Jump to content
DC Message Boards
Luke_Wilbur

White House Leak To Destroy Joseph C. Wilson

Recommended Posts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFRIDAY OCTOBER 28, 2005 www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osc PRESS CONTACTS:

DOJ Public Affairs (202) 514-2007

TDD (202) 514-1888

 

*******MEDIA ADVISORY******* SPECIAL COUNSEL PATRICK J. FITZGERALD TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE Washington, D.C.

 

-- U.S. Department of Justice Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald will hold a press conference at 2:00 P.M. EDT today, Friday October 28, 2005, regarding the status of the Special Counsel's criminal investigations.

 

WHO: Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald FBI Special Agent-in-Charge John C. Eckenrode

WHAT: Release of public information and press conference

WHERE: Department of Justice

 

7th Floor Conference Center

950 Constitution Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20530

 

NOTE: 7th floor access to reporters at 11 A.M. EDT Cameras allowed access at noon EDT Cameras must pre-set by 1:00 P.M. EDT NO LIVE SHOTS INSIDE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT UNTIL 1:45 P.M.

 

DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS NOTE: ALL MEDIA MUST PRESENT GOVERNMENT-ISSUED PHOTO ID (such as driver’s license) as well as VALID MEDIA CREDENTIALS. ONCE MEDIA ARE ESCORTED TO THE 7th FLOOR, THEY MUST REMAIN UNTIL THE CONCLUSION OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE.

 

Press inquiries regarding logistics should be directed to the Department of Justice at (202) 514-2007.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ABC News just reported...

 

Vice President Dick Cheney's chief advisor I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby will be indicted today in the CIA leak investigation, sources close to the case told ABC News. Top White House strategist Karl Rove will evade charges for now.

 

A source close to the White House told ABC News that Libby's "boxes are packed" and that he will resign from his post after the indictment. Papers containing information pertaining to the investigation will be made public this afternoon while Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor appointed to lead the investigation, will make remarks on the case at 2 p.m. ET.

 

Rove, deputy White House chief of staff and Bush's closest adviser, appears to have escaped indictment, but Fitzgerald is expected to continue his investigation.

 

http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/CIALeak...tory?id=1259169

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Freetospeak

Vice President's Statement on Libby Resignation

 

Mr. Libby has informed me that he is resigning to fight the charges brought against him. I have accepted his decision with deep regret.

 

Scooter Libby is one of the most capable and talented individuals I have ever known. He has given many years of his life to public service and has served our nation tirelessly and with great distinction.

 

In our system of government an accused person is presumed innocent until a contrary finding is made by a jury after an opportunity to answer the charges and a full airing of the facts. Mr. Libby is entitled to that opportunity.

 

Because this is a pending legal proceeding, in fairness to all those involved, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the charges or on any facts relating to the proceeding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest FreetoSpeak

Friday's indictment says "Official A" is a "senior official in the White House who advised Libby on July 10 or 11 of 2003" about a chat with conservative syndicated columnist Robert Novak about his upcoming column in which Plame would be identified as a CIA employee.

 

Late Friday, three people close to the investigation, each asking to remain unidentified because of grand jury secrecy, identified Rove as Official A.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Friends of Hillary

Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on the Indictment of Lewis Libby

 

Washington, DC—Today’s indictment charging that Lewis Libby willfully interfered with the investigation into the possible exposure of a CIA agent’s identity raises serious national security concerns. Taking such action for political purposes is simply reprehensible and should never be tolerated.

 

This Administration owes our CIA agents around the world a promise that their identities will never be jeopardized. And it owes the American people direct answers and responsible action.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Crystal Patterson

Senator Kennedy on the Libby Indictment

 

===============================

 

Today is an ominous day for the country, signifying a new low since Watergate in terms of openness and honesty in our government. This is far more than an indictment of an individual. In effect it’s an indictment of the vicious and devious tactics used by the Administration to justify a war we never should have fought. It’s an indictment of the lengths Administration officials were willing to go to cover up their failed intelligence, their distortion on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and their serious blunders on the war. It is an indictment of their vindictive efforts to discredit anyone who challenge their misrepresentations.

 

The American people know the high cost of this misguided war – 2,000 U.S. soldiers dead, more than 15,000 wounded, hundreds of billions of dollars spent with no end in sight, and a continuing shameful effort by the White House to silence those who try to tell the truth about the war. Dissent is the ultimate form of patriotism, and it’s time we return to having an honest discourse in this country about changing direction and paying attention to the needs of the American people.

 

The President should take this opportunity to do everything he can to heal the country by not interfering with the prosecution of this case or the continuing investigation, and by cleaning house at the White House to immunize the country against any further corruption and dishonesty. As the President promised, anyone still in the White House who had anything to do with this scandalous plot or the cover-up should be dismissed immediately, whether or not they have been indicted. Something has to give — America can’t stand three more years of this failed Bush presidency.

 

========================

 

Scooter Libby and Vice President Cheney withheld critical documents in the Senate's investigation of the use and misuse of intelligence in the decision to go to war and in the management of the war.

 

These documents must be handed over, because the American people deserve answers.

 

We need answers, not cover-ups, by the Administration about these serious issues.

 

Sign the petition today.

 

http://www.tedkennedy.com/page/petition/ir...cuments/dcpages

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jane Fox

Why would I. Lewis Libby take the extraordinary risk of going to prison to thwart a special counsel's investigation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Freetospeak

Libby's misstatements to FBI agents and the grand jury were designed to prevent investigators from learning who else at the White House was involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

November 2, 2005 White House Press Briefing. Scott McClellan is asked about how Karl Rove is performing and the Vice President's involvement in the leak.

 

*********************************

 

Q Scott, do you think that Karl Rove can adequately carry out his White House duties with the cloud of investigation hanging --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: He is.

 

Q -- over him?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: He is.

 

Q But it must be somewhat of a distraction -- it doesn't seem like a distraction that's going to go away any time soon?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, if you're asking me to comment on an ongoing investigation, I'm just not going to do that. If you have questions that you need to direct to someone's personal attorneys, you're welcome to do that. But we're not going to be talking about it unless we're directed by the Special Counsel or in consultation with the White House Counsel's Office.

 

Q During this period has he ever offered to resign?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Karl Rove continues to do his duties. He is Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the President.

 

Go ahead.

 

Q Given all the tantalizing questions that were left in the wake of the Special Prosecutor's news conference, et cetera, about Vice President Cheney, does the White House feel that the Vice President should, or does the White House plan to have the Vice President explain his role in all of this any time soon?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we've already answered that question. I answered that question on Friday. Just to step back and again reiterate what I said, this is an ongoing investigation and a continuing legal proceeding. And while that matter is ongoing, we are not going to be talking further about it unless directed to do so by the special counsel or in consultation with the White House's Counsel's Office.

 

Q But what about those who believe that taking that position -- in taking that position, you shirk -- "you" being the White House in general -- shirk your responsibility to the public accountability?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: We have a responsibility to make sure that the investigation goes forward and comes to a successful conclusion, hopefully, and that the legal proceeding moves forward in a way that the individual can receive a fair and impartial hearing.

 

Q But do you not also have a responsibility to keep the people who are your constituents, the people of the United States informed?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: We have a responsibility to continue to cooperate with the special counsel, and that's what we're doing. And we believe the best way to do that is not to get into commenting on it from here, because we could prejudice the opportunity for there to be a fair and impartial trial.

 

Now, I fully understand that you all are looking for more information and want to get ahead of this matter, but we cannot from our position. We need to do our part to cooperate with the special counsel. That's what we --

 

Q Don't you end up with a credibility problem --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Hang on. That's what we've done, and that's what we will continue to do.

 

Q But don't you end up -- don't you end up with a credibility problem?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I've already addressed that issue.

 

Q Well, can you address it again? Again, the unanswered question --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: What's the question?

 

Q Unanswered questions about Vice President Cheney. This is the man who --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we hope people aren't trying to politicize an ongoing investigation. People need to let the investigation continue. Some might try to politicize the investigation, and that's their business. But what we're going to do is not comment on it further from this podium in order to help the investigation move forward and to allow for there to be a fair and impartial hearing.

 

Q But do you feel that it is necessarily politicizing an -- politicizing an investigation to seek -- seek clarification about the actions of the top levels of this White House?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: I've already indicated, one, that we'll be glad to talk more about the matter once it's come to a conclusion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest askme
When the leak first became news, President Bush insisted that it was a serious matter and pledged to fire anyone who was involved in leaking an undercover CIA agent's identity.

 

But Bush could have taken care of the entire matter in a single day, simply by calling in senior administration officials and asking them whether they were involved. But he deliberately chose not to, even before a special prosecutor began the investigation.

 

As we now know, the people that he would have questioned are very, very capable of lying.

 

http://www.askblax.com/discussion/forums/v...ewforum.php?f=1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Sunshine

Will anyone explain in laymans terms why Karl Rove still retains his clearance, even though he is still under federal investigation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LAW

The better question is why does the President lie to Americans.

 

We will ask not only what is legal but what is right, not what the lawyers allow but what the public deserves. George W. Bush, 2000 Presidential Campaign

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest lautenberg.senate.gov

Senators Call on White House Security Chief to Reevaluate Security Clearances by Rove, Others

 

Following the Senate's adoption last week of the Lautenberg Amendment to strip the security clearance of anyone who knowingly reveals classified information, a group of Senators today called on the White House Security Officer to reevaluate Karl Rove's security clearance. In addition to Lautenberg, Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Mark Dayton (D-MN) also signed the letter.

 

During debate last Thursday on the Defense Authorization bill, the Senate adopted an amendment by U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) to revoke the security clearance of anyone who knowingly reveals classified information vital to the national security of the United States, including the identity of a covert intelligence agent. (In order to avoid a roll call vote on the amendment, Republicans opted for a rare device known as a "Standing Division" to approve the measure.)

 

Lautenberg and other Senators sent a letter today seeking confirmation from Mark Frownfelter, the official in charge of security clearances for White House officials, that he is investigating and reevaluating the security clearances of Karl Rove and other Administration officials referenced in the indictment of former Cheney Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Under Federal rules cited in the Senators' letter, upon learning of "adverse information" regarding handling of classified information, Mr. Frownfelter is required to take "prompt action to investigate alleged violations of security, and recommen[d] appropriate administrative action with respect to violators."

 

"The Senate affirmed the view anyone who reveals the identity of a covert agent should be stripped of their security clearance," said Senator Lautenberg. "Yet Karl Rove still has access to some of the most sensitive classified information vital to this nation's national security. If Karl Rove blew the cover of a CIA agent, he should not be in the position to do it again. His clearance should be stripped." A copy of the letter is attached to this release.

 

November 14, 2005

 

Mark Frownfelter Security Officer Executive Office of the President 725 17th Street, NW, Rm. 4101 Washington, DC 20503

 

Dear Mr. Frownfelter:

 

We are writing to seek your assurance that you are treating information disclosed in the indictment of I. Lewis Libby (a.k.a. "Scooter Libby") in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia as an adverse information report on Karl C. Rove, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President of the United States, thereby invoking the appropriate investigation and reevaluation of Mr. Rove's security clearances.

 

According to the above-referenced indictment, a White House official identified as "Official A" disclosed the identity of an undercover CIA agent to columnist Robert Novak, who published the information. White House officials have confirmed that "Official A" is Mr. Rove.

 

As you know, such activity is prohibited under Federal regulations governing access to classified information:

 

Classified information may be made available to a person only when the possessor of the information establishes that the person has a valid "need to know" and the access is essential to the accomplishment of official government duties. The proposed recipient is eligible to receive classified information only after he/she has been granted a security clearance by the EOP Security Officer.

 

As EOP Security Officer, when the possibility of a violation of these standards becomes evident, you are required to take "prompt action to investigate alleged violations of security, and recommen[d] appropriate administrative action with respect to violators."

 

The actions described in the indictment led to the publication of the name of a CIA operative whose employment status was classified. This revelation of classified information damaged national security by destroying an operative's covert cover, compromising intelligence gathering operations, and endangering the safety of other CIA employees and their contacts.

 

In addition to Mr. Rove, the indictment raises concerns about whether other current and former White House officials mishandled classified information. Among the persons that appear to be referenced (by title) in the indictment are David Addington, who served as "Counsel to the Vice President" at the time of the indictment (and has since been promoted to replace Mr. Libby as Chief of Staff) and Eric Edelman, the "then Principal Deputy" to Mr. Libby (who has left the Vice President's office and is currently the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.)

 

We would like your assurance that you are taking prompt action on this case, and that you will follow up with appropriate administrative actions regarding these officials' access to classified information.

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Sincerely,

 

FRANK R. LAUTENBERG RICHARD J. DURBIN

 

JACK REED TOM HARKIN

 

MARK DAYTON

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LAW

Has anyone noticed that sixteen former CIA and military intelligence officials yesterday urged President Bush to suspend the security clearance of his top political adviser, Karl Rove

 

15 November 2005

 

President George W. Bush

Office of the President

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

Most respectfully, we, the undersigned, as former intelligence officers who have served this nation in a variety of capacities, both undercover and in the open, are writing to deplore the breach of trust between this Administration and members of the intelligence community that has resulted from the Valerie Plame case. Moreover, this nation’s clandestine intelligence service will be seriously undermined if those culpable of disclosing or discussing her identity are pardoned after being found guilty or allowed to continue holding security clearances.

 

Mr. President, you entered office with the promise to restore honor to the White House and in the spirit of that pledge later promised to hold accountable anyone on your staff implicated in the leak of Valerie Wilson’s classified identity. Mr. President, we are asking you to keep your promises.

 

As intelligence professionals our allegiance has been first and foremost to protecting the Constitutional government of the United States. This commitment supersedes partisan politics. We have worked undercover, out of the limelight, and employed clandestine methods to gather information about individuals and nations who have sought to harm the United States and its citizens. In carrying out these duties we rely on you and the members of your administration to protect our secrets and safeguard our identities.

 

Inexplicably, this bond of trust was shattered with the exposure in July 2003 of the identity of Valerie Wilson, a CIA case officer working under non-official cover. It is clear that at least two members of your staff—I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Karl Rove—were implicated in this act. Most of us are not lawyers and we make no claim as to whether any law was violated. However, the actions of these senior White House officials have compromised and destroyed valuable intelligence assets. It does not matter whether their disclosure of Valerie Wilson’s identity as a CIA officer was unwitting or intentional. Their actions destroyed both her career and her intelligence network, which was devoted to protecting this country from the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

 

Therefore, we are asking that you immediately suspend the clearances of all White House personnel who spoke to reporters about Mrs. Wilson’s affiliation with the CIA. They have mishandled classified information and no longer deserve the level of trust required to have access to this nation’s secrets.

 

We also ask that you make it clear that any individual, who is convicted of a crime stemming from the leak of the classified identity of Valerie Wilson, will not receive a pardon. The refusal, so far, of I. Lewis Libby to heed your call for full cooperation with the prosecutor raises the specter that he will try to stonewall the investigation in hopes of ultimately being pardoned by you.

 

We believe that the President, in his role as Commander-in-Chief, has a duty to demonstrate the highest standards when it comes to protecting our nation’s secrets. We are reminded that Vice President Cheney, when he was Secretary of Defense, dismissed the Air Force Chief of Staff for inadvertently disclosing classified information to the press. The Vice President recognized correctly that the mishandling of classified information, regardless of intent, must be punished.

 

If you take these steps you will be sending a clear message that your first priority is the nation’s security rather than your aides’ well being. You will demonstrate that you will not tolerate people in your Administration who mishandle our nation’s secrets and send an unambiguous message to the American people, as well as our enemies, that you are serious about protecting the security and safety of America.

 

Respectfully,

 

The undersigned current and former intelligence professionals— (listed alphabetically):

 

A. Dale Ackels, Col. USA (ret.)

Robert Baer, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA

Vincent Cannistraro, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA

Brent Cavan, former Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA

Philip Giraldi, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA

Melvin A. Goodman, former Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA

Mike Grimaldi, former Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA

Karen Kwiatowski, political military staff analyst, retired Lt Col, USAF, Ph.D.

Larry C. Johnson, former Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA

W. Patrick Lang, Col. USA (ret), Chief of DIA Middle East Division, Director Defense Humint Services

Melissa Boyle Mahle, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA

Jim Marcinkowski, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA

John "Jack" McCavitt, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA

Ray McGovern, former Analyst, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA

David Rupp, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA

Bill Wagner, former Case Officer, Directorate of Operations, CIA

 

cc:

The Honorable William Frist,

The Honorable Harry Reid

The Honorable Pat Roberts

The Honorable John D. Rockefeller, IV

The Honorable Denny Hastert

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

The Honorable Peter Hoekstra

The Honorable Jane Harman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Jamie K

Bob Woodward, assistant managing editor of The Washington Post, has told Mr. Fitzgerald that he learned the identity of Ms. Wilson from a senior administration official nearly a month before her identity was disclosed, the paper reported.

 

Mr. Woodward released a statement about his testimony on Tuesday, saying that he told the prosecutor that the administration official had casually talked about Ms. Wilson in June 2003 and that Mr. Woodward did not believe that the information was sensitive or classified.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LAW

Time magazine said that Washington correspondent Viveca Novak would testify under oath about her conversations with Robert Luskin, lawyer for White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove.

 

Novak, part of a team tracking the CIA case for Time, has written or contributed to articles in which Luskin characterized the nature of what was said between Rove and Matthew Cooper, the first Time reporter who testified in the case.

 

According to sources, Rove withheld crucial facts on three separate occasions and allegedly misled investigators about conversations he had with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper. - Raw Story Media, Monday November 28, 2005

 

The revelation seemed to indicate Fitzgerald was still aggressively probing Rove, President George W Bush's closest political aide, a scenario sure to dent White House's hopes for a swift end to the damaging affair.

 

Ms. Novak is not related to the columnist Robert D. Novak, who first disclosed Ms. Wilson's identity in a column on July 14, 2003.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest BlingBling
Time magazine said that Washington correspondent Viveca Novak would testify under oath about her conversations with Robert Luskin, lawyer for White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove.

Time Reporter Viveca Novak has been subpoenaed to the grand jury investigating the leak of the indentity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Fitzgerald is interested in her testimony about conversations she had with Rove lawyer Robert Luskin beginning in May, 2004.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LAW

Here is Attorney Robert D. Luskin's Bio and contact information

 

2550 M Street, NW

Washington, DC 20037

T: 202-457-6190 F: 202-457-6315

 

http://www.pattonboggs.com/Attorneys/detai...px?attorney=203

 

Patton Boggs is one of American Lawyer's "Top 100" US law firms and is consistently ranked as the nation’s number one lobbying firm by the National Journal, Roll Call, Influence and The Hill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LAW

Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, told a grand jury he was "authorized by his superiors" to disclose classified information from an intelligence report to reporters, according to the special prosecutor in the CIA leak case.

 

As chief of staff to the vice president, Libby didn't have many superiors. The National Journal publication in Washington reported Thursday that it was Cheney himself who okayed the illegal disclosure of information, citing lawyers familiar with the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patrick J. Fitzgerald said that numerous emails from 2003 are missing from the White House computer archives. (See attachment pdf)

 

The Presidential Records Act, passed by Congress in 1978, made it clear that records generated in the conduct of official duties did not belong to the president or vice president, but were the property of the government.

 

I think it is time for the Bush administration to put up another heightened terrorist alert to deflect the Nation's focus from them to their imaginary enemy.

January26FitzLetter.pdf

Edited by HailtotheChief

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some main points I took from Patrick Fitzgerald's response to I. Lewis Libby's motion

to obtain more government information.

 

From Libby's account it appears that:

 

1. January 24, 2003 classifed report about Wilson’s trip is created for White House

2. Colin Powell may have shared information about Ms. Wilson with journalists while in Africa.

3. The White House needed to rebut Mr. Wilson’s statements about his trip and his conclusions

4. In June 2003, the Vice President disclosed Mrs. Wilson to Libby

5. In July 6, 2003 the Vice Presidents office viewed Mr. Wilson as a threat to the jusitification for war in Iraq.

6. President Bush authorized Libby to disclose the NIE to the media.

7. July 8, 2003 Libby was authorized to talk to Judith Miller about National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)

8. Mr. Armitage may be the source for Novak's Article.

9. July 10 or 11, 2003 Karl Rove and Libby discuss Robert Novak’s story about Wilson

10. July 12, 2003, Libby was directed by the Vice President to speak about NIE and Wilson to media

11. July 12, Libby discusses Ms. Wilson’s employment with Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller

12. July 18, 2003 NIE is formerly declassified.

13. September 29, 2003, White House Press Secretary McClellan states President and VP know nothing.

14. October 4, 2003, McClellan states that Libby, Rove, and Elliot Abrams know nothing.

 

 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. I. LEWIS LIBBY, also known as “Scooter Libby”

CR. NO 05-394

 

Against the backdrop of the limited charges in this indictment – that defendant lied to the

grand jury and the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his acquisition and disclosures to the media

of information concerning Valerie Plame Wilson’s employment by the Central Intelligence Agency

– defendant’s latest discovery requests fail this test.

 

The central issue at trial will be whether defendant lied when he testified that he was not

aware that Mr. Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA prior to his purported conversation with Tim

Russert about Mr. Wilson’s wife on or about July 10, 2003.

 

Mr. Grossman’s testimony is specifically relevant to show that defendant was told of Ms. Wilson’s

employment and possible role in planning Mr. Wilson’s trip to Niger in early June 2003.

 

The anticipated testimony of the government’s CIA witnesses, Craig Schmall, a CIA briefer, and Robert Grenier, a former senior CIA official, and the testimony of the government’s sole White House witness, Ari Fleischer, will focus on conversations with defendant regarding Ms. Wilson which took place in June and early July 2003.

 

Defendant argues that “Mr. Armitage or another State Department official was in fact the primary source for Mr. Novak’s article, Mr. Grossman’s testimony may be colored by either by his personal relationship with Mr. Armitage or his concern for the institutional interests of the State Department.”

 

Nor has defendant established how “any notes from the September 2003 meeting in the

Situation Room at which Colin Powell is reported to have said that (1) everyone knows that Mr.

Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA and that (B) it was Mr. Wilson’s wife who suggested that the CIA

send her husband on a mission to Niger.”

 

Additionally, defendant asserts that he plans to question Secretary Powell concerning media

reports regarding a document containing information regarding Ms. Wilson sent to Secretary Powell

on Air Force One while Secretary Powell and others were en route to Africa between July 7 and July

12, 2003, and regarding the possibility that other government officials may have shared information

about Ms. Wilson with journalists while in Africa.

 

Defendant claims that Karl Rove will be a “key witness” in the trial, in that he will testify

concerning a conversation with defendant on July 10 or 11, 2003 regarding Robert Novak’s intent

to print a story regarding Ms. Wilson’s employment at the CIA, and that Stephen Hadley may “offer important testimony about discussions within the Administration

concerning the need to rebut Mr. Wilson’s statements about his trip and his conclusions,” as well as “discussions about the need to declassify and disseminate the NIE” and George Tenet’s public

statements regarding the “sixteen words.”

 

The trial in this case necessarily will focus on whether or not defendant committed perjury. While defendant may prefer put the conduct of others on trial, he is not entitled to do so. Nor is defendant entitled to discovery so that he may examine witnesses at trial regarding their conduct and the conduct of others that is

not germane to the issue of whether defendant lied and obstructed justice.

 

Defendant claims that, in order to put the alleged events in context, and specifically to establish that Ms. Wilson played a “peripheral” rather than an important role in the controversy concerning the “sixteen words."

 

All documents reflecting discussions within the government of whether to release a public

statement during the week of July 7, 2003 regarding the inclusion of the “sixteen words” in

the 2003 State of the Union Address, including all drafts of the July 11, 2003 statement

issued by Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet.

 

Though he might wish otherwise, this trial is not about the conduct or state of mind of

persons other than defendant. Indeed, the state of mind of other individuals is of negligible value

in determining whether defendant lied to the FBI and grand jury. In reality, it does not matter

whether Ms. Wilson’s role was thought to be important or peripheral by anyone other than defendant

and the discrete number of persons with and for whom he worked.

 

In June 2003, when discussing Ambassador Wilson’s trip to Niger,

the Vice President advised defendant that Ambassador Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA in the

Counterproliferation Division.

 

The evidence will show that the July 6, 2003, Op Ed by Mr. Wilson was viewed in the Office of Vice President as a direct attack on the credibility of the Vice President (and the President) on a matter of signal importance: the rationale for the war in Iraq.

 

At some point after the publication of the July 6, 2003 Op Ed by Mr. Wilson, Vice President

Cheney, defendant’s immediate superior, expressed concerns to defendant regarding whether Mr.

Wilson’s trip was legitimate or whether it was in effect a junket set up by Mr. Wilson’s wife. And,

in considering “context,” there was press reporting that the Vice President had dispatched Mr.

Wilson on the trip (which in fact was not accurate).

 

Disclosing the belief that Mr. Wilson’s wife sent him on the Niger trip was one way for defendant to contradict the assertion that the Vice President had done so, while at the same time undercutting Mr. Wilson’s credibility if Mr. Wilson were perceived to have received the assignment on account of nepotism.

 

Defendant’s participation in a critical conversation with Judith Miller on July 8 (discussed further below) occurred only after the Vice President advised defendant that the President specifically had authorized defendant to disclose certain information in the NIE.

 

Defendant testified that the circumstances of his conversation with reporter Miller – getting approval from the President through the Vice President to discuss material that would be classified but for that approval – were unique in his recollection.

 

Defendant further testified that on July 12, 2003, he was specifically directed by the Vice President to speak to the press in place of Cathie Martin (then the communications person for the Vice President) regarding

the NIE and Wilson. Defendant was instructed to provide what was for him an extremely rare “on

the record” statement, and to provide “background” and “deep background” statements, and to

provide information contained in a document defendant understood to be the cable authored by Mr.

Wilson.

 

During the conversations that followed on July 12, defendant discussed Ms. Wilson’s

employment with both Matthew Cooper (for the first time) and Judith Miller (for the third time).

Even if someone else in some other agency thought that the controversy about Mr. Wilson and/or

his wife was a trifle, that person’s state of mind would be irrelevant to the importance and focus

defendant placed on the matter and the importance he attached to the surrounding conversations he

was directed to engage in by the Vice President.

 

Likewise, documents from other agencies that defendant never saw will not provide context

for defendant’s grand jury testimony regarding these events.

 

One of the key conversations that will be proved at trial took place between defendant and

reporter Judith Miller at the St. Regis Hotel on the morning of July 8, 2003. Defendant testified in

the grand jury that he and Miller did not discuss the CIA employment of Ambassador Wilson’s wife,

Valerie Plame, on that occasion, and that he could not have done so because he had forgotten by that

time that he had learned about Ms. Wilson’s employment a month earlier from the Vice President.

Defendant further testified that when he spoke with reporter Tim Russert the following day, Russert

informed him that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA, and defendant was “taken aback.” Defendant

testified that he thought that the information was new to him, and that he made sure not to confirm

the information to Russert. Defendant thereafter testified that he repeated what he learned from

Russert to other reporters (including Cooper and Miller) on July 12, taking care to caution those

reporters that he did not know if the information were true or even if Ambassador Wilson even had a wife.

 

As to the meeting on July 8, defendant testified that he was specifically authorized in advance

of the meeting to disclose the key judgments of the classified NIE to Miller on that occasion because

it was thought that the NIE was “pretty definitive” against what Ambassador Wilson had said and

that the Vice President thought that it was “very important” for the key judgments of the NIE to

come out.

 

Defendant further testified that he at first advised the Vice President that he could not have this conversation with reporter Miller because of the classified nature of the NIE.

 

Defendant

testified that the Vice President later advised him that the President had authorized defendant to

disclose the relevant portions of the NIE.

 

Defendant testified that he also spoke to David Addington, then Counsel to the Vice President, whom defendant considered to be an expert in national security law, and Mr. Addington opined that Presidential authorization to publicly disclose a document amounted to a declassification of the document.

 

Defendant testified that he thought he brought a brief abstract of the NIE’s key judgments

to the meeting with Miller on July 8. Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other

things, that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was “vigorously trying to procure” uranium.

 

Defendant testified that this July 8th meeting was the only time he recalled in his government

experience when he disclosed a document to a reporter that was effectively declassified by virtue of

the President’s authorization that it be disclosed. Defendant testified that one of the reasons why he

met with Miller at a hotel was the fact that he was sharing this information with Miller exclusively.

 

In fact, on July 8, defendant spoke with Miller about Mr. Wilson after requesting that

attribution of his remarks be changed to “former Hill staffer.” Defendant discussed with Miller the

contents of a then classified CIA report which defendant characterized to Miller as having been

written by Wilson.

 

Defendant advised Miller that Wilson had reported that he had learned that in 1999 an Iraqi delegation visited Niger and sought to expand commercial relations, which was

understood to be a reference to a desire to obtain uranium. Later during the discussion about Wilson

and the NIE, defendant advised Miller of his belief that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA.

 

Defendant understood that the Vice President specifically selected him to talk to the press

about the NIE and Mr. Wilson on July 12, 2003, in place of then-Assistant to the President for Public

Affairs, Cathie Martin, the usual press contact person from OVP. This is relevant to show the

importance that defendant and his boss placed on the conversation concerning which he later

testified. During his conversations with the press that day, defendant discussed Ms. Wilson’s CIA

employment with both Matthew Cooper (for the first time) and Judith Miller (for the third time).

Thus, there is no way to present the relevant events concerning defendant’s discussions with

reporters about Ms. Wilson without discussing defendant’s role in disseminating the key judgments

of the NIE in those same conversations.

 

According to defendant, at the time of his conversations with Miller and Cooper, he understood that

only three people – the President, the Vice President and defendant – knew that the key judgments

of the NIE had been declassified. Defendant testified in the grand jury that he understood that even

in the days following his conversation with Ms. Miller, other key officials – including Cabinet level

officials – were not made aware of the earlier declassification even as those officials were pressed

to carry out a declassification of the NIE, the report about Wilson’s trip and another classified

document dated January 24, 2003. Given that, there is no reasonable possibility that the requested

documents from agencies outside the Office of Vice President will shed any light on, or provide any

“context” for, what defendant knew, thought and did at the time of his critical conversations.

 

Defendant fails to mention, however, that he consciously decided not to make Mr. Hadley aware of the fact that defendant himself had already been disseminating the NIE by leaking it to reporters while Mr. Hadley sought to get it formally declassified. There is no reason to root around in the files of the NSC or CIA or State Department given that no one at any of those three agencies was aware of any declassification of the NIE prior to July 18, 2003.

 

Defendant’s request for discovery to show an absence of motive to lie or conceal his conduct

overlooks the fact that even the materials defendant appended to his motion show that in early

October 2003 (when defendant first gave his story) there would be great embarrassment to the

administration if it became publicly known that defendant had participated in disseminating

information about Ms. Wilson’s CIA employment, and defendant would have had every reason to

assume he would be fired if his true actions became known.

 

Then National Security Adviser Dr. Condoleeza Rice publicly stated that she knew “nothing of any such White House effort to reveal any of this, and it would certainly not be the way the president would expect his White House to operate.”

 

On September 29, 2003, the Washington Post reported that “two White House officials leaked the information to selected journalists to discredit Wilson.” (Washington Post, “Bush Aides Say They’ll Cooperate With Probe Into Intelligence Leak,” by Mike Allen, September 29, 2003).

 

Also on September 29, 2003, White House Press Secretary McClellan stated that:

There are anonymous reports all the time in the media. The President has set high standards,

the highest of standards, for people in his administration. He's made it very clear to people

in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. If

anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this

administration . . .

I've made it clear that there's been nothing, absolutely nothing brought to our attention to

suggest any White House involvement, and that includes the Vice President's office as well.

When I'm talking about the White House, I'm talking about the Vice President's office as

well.

 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/20...20030929-7.html

 

During this time, while the President was unaware of the role that the Vice President’s Chief

of Staff and National Security Adviser had in fact played in disclosing Ms. Wilson’s CIA

employment, defendant implored White House officials to have a public statement issued

exonerating him. When his initial efforts met with no success, defendant sought the assistance of the

Vice President in having his name cleared.

 

Though defendant knew that another White House

official had spoken to Novak in advance of Novak’s column and that official had learned in advance

that Novak would be publishing information about Wilson’s wife, defendant did not disclose that

fact to other White House officials (including the Vice President) but instead prepared a handwritten

statement of what he wished White House Press Secretary McClellan would say to exonerate him:

 

People have made too much of the difference in

How I described Karl and Libby

I’ve talked to Libby.

I said it was ridiculous about Karl

And it is ridiculous about Libby.

Libby was not the source of the Novak story.

And he did not leak classified information.

 

As a result of defendant’s request, on October 4, 2003, White House Press Secretary

McClellan stated that he had spoken to Mr. Libby (as well as Mr. Rove and Elliot Abrams) and

“those individuals assured me that they were not involved in this.”

 

Thus, as defendant approached his first FBI interview he knew that the White House had

publicly staked its credibility on there being no White House involvement in the leaking of

information about Ms. Wilson and that, at defendant’s specific request through the Vice President,

the White House had publicly proclaimed that defendant was “not involved in this.” The President

had vowed to fire anyone involved in leaking classified information. In that context, defendant

proceeded to tell the FBI that he had merely passed information from one reporter (Russert) to other

reporters while disclaiming any knowledge of whether the information he passed was true, and

certainly unaware that he knew this classified information from government channels. Once that die

was cast, defendant repeated the story in a subsequent interview and during two grand jury

appearances.

 

The government respectfully requests that the Court reconsider the ruling that OVP is

“closely aligned” with the prosecution,11 and further asks that the Court find that the White House

Office (also known as the Office of the President), the NSC, and the State Department are also not

aligned with the prosecution.12 The pledge of cooperation with the investigation made by White

House Counsel’s office in September 2003 does not and cannot dictate any alignment with the

prosecution.

 

A precedent holding that a pledge of cooperation dictates alignment for discovery

purposes creates a serious disincentive for agencies to cooperate fully with Department of Justice

investigations because such cooperation would potentially subject the agency to wide-ranging

discovery requests by defendants and the need to litigate questions of privilege concerning agency

documents and information. A finding of alignment based on that rationale would be unprecedented.

 

12For clarity, it is important to note the distinctions between the various government entities.

The defendant describes the White House as including “the Executive Office of the President, the

NSC and the OVP.” (Memo. at 18.) That is incorrect. The Executive Office of the President is the

umbrella entity within which there are many additional components, such as the White House Office,

the OVP, and the NSC, among others.

 

Moreover, although the Department of Justice sought documents from various government

entities by letter request in the initial stages of the investigation, as soon as Special Counsel became

involved in January 2004, all documents were obtained through grand jury subpoenas.

 

To the extent

there was a steady flow of documents produced, that flow of documents was in response to a steady

flow of subpoenas. A precedent holding that compliance with subpoenas aligns an agency with the

prosecution creates a perverse incentive for an agency to attempt to quash any and all subpoenas it

receives, or to otherwise avoid full compliance with grand jury subpoenas lest its cooperation deem

it as part of the prosecution team with concomitant discovery obligations.

 

Although OVP provided documents in response to subpoenas issued to it, it has not acted on

the prosecution’s behalf in this investigation and is not closely connected to the prosecution.

 

The same is true for the White House Office, the NSC, and the State Department – they provided documents in response to subpoenas, but they have not acted on the prosecution’s behalf and are not closely connected to the prosecution.

 

Thus in the government’s view, neither the OVP, the White House Office, the NSC, nor the State

Department are aligned with the prosecution, and documents in the physical possession of those

entities are not within the government’s possession, custody or control.

 

In the event that the Court declines to reconsider its prior ruling regarding OVP’s alignment

with the prosecution, the government asks that the Court find that the White House Office, the NSC

and the State Department are differently situated than OVP in terms of alignment. One distinction

is that OVP was defendant’s primary employer, and, as a result, defendant likely had or could have

had access to a large majority of, if not the entirety of, the OVP documents, including those that were

ultimately produced by OVP to the prosecution. That is not the case with documents from other governmental agencies. Moreover, other than the fact that the White House, the NSC, and the State Department provided documents to the prosecution, defendant has offered no explanation in his brief as to why those entities should be considered aligned with the prosecution.

 

Applying these principles to Rule 16, the Court should conclude that the prosecution does

not have custody or control over material in the possession of the White House Office. It is a near

impossibility that subordinate DOJ officers would have custody or control over material in the

possession of the White House Office, which houses the President’s closest staff.

 

The considerable potential for disrupting and complicating this litigation, as well as ongoing

government functions, is a reason for this Court to exercise caution in finding alignment and in

expanding discovery substantially beyond what is required by Rule 16, Jencks, and the Constitution.

First, most of defendant’s requests implicate extensive classified information, while others raise

issues of executive privilege. Many are so broadly drawn as to require production of large amounts

of irrelevant material, and to require the disclosure of sensitive information about third parties who

are not government witnesses and who could not provide information exculpatory of defendant.

Second, virtually all of the information sought by defendant involves sensitive governmental policy

deliberations at the highest levels of government. In such a context, this Court should be reluctant

to order discovery beyond that which is reasonably related to the preparation of the defense to the

charges in the indictment. Finally, as discussed above, the degree to which subpoenaed government

entities complied with, rather than contested, subpoenas issued by independent investigators made

it possible to conduct this investigation in very sensitive circumstances. Disclosure of materials well

beyond that which is required under the Rules and necessary to the preparation of a defense may chill

the willingness of future presidents and high-ranking government officials to assist criminal

investigations of conduct by staff members holding sensitive positions. The government submits that

these weighty considerations directly contradict defendant’s assertion that providing the documents

defendant requests from the other agencies would pose no “significant burden.” (Memo. at 18.)

Indeed, quite the opposite is true.

 

 

PATRICK J. FITZGERALD

Special Counsel

Office of the United States Attorney

Northern District of Illinois

219 South Dearborn Street

Chicago, Illinois 60604

(312) 353-5300

DC_CR._NO_05_394_Bush_Leak.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×