Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has just launched his own
Could it be that he's getting ready to release some new legal documents? Like,
maybe, some indictments? It's certainly not the action of an office about to
fold up its tents and go home.
Fitzgerald spokesman Randall Samborn minimized the significance of the Web
launch in an interview this morning.
"I would strongly caution, Dan, against reading anything into it substantive,
one way or the other," he said. "It's really a long overdue effort
to get something on the Internet to answer a lot of questions that we get .
. . and to put up some of the documents that we have had ongoing and continued
interest in having the public be able to access."
OK, OK. But will the Web site be used for future documents as well?
"The possibility exists," Samborn said.
Among the documents currently available on the site:
* The December
30, 2003, memo from then-acting attorney general James B. Comey establishing
Fitzgerald as an independent special counsel with "all the authority of
the Attorney General with respect to the Department's investigation into the
alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity."
* A Feb.
6, 2004, follow-up confirming that his mandate "includes the authority
to investigate and prosecute violations of any federal laws related to the underlying
alleged unauthorized disclosure, as well as federal crimes committed in the
course of, and with intent to interfere with, your investigation."
The Web site is "bare bones" and is "still a work in progress,"
Samborn said. "We have some document formatting issues that we're still
resolving." As a result, the site has not yet been officially announced
-- although there is a link from Fitzgerald's home page as the U.S.
Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Up until now, the only official repository for documents related to the special
counsel's investigation had been a page
on the U.S. District Court's Web site. But it only included court motions
Incidentally, if you call the number the new Web site lists for Fitzgerald's
D.C. office, the phone is somewhat mysteriously answered "counterespionage
But as Samborn explained to me, that's because the special prosecutor is borrowing
space in the Justice Department's Bond Building from the counterespionage section.
"The office of special counsel doesn't really have its own dedicated space,"