The Plame Case, Missing Email, and the President’s Daily Brief

By February 2, 2006

The government failed to preserve certain official email messages generated by the Office of the Vice President and the Executive Office of the President in 2003 as required by law, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald revealed in a January 23 letter (pdf).

The contents and quantity of the missing email is unknown.

In another letter dated January 9 (pdf), Mr. Fitzgerald also disclosed that his Office has received redacted versions of the President’s Daily Brief (“a very discrete amount of material relating to PDBs”) concerning Valerie Plame Wilson or Amb. Joseph Wilson’s trip to Niger. Mr. Libby’s attorney had requested (pdf) all copies of the President’s Daily Brief “in its entirety” from May 2003 through March 2004.

These and several other interesting nuggets emerged in correspondence between the Special Prosecutor and attorneys for I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former aide to Vice President Cheney who is being prosecuted for perjury in connection with the CIA Plame leak investigation. The correspondence was filed in DC District Court on January 31.

While it has apparently proved feasible to declassify portions of PDBs from 2 or 3 years ago, the Central Intelligence Agency still insists that 40 year old PDBs regarding the Vietnam War cannot possibly be declassified.

That dispute is the subject of an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by UC Davis Professor Larry Berman. For background on the case see this National Security Archive update.

Categories: Secrecy