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Prosecutors question Bush on CIA name leak { June 25 2004 }

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   http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/whitehouse/la-na-leak25_jun25,1,3011489.story?coll=la-news-politics-white_house

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/whitehouse/la-na-leak25_jun25,1,3011489.story?coll=la-news-politics-white_house

THE NATION
Prosecutors Question Bush on Leak of Agent's Name
By Edwin Chen and Richard B. Schmitt
Times Staff Writers

June 25, 2004

WASHINGTON President Bush was questioned for more than an hour Thursday by federal prosecutors seeking to identify the senior administration official who leaked the name of an undercover CIA operative to reporters, the White House disclosed.

With a private attorney at his side, the president met with special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney from Chicago, and his legal team in the Oval Office, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said.

McClellan described the session as an "interview" and said Bush was not under oath. He declined to say whether the session had been recorded and referred all questions to the Justice Department, citing the "ongoing investigation."

Since September, federal investigators have been questioning White House officials in an effort to determine who identified Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA operative and the wife of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, to syndicated columnist Robert Novak and other reporters. It is a federal crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to intentionally divulge the identity of an undercover CIA employee.

"The leaking of classified information is a very serious matter. The president directed the White House to cooperate fully with those in charge of the investigation," McClellan said.

Bush's lawyer, James Sharp, a highly regarded criminal defense attorney in Washington, did not return phone calls Thursday. A spokesman for Fitzgerald declined to comment.

The questioning of Bush, among other evidence, suggests that Fitzgerald is close to wrapping up the investigation. Fitzgerald has already questioned Vice President Dick Cheney and White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales.

Fitzgerald is also attempting to subpoena reporters to testify before a grand jury about their coverage of the leaks a tactic that under Justice Department guidelines is permitted only as a last resort.

Time magazine and the NBC television network are fighting the subpoena requests, and a hearing is set for July 8 in federal court in Washington.

Fitzgerald took over the investigation in December after Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft recused himself to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest in what has become a politically charged case.

Wilson, a former top diplomat in Baghdad, has alleged that the leak was an attempt by the Bush administration to retaliate after he disputed, in a New York Times op-ed article July 6, the president's assertion in his 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq had tried to obtain "significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

At the CIA's request, Wilson, who also had served as an ambassador to several African nations, traveled to Niger and determined that the statement was untrue.

Eight days after Wilson's article appeared, Novak's column identified Plame as a CIA employee and said she had had a role in her husband being sent to Niger a contention Wilson says is untrue.

The administration has since backed away from the statement about Iraq's pursuit of uranium from Africa.

Previously, McClellan had told reporters that the president expected everyone in his administration to "adhere to the highest standards of conduct," adding, "If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration."

This week, the Washington Post reported that one of its reporters had voluntarily answered questions from Fitzgerald about the reporter's telephone conversations with Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, in July.

The reporter, Glenn Kessler, said Libby did not mention Plame, Wilson or Wilson's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger in their conversations, according to the Post, which said Kessler agreed to answer questions at Libby's urging.

In his recently published memoir, Wilson speculated that Libby was "quite possibly the person who exposed my wife's identity."




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Agee calls leak dirty politics
Agee discusses leak of name
Agee sees whitehouse getting blowback
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 }
Buchanan comments on mclaughlin july 15 05 { July 15 2005 }
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 }
Bush commuted libby prison sentence { June 2007 }
Bush defends declassification of prewar report
Bush jokes to reporter about cia leak
Bush knew of pending cia leak
Bush toughens support of leak investigation { October 7 2003 }
Cheney advisor resigns after indictment
Cheney aide also linked to cia leak { July 18 2005 }
Cheney aide says bush approved leak { April 6 2006 }
Cheney and rove lose importance in whitehouse
Cheney may use executive privilege { October 29 2005 }
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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