Patrick Fitzgerald

American lawyer

Patrick Fitzgerald (born December 22, 1960) is an American attorney and the current U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. On December 30, 2003, Fitzgerald was appointed to be Department of Justice Special Prosecutor and continued the investigation into the Valerie Plame leak.

Patrick Fitzgerald


  • A CIA officer's name was blown and there was a leak and we needed to figure out how that happened, who did it, why, whether a crime was committed, whether we could prove it, whether we should prove it. Given national security was at stake, it was especially important that we find out accurate facts.
    • CIA probe 'not over' after Cheney's top aide indicted on (October 28, 2005)[1]
  • When citizens testify before grand juries they are required to tell the truth. Without the truth, our criminal justice system cannot serve our nation or its citizens.
    • CIA probe 'not over' after Cheney's top aide indicted on (October 28, 2005)
  • Mr. Libby's story that he was at the tail end of a chain of phone calls, passing on from one reporter what he heard from another, was not true. It was false. He was at the beginning of the chain of the phone calls, the first official to disclose this information outside the government to a reporter. And he lied about it afterward, under oath and repeatedly.
    • Cheney Adviser Resigns After Indictment on (October 28, 2005) [2]
  • Libby was advised by the vice president of the United States that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA in the counterproliferation division. Libby understood that the vice president had learned this information from the CIA.
    • Cheney Adviser Resigns After Indictment on (October 28, 2005)
  • We brought those cases because we realized that the truth is the engine of our judicial system. We didn't get the straight story, and we had to - had to - act.
    • Cheney Aide Charged With Lying in Leak Case New York Times (October 29, 2005) [3]
  • I can't give you answers on what we know and don't know, other than what's charged in the indictment. It's not because I enjoy being in that position. It's because the law is that way. I actually think the law should be that way. We can't talk about information not contained in the four corners of the indictment.
    • Fitzgerald News Conference from (October 28, 2005) [4]
  • My job is to investigate whether or not a crime is committed, can be proved and should be charged. I'm not going to comment on what to make beyond that. You know, it's not my jurisdiction, not my job, not my judgment.
    • Fitzgerald News Conference from (October 28, 2005)
  • Let me then ask your next question: Well, why is this a leak investigation that doesn't result in a charge? I've been trying to think about how to explain this, so let me try. I know baseball analogies are the fad these days. Let me try something.

    If you saw a baseball game and you saw a pitcher wind up and throw a fastball and hit a batter right smack in the head, and it really, really hurt them, you'd want to know why the pitcher did that. And you'd wonder whether or not the person just reared back and decided, "I've got bad blood with this batter. He hit two home runs off me. I'm just going to hit him in the head as hard as I can."

    You also might wonder whether or not the pitcher just let go of the ball or his foot slipped, and he had no idea to throw the ball anywhere near the batter's head. And there's lots of shades of gray in between.

    You might learn that you wanted to hit the batter in the back and it hit him in the head because he moved. You might want to throw it under his chin, but it ended up hitting him on the head.

    And what you'd want to do is have as much information as you could. You'd want to know: What happened in the dugout? Was this guy complaining about the person he threw at? Did he talk to anyone else? What was he thinking? How does he react? All those things you'd want to know.

    And then you'd make a decision as to whether this person should be banned from baseball, whether they should be suspended, whether you should do nothing at all and just say, "Hey, the person threw a bad pitch. Get over it."

    In this case, it's a lot more serious than baseball. And the damage wasn't to one person. It wasn't just Valerie Wilson. It was done to all of us.

    And as you sit back, you want to learn: Why was this information going out? Why were people taking this information about Valerie Wilson and giving it to reporters? Why did Mr. Libby say what he did? Why did he tell Judith Miller three times? Why did he tell the press secretary on Monday? Why did he tell Mr. Cooper? And was this something where he intended to cause whatever damage was caused?

    Or did they intend to do something else and where are the shades of gray?

    And what we have when someone charges obstruction of justice, the umpire gets sand thrown in his eyes. He's trying to figure what happened and somebody blocked their view.

    • Fitzgerald News Conference from the Washington Post (October 28, 2005)
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