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Time will turn over notes in CIA case

Associated Press
Published July 1, 2005


NEW YORK - Breaking ranks with the New York Times, Time magazine said Thursday it would comply with a court order to hand over the notes of a reporter threatened with jail for refusing to cooperate with an inquiry into the unmasking of a CIA operative.

Time relented just days after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from its White House correspondent Matt Cooper and New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who have been locked in an eight-month battle with the government to protect their confidential sources.

The magazine said the high court's action will have "a chilling effect" on journalists' work but said Time had no choice but to comply.

Representatives for both reporters said they believe turning over the notes and other material would eliminate the need for Cooper or Miller to testify before a grand jury and remove any justification for jailing them.

A special counsel is investigating who in the Bush administration leaked the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame, a possible federal crime. U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan has threatened to jail Cooper and Miller for refusing to reveal their sources.

They are due back in Hogan's court next week.

The case represents one of the most serious legal clashes between the media and the government since the Pentagon Papers case more than 30 years ago.

Miller has not changed her position on refusing to disclose her sources, said her attorney, Robert Bennett. She was not available for comment, the newspaper said.

In a statement, New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said: "We are deeply disappointed by Time Inc.'s decision to deliver the subpoenaed records."

On Wednesday, Cooper had said he hoped the magazine would not turn over the documents requested by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney in Chicago who has been heading the grand jury inquiry into who disclosed Plame's identity days after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, criticized the president's case for invading Iraq.

Time is a defendant in the case along with the two reporters. The New York Times is not a defendant because it did not publish anything. Miller did some reporting but did not write a story.

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.

Time Inc.'s editor in chief, Norman Pearlstine, said the company would turn over all records, notes and e-mail traffic over the company's system concerning the case.

[Last modified July 1, 2005, 01:25:06]


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