NY Times: Miller May Have Misled Editors
Times: Miller May Have Misled Editors
By JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 28
WASHINGTON - Judith Miller's boss says the New York
Times reporter appears to have misled the newspaper
about her role in the CIA leak controversy.
In an e-mail memo Friday to the newspaper's staff,
Executive Editor Bill Keller said that until Special
Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald subpoenaed Miller in the
criminal probe, "I didn't know that Judy had been one
of the reporters on the receiving end" of leaks aimed
at Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson.
"Judy seems to have misled" Times Washington bureau
chief Bill Taubman about the extent of her
involvement, Keller wrote.
Taubman asked Miller in the fall of 2003 whether she
was among the reporters who had gotten leaks about the
identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame.
"Ms. Miller denied it," the newspaper reported in a
Miller and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of
staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, discussed Wilson and
his wife, Valerie Plame, in three conversations in the
weeks before the CIA officer's status was outed by
columnist Robert Novak.
Keller said he might have been more willing to
compromise with Fitzgerald over Miller's testimony "if
I had known the details of Judy's entanglement with
In response, Miller told the Times that Keller's memo
was "seriously inaccurate," the newspaper said in a
story for Saturday editions. It reported that in a
memo to Keller, Miller wrote she "never meant to
mislead Phil (Taubman), nor did I mislead him."
As for Keller's remark about "my `entanglement' with
Mr. Libby, I had no personal, social, or other
relationship with him except as a source," Miller
Miller's attorney, Bob Bennett, told The Washington
Post that it was "absolutely false" to suggest she
withheld information about a June 2003 meeting with
Libby, saying the conversation hadn't seemed like "a
big deal at the time."
Responding to Keller's memo, Bennett said: "I am very
concerned now that there are people trying to even old
scores and undercut her as a heroic journalist."
Bennett did not return calls by The Associated Press
The criticism of the reporter came amid a sign that
the prosecutor may be preparing indictments.
Fitzgerald's office set up a Web site containing the
record of the broad investigative mandate handed to
him by the Justice Department at the outset of his
investigation two years ago.
Unlike some of his predecessors who operated under a
law that has since expired, Fitzgerald does not need
to write a final report, so he would not need a Web
site for that purpose.
The criticism of Miller emerged amid new details about
how she belatedly turned over notes of a June 23,
2003, conversation she had with Libby.
In her first grand jury appearance Sept. 30 after
being freed from prison for refusing to testify,
Miller did not mention the meeting.
She retrieved her notes about it only when prosecutors
showed her White House visitor logs showing she had
met with Libby in the Old Executive Office Building
adjacent to the White House, said two lawyers,
speaking on condition of anonymity because of the
ongoing secrecy of the grand jury probe.
One lawyer familiar with Miller's testimony said the
reporter told prosecutors at first that she did not
believe the June meeting would have involved Plame
because she had just returned from covering the
Iraq war. She said she was probably giving Libby an
update of her experiences there, the lawyer said.
However, in reviewing her notes, Miller discovered
they indicated that Libby had given her information
about Plame at that meeting. Fitzgerald then arranged
for her to return to the grand jury to testify about
it, the lawyers said.
The evidence of that meeting has become important to
the investigation because it indicates that Libby was
passing information to reporters about Plame well
before her husband went public with accusations that
the Bush administration had twisted pre-war
intelligence on Iraq.
Libby and Bush political adviser Karl Rove have
emerged as central figures in the probe because both
had contacts with reporter who ultimately disclosed
Plame's identity in news stories.
Conflicts between presidential aides' testimony and
other evidence could result in criminal charges. The
grand jury investigating the matter for the last two
years is set to expire next Friday.
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