News and events revolving around the ousting of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

New York Daily News - World & National Report - Fess up on leak, Chuck prods Bush


WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Schumer yesterday urged President Bush to come clean on what and when he knew about political guru Karl Rove's involvement in the outing of CIA spy Valerie Plame.
Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, meanwhile, is combing over testimony by John Hannah and David Wurmser, national security aides to Vice President Cheney who sources questioned under oath say may be the key to the probe.

Citing yesterday's Daily News story detailing Bush's angry 2003 outburst, Schumer requested particulars of that heated discussion about Rove's role in the CIA leaks. "It seems you may have been angry that White House officials were caught, not that they had compromised national security," Schumer wrote in a letter to Bush. Schumer also questioned why Bush didn't suspend Rove's top secret security clearance if he was aware his senior aide had a role in the Plame affair.

Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said he wasn't aware of the letter, but he still lashed out. "The last thing that we need to do is politicize an ongoing investigation," he said.

Schumer's letter was sent as Democrats elsewhere jumped all over Bush, perhaps suspecting the President knows more about the leak than he or Rove may have told Fitzgerald.

"We're looking at the time line," said a top Senate Democratic strategist. "The same month Bush reprimands Rove, he tells the American people he doesn't know whether anybody in the White House was involved, and now we learn otherwise."

On Sept. 30, 2003 - the same month Bush rebuked Rove - the President said, "I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information."

McClellan originally questioned the accuracy of The News' story but later said he couldn't comment because the leak probe is ongoing.

Meanwhile, Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, are considering a civil suit that could force Bush, Rove and Cheney to testify. Wilson asserts that his wife was outed to get back at him for debunking claims that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was shopping for nuclear materials in Niger.


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