Finally, A Special Prosecutor GMA Can Approve
During the Clinton scandals, the media repeated attack after attack put forth by the Clinton administration against the various independent counsels charged with investigating it. Remember the Ken Starr treatment? Well, the media has finally found a special prosecutor that they like. On today's Good Morning America, ABC's Jessica Yellin painted Patrick Fitzgerald as 'the perfect man' to investigate the possible role of White House aides in the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity.
Yellin reported that Fitzgerald "doesn't mind keeping Washington waiting and worrying as long as he gets his facts right." She described him as "determined, meticulous, intense, a man with a perfect memory." And if viewers weren't yet convinced, Yellin had more: "The son of a doorman, Fitzgerald worked his way through college as a custodian. He's single and commutes between Washington and Chicago where he's the city's top federal prosecutor. And yes, he's a workaholic with stories to tell. According to one friend, he's so rarely at home that he once cooked lasagna and left it in the oven for three months without realizing it."
Full transcript of the story:
Diane Sawyer: "Well, we turn now to that other tremor under the White House. This morning the President and the country are waiting for word, waiting to hear the results of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's two year inquiry into that leak revealing the name of a CIA agent.
"And, indeed, Fitzgerald has become a power in his own right in Washington. So we ask ABC White House correspondent Jessica Yellin to tell us more about him, Jessica."
Jessica Yellin: "Good morning, Diane. It is another day of nerves here at the White House as indictments in the CIA leak case could come at any time. So who is the man behind all of this? We're told that he was up late last night working, as usual, with his team. And colleagues say he doesn't mind keeping Washington waiting and worrying as long as he gets his facts right. One attorney who has tried cases with special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald predicts he will indict."
Joshua Berman: "He would have shut this down sooner had he known that there wasn't going to be indictments at the end of the day."
Yellin: "Many who have worked with him describe Fitzgerald as determined, meticulous, intense, a man with a perfect memory. Even the President called his conduct dignified and acknowledged the gravity of his task."
President Bush: "This is a very serious investigation."
Yellin: "Fitzgerald has a history of conducting serious investigations. As a U.S. attorney in New York, he jailed mobsters and terrorists. He indicted Osama bin Laden years before most Americans had heard of al Qaeda and he is now also investigating allegations of corruption at Chicago's Democratic city hall. A defense attorney who has gone up against him says Fitzgerald is fair and apolitical."
Ron Safer: "He is driven by an overwhelming desire to get to what he believes to be the just result. I think that he is the perfect man for this role."
Yellin: "The son of a doorman, Fitzgerald worked his way through college as a custodian. He's single and commutes between Washington and Chicago where he's the city's top federal prosecutor. And yes, he's a workaholic with stories to tell. According to one friend, he's so rarely at home that he once cooked lasagna and left it in the oven for three months without realizing it."
Amy Millard: "I think after that he simply had the gas turned off in his apartment and never used it again."
Yellin: "Everyone we spoke with gave the same advice to anyone who sits in his witness chair."
Berman: "Be honest. I think people are going to learn the hard way here that it doesn't make sense to lie to Pat."
Yellin: "And former colleagues also say that if Patrick Fitzgerald does indict, he'll be prepared to take this case to trial and win."