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Grand Jury investigation of Plame leak nears end

Monday, October 24, 2005

Karl Rove

The two year investigation involving the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's secret identity seems to be coming to an end.

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury, which has been investigating the "outing" of Plame's secret status to columnist Robert Novak and other reporters, concludes its work on October 29. The U.S. Department of Justice has established a web site for the purpose of making any communication public. However, Fitzgerald's office will not comment on the timing of any indictments which may be filed.

Many individuals inside and outside the White House have apparently been interogated. Two high level White House Chiefs of Staff, Karl Rove to President George W. Bush, and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to Vice-President Dick Cheney, are part of the focus of the investigation. Both Rove and Libby testified before the grand jury; Rove 4 times, and Libby at least twice. Rove and Libby have been informed that they may be in serious legal trouble.

According to legal sources, Fitzgerald will give final notice to officials facing charges as early as Monday and could convene the grand jury Tuesday, one day earlier than usual, to summarize the case and request approval for possible indictments. The grand jury is scheduled to expire Friday.

Bush administration critics suggest the outing of the CIA operative Plame was an effort by the administration to prop up the credibility of pre-war claims that Iraq possessed WMD. The Bush administration has responded that the charge lacks any credibility.

Valerie Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, was a former diplomat to Niger who went public in July 2003 with an Op-Ed column that called evidence linking Niger uranium to Iraq bogus. The Wilson column was written after the President Bush 2003 state of the union address alleging that Iraq sought to purchase uranium from Niger.

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