The Detroit Free Press is seeking to prevent a former federal prosecutor from attempting to obtain the identity of a reporter’s unnamed sources in a 2004 story. David Ashenfelter, who covers federal courts for the paper, has been ordered to answer questions posed by lawyers representing ex-prosecutor Richard Convertino. Convertino, indicted in 2006, was acquitted last year on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making a false declaration to a court.
Free Press attorney Herschel Fink filed motions Monday with two federal judges — one in Detroit and one in Washington — seeking to postpone a scheduled deposition of Ashenfelter this week. Ashenfelter wrote in 2004 that Convertino was under internal investigation for his conduct in connection with the prosecution of a suspected terrorist cell in Detroit. Convertino is suing the government in Washington, claiming it violated his privacy rights by leaking information about the probe.