Judge considers if reporter must testify at trial

July 7, 2011 - 12:29 PM

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Lawyers for a New york Times reporter are asking a federal judge to quash a subpoena demanding his testimony against a former CIA officer accused of leaking classified information about Iran.

Attorneys for journalist James Risen argued Thursday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria that the First Amendment shields reporters from testifying about anonymous stories unless their testimony is crucial to the government's case.

Prosecutors countered that a reporter's First Amendment rights pale in comparison to the government's interest in the integrity of the criminal justice system.

Former CIA agent Jeffrey Sterling is charged with leaking classified information to Risen about efforts to thwart Iran's nuclear weapons program.