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

Friday, November 18, 2005

Print Story: Fitzgerald sees new grand jury proceedings on Yahoo! News

By Adam Entous

In a sign he may seek new or revised charges in the CIA leak case, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald said on Friday his investigation would be going back before a grand jury.

It was the first time Fitzgerald said he would be presenting information to a grand jury since the indictment three weeks ago against Vice President Dick Cheney aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

The investigation into who leaked the identity of a CIA operative, which has reached into the highest levels of the White House, could be moving into a new phase that could lead to charges against other top administration officials.

Lawyers in the case have said President George W. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, remained under investigation and could still be charged.

Fitzgerald has been investigating the leak of Valerie Plame's identity for two years and the grand jury that indicted Libby expired after it brought charges against him for perjury and obstructing justice on October 28.

Plame's cover at the CIA was blown after her husband, former diplomat Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of twisting prewar intelligence to support invading Iraq. Wilson said it was done to undercut his credibility.

"The investigation will involve proceedings before a different grand jury than the grand jury which returned the indictment" against Libby, Fitzgerald said in a motion he filed providing for public disclosure of some evidence in the Libby case.

The special counsel had said Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter about Plame. But this week Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward testified under oath that a senior Bush administration official had casually told him a month earlier - in mid-June 2003 - about Plame's position at the CIA.


Woodward's sworn deposition sparked renewed speculation about who first leaked Plame's identity, and sent Bush administration officials scrambling to deny involvement.

A lawyer in the case said Woodward's source had not previously testified before a grand jury.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman would not answer directly whether Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was Woodward's source.

White House national security adviser Stephen Hadley, in Pusan, South Korea, where Bush was attending an Asia-Pacific summit, left it to aides to put out the word that he was not the source.

Neither was Cheney nor Bush, according to current and former officials and their lawyers, none of whom would agree to be identified.

Plame's husband has called for an inquiry by The Washington Post into the conduct of Woodward, who criticized the CIA leak investigation without disclosing his own involvement.

In his court filing, Fitzgerald backed off seeking a blanket order to keep all documents in the case secret and agreed to focus more narrowly on grand jury transcripts and documents containing sensitive private personal information.

The blanket protective order was challenged by Dow Jones, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, and The Associated Press and a hearing was scheduled for later on Friday.

"We still have concerns but this goes a long way to addressing the major problems," said attorney Theodore Boutrous, who is representing Dow Jones.

(Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Will Dunham)


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