“Libby Did Not Tell Grand Jury About Key Conversation”
“Rove E-mail Contradicts Leak Testimony”
“Reports: Cheney, Bush Alliance Frays in White House”
NBC’s Howard Fineman: There are “emerging divisions within the administration over why we went into that war, how we went into that war and what was done to sell it. There are people who are out for Karl Rove inside that White House, which makes his situation even more perilous.”
"...There are signs that prosecutors now are looking into contacts between administration officials and journalists that took place much earlier than previously thought. Earlier conversations are potentially significant, because that suggests the special prosecutor leading the investigation is exploring whether there was an effort within the administration at an early stage to develop and disseminate confidential information to the press that could undercut former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, Central Intelligence Agency official Valerie Plame.
...Mr. Fitzgerald's pursuit now suggests he might be investigating not a narrow case on the leaking of the agent's name, but perhaps a broader conspiracy.
...Lawyers familiar with the investigation believe that at least part of the outcome likely hangs on the inner workings of what has been dubbed the White House Iraq Group. Formed in August 2002, the group, which included Messrs. Rove and Libby, worked on setting strategy for selling the war in Iraq to the public in the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion. The group likely would have played a significant role in responding to Mr. Wilson's claims.
Given that the grand jury is set to expire on Oct. 28, it is possible charges in this case could come as early as next week. Former federal prosecutors say it is traditional not to wait for the last minute and run the risk of not having enough jurors to reach a quorum. There are 23 members of a grand jury, and 16 are needed for a quorum before any indictments could be voted on. This grand jury has traditionally met on Wednesdays and Fridays."
a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife.
"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak.
documents and testimony related to conversations between her and a specified government official "occurring from on or about July 6, 2003, to on or about July 13, 2003,...concerning Valerie Plame Wilson (whether referred to by name or by description as the wife of Ambassador Wilson) or concerning Iraqi efforts to obtain uranium."
"Another intriguing possibility in the leaks case brings back the baroque personality of right-wing pressroom denizen Jeff Gannon, born James Guckert.
The New York Times reported Friday that in addition to possible charges directly involving the revelation of Valerie Wilson's identity and related perjury or conspiracy charges, Fitzgerald is exploring other possible crimes. Specifically, according to the Times, the special counsel is seeking to determine whether anyone transmitted classified material or information to persons who were not cleared to receive it -- which could be a felony under the 1917 Espionage Act.
One such classified item might be the still-classified State Department document, written by an official of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, concerning the CIA's decision to send former ambassador Joseph Wilson to look into allegations that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from Niger. Someone leaked that INR document -- which inaccurately indicated that Wilson's assignment was the result of lobbying within CIA by his wife, Valerie -- to right-wing media outlets, notably including Gannon's former employers at Talon News. On Oct. 28, 2003, Gannon posted an interview with Joseph Wilson on the Talon Web site, in which he posed the following question: "An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?"
Gannon later hinted, rather coyly, that he had learned about the INR memo from an article in the Wall Street Journal. He also told reporters last February that FBI agents working for Fitzgerald had questioned him about where he got the memo. At the very least, that can be interpreted as confirming today's Times report about the direction of the case."
If Karl Rove goes down in this investigation it'll be a disaster for the president, both in terms of the damage occasioned by such a high-level White House indictment and, frankly, because he needs the guy like most of us need legs.
But this WHIG thing is a whole 'nother level of hurt.
This group was the organizational team, the core group behind all the shameless crap that went down in the lead up to the Iraq war -- the lies about the cooked up Niger story, everything. If Fitzgerald has lassoed this operation into a criminal conspiracy, the veil of protective secrecy in which the whole operation is still shrouded will be pulled back. Depositions and sworn statements in on-going investigations have a way of doing that. Ask Bill Clinton. Every key person in the White House will be touched by it. And all sorts of ugly tales could spill out.
"Miller Must Testify (Again) to Grand Jury on WednesdayAfter meeting again with the federal prosecutor in the Valerie Plame/CIA leak case Tuesday, New York Times reporter Judith Miller must testify again before the grand jury on Wednesday.
The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, had summoned her for a talk on Tuesday after she recalled her previously unknown June 23, 2003 eeting with I. Lewis Libby, top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, and sent the prosecutor the notes of the meeting. But it was not known if Fitzgerald would actually ask her to testify again. Now he has.
The news emerged in an e-mail sent by the Times' executive editor, Bill Keller, to staff this afternoon, which was obtained by E&P."
"The ranking member on the House Permanent Committee on Select Intelligence along with other senior Democrats issued a letter today requesting that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald submit a final and public report on his two-year investigation into the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson.
The letter...requests 'assurance that, upon completion' of the investigation '[Fitzgerald] will submit a final public report to Congress of all indictments, convictions, and any decisions not to prosecute.' Normally, special prosecutors are required to submit a report to the U.S. Attorney General." [Raw Story | October 12, 2005]
The fidgeting clearly corresponded to the questioning. When [tough interrogator Matt] Lauer asked if Bush, after a slow response to Katrina, was "trying to get a second chance to make a good first impression," Bush blinked 24 times in his answer. When asked why Gulf Coast residents would have to pay back funds but Iraqis would not, Bush blinked 23 times and hitched his trousers up by the belt.
When the questioning turned to Miers, Bush blinked 37 times in a single answer -- along with a lick of the lips, three weight shifts and some serious foot jiggling.
"For the first time in the [NBC-Wall Street Journal] poll, Bush’s approval rating has sunk below 40 percent, while the percentage believing the country is heading in the right direction has dipped below 30 percent [to 28%]. In addition, a sizable plurality prefers a Democratic-controlled Congress, and just 29 percent think Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers is qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court."
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