I’m Just Getting Warmed Up

Remember Plame-gate? Yeah, it hasn’t gone away. And if you’re one of the many DC journalists directly or tangentially involved in its tangled web, you may hear about it again…and soon.

    Lawyers for a former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney told a federal judge Friday they want to subpoena journalists and news organizations for documents they may have related to the leak of a CIA operative’s name.

    In a joint filing with prosecutors, lawyers for I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, 55, warned U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton that a trial likely will be delayed because of their strategy to seek more subpoenas of reporters’ notes and other records. . . .

    Lucy Dalglish
    , executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said the defense’s strategy is no surprise but still alarming.

    “Every key witness in this case is going to be a reporter,” Dalglish said. “It’s an absolutely ugly situation, . . . putting reporters in a very, very bad position, . . . and it should send a chill up the spine of American citizens across the country.”

The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto flags an article in the Columbia Journalism Review by Newsday’s Timothy Phelps and has this to say (after the jump):

    Phelps…notes that whereas the reporters who testified for the prosecution did so “mostly under agreements restricting their testimony to very specific issues,” Libby’s lawyers “are not bound by such agreements.” If called by the defense, the reporters’ case for immunity from testifying–which the courts have rejected anyhow–is even weaker than it was when dealing with the prosecution. After all, Libby has a fundamental constitutional right to a fair trial.

    Phelps’s piece is important because it is the most comprehensive acknowledgment we’ve seen from a news reporter of what we’ve been arguing for years, that journalists have done their own profession grave damage by flogging this phony scandal.