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Thread: Prosecutor In Leak Case Seeks Indictments Against Rove And Libby

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Prosecutor In Leak Case Seeks Indictments Against Rove And Libby

    Prosecutor in leak case seeks indictments against Rove, Libby, lawyers close to case say

    Jason Leopold and John Byrne

    Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has asked the grand jury investigating the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to indict Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, lawyers close to the investigation tell RAW STORY.

    Fitzgerald has also asked the jury to indict Libby on a second charge: knowingly outing a covert operative, the lawyers said. They said the prosecutor believes that Libby violated a 1982 law that made it illegal to unmask an undercover CIA agent.

    Libby’s attorney, Joseph A. Tate, did not return a call seeking comment.

    Two other officials, who are not employees in the White House, are also expected to face indictments, the lawyers said.

    Those close to the investigation said Rove was offered a deal Tuesday to plead guilty to perjury for a reduced charge. Rove’s lawyer was told that Fitzgerald would drop an obstruction of justice charge if his client agreed not to contest allegations of perjury, they said.

    Rove declined to plead guilty to the reduced charge, the sources said, indicating through his attorney Robert Luskin that he intended to fight the charges. A call placed to Luskin was not returned.

    Those familiar with the case said that Libby did not inform Rove that Plame was covert. As a result, Rove may not be charged with a crime in leaking Plame’s identity, even though he spoke with reporters.

    A Wall Street Journal report Wednesday suggests Fitzgerald's primary focus is Cheney's office. An L.A. Times story last week indicated that Libby mounted an "aggressive campaign" against Joseph Wilson, the husband of the outed CIA agent, who questioned the Administration's claims that Iraq sought to obtain uranium from Niger.

    Richard Sale, a former UPI intelligence reporter, wrote on his blog Wednesday that two White House officials were likely to be indicted, citing federal law enforcement and senior intelligence officials. Sale was the first to finger Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin in the Israel-AIPAC espionage case.

    Rove’s charges appear to stem from allegations that he lied to FBI investigators in 2003, the sources said. Perjury and obstruction charges leveled against Libby center around conflicting testimony to the grand jury, they added.

    The lawyers said Fitzgerald needed more evidence to convince the grand jury that Plame was in fact an undercover agent. On Monday, he sent FBI agents to her residential neighborhood to obtain testimony from neighbors that they were unaware of Plame’s employment prior to her outing.

    Evidence collected in these inquiries was aimed at convincing the jury that she was covert, the lawyers said. A Reuters story indicated that Plame’s neighbors were not aware that she was working at the agency.

    The indictments, said to be under seal, are expected to be handed down today or Thursday. It is unclear how much information Fitzgerald will make public when they are announced.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Grand Jury in CIA Leak Case Adjourns

    By PETE YOST and JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writers
    44 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON - The federal grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA officer's identity met for three hours Wednesday with Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and his deputies, adjourning for the day without announcing any action.

    Fitzgerald is known to be putting the finishing touches on a two-year criminal probe that has ensnared President Bush's top political adviser Karl Rove and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis Libby.

    Away from the federal courthouse, FBI agents conducted a handful of last-minute interviews to check facts key to the case.

    After the grand jury left for the day, federal prosecutors conferred for about an hour in the grand jury area of the federal courthouse.

    There was no word on whether Fitzgerald planned to make any announcement or when the grand jury planned to meet again.

    Fitzgerald and the grand jurors entered the courthouse around 9 a.m. EDT, with just three days left before the jury's term is set to expire. The timing on any decision is uncertain, however. It is possible for Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan to extend the life of the grand jury at Fitzgerald's request. Such a step would be taken in secret.

    Lawyers representing key White House officials expected Fitzgerald to decide this week whether to charge Libby and Rove.

    Rove and Libby joined other officials Wednesday at the daily White House senior staff meeting, as usual. Libby has been on crutches after breaking a bone in his foot.

    Fitzgerald could charge one or more administration aides with violating a law prohibiting the intentional unmasking of an undercover CIA officer.

    The prosecutor has also examined other possible crimes such as mishandling classified information, false statements and obstruction of justice.

    Fitzgerald has been in Washington since Monday and over the last two days dispatched FBI agents to conduct some 11th-hour interviews, according to lawyers close to the investigation, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

    One set of interviews occurred in the neighborhood of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson, whose wife Valerie Plame was outed as an undercover CIA officer. Agents asked neighbors whether they had any inkling that Plame works for the CIA.

    "They wanted to know how well we knew her, which is very well," said neighbor David Tillotson. "Did we know anything about her position before the story broke? Absolutely not."

    Agents also interviewed a former unidentified associate of Rove about his activities around the time the leaks occurred.

    Two lawyers familiar with the activities said the interviews involved basic fact-checking and did not appear to plow new ground.

    Fitzgerald may want to establish Plame had carefully protected her CIA identity as part of the process of determining whether the disclosure of her name amounted to a crime.

    On Tuesday, the White House sidestepped questions about whether Cheney passed Plame's identity on to Libby.

    Libby's notes suggest that he first heard from Cheney that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, The New York Times reported this week.

    Columnist Robert Novak disclosed Plame's name on July 14, 2003, eight days after Wilson said publicly that the Bush administration had twisted intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.

    The timing of Wilson's criticism was devastating for the Bush White House, which was struggling to come to grips with the fact that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq.

    The president's claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction was the administration's main argument for going to war.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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