Reuters 2006
Rove likely to be indicted: Testifies in leak case
Wed Apr 26, 2006 23:18


 


Rove likely to be indicted: Testifies in leak case

By James Vicini and Andy Sullivan


04/26/06 _-- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, testified on Wednesday before a federal grand jury investigating the leak of a covert CIA operative's identity, his lawyer said.

Rove testified voluntarily about an undisclosed matter raised since his last appearance before the grand jury in October and his status has not changed, attorney Robert Luskin said.

Another source close to Rove said he has not been notified that he is likely to be indicted soon.

"At the request of the special counsel, Mr. Rove will not discuss the substance of his testimony," Luskin said.

His appearance marked the fifth time that Rove, the deputy White House chief of staff, testified before a grand jury as part of the investigation. He left the courthouse without speaking to reporters.

Another source, a lawyer close to the investigation, said Fitzgerald has not made a decision on whether or not to bring charges against Rove.

In late October, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis Libby, was charged with obstructing justice, perjury and lying in connection with the investigation into the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

ROVE AS WITNESS

Libby, who has pleaded not guilty, plans to call Rove as one of his witnesses at his trial, scheduled to start in January. Prosecutors said in late October that Rove remained under investigation.

Both Libby and Rove spoke with reporters about Plame before her identity was made public by columnist Robert Novak in July 2003. Her identity was disclosed after her husband, a diplomat, had criticized the Bush administration for manipulating intelligence in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq.

The sources said Rove's appearance involved matters that have arisen since the last time he testified.

One such matter involved a Time magazine reporter who said in December that she tipped off Rove's lawyer that Rove had talked to a fellow reporter about Plame.

Reporter Viveca Novak said she was questioned under oath by Fitzgerald about her conversations with Rove attorney Robert Luskin.

A spokesman for Fitzgerald had no comment on Wednesday.

Asked about Rove's grand jury appearance, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said: "I have no new information on that matter, and even if I did have new information I wouldn't be in a position to share it with you."

Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said, "This additional Rove visit clearly shows that the Plame investigation is far from over and that Patrick Fitzgerald is living up to his reputation as an impartial, dedicated prosecutor determined to turn over every stone."

"While obviously no one knows what goes on in the grand jury, the fact that Karl Rove has been called back once again is ominous," he said. Grand jury testimony is given in secret, behind closed-doors.

Reuters 2006.
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