[eDebate] rove indictment update: sealed vs. sealed

Jake Stromboli infracaninophile
Mon Jun 12 13:10:54 CDT 2006

it's only a matter of time before the greatest indictment in US history is 
made public and the bush administration implodes (by the way, i am sure all 
of the lexis boyz in the dabait community have already this article and so i 
understand that i am just purely clogging email boxes with this post):


Sealed vs. Sealed
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report

Monday 12 June 2006

Four weeks ago, during the time when we reported that White House political 
adviser Karl Rove was indicted for crimes related to his role in the leak of 
covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, the grand jury empanelled in the 
case returned an indictment that was filed under seal in US District Court 
for the District of Columbia under the curious heading of Sealed vs. Sealed.

As of Friday afternoon that indictment, returned by the grand jury the week 
of May 10th, remains under seal - more than a month after it was handed up 
by the grand jury.

The case number is "06 cr 128." On the federal court's electronic database, 
"06 cr 128" is listed along with a succinct summary: "No further information 
is available."

We have not seen the contents of the indictment "06 cr 128". But the fact 
that this indictment was returned by the grand jury hearing evidence in the 
CIA leak case on a day that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald met with 
the grand jury raised a number of questions about the identity of the 
defendant named in the indictment, whether it relates to the leak case, and 
why it has been under seal for a month under the heading Sealed vs. Sealed.

True, the grand jury in the CIA leak case also meets to hear evidence on 
other federal criminal cases, including at least one other high-profile case 
- crimes related to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

?The lead prosecutor on the Abramoff case is Peter Zeidenberg, who has 
worked alongside Patrick Fitzgerald in the CIA leak investigation for more 
than two years and has spent a considerable amount of time investigating 
Karl Rove's role in the leak. Zeidenberg is currently prosecuting David 
Safavian, who is on trial in US District Court, charged with obstruction and 
lying about his contacts with Abramoff.

Still, legal experts watching the Plame-Wilson investigation have been 
paying particularly close attention to Sealed vs. Sealed since the Karl Rove 
indictment story was published.

The legal scholars have said that a federal prosecutor can keep an 
indictment under seal for weeks or months - something that is commonplace in 
high-profile criminal cases - especially if an investigation, such as the 
CIA leak probe, is ongoing.

When told about the Sealed vs. Sealed indictment filed in US District Court, 
the legal experts became intrigued about the case because they say that most 
federal criminal indictments are filed under US vs. Sealed and that they 
rarely come across federal criminal indictments titled Sealed vs. Sealed, 
which to them suggests the prosecutor felt it necessary to add an extra 
layer of secrecy to an indictment to keep it out of public view.

"The question here is that nobody who I have spoken to - top criminal 
attorneys, law professors, etc. - is aware of the left part of the case 
title having been sealed," said one former federal criminal attorney. "That 
the right-hand side is sealed is almost pro-forma. But, what is not known is 
whether the US Attorney can seal the left hand part of the case title on his 

The fact that the indictment has been under seal for more than a month also 
suggests that it involves a high-profile investigation, he said.

Additionally, it's entirely plausible for a federal prosecutor to obtain 
permission from a federal magistrate or a judge, have an indictment unsealed 
for the limited purpose of having parts of it read to a defendant and his or 
her attorneys in an attempt to have the defendant cooperate with an 
investigation to avoid facing further charges, legal experts said.

????Jason Leopold spent two years covering California's electricity crisis 
as Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires. Jason has spent the last 
year cultivating sources close to the CIA leak investigation, and is a 
regular contributor to Truthout. He is the author of the new book NEWS 
JUNKIE. Visit www.newsjunkiebook.com for a preview.

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