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Thread: Rove and Libby advised that they are in serious legal jeopardy

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Talking Rove and Libby advised that they are in serious legal jeopardy

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 - As he weighs whether to bring criminal charges in the C.I.A. leak case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special counsel, is focusing on whether Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, and I. Lewis Libby Jr., chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, sought to conceal their actions and mislead prosecutors, lawyers involved in the case said Thursday.

    Among the charges that Mr. Fitzgerald is considering are perjury, obstruction of justice and false statement - counts that suggest the prosecutor may believe the evidence presented in a 22-month grand jury inquiry shows that the two White House aides sought to cover up their actions, the lawyers said.

    Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby have been advised that they may be in serious legal jeopardy, the lawyers said, but only this week has Mr. Fitzgerald begun to narrow the possible charges. The prosecutor has said he will not make up his mind about any charges until next week, government officials say.

    With the term of the grand jury expiring in one week, though, some lawyers in the case said they were persuaded that Mr. Fitzgerald had all but made up his mind to seek indictments. None of the lawyers would speak on the record, citing the prosecutor's requests not to talk about the case.

    Associates of Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby continued to express hope that the prosecutor would conclude that the evidence was too fragmentary and that it would be difficult to prove Mr. Rove or Mr. Libby had a clear-cut intention to misinform the grand jury. Lawyers for the two men declined to comment on their legal status.

    The case has cast a cloud over the White House, as has the Congressional criticism over the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet E. Miers. On Thursday, responding to a reporter's question, Mr. Bush said: "There's some background noise here, a lot of chatter, a lot of speculation and opining. But the American people expect me to do my job, and I'm going to."

    The possible violations under consideration by Mr. Fitzgerald are peripheral to the issue he was appointed in December 2003 to investigate: whether anyone in the administration broke a federal law that makes it a crime, under certain circumstances, to reveal the identity of a covert intelligence officer.

    But Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby may not be the only people at risk. There may be others in the government who could be charged for violations of the disclosure law or of other statutes, like the espionage act, which makes it a crime to transmit classified information to people not authorized to receive it.

    It is still not publicly known who first told the columnist Robert D. Novak the identity of the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson. Mr. Novak identified her in a column on July 14, 2003, using her maiden name, Valerie Plame. Mr. Fitzgerald knows the identity of this source, a person who is not believed to work at the White House, the lawyers said.

    The accounts given by Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby about their conversations with reporters have been under investigation almost from the start. According to lawyers in the case, the prosecutor has examined how each man learned of Ms. Wilson, and questioned them in grand jury appearances about their conversations with reporters, how they learned Ms. Wilson's name and her C.I.A. employment and whether the discussions were part of an effort to undermine the credibility of her husband, a former ambassador, Joseph C. Wilson IV.

    Mr. Wilson had become an irritant to the administration in the late spring and early summer of 2003 even before he went public as a critic of the war in Iraq by writing a July 6, 2003 Op-Ed article in The New York Times.

    In that article he wrote that he had traveled to Africa in 2002 to explore the accuracy of intelligence reports that suggested Iraq might have tried to purchase uranium ore from Niger. Mr. Wilson said that he had been sent on the trip by the C.I.A. after Mr. Cheney's office raised questions about one such report, but that he found it unlikely that any sale had taken place.

    In Mr. Rove's case, the prosecutor appears to have focused on two conversations with reporters. The first was a July 9, 2003, discussion with Mr. Novak in which, Mr. Rove has said, he first heard Ms. Wilson's name. The second conversation took place on July 11, 2003 with a Time magazine reporter, Matthew Cooper, who later wrote that Mr. Rove had not named Ms. Wilson but had told him that she worked at the C.I.A. and that she had been responsible for her husband being sent to Africa.

    Mr. Rove did not tell the grand jury about his phone conversation with Mr. Cooper until months into the leak investigation, long after he had testified about his conversation with Mr. Novak, the lawyers said. Later, Mr. Rove said he had not recalled the conversation with Mr. Cooper until the discovery of an e-mail message about it that he sent to Stephen J. Hadley, then the deputy national security adviser. But Mr. Fitzgerald has remained skeptical about the omission, the lawyers said.

    In Mr. Libby's case, Mr. Fitzgerald has focused on his statements about how he first learned of Ms. Wilson's identity, the lawyers said. Mr. Libby has said that he learned of Ms. Wilson from reporters. But Mr. Fitzgerald may have doubts about his account because the journalists who have been publicly identified as having talked to Mr. Libby have said that they did not provide the name, that they could not recall what had been said or that they had discussed unrelated subjects.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    White House Defense Crumbling in Leak Case
    Oct 20 4:19 PM US/Eastern
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    By PETE YOST
    Associated Press Writer


    WASHINGTON


    The evidence prosecutors have assembled in the CIA leak case suggests Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff sought out reporters in the weeks before an undercover operative's identity was compromised in the news media, casting doubt on one of the White House's main lines of defense.

    For months, the White House and its supporters have argued top presidential aides did not knowingly expose Valerie Plame, the wife of administration critic Joseph Wilson, as a CIA operative.

    At most, the aides passed on information about her that entered the White House from reporters, the supporters argued.

    Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald now knows that Libby met three times with a New York Times reporter before the leak of Plame's identity, initiated a call to NBC's Tim Russert and was a confirming source about Wilson's wife for a Time magazine reporter.

    And in a new twist, presidential political adviser Karl Rove has testified that it's possible Libby was his source before Rove talked to two reporters about the CIA operative.

    In light of all the disclosures, "it's going to be as difficult for the defense to prove the theory that the White House got the information from reporters as it is for Fitzgerald to prove that the White House leaked the information about Wilson's wife," said Washington-based white-collar defense attorney James D. Wareham.

    Where Libby first heard the information still isn't publicly known, but a full three weeks before Plame's name first showed up in print, Libby was telling New York Times reporter Judith Miller that he thought Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, according to Miller's testimony.

    While Libby maintains that he didn't know Plame's name until it was published in the news media, the now-public evidence suggests Libby at least was aware that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and that he spread the information.

    Prosecutors must determine whether it was part of an effort to undermine the credibility of Plame's husband who was criticizing the White House.

    Until this week, "the news media did it" was a standard defense among Republicans trying to protect the Bush administration from the political fallout of Fitzgerald's criminal investigation. Loyalists said that even if White House aides had passed on information, they didn't get it from classified sources and were simply repeating what they heard from journalists.

    As new evidence accumulates on the public record, Libby's original source of information and how he passed the information on are becoming crucial unanswered questions. The public still doesn't know much about what the vice president and his top aide talked about, either.

    In grand jury testimony shown to Rove, Libby said he had told Rove about information he had gotten about Wilson's wife from Russert, according to a person directly familiar with the information.

    Prosecutors, however, have a different account from Russert. The TV network has said Russert told authorities he did not know about Wilson's wife's identity until it was published and therefore could not have told Libby about it. Russert also says that it was Libby who initiated the contact with him.

    In Miller's case, the reporter was interviewing Libby on June 23, for a story on the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when the vice president's chief of staff suggested a CIA tie for Wilson's wife, Miller has said.

    "This was the first time I had been told that Mr. Wilson's wife might work for the CIA," Miller wrote in a first-person account over the weekend. Miller said this week that she never wrote a story about Wilson's wife because "it wasn't that important to me. I was focused on the main question: Was our WMD intelligence slanted?"
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Blaming Media in Leak Case Not Working
    Oct 20 4:58 PM US/Eastern
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    By PETE YOST
    Associated Press Writer


    WASHINGTON


    The evidence prosecutors have assembled in the CIA leak case suggests Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff sought out reporters in the weeks before an undercover operative's identity was compromised in the news media, casting doubt on one of the White House's main lines of defense.

    For months, the White House and its supporters have argued top presidential aides did not knowingly expose Valerie Plame, the wife of administration critic Joseph Wilson, as a CIA operative.

    At most, the aides passed on information about her that entered the White House from reporters, the supporters argued.

    Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald now knows that Cheney aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby met three times with a New York Times reporter before the leak of Plame's identity, initiated a call to NBC's Tim Russert and was a confirming source about Wilson's wife for a Time magazine reporter.

    And in a new twist, presidential political adviser Karl Rove has testified that it's possible Libby was his source before Rove talked to two reporters about the CIA operative.

    In light of all the disclosures, "it's going to be as difficult for the defense to prove the theory that the White House got the information from reporters as it is for Fitzgerald to prove that the White House leaked the information about Wilson's wife," said Washington-based white-collar defense attorney James D. Wareham.

    Where Libby first heard the information still isn't publicly known, but a full three weeks before Plame's name first showed up in print, Libby was telling New York Times reporter Judith Miller that he thought Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, according to Miller's testimony.

    While Libby maintains that he didn't know Plame's name until it was published in the news media, the now-public evidence suggests Libby at least was aware that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and that he spread the information.

    Prosecutors must determine whether it was part of an effort to undermine the credibility of Plame's husband who was criticizing the White House.

    Until this week, "the news media did it" was a standard defense among Republicans trying to protect the Bush administration from the political fallout of Fitzgerald's criminal investigation. Loyalists said that even if White House aides had passed on information, they didn't get it from classified sources and were simply repeating what they heard from journalists.

    As new evidence accumulates on the public record, Libby's original source of information and how he passed the information on are becoming crucial unanswered questions. The public still doesn't know much about what the vice president and his top aide talked about, either.

    In grand jury testimony shown to Rove, Libby said he had told Rove about information he had gotten about Wilson's wife from Russert, according to a person directly familiar with the information.

    Prosecutors, however, have a different account from Russert. The TV network has said Russert told authorities he did not know about Wilson's wife's identity until it was published and therefore could not have told Libby about it. Russert also says that it was Libby who initiated the contact with him.

    In Miller's case, the reporter was interviewing Libby on June 23, for a story on the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when the vice president's chief of staff suggested a CIA tie for Wilson's wife, Miller has said.

    "This was the first time I had been told that Mr. Wilson's wife might work for the CIA," Miller wrote in a first-person account over the weekend. Miller said this week that she never wrote a story about Wilson's wife because "it wasn't that important to me. I was focused on the main question: Was our WMD intelligence slanted?"
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Ohhhhh, Grimm, thanks for making my day. I would love to see that smug bastard glaring out of a mug shot. I'm betting he wouldn't be grinning like that ass Delay.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
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