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Isn’t Leaking Grand Jury Testimony Illegal?


One of the reasons I think Scooter Libby got into trouble is that he had no faith in the press to keep whatever he said to the grand jury a secret. Who would have thought back when Patrick Fitzgerald was first selected to investigate the Plame leak that there would be zero leaks from the grand jury? People can say what they want about Fitzgerald, but the fact that he kept his investigation leak-free deserves praise.

Leak-free to leaky: Today we have the NY Times printing the secret grand jury testimony of Rudy Giuliani on his good friend Bernie Kerik.  Not testimony from a witness, but the entire transcript.  The Times puts this disclaimer in the article:

The transcript of Mr. Giuliani’s testimony was not given to The New York Times by any rival campaign.

That’s nice, but what I’m wondering is why/if this Rudy story is different than the one with Barry Bonds and his leaked grand jury testimony:

…two reporters for the San Francisco Chronicle obtained grand jury transcripts, including that of baseball’s Barry Bonds, and the paper published them. The Justice Department subpoenaed the reporters, who fought the subpoenas and lost. The reporters still refused to give up their source. The case is being appealed.

A few weeks ago, the source came forward. He is 44 year old Troy Ellerman, an attorney from Woodland Park, CO who represented two defendants in the case. He pleaded guilty in federal court in California today to obstruction of justice and another charge. The plea agreement calls for two years in prison.

Two Chronicle reporters almost went to jail for this. Isn’t the NY Times taking a big risk for not a lot of news value here?


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