April 7, 2005


Papers Say Leak Probe Is Over (Carol D. Leonnig, April 7, 2005, Washington Post)

The special prosecutor investigating whether Bush administration officials illegally revealed the identity of a covert CIA operative says he finished his investigation months ago, except for questioning two reporters who have refused to testify.

The information in a March 22 court filing by special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald suggests that syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak, who first published the name of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame, has already spoken to investigators about his sources for that report, according to legal experts. Novak, whose July 2003 column sparked the investigation, and his attorney have refused to comment on whether he was questioned.

Legal experts and sources close to the case also speculated yesterday that Fitzgerald is not likely to seek an indictment for the crime he originally set out to investigate: whether a government official knowingly exposed a covert officer. The sources, who asked not to be named because the matter is the subject of a grand jury investigation, said Fitzgerald may instead seek to charge a government official with committing perjury by giving conflicting information to prosecutors.

Will these Washingtonians never learn they need to just be straight with investigators and they'll be okay?

Plame Game Over?: The special prosecutor says his investigation was “for all practical purposes complete” six months ago. (Murray Waas, 04.06.05, American Prospect)

The special prosecutor investigating whether any Bush administration official may have violated federal law by leaking the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame to columnist Robert Novak recently informed a federal court that his investigation has been “for all practical purposes complete” since October 2004.

The disclosure by special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald that he completed virtually all aspects of his federal grand jury investigation as long as six months ago was made in court papers the prosecutor filed on March 22. Despite the fact that the filing has been on the public record since then, it has previously been unreported.

Fitzgerald made the disclosure in explaining why he considered the testimony of reporters for The New York Times and Time magazine so essential to his inquiry. Reporters Judith Miller of the Times and Matthew Cooper of Time have already been found to be in contempt of court for refusing to testify before the special prosecutor’s grand jury. Attorneys for both news organizations have appealed the contempt citations.

Fitzgerald implied in the court papers that if he were able to obtain the testimony of both reporters, he would most likely be able to close out his investigation once and for all. Most outside legal observers, and government officials with knowledge of the probe, as well as private attorneys representing individuals who are appearing before Fitzgerald’s grand jury interviewed for this article, say the fact that the prosecutor has considered his investigation virtually complete for several months indicates that he most likely will not bring any criminal charges.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 7, 2005 12:00 AM

"Fitzgerald may instead seek to charge a government official with committing perjury by giving conflicting information to prosecutors"

If that official were Valerie Plame it would be hilarious.

Posted by: carter at April 7, 2005 4:53 AM

Put the blame on Plame ... Mame. Put the blame on Plame!

Wilson, Berger same same in my book except one really should be in jail.

Posted by: Genecis at April 7, 2005 10:15 AM

Put Wilson in jail. Plame's only crime was marrying badly.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 7, 2005 11:17 AM


You're assuming she is somewhat normal. For all we know, they might believe they are living out the Arnold and Jamie Lee roles in "True Lies".

Which seems to sum up everything about this situation.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 7, 2005 12:58 PM