Libby’s Lawyer Denies Giving Judy Jail Pass

It is unclear this morning what led up to New York Times reporter Judith Miller’s release from prison yesterday. Most observers assumed that she had finally gotten a release from the confidential source she went to jail to protect – and early word had it that the release came from Vice President Cheney’s consigliere, Scooter Libby.

But in today’s Washington Post, Libby’s lawyer gave a different response – “Who? Us?”

Joseph Tate, an attorney for Libby, said yesterday that he told Miller attorney Floyd Abrams a year ago that Libby’s waiver was voluntary and that Miller was free to testify. He said last night that he was contacted by [Miller’s attorney Bob] Bennett several weeks ago, and was surprised to learn that Miller had not accepted that representation as authorization to speak with prosecutors.

“We told her lawyers it was not coerced,” Tate said. “We are surprised to learn we had anything to do with her incarceration.”

Tate said that he and Bennett then asked Fitzgerald whether their clients could talk without fear of being accused of obstructing the investigation, and were assured that Fitzgerald would not oppose them doing so. After the phone call from Libby on Sept. 19 or 20, Tate said, the lawyers wrote a letter to Fitzgerald indicating Miller accepted Libby’s representation that the waiver was voluntary.

Maybe Judy just got tired of jail. She’s scheduled to testify before the Grand Jury looking into the Bush CIA Leak today.

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