The National Law Journal Selects Plamegate Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald as 2005 Lawyer of the Year
"Through his dogged pursuit of the CIA leak investigation, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, a Republican appointee, has set Washington on its ear," said Rex Bossert, editor in chief of The National Law Journal. "He is following his leads to the top echelons of the Bush administration and proving that the rule of law trumps politics, even in the nation's capital."
“While many journalists think Fitzgerald has gone too far in pursuing reporters' sources, he has focused single-mindedly on what is allowed under the law, and thus has prompted an examination of whether a federal shield law is warranted”
"While many journalists think Fitzgerald has gone too far in pursuing reporters' sources, he has focused single-mindedly on what is allowed under the law, and thus has prompted an examination of whether a federal shield law is warranted," added Bossert.
Since his appointment in 2003 as special counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice, Fitzgerald has taken on some of the most influential people in Washington in his attempt to determine whether senior officials in the Bush administration violated the Intelligence Protection Act of 1982. The ongoing investigation has snowballed, gathering in its path top administration officials and well-known journalists. Fitzgerald, viewed by some as exacting and thorough and by others as obsessive and relentless, will continue to be tested as the leak investigation enters its second year this month.
Fitzgerald originally earned recognition as a meticulous and sometimes single-minded prosecutor while working for the Southern District of New York, where he served as chief of the organized crime/ terrorism unit, handled the prosecution of 12 defendants charged with conspiring to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993 and prosecuted the Gambino crime family. Appointed U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois four years ago, he manages a staff of more than 160 attorneys, including the group that brought fraud charges this year against Conrad Black, accusing the former publishing executive at Hollinger International and three of its other executives of illegally diverting almost $84 million from the company.
Swift, one of five Judge Advocate General lawyers assigned to represent the first round of commission defendants, has defied skepticism at home and abroad that he and his colleagues would do more than a perfunctory job defending accused terrorists. Swift's odyssey has taken him from Guantanamo Bay where his Yemeni client, Salim Hamdan, is being held, to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear his challenge to the constitutionality of the military commissions.
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