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Bush knew of pending cia leak

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   http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_4629.shtml

http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_4629.shtml

From Capitol Hill Blue

Bush Leagues
Bush Knew About Leak of CIA Operative's Name
By Staff and Wire Reports
Jun 3, 2004, 05:28

Witnesses told a federal grand jury President George W. Bush knew about, and took no action to stop, the release of a covert CIA operative's name to a journalist in an attempt to discredit her husband, a critic of administration policy in Iraq.

Their damning testimony has prompted Bush to contact an outside lawyer for legal advice because evidence increasingly points to his involvement in the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame's name to syndicated columnist Robert Novak.

The move suggests the president anticipates being questioned by prosecutors. Sources say grand jury witnesses have implicated the President and his top advisor, Karl Rove.

White House spokesmen, however, dismiss the hiring of outside counsel as a routine precaution.

"The president has made it very clear he wants everyone to cooperate fully with the investigation and that would include himself," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday night.

He confirmed that Bush had contacted Washington attorney Jim Sharp. "In the event the president needs his advice, I expect he probably would retain him," McClellan said. There is no indication Bush has been questioned yet.

A federal grand jury has questioned numerous White House and administration officials to learn who leaked the name of CIA operative Plame, wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, to the news media. Wilson has charged that officials made the disclosure in an effort to discredit him.

Bush has been an outspoken critics of leaks, saying they can be very damaging, but he has expressed doubts that the government's investigation will pinpoint who was responsible. While Bush has said he welcomed the leak investigation, it has been an awkward development for a president who promised to bring integrity and leadership to the White House after years of Republican criticism and investigations of the Clinton administration.

Even though he has a White House counsel, Bush is dependent on outside lawyers for private matters. A memo distributed to the staff last year reminded officials that the counsel's office works solely for the president in his official capacity and is not a private attorney for anyone.

Democrats seized on the news to criticize the president.

"It speaks for itself that the president initially claimed he wanted to get to the bottom of this, but now he's suddenly retained a lawyer," said Jano Cabrera, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee. "Bush shouldn't drag the country through grand juries and legal maneuvering. President Bush should come forward with what he knows and come clean with the American people."

Plame was first identified by syndicated columnist and TV commentator Novak in a column last July. Novak said his information came from administration sources.

Wilson has said he believes his wife's name was leaked because of his criticism of Bush administration claims that Iraq had tried to obtain uranium from Niger, which Wilson investigated for the CIA and found to be untrue.

Disclosure of an undercover officer's identity can be a federal crime. The grand jury has heard from witnesses and combed through thousands of pages of documents turned over by the White House, but returned no indictments.

The probe is being handled by Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, appointed after Attorney General John Ashcroft stepped aside from case because of his political ties to the White House.

Wilson has suggested in a book that the leaker was Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Cheney. But Wilson's book, "The Politics of Truth," gave no conclusive evidence for the claim.

The White House denied the claim and accused Wilson of seeking to bolster the campaign of Democrat John Kerry, for whom he has acted as a foreign policy adviser.

Wilson also said it's possible the leak came from Elliott Abrams, a figure in the Reagan administration Iran-Contra affair and now a member of Bush's National Security Council. And Rove, Bush's chief political adviser, may have circulated information about Wilson and Plame "in administration and neoconservative circles" even if Rove was not himself the leaker, Wilson wrote.

Another possibility is that two lower-level officials in Cheney's office - John Hannah or David Wurmser - leaked Plame's identity at the behest of higher-ups "to keep their fingerprints off the crime," Wilson speculated.

Sources within the investigation say evidence points to Rove approving release of the leak. They add that their investigation suggests the President knew about Rove's actions but took no action to stop release of Plame's name.

Copyright 2004 Capitol Hill Blue



Administration blows cover of whistleblower { August 8 2003 }
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Another time reported testomy may help rove { December 12 2005 }
Appeals court upheld ruling against reporters over leak { February 15 2005 }
Ashcroft recused self from investigation { December 31 2003 }
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Bush admits cia leak came from whitehouse { July 12 2007 }
Bush aide testifies leak probe { February 9 2004 }
Bush and lawyer huddle on CIA leak { June 2 2004 }
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Bush knew of pending cia leak
Bush toughens support of leak investigation { October 7 2003 }
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Cheney aide also linked to cia leak { July 18 2005 }
Cheney aide says bush approved leak { April 6 2006 }
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Cheney reportedly interviewed in leak of CIA name { June 5 2004 }
Cheney source of officer name to libby { October 25 2005 }
Cheney staff focus of probe { February 17 2004 }
Cheney to be defense witness in cia leak case
Cia blocks varerie plame book
Cia name leak from whitehouse { September 30 2003 }
Cia probe widens
Colleague says armitage was cia leak source { August 29 2006 }
Did rove blow spooks cover { September 16 2003 }
Doj investigation whitehouse reveal cia agent
Fitzgerald calls new grand jury after woodward testimony { November 19 2005 }
Judith freed to testify about source lewis libby { September 30 2005 }
Judith miller cant remember where name came from { October 16 2005 }
Judith miller retires from the times
Karl rove testifies before federal grand jury on leak
Last day of probe keeping whitehouse jittery
Leaders express outrage for libby commuted sentence { July 3 2007 }
Leaker said wilson wife fair game { September 28 2003 }
Libby charges dont address cia leak
Libby lawyer told miller to clear scooter libby { October 16 2005 }
Libby may have hidden cheney role { November 13 2005 }
Libby perjury worse than lewinsky perjury
Libby retains 5th amendment by avoiding pardon { July 3 2007 }
Libby says white house superiors approved leak { February 9 2006 }
Libby scapegoated to protect karl rove { January 24 2007 }
Libby trial delayed right after 2006 elections { February 4 2006 }
Matthew cooper testify after rove lawyers maneuvering { July 7 2005 }
Mcclellan cant clear cheney in cia leak case { June 20 2008 }
Memo central to leak delivered to powell { July 21 2005 }
Nbc russert rebuts libby testimony { February 7 2007 }
New tork times reporter jailed for concealing leak { July 7 2005 }
New york times reporter given top security clearance { October 16 2005 }
Novak claims book was source of leak { August 2 2005 }
Novak points to cia { October 1 2003 }
Novak pokes fun at cia leak
Novak wont give up source { October 1 2003 }
Pat buchanan says neocons behind whole thing { July 15 2005 }
Powell gives testimony to grand jury
Press secretary says bush behind leak { October 2007 }
Prison fines await those leak cia identities
Probe exposing cia identity { September 29 2003 }
Prosecutor investigating coverup of leak { July 27 2005 }
Prosecutors question Bush on CIA name leak { June 25 2004 }
Reporter held in contempt
Rove and libby worked damage control { July 22 2005 }
Rove blamed libby to jury { October 20 2005 }
Rove called to testify 5th time { April 27 2006 }
Rove confirmed plame indirectly lawyer says { July 15 2005 }
Rove emailed security official about matthew cooper { July 11 2003 }
Rove fight escalates { July 15 2005 }
Rove legal team furious efforts to convince prosecutor { October 27 2005 }
Rove mclellan interviewed cia probe { October 23 2003 }
Rove told cooper wilsons wife works for agency { July 11 2005 }
Rove wont face indictment in cia leak case { June 13 2006 }
Story from two senior whitehouse employees
Time magazine talked to rove for plane story
Time reporters in contempt of court for cia leak
Time reporters says he first learned of plame from rove { July 18 2005 }
Valerie plame does vanity fair spread { December 3 2003 }
Whitehouse press secretary contradicts libby { December 2007 }
Wilson suggested rove leaked { September 30 2003 }
Woodward attacked by liberals { November 18 2005 }
Woodward eyed after calling fitzgerald overzealous { November 17 2005 }
Woodward was told of plame before leak { November 16 2005 }

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