Fear and tremblin' in Washington
By Bill Schneider
Patrick Fitzgerald, special prosecutor in the CIA leaks investigation.
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
``Ain't you a-feared? Ain't you a-tremblin'?'' said a schoolmaster in a Dickens novel.
Right now, one man has all Washington a-feared and a-tremblin'. And for that, he earns the political Play of the Week.
People describe Patrick Fitzgerald as ``zealous,'' ``relentless,'' ``extremely aggressive.''
Listen to former Illinois Governor George Ryan, a Republican being prosecuted by Fitzgerald for corruption: "The federal government has torn apart my personal life with the intrusive and overbearing investigation."
Listen to a Democrat, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, who has seen more than thirty city officials and contractors indicted for illegal hiring and bribe-taking: "I fully cooperated with the U.S. attorney."
Fitzgerald successfully prosecuted Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
In 1998, he brought an indictment against Osama bin Laden for his role in the bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa.
In December 2003, Fitzgerald was named special prosecutor to investigate who leaked the name of a CIA agent.
True to his reputation, Fitzgerald has brought reporters to heel. After nearly three months in jail, New York Times reporter Judy Miller testified this week. So did White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove for the fourth time.
The Bush administration is treating Fitzgerald very respectfully.
"The special prosecutor is conducting a very serious investigation," President Bush said this week. "He's doing it in a very dignified way, by the way. And We'll see what he says."
Fitzgerald has been called ``the original Untouchable.'' Like Eliott Ness.
No one has accused Fitzgerald of having a partisan agenda. That's rare in Washington. It gives Fitzgerald enormous power. And the Play of the Week.
When Kenneth Starr investigated Bill Clinton in the 1990s, there were a lot of complaints about leaking. Not so with Fitzgerald, who never makes any public statements.
Nobody knows what Fitzgerald may do. Which makes it all the more agonizing.
|© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.