- The Washington Times - Friday, October 14, 2005

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Karl Rove testified to a grand jury for the fourth and final time yesterday in connection with the CIA leak probe, smiling as he emerged from hours of questioning.

Mr. Rove spent about 41/2 hours inside the federal courthouse, and left without talking to reporters.

His attorney, Robert D. Luskin, said federal prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald “has not advised Mr. Rove that he is a target of the investigation and affirmed that he has made no decision concerning charges. The special counsel has indicated that he does not anticipate the need for Mr. Rove’s further cooperation.”

Mr. Fitzgerald is investigating whether laws were broken when Valerie Plame was identified as a CIA officer in 2003.

Defense lawyers increasingly are concerned Mr. Fitzgerald might pursue other charges such as false statements, obstruction of justice or mishandling of classified information. Mrs. Plame’s name began appearing in press reports after her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, publicly criticized the administration, saying it had twisted prewar intelligence on Iraq.

New York Times reporter Judith Miller testified twice in recent days about three conversations she had with Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, in June and July 2003 regarding Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Plame.

Mr. Cheney yesterday was asked about Mr. Libby’s earlier grand jury testimony and conversations with Mrs. Miller.

“I’m simply not at liberty to discuss the issue. I understand you’ve got to ask those questions, but it is an ongoing investigation and we’re under instructions not to discuss the matter,” Mr. Cheney told the Fox News Channel.

The White House said it would not comment on the ongoing investigation.

“Karl continues to do his duties as deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to the president,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan yesterday said.

Until three months ago, the White House had denied that Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby were involved in revealing Mrs. Plame’s identity.

The White House denials gave way to “no comments” after revelations in July that Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby had been sources for Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper in a story that identified Mrs. Plame.

Eight days after Mr. Wilson accused the administration of manipulating intelligence to exaggerate the Iraqi threat, columnist Robert Novak identified Mr. Wilson’s wife as a CIA operative, saying she had suggested her husband for a mission to Africa for the agency.

Mr. Wilson’s trip on behalf of the CIA led ultimately to his conclusion that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction, which have not been found there.

Mr. Novak said his sources were two senior administration officials. He is thought to have cooperated with Mr. Fitzgerald’s investigation, though he has declined to comment.

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