days after Wilson's article, Plame's identity was publicly revealed in an article by syndicated columnist Robert Novak.

Joseph Tate, Libby's lawyer, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Tate has disputed an assertion by Miller's lawyers that Libby had not encouraged Miller to testify.

Tate has said that Libby gave Miller a waiver to testify more than a year ago. Miller's lawyers have said the reporter did not believe the waiver was personally reassuring or adequate.

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