Fitzgerald Puts on his Asskickin’ Boots

It’s looking more and more like Fitzgerald is in hot pursuit of a conspiracy:

The New York Times reporter who went to jail to avoid testifying in the CIA leak case was quizzed by the special prosecutor again yesterday and has agreed to return to the grand jury today.

Judith Miller's additional testimony comes as the endgame is intensifying in the legal chess match that threatens to damage the Bush administration.

There are signs that prosecutors now are looking into contacts between administration officials and journalists that took place much earlier than previously thought. Earlier conversations are potentially significant, because that suggests the special prosecutor leading the investigation is exploring whether there was an effort within the administration at an early stage to develop and disseminate confidential information to the press that could undercut former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, Central Intelligence Agency official Valerie Plame.


Ms. Miller, the Times reporter, was interviewed again yesterday to discuss conversations she had with I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's chief of staff. She testified on Sept. 30 before a grand jury about conversations she had with Mr. Libby in July 2003.


Lawyers familiar with the investigation believe that at least part of the outcome likely hangs on the inner workings of what has been dubbed the White House Iraq Group. Formed in August 2002, the group, which included Messrs. Rove and Libby, worked on setting strategy for selling the war in Iraq to the public in the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion. The group likely would have played a significant role in responding to Mr. Wilson's claims.
A moment to offer some blogprops: True Blue Liberal suggested back in July that the White House Iraq Group was the key to this whole thing, as the Big Brass Alliance attempted to continue to keep the issue in the news by tying the Downing Street Memos to Plamegate.

The key to understanding what is the great success—and what may well be the ultimate downfall—of this administration was summed up beautifully by Mr. Shakes not so long ago: "The problem is that this administration is incompetent at absolutely everything except politics, at which they are extraordinarily good." It may have won them two elections, but I’m not convinced, for the first time, that they’ll be able to spin their way out of this one.

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