Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff first learned about the CIA officer at the center of a leak investigation in a conversation with Cheney weeks before her identity became public in July 2003, The New York Times reported.
Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, and Cheney on June 12, 2003, put a spotlight on Cheney's possible role in the leak and appear to run counter to Libby's testimony to a federal grand jury that he first learned about the CIA officer, Valerie Plame, from reporters.
Plame's identity was leaked to the media after her diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, challenged the Bush administration's prewar intelligence on Iraq.
Libby's notes indicate that Cheney got his information about Plame from George Tenet, who was then the CIA director, according to the Times, which attributed its report to lawyers involved in the case.
The New York Times report comes as special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald appeared close to indicting top White House officials in the nearly two-year investigation, lawyers involved in the case said.
Fitzgerald's investigation has focused largely on Libby and Karl Rove, Bush's top political adviser, and their conversations with reporters about Plame in June and July of 2003.
Fitzgerald has questioned witnesses about whether Cheney authorized Libby's conversations with New York Times reporter Judith Miller and other journalists about Wilson and Plame, people involved in the case have said.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Who'll get indicted?
Vice President Dick Cheney told his chief of staff. I expect an indictment or two out of this. Maybe even more. I also expect some members of the administration to resign and hopefully, Bush won't pull an Ernie and pardon them. Hopefully, he shall FIRE them.