Libby’s lawyers want every scrap of paper held by the New York Times, NBC News, and Time magazine whether they mention Plame or not.
Lawyers for I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby urged a federal judge Monday to force several media organizations to turn over e-mails, drafts of news articles and reporters’ notes they say the former top White House aide needs to receive a fair trial in the CIA leak case.
In a 45-page filing, Libby’s lawyers said reporters have “no right – under the Constitution or the common law – to deprive Mr. Libby of evidence that will help establish his innocence at trial.”
The key to Libby’s defense is whose memory is correct – Libby’s or three reporters who talked with him in June and July 2003. His lawyers said they need the reporters’ records to use in cross-examining them and government officials, who, the lawyers said, may be “shading” the truth to protect themselves or their bosses.
Lawyers for NBC News, The New York Times and Time Inc. want U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to limit Libby’s subpoenas. The media groups say the subpoenas are so broad that they threaten the integrity of their news gathering operations by targeting all of their employees, not just the three reporters involved in the case.
Generally, Libby’s subpoenas seek all documents prepared or received by any employee of NBC News, The New York Times and Time that refer to Plame and her husband before Novak’s column was published.
The subpoenas also seek drafts of articles, even those that were not published; communications between reporters and editors, and e-mail exchanges among any reporters about Plame or Wilson.
The defense attorneys said in Monday’s filing that reporters’ notes may be useful to Libby’s case if they do not mention Plame. Libby argues that Plame was a “peripheral” issue and that he was focused on attacking her husband’s charges on the merits, not smearing him.
Libby’s lawyers want uncensored copies of Miller’s notes to use to cross-examine her about discrepancies in her public statements and writings about the case. Miller spent 85 days in jail last year, refusing to name Libby as her source.
They are also going after Mrs. Allen Greenspan, who way back in September 2003 confirmed to me in a personal email that she had been on the receiving end of a White House leak about Plame.
The defense team also wants NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell’s records because the lawyers believe she told Russert about Plame’s work at the CIA, and that Russert, in turn, told Libby.