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N.Y. Times reporter subpoenaed over sources for book

By The Associated Press
02.04.08

WASHINGTON — A federal grand jury has subpoenaed a reporter for The New York Times in an apparent attempt to force him to disclose his sources in a 2006 book on the Central Intelligence Agency, a lawyer for the reporter said.

James Risen has been ordered to appear before a grand jury in Alexandria, Va., on Feb. 7.

Risen's lawyer, David N. Kelley, said the subpoena sought the source of information for a chapter of the book State of War, regarding a CIA effort to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program.

Kelley told the Associated Press on Feb. 1 that Risen planned to fight the subpoena.

"He has an agreement of confidentiality with his sources and he intends to stand by that in the highest degree of journalistic traditions," Kelley said.

Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis told the newspaper that the Times "strongly supports Mr. Risen and deplores what seems to be a growing trend of government leak investigations focusing on journalists, particularly in the national security area."

The Justice Department would not comment on the work of the grand jury that issued the subpoena, citing a pending investigation.

Risen and Times colleague Eric Lichtblau won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for their disclosure of the Bush administration's wiretapping program.

In 2005, former New York Times reporter Judith Miller was jailed for nearly three months for refusing to identify a confidential source during an investigation into the disclosure of the name of a covert CIA agent. Miller testified after her source, I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, granted her a waiver.


Related

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Time's Matthew Cooper, New York Times' Judith Miller face up to 18 months in jail for refusing to reveal sources in CIA leak case. 06.27.05

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Shield law or no, protection of confidential sources uncertain
Proposed measures would offer only modest shelter for journalists who want to withhold identities of those who gave them information. 03.17.08

Ongoing confidential-sources cases
By Bill Kenworthy Compilation tracking current cases involving efforts to force journalists to disclose confidential sources. 08.04.05

Jailed & subpoenaed journalists — a historical timeline

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