Trouble for ex-CIA officer?:Last week, former CIA officer John Kiriakou captivated readers and viewers with his candid account of the capture and waterboarding of suspected terrorist Abu Zubaida. Now, the CIA has requested the Justice Department investigate whether Kiriakou illegally disclosed classified information in doing so, reports the WaPo. Though he did not witness the waterboarding first-hand, Kiriakou said he had been given the details by others who were present. Kiriakou’s attorney, Washington solo practitioner Mark Zaid, said it’s common for the CIA to refer such cases to Justice, but that the referrals rarely result in criminal charges.
Bush confident in economy: President Bush says he’s confident the economy is strong enough to avoid a recession, reports the WaPo. Referring to the steps he’s taken to address the housing crisis, such as a plan to freeze interest rates on certain subprime mortgages, the president said at a news conference yesterday that his view of the economy is that “the fundamentals are strong.” His comments are in opposition to the views of many economists who have urged the government to take a harder line to prevent a potential long-term recession.
Killer Lawyer?: New Jersey prosecutors say defense lawyer and former prosecutor Paul Bergin helped facilitate the murder of DeShawn McCray, an important witness in a big drug case. The NYT reports today that according to court testimony from earlier this year, Bergin met with the gang member friends of one of his clients to orchestrate the fatal shooting of McCray. So far, prosecutors have been unable to charge Bergin. Law enforcement officials in New Jersey say the case highlights the growing threat of witness intimidation.
Cocoa No-no?: Unlike a lot of us this time of year, the Justice Department isn’t showing much love for chocolate. The WSJ reports that Justice antitrust enforcers are investigating the pricing practices of the chocolate industry, which is trying to offset higher dairy costs. Though the Justice Department did not comment and the specifics of the inquiry are not clear, price fixing can lead to heavy fines and sometimes prison terms for executives.