View Full Version : Fitzgerald Sees New Grand Jury Proceedings

11-19-2005, 12:19 PM
Fitzgerald sees new grand jury proceedings


By Adam Entous Fri Nov 18, 6:29 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a sign he may seek new or revised charges in the CIA leak case, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald said on Friday his investigation would be going back before a grand jury.

It was the first time Fitzgerald said he would be presenting information to another grand jury since the indictment and resignation three weeks ago of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Lawyers in the case said the investigation into who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, which has reached into the highest levels of the White House, could be moving into a new phase that could result in charges against other top administration officials.

President George W. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, was told by prosecutors last month that he remained under investigation and could still be charged, lawyers said.

Fitzgerald may also be pursuing new leads following Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward's disclosure that he was told about Plame in mid-June 2003.

Fitzgerald has been investigating the leak for two years and the grand jury that indicted Libby expired after it charged him with perjury and obstructing justice on October 28.

"The investigation will involve proceedings before a different grand jury than the grand jury which returned the indictment" against Libby, Fitzgerald said in a court motion, which spelled out a compromise with media organizations for access to some documents in the Libby case.

After appearing at a court hearing on the compromise, Fitzgerald said he would not elaborate on his plans for another grand jury.

Libby's attorney, William Jeffress, and Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, declined to comment.

While people close to Rove sought to play down the implications, a lawyer involved in the leak case said, "It can't make Rove feel good."

"He (Fitzgerald) can supersede the Libby grand jury (indictment) to include other crimes or other people," the lawyer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

Plame's cover at the CIA was blown after her husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of twisting prewar intelligence to support invading Iraq. Wilson said it was done to undercut his credibility.

The special counsel had said Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter about Plame. But Woodward testified this week that a senior Bush administration official had casually told him about Plame's position at the CIA nearly a month before her secret identity was revealed publicly.

Woodward's sworn deposition sparked renewed speculation about who first leaked Plame's identity, and sent Bush administration officials scrambling to deny involvement.

A lawyer in the case said Woodward's source had not previously testified before a grand jury in the leak case.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman would not answer directly whether Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was Woodward's source.

White House national security adviser Stephen Hadley, with Bush at an Asia-Pacific summit in Pusan, South Korea, left it to aides to put out the word that he was not the source.

Neither was Cheney nor Bush, according to current and former officials and their lawyers, none of whom would agree to be identified.

At Friday's hearing, Fitzgerald backed off seeking a blanket order to keep all documents in the case secret following a challenge by several media organizations.

He replacing it with a more narrowly tailored order focused on blocking release of grand jury transcripts and documents containing sensitive personal information.

A group of Libby's friends and colleagues have joined a committee to help raise money for Libby's defense, a spokeswoman said. The members include former CIA director James Woolsey, ex-Republican Sens. Fred Thompson and Alan Simpson, former presidential candidate Steve Forbes, former vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp and top Bush fundraisers Bill Paxon and Mercer Reynolds.

(Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Will Dunham)