Shield Law Update

SHIELD LAW UPDATE….The New York Times reports that the Department of Justice is moving very quickly in its investigation of who leaked details of the NSA’s domestic spying program to the New York Times:

Porter J. Goss, the C.I.A. director…speaking at a Senate intelligence committee hearing on Feb. 2, said: “It is my aim and it is my hope that we will witness a grand jury investigation with reporters present being asked to reveal who is leaking this information. I believe the safety of this nation and the people of this country deserve nothing less.”

….The Justice Department took the unusual step of announcing the opening of the investigation on Dec. 30, and since then, government officials said, investigators and prosecutors have worked quickly to assemble an investigative team and obtain a preliminary grasp of whether the leaking of the information violated the law….Several officials described the investigation as aggressive and fast-moving.

At a minimum, I figure the following reporters are at risk of cooling their heels in a federal penitentiary later this year if they refuse to testify about their sources for the various NSA stories they’ve written: Dan Eggan, James Risen, Eric Lichtblau, Barton Gellman, Dafna Linzer and Carol Leonnig. Too bad we don’t have a federal shield law to protect them.