Statement From Judith Miller After Testifying

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Statement From Judith Miller After Testifying on Sept. 30, 2005:

I’m so happy to be free and finally able to talk to you all. Recently, I heard directly from my source that I should testify before the Grand Jury. This was in the form of a personal letter and, most important, a telephone call to me at the jail. I concluded from this that my source genuinely wanted me to testify. These were not form waivers. They were not discussions among lawyers. They were given after the Special Counsel assured us that such communication would not be regarded as obstructing justice.

Once I got a personal voluntary waiver, my lawyer, Mr. Bennett, approached the Special Counsel to see if my Grand Jury testimony could be limited to my communications with the source from whom I had received the personal and specific waiver. The Special Counsel agreed to this. This was very important to me. I served 85 days in jail because of my belief in the importance of upholding the confidential relationship journalists have with their sources. Believe me, I did not want to be in jail. But I would have stayed even longer if I had not received these two things: the personal waiver and narrow testimony.

I could not have testified without those things. I said to the court before I was jailed that I did not believe I was above the law, and that I would have to go to jail because of my principles. But once I satisfied those principles I was prepared to fulfill my civic duty and testify. I am hopeful that my long stay in jail will serve to strengthen the bond between reporters and their sources. I hope that blanket waivers are a thing of the past. They do not count. They are not voluntary and should not be accepted by journalists. I am also hopeful that my time in jail will help pass a federal shield law so that the public’s right to know will be protected.

I want to thank everyone, my lawyers, and particularly, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and The New York Times, my husband and family, my friends, colleagues and citizens of this country and people from all over the world who wrote to me and supported my position of principle through this very difficult time. I will take a few questions but please bear with me, I am very tired. I have a husband who is cooking a meal I want to eat, a dog I want to hug and I want to go home to Sag Harbor.

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