NYT: Armitage said to admit leak on CIA to Novak

Published: Tuesday August 29, 2006

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"Richard L. Armitage, ex-deputy secretary of state, has acknowledged that he was the person whose conversation with a columnist in 2003 prompted a long, politically laden criminal investigation in what became known as the CIA leak case, a lawyer involved in the case said on Tuesday," reports Neil A. Lewis for Wednesday's edition of The New York Times.

Excerpts from the article:


Armitage did not return calls for comment. But the lawyer and other associates of Armitage have said he has confirmed that he was the initial and primary source for the columnist, Robert D. Novak, whose column of July 14, 2003, identified Valerie Wilson as a CIA officer.

The identification of Armitage as the original leaker to Novak ends what has been a tantalizing mystery. In recent months, however, Armitage's role had become clear to many, and it was recently reported by Newsweek magazine and The Washington Post.

In the accounts by the lawyer and associates, Armitage disclosed casually to Novak that Wilson worked for the agency at the end of an interview in his office at the State Department. Armitage knew that, the accounts continue, because he had seen a memorandum written by Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman.


Apart from Mr. Ford, as quoted in the book, the lawyer and colleagues of Mr. Armitage who discussed the case have spoken insisting on anonymity, apparently because Mr. Armitage was still not comfortable with the public acknowledgment of his role.

He was also the source for another journalist about Ms. Wilson, a reporter who did not write about her. The lawyers and associates said Mr. Armitage also told Bob Woodward, assistant managing editor of The Washington Post and a well-known author, of her identity in June 2003.