Karl Rove Won’t Be Charged in CIA Leak Case

From: clive.denton

Date: 2006-06-13 14:08:32

Karl Rove Won’t Be Charged in CIA Leak Case
By Fred Barbash and Jim VandeHeiWashington Post Staff Writers www.washingtonpost.c…, June 13, 2006; 8:24 AM Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has told White House aide Karl Rove that he does not expect to seek charges against him in connection with the CIA leak case, Rove’s lawyer said today. In a statement this morning, Robert Luskin, Rove’s attorney, said that Fitzgerald “has formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges” against Rove. “In deference to the pending case, we will not make any further public statements about the subject matter of the investigation,” Luskin said in the statement. “We believe that the Special Counsel’s decision should put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove’s conduct.” In a brief phone interview, Luskin said that Rove was “delighted, obviously. . . . We’ve always said he [Rove] did everything he could to cooperate” with the investigation being conducted by Fitzgerald. “At the end of the day, he made a determination on the evidence.” An indictment of Rove, the president’s closest adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff, would have been devastating to an administration already on the political ropes and probably would have had significant repercussions in the upcoming mid-term congressional elections, in which the GOP continues to labor against images of a corrupt Congress. Uncertainty about Rove’s fate in the probe had been hanging over the White House for months. Fitzgerald’s office declined to comment this morning. The decision not to indict Rove leaves I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby as the only accused person in the CIA-leak case. Libby has been charged with perjury, making false statements and obstruction of justice. No one has been charged with the actual leak. Fitzgerald began his investigation 2 1/2 years ago, looking into whether any administration officials knowingly disclosed the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame in an effort to discredit her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, Jr.. The former diplomat had been sent on a CIA mission to investigate whether Iraq had sought nuclear weapons material from the African nation of Niger. Wilson reported back that the charge could not be proved, but Bush nevertheless asserted in his 2003 State of the Union address that intelligence existed that Iraq had tried to buy uranium in Africa. After Wilson went public with his allegation a few months later, an embarrassed White House was forced to concede that the Africa claim was not based on solid enough evidence. Fitzgerald, sources have said, was exploring whether Rove testified falsely in February 2004 when he failed to disclose that he told a Time magazine reporter about Plame’s CIA role seven months earlier. In subsequent grand jury appearances, Rove essentially argued that he did not recall the conversation with the Time reporter, Matthew Cooper, until a few months after he first testified, when his attorney found a 2003 e-mail Rove had written to then deputy national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley. This statement today was topic number one on the morning news shows. “The fact is this, I thought it was wrong when you had people like Howard Dean and [Sen.] Harry Reid presuming that he was guilty,” Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman told Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends” show Tuesday morning. “He doesn’t belong in the White House,” Dean said. “If the president valued America more than he valued his connection to Karl Rove, Karl Rove would have been fired a long time ago,” said the Democratic Party chairman, speaking n NBC’s “Today” show. “So I think this is probably good news for the White House, but it’s not very good news for America.” Speculation about Rove’s fate has hung over the White House for months, fueled by repeated appearances by Rove before the Federal grand jury investigating the CIA leak. One Website even reported without attribution that Fitzgerald had already obtained a secret indictment against Rove. © 2006 The Washington Post Company avast! Antivirus: Outbound message clean. Virus Database (VPS): 0624-1, 13/06/2006Tested on: 6/13/2006 14:08:00avast! – copyright (c) 2000-2006 ALWIL Software.

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