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July 10, 2008

Karl Rove refuses to testify in front of House Judiciary Committee

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Karl Rove

Karl Rove

Karl Rove, who served as Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush before resigning last year, failed to appear in front of the House Judiciary Committee today, refusing to testify about allegations of misusing his political power.

The congressional panel is trying to determine if Rove had a connection with the prosecution of Don Siegelman, former Democratic governor of Alabama. The committee is also investigating allegations that the former White House adviser dismissed nine federal prosecutors seen as political opponents. Rove has denied ever influencing the decisions of the Department of Justice.

In May, the panel subpoenaed Rove in an attempt to force him to offer testimony. He was scheduled to appear at a committee hearing today, but his lawyer Robert D. Luskin made it clear that he would not attend. Luskin argued that his client was “immune” to the subpoena because of executive privilege, which gives executive officials the right to resist a search from the other two branches of government.

In a letter written to the committee on Wednesday, Luskin said that Rove is “constitutionally immune from compelled congressional testimony”, adding that “threatening Mr. Rove with sanctions will not in any way expedite the resolution of the issue.” He said Rove would be willing to talk about the Siegelman case as part of an “informal interview”, without a transcript and without taking an oath.

Members of the Judiciary Committee argued that executive privilege is not a valid reason to ignore a subpoena. California Rep. Linda Sanchez, who chairs the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, said at the hearing, “We are unaware of any proper legal basis for Mr. Rove’s refusal to even appear today as required by the subpoena.” She cited United States v. Nixon and Clinton v. Jones as legal precedents.

Sanchez, along with the Judiciary Committee chairman, Michigan Rep. John Conyers, said that Rove’s refusal to testify could result in prosecution for being in contempt of Congress. “A refusal to appear in violation of the subpoena could subject Mr. Rove to contempt proceedings, including statutory contempt under federal law and proceedings under the inherent contempt authority of the House of Representatives,” Conyers and Sanchez wrote.

If the Judiciary Committee votes to pursue these contempt charges against Rove, they would go to the floor of the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi would decide whether to proceed with a final vote. The House has already held two of Bush’s advisers in contempt for defying a subpoena: White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers. Their case is currently in federal court.

Republicans have accused Democrats of using these cases as political weapons against George W. Bush. Rep. Chris Cannon, a Republican from Utah, said that “if the majority was serious about getting to the bottom of this issue”, they would have accepted Rove’s offers to discuss the issue on his terms, informally and without a transcript. “The fact that it hasn’t is proof that their efforts amount to a partisan stunt,” said Cannon.


Sources

  • “Rove ignores committee’s subpoena, refuses to testify”. CNN, July 10, 2008
  • Ben Evans “Rove ignores subpoena, refuses to testify on Hill”. Associated Press, July 10, 2008
  • Dan Robinson “Former Bush Aide Rove Defies Congressional Subpoena”. Voice of America, July 10, 2008
  • John Bresnahan, The Politico “Rove Contempt Vote Not To Come Until Later This Month”. CBS News, July 10, 2008
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Karl Rove refuses to testify before House Judiciary Committee

Karl Rove refuses to testify before House Judiciary Committee

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Karl Rove

Karl Rove, who served as Deputy Chief of Staff to United States President George W. Bush before resigning last year, failed to appear in front of the House Judiciary Committee today, refusing to testify about allegations of misusing his political power.

The congressional panel is trying to determine if Rove had a connection with the prosecution of Don Siegelman, former Democratic governor of Alabama. The committee is also investigating allegations that the former White House adviser dismissed nine federal prosecutors seen as political opponents. Rove has denied ever influencing the decisions of the Department of Justice.

In May, the panel subpoenaed Rove in an attempt to force him to offer testimony. He was scheduled to appear at a committee hearing today, but his lawyer Robert D. Luskin made it clear that he would not attend. Luskin argued that his client was “immune” to the subpoena because of executive privilege, which gives executive officials the right to resist a search from the other two branches of government.

In a letter written to the committee on Wednesday, Luskin said that Rove is “constitutionally immune from compelled congressional testimony”, adding that “threatening Mr. Rove with sanctions will not in any way expedite the resolution of the issue.” He said Rove would be willing to talk about the Siegelman case as part of an “informal interview”, without a transcript and without taking an oath.

Members of the Judiciary Committee argued that executive privilege is not a valid reason to ignore a subpoena. California Rep. Linda Sanchez, who chairs the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, said at the hearing, “We are unaware of any proper legal basis for Mr. Rove’s refusal to even appear today as required by the subpoena.” She cited United States v. Nixon and Clinton v. Jones as legal precedents.

Sanchez, along with the Judiciary Committee chairman, Michigan Rep. John Conyers, said that Rove’s refusal to testify could result in prosecution for being in contempt of Congress. “A refusal to appear in violation of the subpoena could subject Mr. Rove to contempt proceedings, including statutory contempt under federal law and proceedings under the inherent contempt authority of the House of Representatives,” Conyers and Sanchez wrote.

If the Judiciary Committee votes to pursue these contempt charges against Rove, they would go to the floor of the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi would decide whether to proceed with a final vote. The House has already held two of Bush’s advisers in contempt for defying a subpoena: White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers. Their case is currently in federal court.

Republicans have accused Democrats of using these cases as political weapons against George W. Bush. Rep. Chris Cannon, a Republican from Utah, said that “if the majority was serious about getting to the bottom of this issue”, they would have accepted Rove’s offers to discuss the issue on his terms, informally and without a transcript. “The fact that it hasn’t is proof that their efforts amount to a partisan stunt,” said Cannon.



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August 13, 2007

Karl Rove, senior political advisor to President Bush will resign

Karl Rove, senior political advisor to President Bush will resign

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Karl Rove

According to officials, President Bush’s senior political advisor, Karl Rove, will resign his White House post effective by the end of the month, senior administration officials said Monday. Rove has held a top position in the White House since Bush took office in January 2001.

President Bush and Rove are expected to make a statement to the press at 11:35 a.m. ET (UTC-4), as Bush boards Marine One, heading for Crawford, Texas.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Rove said: “I just think it’s time … There’s always something that can keep you here, and as much as I’d like to be here, I’ve got to do this for the sake of my family.”

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May 14, 2006

Fitzgerald to announce new evidence against Libby

Fitzgerald to announce new evidence against Libby

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced on Friday that he would introduce new evidence in the perjury and obstruction of justice case against former Vice Presidential chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

Wikipedia Learn more about Plame affair on Wikipedia.

One of the new pieces of evidence consists of handwritten notes that Vice President Dick Cheney left on the margins of ambassador Joseph Wilson’s OpEd column questioning the administration’s handling of evidence regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the run-up to the Iraq war. Fitzgerald charged that “those annotations support the proposition that publication of the Wilson Op Ed acutely focused the attention of the Vice President and the defendant – his chief of staff – on Mr. Wilson, on the assertions made in his article, and on responding to those assertions.” Fitzgerald describes the notes as reflecting “the contemporaneous reaction of the Vice President to Mr. Wilson’s Op Ed article” and views the relevance of these notes as “establishing some of the facts that were viewed as important by the defendant’s immediate superior.”

In the margins of Wilson’s article Cheney wrote a series of questions about the legitimacy of Wilson’s CIA-sponsored trip to Niger: “Have they done this sort of thing before? Send an Amb. [sic] to answer a question? Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did his wife send him on a junket?”

Lea Ann McBride, spokesperson for the Vice President, declined to comment on the publishing of the notes, but stressed that the Office of the Vice President continues to cooperate with the investigation.

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  • “Lewis “Scooter” Libby testified that leak was authorized” — Wikinews, February 11, 2006
  • “Libby, former Cheney aide, pleads not guilty” — Wikinews, November 3, 2005
  • “Lewis “Scooter” Libby indicted on five charges” — Wikinews, October 28, 2005
  • “Grand Jury investigation of Plame leak nears end” — Wikinews, October 24, 2005
  • “New York Times reporter Judith Miller breaks silence on Plame leak investigation” — Wikinews, October 17, 2005
  • Cooper claims he learned of Plame through Rove” — Wikinews, July 18, 2005
  • “Karl Rove named as a source of Plame leak” — Wikinews, July 3, 2005

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February 7, 2006

Wikinews investigates Wikipedia usage by U.S. Senate staff members

Wikinews investigates Wikipedia usage by U.S. Senate staff members

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Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The chambers of the U.S. Senate are located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Staff members of the offices of United States Senators, using Senate-linked IP addresses, have been editing Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia that allows its users to edit its content. In some cases, they have removed facts from the articles.

Using the public history of edits on Wikipedia, Wikinews reporters collected every Senate IP address from which Wikipedia edits had been made as of February 3, then examined where the IPs came from and the edits that were made from computers connected at those addresses. IP, or Internet Protocol, addresses are unique numbers electronic devices use to communicate with each other on an individual basis.

The investigation showed the vast majority of edits from Senate IPs were beneficial and helpful to Wikipedia. Examples include the creation of the articles on Click Back America, which organizes students to promote microfinance in the developing world, and Washington’s Tomb, which was designed to hold the body of first U.S. President George Washington within the White House Capitol building; and significantly expanding the article on closed sessions of the United States Senate in November. Dozens of small corrections have been made to grammar, spelling, or small facts — many of them related to the Senate.

Senators’ staff members have sometimes had to fight to correct inaccuracies. An edit to Jay Rockefeller‘s article by his staff removed information which may have been biased or untrue. The staff member who edited said, “Apologies, I was new to using Wikipedia, and I didn’t fully realize the workings of the website,” after other users continuously reinserted the information. The staffer removed the suspect paragraphs 12 times until another Wikipedia user finally removed the information. Four days later, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales got involved.

The Senators’ offices were contacted about this article, but no response was received before press time.

Joe Biden

Staffers in the offices of Senator Joe Biden, who, according to his changed Wikipedia biography, “announced in mid-June 2005 that he will seek the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008 if he believes his message and vision for the country resonate with Americans,” removed a paragraph about a 1996 plagiarism scandal, as well as changing the section regarding a possible 2008 candidacy to read very positively. A second staffer toned down and removed information about other plagiarism issues as well. The same addresses from Biden’s office edited the article on Hamas, which has recently won a majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council, and is listed as a terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, the European Union, Israel, and the United States, to give its first two paragraphs a more biased stance by removing information about its social welfare programs.

Conrad Burns

References, citations, and descriptions of Conrad Burns‘ use of the word “ragheads” were removed from Wikipedia’s article, as was mention of legislation, co-sponsored by Burns, that would reduce Native American tribal sovereignty. These were replaced by a paragraph titled “A Voice for the Farmer”. The citations supported the discussion of Senator Burns’s legislative record regarding tribal sovereignty.

Norm Coleman

The staffers of Senator Norm Coleman changed a description of Coleman as a liberal Democrat in college to an “activist Democrat,” and then to “an active college student.” They removed references to Coleman’s voting record during his first year of Congress, which lined up with President Bush 98% of the time, which cited Congressional Quarterly. They also removed a reference to Coleman being persuaded by Karl Rove to run for senator instead of governor in 2002.

“When you put ‘edia’ in there, it makes it sound as if this is a benign, objective piece of information,” said Erich Mische, Senator Coleman’s Chief of Staff, to the Associated Press. Mr. Mische admitted the Senator’s office had made the edits, and he would take responsibility for removal of the sentence about the voting record. “That probably should have stayed in there.”

“It appears to be a major rewrite of the article to make it more favorable. If they’re trying to edit in such a way to change the public record, that’s a problem,” Jimmy Wales said to the Associated Press about the incident.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, “Coleman’s decision to run for senator, rather than governor, was sealed during a walk with President Bush in the White House’s Rose Garden,” rather than Karl Rove. Rove had actually persuaded the former House majority leader of Minnesota and current governor, Tim Pawlenty, not to challenge Norm Coleman in the Senate elections. Still, other portions of the edit removed references to Karl Rove entirely, and their citations, while accentuating the positive side of several issues, including changing “a budget bill that cut funding from a number of programs” to “a deficit-reduction bill.”

Dianne Feinstein

The California block of Senate IP addresses made several edits to the Dianne Feinstein article, removing reference to her membership in the Trilateral Commission and to her net worth, with husband Richard C. Blum, but also adding an extensive list of awards.

Even more problematic than the edits to the article about Dianne Feinstein, however, were those made to the article about her husband. References to a 1992 fine for failing to disclose Mr. Blum had guaranteed her campaign loans were removed, along with citations, and a paragraph regarding a conflict of interest debate from 1997 when Mr. Blum had invested millions of dollars in Chinese businesses when Ms. Feinstein was campaigning in the Senate to lift trade sanctions against the country. Mr. Blum later announced he would donate all profits from his Chinese investments to charity.

Tom Harkin

The staffers of Senator Tom Harkin removed a paragraph relating to Harkin’s having falsely claimed to have flown combat missions over North Vietnam, and his subsequent recantation after inquiries by the Wall Street Journal and Barry Goldwater. Another paragraph removed related to a supposed pro-Israeli stance.

Other edits to Senate articles

Wikinews reporters also discovered that a handful of miscellaneous vandalism edits had been made to some Senators’ articles. Vandalized articles included those of Tom Coburn and Harry Reid. The edits to Reid’s were made three times, while the Coburn vandalism was made two times, after it had been restored to a prior version. An edit to an article about a controversy over Senator Rick Santorum’s statements about Constitutional rights to privacy with regards to sexual acts, seemingly coming from Rick Santorum’s staff members, removed a reference to an effort to redefine Santorum’s last name as a neologism meaning “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

IP address mapping

The U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms owns the IP block 156.33.0.0 to 156.33.255.255. Requests to learn the mapping of these thousands of IPs were not responded to at press time. However, the lower 100 blocks of addresses appear to be mapped to the 100 Senators based on their state’s alphabetical listing. This was partially confirmed using e-mail responses from the offices of Senators; where the originating computer was connected to the network directly and was not a part of block 222 (a section which seems to be reserved for servers), the IP addresses matched the predicted pattern.

When examining the edit behavior of IPs it also tended to match the predicted pattern. IPs which were assigned to Florida had edits to Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez and other Florida-related pages primarily, while those assigned to California had edited Dianne Feinstein. Edits coming from the U.S. House of Representatives were less traceable because they came through a proxy server—meaning they all showed up under one IP address.

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October 28, 2005

Lewis \”Scooter\” Libby indicted on five charges

Lewis “Scooter” Libby indicted on five charges

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Friday, October 28, 2005

I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Jr., chief of staff to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, resigned Friday following indictment on five federal felony charges.

Mr. Libby is charged with obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury to a Grand Jury, and two counts of making false statements to the FBI in the Justice Department’s investigation into the Plame leak. Mr. Libby’s resignation was accepted by Vice President Cheney. President Bush also accepted Mr. Libby’s resignation as Assistant to the President.

The indictment centers on Mr. Libby’s grand jury testimony that he learned from media sources that Joseph Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, worked under cover for the CIA. The Justice Department says that Mr. Libby knew of Plame’s covert status from at least four government officials, including Vice President Cheney, in the month prior to his talks with the press, but that he sought to hide that knowledge from the investigation.

No charges were filed against White House advisor Karl Rove, but he remains under scrutiny in the on-going two year investigation led by Special Counselor Patrick Fitzgerald. The Seattle Post Intelligencer reported that late Friday, three people close to the investigation stated that the individual referred to in Fitzgerald’s record as “Official A” was actually Karl Rove, the so called “senior official in the White House” who allegedly informed Libby on July 10 or 11 of 2003 that Plame was a CIA operative. The Washington Post is reporting that Rove’s “fate” will be known soon.

All five charges stem from three conversations Mr. Libby had with reporters about Valerie Plame in 2003 between July 10 and 12:

  • On or about July 10, Libby spoke with Tim Russert of NBC. Mr. Libby testified that Mr. Russert asked him if he knew Mr. Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA, and that Mr. Russert told him all reporters knew about Mr. Wilson’s wife.
The indictment alleges that Mr. Russert did not ask Mr. Libby what he knew about Wilson’s wife, nor did Mr. Russert tell him that all the reporters knew it. The indictment says that Libby knew through governmental sources that Mr. Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA.
  • On or about July 12, Mr. Libby spoke with Matthew Cooper of TIME magazine. Mr. Libby testified he told Mr. Cooper that he heard from other reporters that Mr. Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA, but he didn’t know for sure whether or not she did.
The indictment alleges that Mr. Libby did not talk about other reporters, but simply confirmed for Mr. Cooper that Mr. Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA.
  • Mr. Libby spoke with Judith Miller of The New York Times. Mr. Libby again testified that the conversation was about other reporters, and he told Ms. Miller he was unsure Mr. Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA.
The indictment claims that Libby did not talk about other reporters, and did not advise Ms. Miller he was unsure about Mr. Wilson’s wife.

In a nationally televised press conference announcing the indictment, Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald likened the alleged falsehoods of Mr. Libby’s testimony to sand being thrown in the face of a baseball umpire. The obstruction of justice count alleges that Mr. Libby made false statements while testifying before the grand jury, and attempted to mislead and deceive the grand jury by doing so.

The two false statement charges relate to FBI interviews conducted in October and November 2003. There is one charge for the July 10, 2003 interview with Mr. Russert, and another for the July 12, 2003 interview with Cooper. One perjury charges alleges Mr. Libby lied to the grand jury about his conversation with Mr .Russert. The second alleges he was lying when he testified to the grand jury that he had told reporters “I hear from other reporters Wilson’s wife works for the CIA.”

If convicted on all counts, Mr. Libby faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine. In a written statement delivered by his lawyer, Mr. Libby said “today is a sad day for me and my family” but is confident that he will be “completely and totally exonerated.”

Vice President Dick Cheney called Mr. Libby in a written statement one “of the most capable and talented individuals I have ever known” and stressed that he is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

President George W. Bush called the investigation “serious” and said that Mr. Libby “worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people and sacrificed much in the service to this country.”

Background

In September 2003, CIA Director George Tenet requested a Justice Department probe of the possibility that high officials of the Bush administration leaked to journalists the secret CIA identity of Plame. In December 2003, Patrick J. Fitzgerald was appointed Special Counsel in charge of investigating the leak of the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame. A grand jury was convened to hear testimony from reporters and members of the Bush administration. The federal indictment suggests that Libby lied about what he told reporters Tim Russert, Matt Cooper, and Judith Miller. “When citizens testify before grand juries they are required to tell the truth,” Mr. Fitzgerald said.

In February 2002, Joseph Wilson was asked to travel to Niger by the Central Intelligence Agency in order to investigate claims that Niger had sold yellowcake uranium to Iraq, a substance that – after a lengthy purification process – can be used to make a nuclear weapon.

On the 28th of January, 2003, President George Bush stated in his State of the Union address that, “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” Much of the President’s address was focused on building support for the War in Iraq, on the grounds that Iraq had been developing Weapons of Mass Destruction, and this statement was a key part of the rationale to justify going to war.

On July 6, 2003, Wilson wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times attacking the validity of Bush’s assertion by describing how his experiences in Africa had led him to believe no such sale had taken place. He went on to accuse the Bush Administration of manipulating intelligence data in order to exaggerate the threat posed by Iraq. Ultimately, the White House was forced to retract the statement regarding Niger in the State of the Union address.

On July 14th 2003, journalist Robert Novak published a news article that disclosed the identity of Valerie Plame as a CIA operative. Novak attributed the information about Plame’s identity to “senior administration officials.” After Novak’s article was published, other news reporters speculated that Plame’s identity as a CIA operative was leaked by the Bush administration in an effort to punish Mr. Wilson for his public criticism of the administration. Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson are married, although Valerie had been using her maiden name “Plame” in her role as a covert operative rather than using her married name.

In June 2004, President George W. Bush was questioned about the leak by the Justice Department, but not in front of the Grand Jury. Bush first promised to fire anyone in his administration who leaked the CIA identity of Plame, then later qualified this as meaning that he would only act if it could be shown that a crime was committed.

With the Grand Jury scheduled to conclude its term in October 2005, reporter Judith Miller was jailed in July 2005 for refusing to reveal the source of the Plame leak. After 85 days in jail, Miller finally testified before the Grand Jury. Several reporters, including Miller and Matthew Cooper, identified Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Dick Cheney’s chief of staff Lewis Libby as Bush administration sources who revealed Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA operative.

The indictment comes at the same time as allegations mount that Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff Libby withheld crucial documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee as it was investigating the intelligence failure in the run-up to the Iraq war in 2004. Rep. Jerrold Nadler has requested to expand Fitzgerald’s investigation to clear up if the actions in the CIA leak were just a part in a larger scheme to deceive Congress into authorizing war, who was involved and whether their actions were criminal.

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October 24, 2005

Grand Jury investigation of Plame leak nears end

Grand Jury investigation of Plame leak nears end

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Monday, October 24, 2005

Karl Rove

Iraq War
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Background
  • Wikipedia article about the Iraq War

The two year investigation involving the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s secret identity seems to be coming to an end.

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald’s grand jury, which has been investigating the “outing” of Plame’s secret status to columnist Robert Novak and other reporters, concludes its work on October 29. The U.S. Department of Justice has established a web site for the purpose of making any communication public. However, Fitzgerald’s office will not comment on the timing of any indictments which may be filed.

Many individuals inside and outside the White House have apparently been interogated. Two high level White House Chiefs of Staff, Karl Rove to President George W. Bush, and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to Vice-President Dick Cheney, are part of the focus of the investigation. Both Rove and Libby testified before the grand jury; Rove 4 times, and Libby at least twice. Rove and Libby have been informed that they may be in serious legal trouble.

According to legal sources, Fitzgerald will give final notice to officials facing charges as early as Monday and could convene the grand jury Tuesday, one day earlier than usual, to summarize the case and request approval for possible indictments. The grand jury is scheduled to expire Friday.

Bush administration critics suggest the outing of the CIA operative Plame was an effort by the administration to prop up the credibility of pre-war claims that Iraq possessed WMD. The Bush administration has responded that the charge lacks any credibility.

Valerie Plame’s husband, Joseph Wilson, was a former diplomat to Niger who went public in July 2003 with an Op-Ed column that called evidence linking Niger uranium to Iraq bogus. The Wilson column was written after the President Bush 2003 state of the union address alleging that Iraq sought to purchase uranium from Niger.

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October 17, 2005

New York Times reporter Judith Miller breaks silence on Plame leak investigation

New York Times reporter Judith Miller breaks silence on Plame leak investigation

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Monday, October 17, 2005

New York Times reporter Judith Miller broke her media silence by writing a column the newspaper published on Sunday. Her lengthy story recounted two testimonies, September 30 and October 12, she gave to a U.S. federal grand jury seeking information on the source of the Valerie Plame leak. The column described the testimony as one that relied heavily on her reporting notes given to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald between her first and second appearances.

By her account, after the two years that had passed from the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame and the sketchy recollections she was able to re-create from her notes, she testified that she could not recall why, when, or where the name “Valerie Flame”[sic] came from in her notes. Furthermore, she wrote of her testimony that she did not believe the name came from “Scooter” Libby.

I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby is the chief of staff to Dick Cheney, vice-president of the United States. Libby, along with Karl Rove, are two high ranking administration insiders suspected of slipping information to the press in an effort to undermine Plame’s husband Joe Wilson, the former ambassador to Niger who denied a White House claim that Iraq was trying to buy enriched uranium, a claim made by President George W. Bush to support the build up to the war in Iraq.

The mistaken spelling, Miller explained, was made in a section of her notes unrelated to the interviews with Libby. Other notes documented 3 interviews with Libby, conducted in the year 2003, that in her NYT column she wrote:

June 23) … Mr. Libby raised the subject of Mr. Wilson’s wife for the first time. I wrote in my notes, inside parentheses, “Wife works in bureau?” I told Mr. Fitzgerald that I believed this was the first time I had been told that Mr. Wilson’s wife might work for the C.I.A.

July 8) … our conversation also turned to Mr. Wilson’s wife. My notes contain a phrase inside parentheses: “Wife works at Winpac.”
… first time I had heard that Mr. Wilson’s wife worked for Winpac, I assumed that she worked as an analyst, not as an undercover operative.

July 12 (telephone) … I might have called others about Mr. Wilson’s wife. In my notebook I had written the words “Victoria Wilson” with a box around it, another apparent reference to Ms. Plame, who is also known as Valerie Wilson. I told Mr. Fitzgerald that I was not sure whether Mr. Libby had used this name or whether I just made a mistake in writing it on my own. Another possibility, I said, is that I gave Mr. Libby the wrong name on purpose to see whether he would correct me and confirm her identity.

These notes were written shortly before the Robert Novak story on July 14 was published, revealing Valerie Plame, and after which the controversy was ignited. Asked by prosecutor Fitzgerald how she felt about the Novak story, she wrote that she was “annoyed at having been beaten on a story.”

Before she agreed to testify, and thereby be released jail, she sought from Libby his personal assurance that his pre-existing waiver of confidentiality was not forced upon him by outside pressure. She also sought an agreement from Fitzgerald that grand jury questioning would be restricted in scope to questions relating only directly to her interviews with Libby.

Both of these, the assurance from Libby and the limited scope by Fitzgerald, were granted; but why she thought she needed them is open to question. Critics are skeptical of what motives are driving Miller, and wonder if she has something to hide or is protecting Libby. In the absence of road blocks to testifying that she herself made, the 85 days she spent in jail would otherwise not have been imposed.

Fitzgerald had been planning to wrap up the investigation sometime this month when the grand jury term expires October 28.

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  • “New York Times reporter sent to jail in leak case” — Wikinews, July 6, 2005

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August 8, 2005

Reports indicate Bush appointing friend to lead Plame inquiry

Reports indicate Bush appointing friend to lead Plame inquiry

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Monday, August 8, 2005

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Newsweek journalist Michael Isikoff reported that the U.S. leak probe into revealing the CIA status of Valerie Plame is likely to soon be under the oversight of one of Bush’s fellow Skull and Bones members, a man, Isikoff writes, who is an “old friend” of the president.

The investigation by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald into the leak is on a timetable to conclude this October 2005, so the probe is nearing its final stages. Fitzgerald’s current boss, Deputy Attorney General James Comey gave Fitzgerald broad leeway to prosecute the case. Comey is leaving the government post to accept a position as general counsel at Lockheed Martin.

A possible candidate to replace Comey, Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum, was in the Bush 1968 Skull and Bones class, which consisted of 15 Yalesmen. McCallum was in the news headlines in June for his involvement with coming in at the last moment to push through a 90% reduction ($120 Billion) in the penalties requested against big tobacco companies.

In latest developments of the Fitzgerald investigation, Karl Rove’s secretary and Rove’s former top aide are being asked why a recorded phone conversation between TIME reporter Matt Cooper and Rove was not available when the call went through the White House switchboard.

How the possible appointment of McCallum to oversee the investigation could affect it, is unknown, and controversial. U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales recused himself from involvement with the investigation.

One of Bush’s very first meetings after being installed as President in the White House was a Skull and Bones reunion. “I joined Skull and Bones, a secret society,” Bush wrote in his autobiography, “so secret, I can’t say anything more.”

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

July 23, 2005

Capitol Hill Democrats hold informal hearing on Plame leak

Capitol Hill Democrats hold informal hearing on Plame leak

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Saturday, July 23, 2005

United States Capitol building

Democrats on Saturday turned over their radio broadcast to a former CIA agent and Republican, Larry Johnson, who accused President George W. Bush of flip-flopping on his pledge to fire anybody on his staff involved with the Valerie Plame leak.

Johnson, a participant in yesterday’s Democratic hearing on Capitol Hill, said “We deserve people who work in the White House who are committed to protecting classified information, telling the truth to the American people, and living by example to the idea that a country at war with Islamic extremists cannot focus its efforts on attacking other American citizens who simply tried to tell the truth.”

House and Senate Democrats held a highly partisan hearing Friday where four retired U.S. intelligence officials aired views that were critical of the Plame leak itself, and then critical of Bush administration and Republican efforts to minimize damage caused by the controversy.

Former CIA case officer, Jim Marcinkowski, testified that the current administration policy of setting a criminal standard for dismissal was too high, and that Bush should take action on those persons involved. “Each time the political machine made up of prime-time patriots and partisan ninnies display their ignorance by deriding Valerie Plame as a mere paper-pusher, or belittling the varying degrees of cover used to protect our officers, or continuing to play partisan politics with our national security, it’s a disservice to this country,” he said.

Representative Henry Waxman

The hearing was not an official proceeding of Congress. Democratic lawmakers organized it after Republican leaders in congressional committees with jurisdiction in these matters rejected their request for a legislative oversight hearing. Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), the ranking minority member of the House Committee on Government Reform, said “A special standard seems to apply to Karl Rove: There will be no questions asked, and no accountability.”

Meanwhile, a Vermont native Dennis Morrisseau, 62, plans a Republican run for a soon to be vacated seat in the House of Representatives. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt) will leave the post in his run for a Senate seat. Central to Morrisseau’s bid is his pledge to bring articles of impeachment against George W. Bush.

Related news

  • “Rep. Barbara Lee calls for U.S. Congress probe into Iraq War planning” — Wikinews, July 22, 2005
  • “Rep. Waxman: Karl Rove violated non-disclosure agreement” — Wikinews, July 17, 2005

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
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