More on the topic


More on the topic of the day: ‘target letters’.

Like many other bloggers and reporters, I’ve spent a good bit of time this afternoon reading over the section of the US Attorney’s Manual that deals with grand juries.

I had read over 9-11.153 earlier today, in addition to a bunch of other sections. But I don’t think I caught its significance on the first run through.

A source, who is an attorney with relevant knowledge, tells me that there are many cases where a target letter simply isn’t required. And this person points to 9-11.153, which does seem to say pretty clearly that Rove’s is one of those cases.

I quote (emphasis added) …

9-11.153 Notification of Targets

When a target is not called to testify pursuant to USAM 9-11.150, and does not request to testify on his or her own motion (see USAM 9-11.152), the prosecutor, in appropriate cases, is encouraged to notify such person a reasonable time before seeking an indictment in order to afford him or her an opportunity to testify before the grand jury, subject to the conditions set forth in USAM 9-11.152. Notification would not be appropriate in routine clear cases or when such action might jeopardize the investigation or prosecution because of the likelihood of flight, destruction or fabrication of evidence, endangerment of other witnesses, undue delay or otherwise would be inconsistent with the ends of justice.

Add here the standard preface that I’m not a lawyer. And many errors are possible when a layman cherry-picks portions of a legal code or manual without reading the thing in its entirety. But this seems to be the portion of the manual which outlines cases where a ‘target letter’ is called for. And if I’m not mistaken, Rove has already testified three times.

So are we even sure Fitzgerald is under any obligation at all to send one to Karl?