A federal appeals court has rejected Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper’s appeal of the grand jury subpeona, ruling that the two reporters must testify in the Plame case.
A U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday that two journalists must testify before a federal grand jury about their confidential sources in an investigation into a leak that exposed the identity of a covert CIA operative Valerie Plame .
The three-judge panel ruled that New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper of Time Magazine must comply with a subpoena from a grand jury investigating whether the Bush administration illegally leaked the officer’s name to the news media.
The decision upheld a ruling by a federal judge that Miller and Cooper were in contempt of court and should be jailed for refusing to testify about their confidential sources. Miller and Cooper each face as much as 18 months in prison.
“There is no First Amendment privilege protecting the evidence sought,” Judge David Sentelle wrote in the opinion.
All three appeals court judges upheld the subpoena requiring the journalists to testify before the grand jury.
Judge David Tatel wrote separately and said he might have quashed the subpoena “were the leak at issue in this case less harmful to national security or more vital to public debate.”
Damn striaght, the Plame leak was harmful to national security. If Miller and Cooper had a single patriotic bone in their bodies they would have testified volunarily. They witnessed a crime, there is no First Amendment issue here.