The Daily Journal‘s John Hanusz has a major scoop today on the Anthony J. Pellicano wiretapping trial: Namely, that press leaks to the New York Times‘ intrepid reporters David Halbfinger and Alison Hope Weiner have triggered a federal DOJ/FBI hunt to find the leaker. Echoes of Valerie Plame, anyone?
“Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys in the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping case are pointing fingers at each other after confidential FBI memos turned up in news reports.
Sources close to the case said the Justice Department and the FBI will soon launch investigations into who leaked memos of interviews with supermarket magnate Ronald W. Burkle, Paramount Pictures head Brad Grey and former Disney president Michael S. Ovitz. Those agencies, however, would not comment.
The leaked memos were quoted in two New York Times stories shortly after they were made available to defense lawyers, prosecutors said.
U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer had issued an order that the memos be kept confidential. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Saunders, the lead prosecutor on the Pellicano case, notified Fischer that her order was violated a week after the memos were turned over to the defense.
Pellicano attorney Steven F. Gruel then fired off a letter to prosecutors, saying he did not appreciate the insinuation that defense lawyers had leaked the memos.
“As an officer of the court and former prosecutor, I trust your investigation includes an ‘in-house’ review that will be reported to the court and all defense counsel.” Gruel wrote.”
(Full story online at www.dailyjournal.com – subcription required)