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Bloomberg reveals Rove, Libby gave false testimony

RAW STORY

Newsroom sources tell Raw Story the final version of this piece will differ from the version moved earlier this evening.

Bloomberg's Richard Keil will reveal tonight: "Two top White House aides have given accounts to the special prosecutor about how reporters told them the identity of a CIA agent that are at odds with what the reporters have said, according to persons familiar with the case." The story reflects one given written by Murray Waas for the American Prospect.

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Lewis “Scooter'’ Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, told special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that he first learned from NBC News reporter Tim Russert of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame, the wife of former ambassador and Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson. Russert has testified before a federal grand jury that he didn’t tell Libby of Plame’s identity.

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White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove told Fitzgerald that he first learned the identity of the CIA agent from syndicated columnist Robert Novak, who was first to report Plame’s name and connection to Wilson. Novak, according to a source familiar with the matter, has given a somewhat different version to the special prosecutor.

These discrepancies may be important because one issue Fitzgerald is investigating is whether Libby, Rove, or other administration officials made false statements during the course of the investigation. The Plame case has its genesis in whether any administration officials violated a 1982 law making it illegal to knowingly reveal the name of a CIA agent.

Robert Luskin, Rove’s attorney, said today that Rove did tell the grand jury “he had not heard her name before he heard it from Bob Novak.'’ He declined in an interview to comment on whether Novak’s account of their conversation differed from Rove’s.

There also is a discrepancy between accounts given by Rove and Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper. The White House aide mentioned Wilson’s wife — though not by name — in a July 11, 2003 conversation with Cooper. Rove says that Cooper called him to talk about welfare reform and the Wilson connection was mentioned later in passing.

The leak case shows that administration officials have in effect been using reporters as shields by claiming that the information on Plame first came from them.

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DEVELOPING HARD: WILL MOVE ON BLOOMBERG WIRES SHORTLY AFTER 12 AM EST JULY 21, 2005.............

Originally published on Thursday July 21, 2005.

 


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