UPDATEIII: This one's from former CIA agent Larry Johnson:
Aides To Be Indicted, Probe to ContinueUPDATE II:
by Larry Johnson
Wed Oct 26th, 2005 at 01:44:59 PM EDT
For your background, Richard was the first to tip me last year to the developing Larry Franklin spy scandal, which proved to be right. - LJ
Aides To Be Indicted, Probe to Continue
By Richard Sale, longtime Intelligence Correspondent for UPI
This comes to us courtesy of Pat Lang at turcopolier.typepad.com. I've found Richard to always be on target in my experience. -- Larry Johnson
Two top White House aides are expected to be indicted today on various charges related to the probe of CIA operative Valerie Plame whose classified identity was publicly breached in retaliation after her husband, Joe Wilson, challenged the administration's claim that Saddam Hussein had sought to buy enriched uranium from Niger, acording to federal law enforcement and senior U.S. intelligence officials.
If no action is taken today, it will take place on Friday, these sources said.
I. Scooter Libby, the chief of staff of Vice President Richard Cheney, and chief presidential advisor Karl Rove are expected to be named in indictments this morning by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
Others are to be named as well, these sources said. According to U.S. officials close to the case, a bill of indictment has been in existence before October 17 which named five people. Various names have surfaced such as National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, yet only one source would confirm that Hadley was on the list. Hadley could not be reached for comment.
But letters from Fitzgerald, notifying various White House officiials that they are targets of the investigation, went out late last week, a former senior U.S. intelligence official said.
Most press accounts emphasized that Fitzgerald was likely to concentrate on attempts by Libby, Rove and others to cover up wrongdoing by means of perjury before the grand jury, lying to federal officials, conspiring to obstruct justice, etc. But federal law enforcement officials told this reporter that Fitzgerald was likely to charge the people indicted with violating Joe Wilson's civil rights, smearing his name in an attempt to destroy his ability to earn a living in Washington as a consultant.
The civil rights charge is said to include "the conspiracy was committed using U.S. government offices, buildings, personnel and funds," one federal law enforcement official said.
Other charges could include possible violations of U.S. espionage laws, including the mishandling of U.S. classified information, these sources said.
That Vice President Cheney is at the center of the controversy comes as no surprise. Last Friday, Fitzgerald investigators were talking to Cheney's attorneys, and detailied questionnaires, designed to pin down in meticulous sequence what Cheney knew, when he knew it, and what he told his aides, were delivered to the White House on Monday, these sources said.
The probe is far from being at an end. According to this reporter's sources, Fitzgerald approached the judge in charge of the case and asked that a new grand jury be empaneled. The old grand jury, which has been sitting for two years, will expire on October 28.
Thanks to a letter of February, 2004 in which Fitzgerald asked for and obtained expanded authority, the Special Prosecutor is now in possession of an Italian parliament nvestigation into the forged Niger documents alleging Iraq's interest in purchasing Niger uranium, sources said.
They said that Fitzgerald is looking into such individuals as former CIA agent, Duane Claridge, military consultant to the Iraqi National Congress, Gen. Wayne Downing, another military consultant for INC, and Francis Brooke, head of INC's Washingfton office in an effort to determine if they played any role in the forgeriese or their dissiemination. Also included in this group is long-time neoconservative Michael Ledeen, these federal sources said.
On the Hill, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), democratic whip, are asking for public hearings to lay bare the forgeries and how their false allegations ended up in President George Bush's State of the Union speech.
Prosecutor in leak case seeks indictments against Rove, Libby, lawyers close to case sayUPDATE:
Jason Leopold and John Byrne
Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has asked the grand jury investigating the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to indict Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, lawyers close to the investigation tell RAW STORY.
Fitzgerald has also asked the jury to indict Libby on a second charge: knowingly outing a covert operative, the lawyers said. They said the prosecutor believes that Libby violated a 1982 law that made it illegal to unmask an undercover CIA agent.
Libby’s attorney, Joseph A. Tate, did not return a call seeking comment.
Two other officials, who are not employees in the White House, are also expected to face indictments, the lawyers said.
Those close to the investigation said Rove was offered a deal Tuesday to plead guilty to perjury for a reduced charge. Rove’s lawyer was told that Fitzgerald would drop an obstruction of justice charge if his client agreed not to contest allegations of perjury, they said.
Rove declined to plead guilty to the reduced charge, the sources said, indicating through his attorney Robert Luskin that he intended to fight the charges. A call placed to Luskin was not returned.
Those familiar with the case said that Libby did not inform Rove that Plame was covert. As a result, Rove may not be charged with a crime in leaking Plame’s identity, even though he spoke with reporters.
Leak grand jury meets prosecutor
Wed Oct 26, 2005 10:04 AM ET
By Adam Entous
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The federal grand jury investigating the leak of a covert CIA operative's identity met on Wednesday with special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald amid signs the prosecutor was preparing to seek criminal charges.
Fitzgerald, who have interviewed many senior White House figures as he seeks the source of the leak, declined comment as they began the grand jury session at about 9 a.m.
Any charges that are brought by the grand jury could be sealed, preventing a public announcement by the court or the prosecutor until possibly on Thursday or Friday, when the grand jury is scheduled to expire.
The secret grand jury session followed a last-minute flurry of interviews by investigators with CIA operative Valerie Plame's neighbors and a former colleague of top White House adviser Karl Rove.
Plame's identity was leaked after her diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, accused the administration of twisting prewar intelligence on Iraq.
White House officials were anxiously awaiting the outcome of the leak case since any indicted officials were expected to resign immediately. If indictments are brought, Bush was likely to make a public statement to try to reassure Americans that he is committed to honesty and integrity in government.
The White House has refused to answer questions about Vice President Dick Cheney's role in the case.
According to a New York Times report, Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, learned about Plame in a conversation with Cheney on June 12, 2003, weeks before her identity became public in a newspaper column by Robert Novak on July 14, 2003.
Libby's notes indicate Cheney got his information about Plame from then-CIA Director George Tenet, according to the Times. The White House would neither confirm nor deny the account.
On Wednesday, both Rove and Libby were at the White House senior staff meeting in the morning as usual, a senior official said.
Fitzgerald's investigation has centered on Libby and Rove, President George W. Bush's top political adviser. Other aides may also be charged, lawyers said.
Leak probe prosecutor arrives at court
Wed Oct 26, 2005 9:36 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald arrived at the courthouse on Wednesday as a federal grand jury considers whether to bring criminal charges over the leak of a covert CIA operative's identity.
Fitzgerald, accompanied by other prosecutors, had no comment as he entered the courthouse.
Lawyers involved in the case said Fitzgerald appeared close to asking the grand jury to approve indictments, with an announcement expected as early as Wednesday, after the grand jury meets.