Skip to comments.White House Defense Crumbling in Leak Case
Posted on 10/20/2005 3:53:52 PM PDT by churchillbuff
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?"
* yawn *
"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."
Even worse, he actively sought out Chinese food in the weeks before Miller ate Chinese food, a clear link.
But seriously, thats not the issue. the issue is was she outed, according to the law or was any other crime committed.
Stupid talking to any NYT reporter.
Some freeper claims that Libby was the lawyer for Clinton crony Marc Rich, the rich guy who was pardoned for something or other as Clinton went out the door.
Since Libby was Marc Rich's attorney, I don't care what happens to him either!
You should. The media will be on this for 2 years if Libby is indicted and if he resigns they'll go for Cheney.
It was me. CNN ran a story on Libby's background and he represented Marc Rich in the Clinton pardon!!! That makes me sick.
"I don't care what happens to Libby.""""
It's not just Libby... he is the key guy in Cheney's strategy and acts frequently on Cheney's behalf. And we know how key Rove is to the President. The administration really needs a final report with no indictments.
And I think they will get it unless somebody said something stupid that contradicted another interview.
"In light of all the disclosures...."
Wanna investigate where all the grand jury leaks are coming from?
In a Grand Jury investigation, THERE IS NO DEFENSE. Therefore there cannot be a 'crumbling' as the article suggests. IT IS AN INVESTIGATION, NOT A TRIAL.
Calling Mr. Fitzgerald, you have a very leaky boat! You best investigate that.
There will either be indictments, or there will be nothing.
Thank you. This is just a load.
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