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Rove called to testify 5th time { April 27 2006 }

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   http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-leak27apr27,1,5766348.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-leak27apr27,1,5766348.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

From the Los Angeles Times
Rove Again Testifies to Jury in CIA Leak Case
By Richard B. Schmitt and Tom Hamburger
Times Staff Writers

April 27, 2006

WASHINGTON Presidential advisor Karl Rove was called again before a federal grand jury Wednesday, a surprise appearance signaling that a perjury and obstruction investigation into his role in a CIA leak case remained alive.

As the White House was introducing a new press secretary in an effort to put a new face on a troubled administration, Rove testified for three hours before the grand jury. Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald is investigating whether Rove lied to investigators in connection with the summer 2003 disclosure of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity.

The appearance Rove's fifth before a grand jury in the case comes six months after a previous grand jury expired without indicting Rove, raising expectations among his supporters that he would not be charged in the case.

That grand jury indicted another top Bush administration aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, whose trial on perjury and obstruction charges is to begin in January.

Robert D. Luskin, Rove's lawyer, said Wednesday that Fitzgerald had made no decision on whether to bring charges against Rove.

Some legal experts said the timing and circumstances of Rove's latest testimony, which Luskin said was given "voluntarily and unconditionally," suggested that an indictment might not be imminent and that the development could be viewed as positive for Rove.

Luskin said the subject of Rove's testimony Wednesday involved a matter that had arisen since he last testified in October. It is believed to involve the chain of events that followed a belatedly disclosed conversation between Luskin and a Time magazine reporter about Rove's contact with another Time reporter.

The lawyer added that Fitzgerald had continued to advise Rove that he was not an investigation "target," a legal distinction that refers to a formal notification prosecutors give suspects about to be charged.

Fitzgerald declined to talk to reporters as he left the courthouse.

The grand jury appearance comes a week after the presidential advisor was relieved of his policy responsibilities at the White House to focus on electoral politics.

At the time of the change in Rove's portfolio, White House aides said it was part of a broader reorganization and unrelated to Rove's ongoing legal vulnerability. But the request for him to testify again is believed to have come several weeks ago, and the White House may have been aware that his legal troubles were likely to flare again.

Coincidentally or not, last week's action helped inoculate the White House against Rove's latest appearance before the grand jury. If Rove is indicted and forced to resign, the White House can say that Rove's substantive policy responsibilities have already been transferred.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, whose resignation was announced as part of last week's White House reorganization, declined to answer any questions about the grand jury appearance.

"I have no new information on that matter, and even if I did have new information, I wouldn't be in a position to share it with you," McClellan said. Fox News commentator Tony Snow was named Wednesday as McClellan's successor.

Fitzgerald's investigation has led to a series of embarrassing disclosures about White House efforts to discredit an Iraq war critic who is married to Plame.

The White House initially denied any involvement in the unmasking of Plame, who was first identified by syndicated columnist Robert Novak in a July 2003 article. But Fitzgerald found that Rove and Libby had actively talked with reporters about Plame at the time, although both deny they broke any laws. It is a crime under federal law to knowingly disclose the name of a covert agent.

Fitzgerald's probe also turned up an organized White House effort to rebut allegations made at the time by Plame's husband, former envoy Joseph C. Wilson IV, that the Bush administration had twisted intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq. According to a court filing, Libby testified that President Bush had ordered the leaking of a classified document to counter Wilson's criticism.

Rove has been a focus for Fitzgerald because he initially told a grand jury in February 2004 that he had not spoken about Plame with Time magazine correspondent Matthew Cooper.

When later presented with a document indicating the men had talked, Rove who had previously acknowledged to investigators that he had been a source for the Novak article said he had forgotten the conversation with Cooper.

A person briefed on Wednesday's testimony described the examination by Fitzgerald as "an exploration of the back story" of what Rove knew about Cooper and when, including an explanation that Rove's attorney had offered up for the delay. The person declined to be identified because of the ongoing investigation.

Fitzgerald suspects Rove may have deliberately misled the grand jury about his conversation with Cooper. Among other things, the prosecutor is exploring whether another Time magazine reporter, Viveca Novak, tipped off Luskin to the fact that Cooper had spoken with Rove, and led Rove to change his testimony. (Robert Novak is not related to Viveca Novak.)

Eventually, Luskin turned up a July 2003 e-mail referring to Cooper that Rove had sent to then-White House national security aide Stephen J. Hadley. Luskin has said that the e-mail refreshed Rove's memory, and Rove subsequently amended his testimony during a grand jury appearance in October 2004.

Fitzgerald is also believed to have been exploring inconsistencies in the stories that Cooper and Rove have told the grand jury about their conversation. Rove reportedly testified that they mostly talked about welfare reform; Cooper has said the conversation focused on Wilson and Plame.

Though some observers viewed Rove's being called Wednesday to testify as a negative for the White House insider, others said that Fitzgerald may simply be addressing unfinished business in the case without an agenda in mind.

The prosecutor has been embroiled in a fierce dispute in the Libby case over access to classified documents and other information. The judge in that case has recently resolved some of those issues, which might have freed up Fitzgerald to start focusing anew on Rove.

Some lawyers involved in the case said the appearance could be construed as a welcome development for Rove.

"Rove showed up voluntarily and his lawyer is able to say that he is not a target. If he was about to be indicted, I don't think you would see it unfolding like this; grand juries aren't typically used in that fashion," said a lawyer who has been engaged with the long-running inquiry. "This is a positive development for Rove, I think." The lawyer spoke on condition of anonymity because he represents a client who has been a subject of the investigation.

Fitzgerald has yet to publicly identify a second source used by Robert Novak in writing his column.

The prosecutor is also believed to be interested in who provided Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward with information about Plame; Woodward has said his source provided the information several weeks before Novak learned of Plame's identity.



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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 }
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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 }
Bush commuted libby prison sentence { June 2007 }
Bush defends declassification of prewar report
Bush jokes to reporter about cia leak
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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 }
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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