(born 1963) is a former reporter
who, along with
New York Times
was held in
contempt of court
with imprisonment for refusing to testify before the Grand Jury
regarding the Valerie Plame CIA
leak investigation. He
currently works as a blogger for Talking Points Memo
contributed to the magazine Condé Nast Portfolio
closed in April, 2009.
Contempt of court
On June 29
Federal judge Thomas F. Hogan
gave Miller and Cooper one week to
comply with the Grand Jury order to testify or face the maximum
penalty of 18 months in prison
Supreme Court declined the reporters' appeal of the contempt of court finding.
On July 6 2005
agreed to testify, thus avoiding being held in contempt of court
and sent to jail. Cooper
said "I went to bed ready to accept the sanctions for not
testifying," but told the judge that not long before his early
afternoon appearance at court he had received "in somewhat dramatic
fashion" an indication from his source freeing him from his
commitment to keep his source's identity secret.
Cooper stated in court that he did not previously accept a general
waiver to journalists signed by his source (whom he did not
identify by name), because he had made a personal pledge of
confidentiality to his source. The 'dramatic change' which allowed
Cooper to testify was later revealed to be a phone conversation
between lawyers for Cooper and his source confirming that the
waiver signed two years earlier applied to conversations with
Cooper. Citing a "person who has been officially briefed on the
case," The New York Times
identified Karl Rove
as the individual in question. Rove's
own lawyer later confirmed this information. According to one of
Cooper's lawyers, Cooper had previously testified before the grand
jury regarding conversations with Lewis
"Scooter" Libby, Jr.
, chief of staff for Vice President Dick
Cheney, after having received Libby's specific permission to
testify. Rove's own lawyer later confirmed this information.
On July 25
wrote an account of his grand jury testimony for Time
. The article, entitled "What I
Told The Grand Jury," concludes:
So did Rove leak Plame's name
to me, or tell me she was covert?
Was it through my conversation with Rove that I learned
for the first time that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and may
have been responsible for sending him?
Did Rove say that she worked at the "agency" on
When he said things would be declassified soon, was
that itself impermissible?
I don't know.
Is any of this a crime?
At this point, I'm as curious as anyone else to see
what Patrick Fitzgerald has.
. . . In that testimony, I recounted an on-the-record conversation
that moved to background. On
the record, he denied that Cheney knew about or played any role in
the Wilson trip to Niger. On background, I asked Libby if he had
heard anything about Wilson's wife sending her husband to Niger.
Libby replied, 'Yeah, I've heard that too,' or words to that
effect. Like Rove, Libby never used Valerie Plame's name or
indicated that her status was covert, and he never told me that he
had heard about Plame from other reporters, as some press accounts
Cooper attended Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, followed by Columbia University.
He has been
separated since late 2006 from Hillary Clinton's media consultant
. They have a son, born
- SourceWatch profile of Matthew Cooper
- Matthew Cooper at the Notable Names Database.
- Capital blog by Cooper at Portfolio.com
- "Confidentiality of Journalists' Sources Under
Threat" at IFEX.
- Matt Cooper on The Daily Show, April 23, 2007
with comments posted at Salon, April 24, 2007 and UW Madison journalism class blog. Cooper: "I
think it's up to reporters to talk to a lot of people and sort it
out." Stewart: "Why don't they?"
- Matt Cooper: Behind the Scenes at Daily Show,
Conde Nast Portfolio, April 25, 2007.
- Matt Cooper Says Rove Did Leak Valerie Plame's
Identity to Him: UPDATED! Meet the Press segment posted at
Crooks and Liars, August 19, 2007.
- Matt Cooper filmography at IMDb as producer, actor,
director, writer, self.
- Video (and audio) of discussion/debate with Cooper on