Feds Want Time Reporter To Testify

New York Times reporter Judith Miller, left, and Time Magazine reporter Matt Cooper talk to reporters outside federal court in Washington in this Dec. 8, 2004 file photo. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce Monday, June 27, 2005, if they will hear appeals from the two journalists - who may face jail time for refusing to disclose their sources.
AP
A federal prosecutor on Tuesday demanded that Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper testify before a grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA officer's identity, even though Time Inc. has surrendered e-mails and other documents in the probe.

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald also opposed the request of Cooper and New York Times reporter Judith Miller to be granted home detention — instead of jail — for refusing to reveal their sources.

Allowing the reporters home confinement would make it easier for them to continue to defy a court order to testify, he said. Special treatment for journalists may "negate the coercive effect contemplated by federal law," Fitzgerald wrote in filings with the court.s

"Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality — no one in America is," Fitzgerald wrote.

Fitzgerald is investigating who in the administration leaked the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame, a possible federal crime. Plame's identity was leaked days after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly disparaged the president's case for invading Iraq.

Plame's name was first published in a 2003 column by Robert Novak, who cited two unidentified senior Bush administration officials as his sources. Novak has refused to say whether he has testified or been subpoenaed.

Cooper wrote a subsequent story naming Plame, and Miller gathered material but never wrote an article.

Time turned over Cooper's notes and other documents last week, four days after the Supreme Court refused to consider the case. Cooper's attorneys argued that producing the documents made it unnecessary for him to testify.

Miller and Cooper could be ordered to jail as early as Wednesday when U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan will hear arguments from Fitzgerald and lawyers for the reporters about whether they should testify.