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

Monday, October 17, 2005

Politics News Article |

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The prosecutor investigating the outing of a covert CIA operative has yet to say whether he will bring charges, but he has decided to announce decisions in the case in Washington rather than Chicago, where he is based, his spokesman said on Monday.

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who has been investigating who leaked the identity of the CIA operative Valerie Plame since 2003, is the U.S. attorney in Chicago and his staff has been tight-lipped throughout.

"If and when there would be any announcement, it would be made in Washington," said Randall Samborn, Fitzgerald's spokesman.

Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, and President George W. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, are among the officials facing possible charges, legal sources have said.

It is unusual for Fitzgerald's office to offer comment on any aspect of the case and Monday's statement led some observers to wonder if it might be a signal that a decision was imminent or that Fitzgerald was trying to increase pressure on potential targets to cut a deal.

After promising to fire anyone found to have leaked information in the case, Bush offered a more qualified pledge in July, saying: "If someone committed a crime they will no longer work in my administration."

Asked on Monday if he would expect members of his administration to resign or take a leave if they were indicted, Bush said: "My position hasn't changed since the last time I've been asked this question. There's a serious investigation... I'm not going to pre-judge the outcome of the investigation."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan would not say whether preparations were underway to find replacements for Rove and Libby if they are indicted and have to step down.

"Karl is here at the White House doing his duties, as he always does," McClellan said.


Post a Comment

<< Home