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Friday, October 28, 2005

UPDATED: Statements on Assistant to the President and VP Chief of Staff Indicted

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Culture of Corruption meme just ratched up a notch. Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Vice President Scooter Libby was indicted on five felony counts.

The fallout from this will effect every single race in 2006. Please use the comments to post statements by Democrats and Republicans so we can try to get a fuller picture of the dynamics at play in political races.

Full text of Indictments

UPDATED Initial Statements:

Statement from Senator Harry Reid:

“These are very serious charges. They suggest that a senior White House aide put politics ahead of our national security and the rule of law.

“This case is bigger than the leak of highly classified information. It is about how the Bush White House manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to bolster its case for the war in Iraq and to discredit anyone who dared to challenge the president.

“It's now time for President Bush to lead and answer the very serious questions raised by this investigation. The American people have already paid too steep a price as a result of misconduct at the White House, and they deserve better.”

Statement from Senator Ted Kennedy:

”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. “

Democracy for America

Stop the Spin

The culture of corruption in Washington is toxic. Already, the White House has started its spin machine, throwing out bogus talking points about "an overzealous prosecutor1" and "the criminalization of politics2." You know what? We need to quit playing that game.

On Wednesday, November 2, join DNC Chair Howard Dean and DFA Chair Jim Dean on a conference call to discuss how to change the culture of corruption in Washington. Sign up on DFA-Link for a conference call event in your area:


It grows clearer by the day that the President's advisors were willing to do anything to quiet opposition to the war -- even if it meant breaking laws designed to protect our national security. And it leaves us questioning: what other deceptions and mistruths did they tell to lead us into war? If we want the truth, we need to demand answers.

Join the conference call with Governor Dean and Jim Dean next week. If you can't find an event in your area, invite some friends over and join the conference call from home:


It's time for the truth. It's time to take our country back: neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend, from the ground up.

RSVP for the conference call with DNC Chair Howard Dean and DFA Chair Jim Dean today:


Tom Hughes
Democracy for America
1: Republicans Testing Ways to Blunt Leak Charges
2: Bill Frist's Interview With Sean and Alan

PA-10 Candidate Chris Carney (D)


Dimock, Pa.-Chris Carney, Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, has released the following statement after the announcement of the indictment of Vice-President Cheney's Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby.

"While we cannot presume guilt at this point, today’s indictment seems to begin another gloomy chapter in an already sad story. We must let the justice system do its work. But, anyone in our government that endangered the life of an American covert agent for any reason--political or otherwise--is a coward and without honor."

"As the former Director of Intelligence Support for the War on Terrorism, I can testify that the leak of a covert operative's identity does grave damage to our overall national security and to our efforts in the war on terror."

"We all know the name of Valerie Plame now and we all know her work. Her cover has been revealed, her work endangered, and her contacts put at risk. Possibly worse, anyone that considers working for America in a covert capacity must consider that they may not be protected."

"Perhaps more than in any other American conflict, the war on terror relies upon covert agents and human intelligence assets. To risk compromising these scarce assets is to risk another 9/11—or worse."

"We need new leadership in Washington--new leadership that understands that national security is not a political game, new leadership that will always put the security of the American people first."

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:

“The criminal indictments of a top White House official mark a sad day for America and another chapter in the Republicans’ culture of corruption. At the heart of these indictments was the effort by the Bush Administration to discredit critics of its Iraq policy with reckless disregard for national security and the public trust.”

Diana DeGette

Democratic Chief Deputy Whip Diana DeGette (CO-01) released the following statement regarding the five-count indictment against Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby:

"Today, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was indicted by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald on charges of obstruction of justice, false statements and perjury. Allegations that a senior government official tried to subvert the criminal justice process by lying to a grand jury are very serious. This is made even more serious by the fact that the investigation is focused on whether classified national security information was compromised during a time of war. The outcome is now in the hands of our independent judicial system."

John Conyers:

"The prosecutor has performed his job in pursuing this case vigorously and fairly. However, the charges really beg the larger question - what did the president and vice president know about these and related matters, and when did they know it?"

John Podesta:

Statement of John Podesta on the Fitzgerald Indictments

Its time to get out the broom at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and clean house.

We now know that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald believes that crimes were committed in an effort to cover up the White House's involvement in the outing of an undercover CIA officer.

At its core, this case is about the Administration's manipulation of intelligence to sell the war in Iraq. Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald's continuing investigation may reveal more about the White House's efforts to cover up its missteps in the lead up to the war.

But we should not have to wait for Fitzgerald's findings for the President to take responsibility for what went on in his White House. We know Karl Rove was a source of the leak. We know Karl Rove lied to the President, the White House Press Secretary and the public. We also know that Vice President Cheney was Lewis Libby's source for the CIA officer's identity. He must come forward and explain his role.

There is no question this is a Presidency in crisis. Bush has a chance to salvage his credibility and last three years of his Presidency - but only if he stands by his word to fire anyone involved in the leak starting with the immediate resignation
of Lewis Libby and Karl Rove.

In addition to Rove and Libby, we know that senior Presidential aides National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan were either complicit in the leak and the cover up, or grossly negligent in their duties. The Press Secretary's credibility is in tatters. It is clear he can no longer be an effective spokesperson for the President. Finally, as Chief of Staff, Andrew Card has presided over a White House staff that is guilty of a disservice to the President and the country. Each of these aides should resign.


National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley
Stephen Hadley knew for more than two years that Karl Rove was lying about his role in the leak. In July of 2003, Rove sent then-Deputy National Security Advisor Hadley an email relaying a conversation Rove had with a reporter about Ambassador Wilson.

The CIA alerted Hadley three times between October 2002 to January 2003 that the uranium intelligence was unreliable. The State Department told Hadley and Rice in the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's WMD capability that they found the uranium intelligence "highly dubious." Hadley d [approved?] the use of the erroneous claim in the State of the Union anyway.

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card
Andrew Card has presided over a White House staff that has actively misled the public on its role in the leak, and allowed the President to present faulty intelligence to the American people. Mr. Card has either been lied to about the White House staff's role in the leak or he has been complicit in it.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan
The White House Press Secretary is not just the President's spokesperson; he or she speaks for the United States government. Beginning in the summer of 2003, Scott McClellan has made categorical statements denying any White House involvement in the CIA leak case. Whether McClellan was lying or was lied to by other staff, he no longer has the credibility to speak for the President or the United States government and should resign.

Robert Menendez

U.S. Representative Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, issued the following statement today on the indictment of White House official I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby:

"It is a sad day for America when one of the senior most officials in the White House is indicted on felony charges. I. Lewis Libby is one of the top advisors to the president, one of the chief architects of his foreign policy, and one of the masterminds behind the way the administration sold to the public the war in Iraq.

"Of all the things we have learned over the course of this investigation, two facts stand out: President Bush stood before Congress and spoke of attempts by Saddam Hussein to acquire uranium from Africa, a charge that the administration knew was not true. And Valerie Plame's name was released to the public because Joseph Wilson dared to point out that the claim was not true.

"As the investigation into this leak has unfolded, we have also learned that the White House engaged in a coordinated campaign of unprecedented intensity to discredit its critics. In the course of that campaign, they blew the cover of one CIA operative and thereby jeopardized the lives of other CIA agents.

"Last year, the president said he would fire anyone found leaking information in this case, and we now know the official who was indicted today was not the only one who leaked information. If the president hopes to undo the damage he has done to this country and restore what is left of his credibility, he needs to follow through on his pledge. He cannot hide behind legalistic denials, or pretend that the resignation of one official removes the stain that has been left on his White House.

"Today's indictments came because this administration misled the country over the most important issue any president faces, the decision on whether to take the country to war, and then tried to cover up that fact by silencing its critics and, it appears in at least one case, lying to a grand jury.

"The president now has a rare chance to come clean. I hope he takes it."

Dick Cheney:

"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."

Bill Pascrell, Jr. via Blue Jersey::

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) expressed concern after learning that Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, threatened national security, obstructed justice, and perjured himself to a federal grand jury, in order to stifle opposition to the case President Bush made for going to war in Iraq.

"Five years ago, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney pledged to "restore honor and dignity to the White House," stated Pascrell, a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. "It is clear today that this insincere pledge has been utterly decimated. Exposing national security information to reap political revenge, and then obstructing a federal investigation, is not "honorable or dignified" -- it is corrupt, shameful, immoral and a reason for national concern. With three years to go, this Administration has officially lost any remaining credibility.

At the heart of this issue is an Administration that will stop at nothing to hide the truth from the American people. The indictment reveals that a top official in the United States government placed politics over national security. The President invaded Iraq under false pretenses; today we have learned that Mr. Libby perjured himself to defend those false pretenses that enabled the President to invade Iraq. This isn't a Republican or Democrat issue, this Administration has dishonored all Americans.

President Bush is struggling with the economy at home and with war overseas. Now he will begin struggling to relieve himself of the burden he created within his own ranks."

Joe Wilson:

(To be read by his attorney Christopher Wolf at 3:00 p.m. - 10/28/05)
The five count indictment issued by the Grand Jury today is an important step in the criminal justice process that began more than two years ago. I commend Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald for his professionalism, for his diligence, and for his courage.
There will be many opportunities in the future to comment on the events that led to today's indictment. And, it appears that there will be further developments before the grand jury. Whatever the final outcome of the investigation and the prosecution, I continue to believe that revealing my wife Valerie's secret CIA identity was very wrong and harmful to our nation, and I feel that my family was attacked for my speaking the truth about the events that led our country to war. I look forward to exercising my rights as a citizen to speak about these matters in the future.
Today, however, is not the time to analyze or to debate. And it is certainly not a day to celebrate. Today is a sad day for America. When an indictment is delivered at the front door of the White House, the Office of the President is defiled. No citizen can take pleasure from that.
As this case proceeds, Valerie and I are confident that justice will be done. In the meantime, I have a request. While I may engage in public discourse, my wife and my family are private people. They did not choose to be brought into the public square, and they do not wish to be under the glare of camera. They are entitled to their privacy. This case is not about me or my family, no matter how others might try to make it so.
This case is about serious criminal charges that go to the heart of our democracy.
We, like all citizens, await the judgment of the jury in a court of law.



When President Bush came into office, he promised that his staff would "not just do what is legal, but what is right." But now, public confidence in the direction of our country is crumbling, and nine out of 10 Americans believe that the Bush Administration did something illegal or unethical in connection with the CIA leak scandal. After the indictment of Scooter Libby on two counts of perjury, two counts of making false statements to the FBI, and one count of obstruction of justice, and with questions still lingering about Karl Rove's role, the White House can no longer deny its efforts to manipulate the intelligence to win support for the war in Iraq, orchestrating efforts to smear opponents of that war, and then conspiring to cover it up.



Card Formed White House Iraq Group To Formulate "Meticulously Planned" Strategy To Sell Iraq War to American People. "Systematic coordination began in August, when Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. formed the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, to set strategy for each stage of the confrontation with Baghdad. A senior official who participated in its work called it "an internal working group, like many formed for priority issues, to make sure each part of the White House was fulfilling its responsibilities." The group met weekly in the Situation Room. Among the regular participants were Karl Rove, the president's senior political adviser; communications strategists Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin and James R. Wilkinson; legislative liaison Nicholas E. Calio; and policy advisers led by Rice and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, along with I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's chief of staff." [Washington Post, 8/10/03; New York Times, 9/7/02]

  • Card Described Intricate Marketing Strategy to Sell The Iraq War. In September of 2002 White House Chief of Staff, Andy Card admitted the start of a "meticulously planned strategy to persuade the public, the Congress and the allies of the need to confront the threat from Saddam Hussein" saying, "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August." [New York Times, 9/7/02]


    WHIG Pushed Iraq Nuclear Threat In Papers and Planned Speeches. Under a special "strategic communications" group associated with WHIG, White House staff planned speeches and wrote papers which emphasized Iraq's supposed nuclear threat. According to the Washington Post, "The escalation of nuclear rhetoric a year ago, including the introduction of the term 'mushroom cloud' into the debate, coincided with the formation of a White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, a task force assigned to 'educate the public' about the threat from Hussein, as a participant put it." [Washington Post, 8/10/03]

    Cheney Trumpeted Iraq Nuclear Threat In August of 2002. "Cheney raised the alarm about Iraq's nuclear menace three times in August. He was far ahead of the president's public line. ... On Aug. 7, Cheney volunteered in a question-and-answer session at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, speaking of Hussein, that 'left to his own devices, it's the judgment of many of us that in the not-too-distant future, he will acquire nuclear weapons.' On Aug. 26, he described Hussein as a 'sworn enemy of our country' who constituted a 'mortal threat' to the United States. He foresaw a time in which Hussein could 'subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail.' 'We now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons,' he said. 'Among other sources, we've gotten this from firsthand testimony from defectors, including Saddam's own son-in-law.'" [Washington Post, 8/10/03]

    Bush Cited Iraq's Nuclear Threat On At Least Three Separate Occasions. In the fall of 2002, while making the case for war, Bush began to highlight Iraq's supposed Iraq threat. On September 7, 2002 he cited a non-existent IAEA report that Iraq was "six months away from developing a nuclear weapon." On September 12, 2002, in front of the United Nations Bush said, "Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon." Finally, on October 7, 2002, Bush warned, "America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud." [Bush Remarks, 9/12/02; Bush Remarks, 9/7/02; Washington Post, 8/10/03; Bush Remarks, 10/7/02 ]

    Rice Warned of Smoking Gun as Mushroom Cloud. "'The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.' national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said." [AP, 9/8/02]


    White House Dropped Niger Uranium Reference From Bush's Address To The Nation, After Tenet's Concern's. In October 2002, CIA Director George Tenet personally and repeatedly warned Stephen Hadley, a deputy of Condoleezza Rice, as well as other White House officials that references to Niger be dropped from Bush's October 7 speech to the nation. The Niger allegation was omitted from that speech. [Washington Post, 7/25/01; New York Times, 7/16/03; 7/13/03]



    Bush Claimed That Iraq Was Seeking Uranium From Africa. "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." [Bush, State of The Union, 1/28/03]


    Libby Lobbied Powell To Add Intelligence Information He Favored To UN Speech, The Night Before The Address. Another official recalled that Libby was pushing so hard to include certain intelligence information in the speech that Libby lobbied Powell for last minute changes in a phone call to Powell's suite at the Waldorf Astoria hotel the night before the speech. Libby's suggestions were dismissed by Powell and his staff. [National Journal, 10/27/05]


    Whig Provided Powell With "Script" For Speech to United Nations on Iraq's WMD Threat. The final step was to get Powell to make the case to the United Nations. This was handled by the White House Iraq Group, which, Bamford says, provided Powell with a script for his speech, using information developed by Feith's group. Much of it was unsourced material fed to newspapers by the OSP. Realizing this, Powell's team turned to the now-discredited National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. But some of Feith's handiwork ended up in Powell's mouth anyway. [UPI, 7/19/04]


    Libby Collected Information on Wilson. Beginning in late May of 2003, Libby allegedly began acquiring information about a 2002 trip to the African country of Niger by Joseph Wilson...to investigate allegations concerning efforts by the former government of Iraq to acquire uranium yellowcake..."[DOJ Press Release, 10/28/05]



    Whig Members Reunite To Back Up Their Faulty Intelligence. During the summer of 2003, Hughes and Mary Matalin joined Dan Bartlett in formulating a strategy to pushback on general questions about the White House's credibility over its handling of the Iraq war. "The plan: Release all relevant information. Try to shift attention back to Bush's leadership in the war on terrorism. Diminish the significance of that single piece of iffy intelligence by making the case that Saddam was a threat for many other reasons. Put Republican lawmakers and other Bush allies on TV to defend him. Most important: Question the motives of Democrats who supported the war but now are criticizing the president." [New York Times, 10/21/02; USA Today, 7/24/03,]


    June 2003: The State Department Compiled a Memo on Joe Wilson. On June 10, 2003 the State Department's Office of Intelligence and Research compiled a memo for Marc Grossman, then the Under Secretary of State for political affairs, on Joe Wilson's mission to Niger. The memo included the fact that Wilson's wife was a CIA operative working on WMD issues. At the time, Wilson was criticizing the administration's justification for the war, specifically discrediting the charge that Iraq was attempting to purchase yellow cake uranium. [Newsweek, 7/25/05; New York Times, 7/16/05]

  • State Department Memo Was Marked as Containing Sensitive Information. According to officials familiar with the case, the memo compiled by the State Department's Office of Intelligence and Research was marked as sensitive information. The section of the document pertaining to Plame's role in the trip to Niger was marked as especially sensitive. "[T]he paragraph in the memo discussing Ms. Wilson's involvement...is marked at the beginning with a letter designation in brackets to indicate the information shouldn't be shared...Such a designation would indicate to a reader that the information was sensitive." [Bloomberg, 7/18/05; Wall Street Journal, 7/19/05]

    June 9, 2003: Libby Received Classified Documents from CIA on Wilson's Trip. "On or about June 9th, 2003, a number of classified documents from the CIA were faxed to the Office of the Vice President to the personal attention of Libby and another person in the Vice President's office. The documents, which bore classification markings, discussed, among other things, Wilson and his trip to Niger, but did not mention Wilson by name. After receiving these documents, Libby and one or more other persons in the Vice President's office handwrote the names 'Wilson' and 'Joe Wilson' on the documents." [DOJ, 10/28/05]

    June 12, 2003: Cheney Met With Libby About Plame. "Libby was advised by the Vice President of the United States that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA in the Counterproliferation Division. Libby understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA." [New York Times, 10/25/05]


    June 23, 2003: Libby Disparaged Selective Leaking, and Then Sprung a Leak of His Own. Libby met with Judith Miller of the New York Times. Libby was critical of the CIA and disparaged what he termed "selective leaking" by the CIA...Libby informed Miller Wilson's wife might work at a bureau of the CIA. [DOJ, 10/28/05]


    First Week Of July 2003: Wilson Appeared On Meet The Press And Wrote An Op-Ed Critical of Administration's Iraq Uranium Claims. In July of 2003 Wilson went on the record with his concerns about the Administration's claims that Iraq had attempted to acquire Uranium from Niger. Wilson wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times on July 6 and then appeared on Meet the Press to voice his concerns. Up until that point Wilson had only been commenting on background. [Newsweek, 7/25/05]


    July 6, 2003: Armitage Asked For State Department Memo To Be Forwarded To Powell After Wilson's Critical Op-Ed Appeared. When Mr. Wilson's Op-Ed article appeared on July 6, 2003, a Sunday, Richard L. Armitage, then Deputy Secretary of State, called Carl W. Ford Jr., the Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research, at home, a former State Department official said. Mr. Armitage asked Mr. Ford to send a copy of the State Department memo to Mr. Powell, who was preparing to leave for Africa with Mr. Bush, the former official said. Mr. Ford sent it to the White House for transmission to Mr. Powell. [New York Times, 7/16/05]

    July 7, 2003: Powell Circulated The Memo That Identified Plame To White House Officials on Air Force One. The Los Angeles Times reported that, "[Armitage] was forwarded a copy of a memo classified 'Secret' that included a description of Wilson's trip for the CIA, his findings, a brief description of the origin of the trip and a reference to 'Wilson's wife.'... July 7, this memo and the notes were removed from the safe and forwarded to Powell via a secure fax line to Air Force One. Powell was on the way to Africa with the president...Powell told prosecutors that he circulated the memo among those traveling with him in the front section of Air Force One." It was also reported Ari Fleischer and other high level officials were seen with the memo. According to individuals connected to the case, the Special Prosecutor, Peter Fitzgerald believed "that a printout of memo was in the front of Air Force One" during the trip, making it available to various members of the Bush staff. [Los Angeles Times, 8/25/05; Washington Post, 7/17/05; Bloomberg, 7/18/05]

  • Fleischer Claimed He Never Saw The Memo. "Among those asked if he had seen the memo was Ari Fleischer, then the White House press secretary, who was on Air Force One with Mr. Bush and Mr. Powell during the Africa trip. Mr. Fleischer told the grand jury that he never saw the document, a person familiar with the testimony said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the prosecutor's admonitions about not disclosing what is said to the grand jury." [New York Times, 7/22/05]


    State Department Memo May Have Been Used to Brief Rice for Sunday Shows. "Meanwhile, in transatlantic secure phone calls, the message machinery focused on a crucial topic: who should carry the freight on the following Sunday's talk shows? The message: protect Cheney by explaining that he had had nothing to do with sending Wilson to Niger, and dismiss the yellowcake issue. ...Condi Rice, the ultimate good soldier... To allow her to prepare on the long flight home to D.C., White House officials assembled a briefing book, which they faxed to the Bush entourage in Africa...It contained classified information—perhaps including all or part of the memo from State. The entire binder was labeled TOP SECRET." [Newsweek, 7/25/05]

    Administration Officials Pushed Information To Reporters That Was Contained in Memo. During the Bush Administration's trip to Africa, Fleischer and Dan Bartlett urged reporters to look into the origins of Wilson's trip. The fact that Plame had been involved in the initial meetings on Wilson's trip was contained in the State Department Memo and was in the section marked "sensitive." [Wall Street Journal, 7/19/05; Newsweek, 7/25/05]


    July 8, 2003: Libby Met Again with Judy Miller. "When the conversation turned to the subject of Joseph Wilson...Libby advised Miller of his belief that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA". [DOJ, 10/28/05]

    July 12, 2003: Libby Called Judy Miller. "In the late afternoon, Libby spoke by telephone with Miller and discussed Wilson's wife, and that she worked at the CIA." [DOJ, 10/28/05]

    July 10, 2003: Libby Informed that Novak Will Write About Wilson's Wife. Libby spoke to a senior White House official (Offical A) who advised Libby a conversation Official A had earlier that week with columnist Robert Novak in which Wilson's wife was discussed as a CIA employee involved in Wilson's trip. Libby was advised by Official A that Novak would be writing a story about Wilson's wife." [DOJ, 10/28/05]

    Novak Attempted to Contact Fleischer While He was On Air Force One. According to sources close to the investigation, Air Force One call logs show that Bob Novak attempted to get in contact with White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer while he was on Air Force One during the White House's Trip to Africa. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald subpoenaed the phone and fax records of Air Force One. [LA Times, 7/18/05]



    July 2003: Rove Declared Wilson's Wife "Fair Game." Wilson said that Chris Matthews called him one week after Novak's column ran saying, "I just got off the phone with Karl Rove. He says your wife is fair game." [Face the Nation, 10/3/03; CNN, 7/14/05]

    July 11, 2003: Rove Gave Matthew Cooper A "Big Warning" That Wilson's Assertions Might Not Be Accurate. Rove had a conversation with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper on July 11, 2003. Cooper wrote an email about the conversation to his Time bureau chief, describing how Rove gave him a "big warning" that Wilson's assertions might not be entirely accurate and that it was not the director of the CIA or the vice president who sent Wilson on his trip. Rather, "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd who authorized the trip." Wilson's wife is Valerie Plame, who was then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA's Directorate of Operations counter proliferation division. [Washington Post, 7/11/05; Newsweek, 7/18/05]


    July 14, 2003: Novak Revealed The Classified Identity Of Wilson's Wife In His Column. Bob Novak named Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, in his syndicated column, revealing the classified identity of a CIA agent as sourced by two White House aides. [Chicago Sun-Times, 7/14/03]

    Libby and Rove Were "Especially Intent" On Discrediting Wilson. "Prosecutors investigating whether administration officials illegally leaked the identity of Wilson's wife, a CIA officer who had worked undercover, have been told that Bush's top political strategist, Karl Rove, and Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, were especially intent on undercutting Wilson's credibility, according to people familiar with the inquiry. Although lower-level White House staffers typically handle most contacts with the media, Rove and Libby began personally communicating with reporters about Wilson, prosecutors were told." [Los Angeles Times, 7/18/05]

    WHIG "Determined to Fight". When the disclosure of Wilson's CIA mission to Niger put the White House on the defensive, one administration official said it reminded a tight-knit group of Bush neoconservatives of their longtime battles with the agency and underlined their determination to fight. Many of those officials also were members of the White House Iraq Group, established to coordinate and promote administration policy. It included the most influential players who would represent two elements of the current scandal: a hardball approach to political critics and long-standing disdain for CIA views on intelligence matters. [Los Angeles Times, 8/25/05]

  • Rove Takes the Lead. "There were grounds to challenge the former diplomat on the substance of his uranium findings...But it appears Rove was more focused on Wilson's background, politics and claims he ostensibly had made that his mission was initiated at the request of the vice president. Rove mentioned to reporters that Wilson's wife had suggested or arranged the trip. The idea apparently was to undermine its import by suggesting that the mission was really "a boondoggle set up by his wife," as an administration official described the trip to a reporter...This approach depended largely on a falsehood: that Wilson had claimed Cheney sent him to Niger. Wilson never made such a claim... In one White House conversation, investigators have learned, Rove was asked why he was focused so intently on discrediting the former diplomat. 'He's a Democrat,' Rove said, citing Wilson's campaign contributions." [Los Angeles Times, 8/25/05]


    September 14, 2003: Cheney Said He Didn't Know Who Sent Wilson To Niger. Asked on Meet The Press about Joe Wilson's trip to Niger Cheney said: "I don't know Joe Wilson. I've never met Joe Wilson...And Joe Wilson--I don't know who sent Joe Wilson." [Meet The Press, 9/14/03]


    September 27, 2003: Justice Department Began Investigating The Leak. The Justice Department begins investigation into whether a law against disclosure of the identities of covert U.S. intelligence agents was violated when Plame was named in Novak's column and who was responsible. [CBSNews.com, 7/28/03; AP, 12/31/03]


    September 29, 2003: McClellan Said Leaker Would Be Fired. Scott McClellan said: "If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration." [White House Press Briefing, 9/29/03]

    September 30, 2003: Bush Said That If There Was A Leak In His Administration They Would Be "Taken Care Of." President Bush reiterated stern treatment for the culprit, saying, "if there was a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of...And so I welcome the investigation...I have told our administration people in my administration to be fully cooperative. I want to know the truth." [White House, Bush Travel Pool, 9/30/03]


    October, 2003: Bush "Furious" With Rove for His Role in the Leak. "An angry President Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair, sources told the Daily News. "He made his displeasure known to Karl," a presidential counselor told The News. "He made his life miserable about this."...Bush was initially furious with Rove in 2003 when his deputy chief of staff conceded he had talked to the press about the Plame leak." [New York Daily News, 10/19/05]

    October 30, 2003: Bush Said Appropriate Action Would Be Taken Against The Leaker. President Bush said: "I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it. And we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing." [Remarks by the President, 10/30/03]

  • October 6, 2003: Bush Said The Leak Was A "Criminal Action." When asked about the severity of the CIA Leak President Bush said, "this is a serious charge, by the way. We're talking about a criminal action." [Federal News Service, 10/6/03]


    October 10, 2003: McClellan Said He Spoke With Rove And Libby Personally, And That They Denied Being Involved. Press Secretary Scott McClellan said political advisor Karl Rove, Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Lewis Libby, and National Security Council member Elliott Abrams had each denied being the source of the leak. Said McClellan, "Those individuals — I talked — I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that's where it stands." [WH Briefing, 10/10/03]

  • McClellan Said It Would Be Absurd To Suggest Anyone In The White House Would Punish Someone For Speaking Out With A Different View. "It is absurd to suggest that this White House would seek to punish someone for speaking out with a different view," McClellan said, adding: "It's perfectly acceptable when someone makes statements that aren't based on the facts to correct that information." [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/8/03]

    McClellan: Ridiculous To Think Rove Was To Blame for Leak. "'There's been nothing, absolutely nothing, brought to our attention to suggest any White House involvement [in the CIA leak],' said White House spokesman Scott McClellan... McClellan dismissed the suggestion and said the White House would cooperate with a Justice Department probe. But he said it was 'ridiculous' to blame Rove." [Daily News, 10/30/03]


    December 30, 2003: Special Prosecutor Appointed. Attorney General John Ashcroft and his office staff recused themselves from the Justice Department's criminal investigation into the leak of the name and identity of an undercover CIA officer. Deputy Attorney General James Comey announced at a news conference in Washington December 30 that he has named Patrick Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney for the northern district of Illinois, to lead the probe. [State Department Briefing, 9/30/03]

  • Fitzgerald Recruited To The Case Because Of His Lack Of Political Agenda. "Fitzgerald was recruited to the case in December 2003 by close friend James B. Comey, deputy attorney general to John D. Ashcroft. He was two years into a posting as Chicago's U.S. attorney, a job he won partly because he was a seasoned outsider with no evident political agenda, qualities that inspired Comey to appoint him to a case with powerful partisan overtones." [Washington Post, 10/24/05]


    WHIG Documents Subpoenaed In Leak Investigation. "Also sought in the wide-ranging document requests contained in three grand jury subpoenas to the Executive Office of President Bush are records created in July by the White House Iraq Group, a little-known internal task force established in August 2002 to create a strategy to publicize the threat posed by Saddam Hussein." [The Times Union (Albany, NY), 5/5/04]

    Scooter Libby and Karl Rove Testified in Front of Grand Jury. "Presidential adviser Karl Rove has...[made] another trip — his fourth — to the grand jury investigating who leaked the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Mr. Fitzgerald is also re-examining grand jury testimony by Mr. Libby." [New York Times, 10/7/05; Los Angeles Times, 10/7/05]

    Mary Matalin Testified in Front of Grand Jury. Matalin appeared before the grand jury January 23, 2004 the day after the subpoenas were issued. [Newsday, 3/5/04]

    Condoleeza Rice Questioned By Special Prosecutor. "Among those who are known to have been interviewed by the FBI or testified before the grand jury [include] Bush White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice." [Washington Post 11/26/04]

    Andy Card, Stephen Hadley Questioned in Leak Case. White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card...[and] Deputy National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley...are believed to have been questioned in the leak case; papers and e-mails about the group were subpoenaed. [Los Angeles Times, 8/25/05]

    Karen Hughes Questioned in Leak Case. Karen Hughes told the Senate Foreign Relations committee that she had been "questioned" by Fitzgerald about the Plame leak. [Los Angeles Times, 7/23/05]

    Jim Wilkinson Questioned in Leak Case. Fitzgerald has questioned ... ex-White House aide Jim Wilkinson about the vice president's knowledge of the anti-Wilson campaign and his dealings on it with Libby, his chief of staff, the people said. [Bloomberg, 10/17/05]

    John Hannah Testified in Leak Case. "Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald began an inquiry in December 2003 into whether the exposure of Plame's status was a violation of federal law. He has since discussed the matter with President Bush and Vice President Cheney and questioned more than two dozen other people [including] ... John Hannah, Cheney's deputy national security adviser." [Washington Post, 10/20/05]

    Cheney and Libby Withheld Documents From Senate Investigation. "Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, overruling advice from some White House political staffers and lawyers, decided to withhold crucial documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004 when the panel was investigating the use of pre-war intelligence that erroneously concluded Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, according to Bush administration and congressional sources. Among the White House materials withheld from the committee were Libby-authored passages in drafts of a speech that then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell delivered to the United Nations in February 2003 to argue the Bush administration's case for war with Iraq, according to congressional and administration sources. The withheld documents also included intelligence data that Cheney's office -- and Libby in particular -- pushed to be included in Powell's speech, the sources said." [National Journal, 10/27/05]



    July 10, 2005: Rove Confirmed As Cooper's Source. Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, confirmed that Rove was the secret source who, at the request of both Cooper's lawyer and the prosecutor, gave Cooper permission to testify. Cooper avoided jail time by agreeing to testify before the grand jury about conversations with his sources, while New York Times reporter Judith Miller was jailed for refusing to discuss her confidential sources. [Washington Post, 7/11/05; Newsweek, 7/18/05]


    July 11, 2005: White House Press Secretary Refused to Answer Questions About Press Leak. Scott McClellan refused to answer questions about the leak days after Rove was identified as a source in the CIA leak, saying: "The criminal investigation that you reference is something that continues at this point. And as I've previously stated, while that investigation is ongoing, the White House is not going to comment on it." [Transcript of White House Press Briefing, 7/11/05]

    July 12, 2005: Bush Refused to Comment; McClellan Expressed President's "Confidence in Rove." Bush "ignored a question" about whether he would fire Rove now that it's known his adviser did talk to Cooper. But White House Press Secretary McClellan said later that "any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the president." McClellan said that includes Rove." [AP, 7/13/05; Los Angeles Times, 7/14/05; Washington Times, 7/14/05]

    July 18, 2005: Bush Changed His Standard; Said That A Crime Must Be Committed To Warrant Being Fired. "During his joint press conference with Indian Prime Minister Singh today, President Bush was asked again about Karl Rove, and whether he would still fire somebody found to be 'involved in the CIA leak case.' The President replied, '...I don't know all the facts. I want to know all the facts...I would like this to end as quickly as possible so we know the facts. And if someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration.'" [White House Bulletin, 7/18/05]

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    Russ Feingold (http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=47600) -

    “As President Bush has said, this is a serious investigation and Patrick Fitzgerald has conducted this investigation in a dignified manner. In the wake of these charges, and the ongoing investigation, the President should remember the pledge he made to the American people that he would bring honor and dignity to the White House and change the tone in Washington. If he is to honor that pledge, the President must insist on a complete and truthful accounting of any unethical conduct by his administration in this matter and so should Congress. President Bush should make restoring the broken trust with the American people a top priority.”

    Posted by: LaXWI [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 28, 2005 05:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment