Court Rules New York Times Reporter Must Testify About Leak

Source provided classified info for book


New York Times reporter James Risen must say at a trial whether former CIA official Jeffrey Sterling, accused of leaking classified information, was a source for his book, a federal appeals court ruled.

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, today reversed a lower-court judge's ruling that found Risen's testimony, sought by federal prosecutors, was blocked by the First Amendment.

"He is the only one who can identify Sterling as the perpetrator of the charged offenses, and he is the only one who can effectively address Sterling's expected efforts to point the finger at others," U.S. Circuit Judge William Traxler wrote in the majority opinion.