Monday, July 9, 2007

Congress Wants Fitzgerald to Testify

Truthout (Reuters):
Washington - The Senate Judiciary Committee may seek testimony from controversial prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald about the obstruction of justice case against vice presidential aide Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, two senators said on Sunday.

Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the ranking Republican member of the committee, said he wanted to hear from Fitzgerald because, 'I still haven't figured out what that case is all about.'"...

[Committee Chair Patrick] Leahy said he saw no point in summoning Libby himself because "his silence has been bought and paid for."

Interesting question how far Fitzgerald should go, politics aside, in discussing what he has learned from his investigation, and the basis for his decisions not to prosecute Karl Rove (and perhaps the VP). He has chosen to remain largely silent (in marked contrast to some prior special / independent prosecutors, and has foregone issuing a report. There are solid arguments this is more fair to those investigated but not indicted--a serious problem in some prior high profile investigations. Does, and should, being called to testify for Senate or House inquiries affect those judgments? There is certainly an argument that Congressional oversight implicates somewhat different, and more far-reaching, considerations than a criminal prosecution, which might justify a different judgment.

Fellow law professors: on what basis might Fitzgerald refuse to answer Congressional questions (assuming we don't get to the 5th amendment!)

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