Saturday, July 09, 2005 CIA Leak Prosecutor After Karl Rove Inside Cover Story

Friday, July 8, 2005 1:09 p.m. EDT
CIA Leak Prosecutor After Karl Rove

Now that Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper has agreed to testify regarding the leaking of a CIA operative’s identity, speculation continues to mount that Cooper will name presidential adviser Karl Rove as a source for his story.

And even though Rove’s lawyer has said that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald assured him Rove is not a target of his investigation, "Fitzgerald still appears to want more answers about Rove’s role,” according to the Washington Post.

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Cooper finally agreed to testify just hours before he expected to be sent to jail for contempt of court, along with New York Times reporter Judith Miller.
Cooper said his turnaround came because a source had released him from his pledge of confidentiality.

Rove’s attorney Robert Luskin told the Post that Rove wasn’t that source.

But the Post reports: "More evidence points to Rove as the source Cooper was seeking to protect – although what information was provided is not clear.”

Luskin admits that Rove spoke to Cooper in July 2003, a week before media reports revealed the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, the wife of Bush administration critic and former special U.S. envoy Joseph Wilson.

Luskin maintains that Rove "absolutely did not identify Valerie Plame.” But the Post states that Fitzgerald "is apparently focused on Rove’s conversations with Cooper.”

Wilson has said in the past that he suspected Rove played a role in revealing his wife’s cover.

Wilson believes the White House leaked her name in retaliation for a July 2003 article in the New York Times written by Wilson, accusing the administration of using bogus intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Leading White House critic Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) has gone so far as to call for President Bush to force Rove to explain his role in the Plame affair or resign from office.

But the White House has long maintained that Rove was not involved in disclosing Plame’s identity.

And attorney Luskin stated: "It is certainly my understanding that Karl has testified absolutely truthfully about all his conversations about everybody that he has been asked about.”

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