According to sources involved in the Judith Miller case, lawyers for Miller have turned over an additional, previously unreported batch of notes on the New York Times reporter’s conversations with I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald. The notes, a source said, could significantly change the time frame of Miller’s involvement with Libby.
After spending 85 days in jail for civil contempt, Miller testified before Fitzgerald’s grand jury on September 30 and turned over one set of edited notes. Those notes covered a pair of conversations she had with Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff, in July of 2003–shortly after former ambassador Joseph Wilson published a Times op-ed challenging the Bush adminstration’s account of the evidence for Iraq’s nuclear ambitions.
The appearance of that op-ed is generally seen as the event that triggered the leaking of the information that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, was a CIA employee, which led in turn to Fitzgerald’s investigation. But a lawyer close to the investigation said that the new set of notes details earlier contact Miller had with Libby–possibly in May 2003, two months before Wilson’s op-ed appeared.
The existence of the additional notes may be behind the Times‘ report today that Fitzgerald may call Miller back for additional testimony October 11.
Robert Bennett, a lawyer for Miller, declined to comment. Joseph Tate, the lawyer representing Libby, did not return calls seeking comment. Times lawyer George Freeman would not comment.
The presence of the undisclosed set of notes comes as the Times is seeking to quell internal and external criticism over a lack of transparency in the Miller case. In today’s Times, executive editor Bill Keller said Miller’s potential return trip to meet with Fitzgerald could further delay the Times‘ plans to publish an account of the Miller saga. Deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman, who has been tapped to edit the report, declined to discuss the state of the paper’s Miller reporting.
“I’m not going to talk about it,” he said.