Watergate II : Fitzgerald calls another witness


Richard Moore


November 28, 2005 

Another Time Reporter Is Asked to Testify in Leak Case 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 - A second reporter for Time magazine
has been asked to testify under oath in the C.I.A. leak
case, about conversations she had in 2004 with a lawyer
for Karl Rove , the senior White House adviser, the
magazine reported on Sunday.

The reporter, Viveca Novak, who has written about the leak
investigation, has been asked to testify by the special
counsel in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald , about her
conversations with Robert D. Luskin, a lawyer for Mr.
Rove, the magazine said.

The request for Ms. Novak's testimony is the first
tangible sign in weeks that Mr. Fitzgerald has not
completed his inquiry into Mr. Rove's actions and may
still be considering charges against him. Mr. Rove has
long been under scrutiny in the case but has not been
accused of any wrongdoing.

So far, Mr. Fitzgerald has brought one indictment, on
perjury and obstruction of justice charges, against I.
Lewis Libby Jr., the chief of staff to Vice President Dick
Cheney . Mr. Libby resigned after the indictment was
announced and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mr. Fitzgerald's request for Ms. Novak's testimony follows
a disclosure by The Washington Post on Nov. 16 that its
best-known reporter, Bob Woodward, had testified under
oath to Mr. Fitzgerald about matters that lawyers in the
case said were unrelated to Mr. Rove.

In an article and a first-person account by Mr. Woodward,
the paper reported that an unidentified administration
official told Mr. Woodward about the C.I.A. officer at the
heart of the case in June 2003, making him the first
reporter to learn of the intelligence officer.

Time magazine did not make clear what information the
prosecutor hoped to obtain from Ms. Novak, whose name has
not previously surfaced in the case. She has contributed
to articles in which Mr. Luskin was quoted.

Another Time reporter, Matthew Cooper, testified this
summer about a July 2003 conversation he had with Mr.
Rove, but only after the magazine waged a lengthy legal

Time disclosed the prosecutor's request in a two-paragraph
article published on Sunday, reporting that Ms. Novak had
been asked to discuss conversations she had with Mr.
Luskin, starting in May 2004, when she was covering the

The article said Ms. Novak was cooperating with the
inquiry. It is not known when she will testify; she has
not been asked to appear before the grand jury but will
instead give a deposition, said Ty Trippet, a Time

On Sunday, Mr. Luskin declined to comment, but he has
previously said he expects that Mr. Fitzgerald will decide
not to prosecute Mr. Rove. Ms. Novak declined to comment,
as did Randall Samborn, a spokesman for Mr. Fitzgerald.

The lawyers who discussed the case would do so only if
they were not identified by name, citing Mr. Fitzgerald's
requests to them not to publicly discuss matters that
remain under investigation.

Ms. Novak is not known to have had discussions with Mr.
Rove or other White House officials about the C.I.A.
officer during the summer of 2003, the time that has been
the focus of Mr. Fitzgerald's inquiry.

Nevertheless, the summer and fall of 2004 was a
significant time for Mr. Rove, according to lawyers in the
case. It was then that Mr. Rove searched for and found an
e-mail message he had written that led him to recall the
July 2003 conversation with Mr. Cooper, the lawyers said.

Mr. Rove's e-mail message was sent on July 11, 2003, to
Stephen J. Hadley, who was then the deputy national
security adviser. The message said Mr. Rove had spoken to
Mr. Cooper about issues in the leak case.

After its discovery, Mr. Rove provided the message to Mr.
Fitzgerald, who had not been aware of it. Mr. Rove
testified about the conversation with Mr. Cooper in a
grand jury appearance in October 2004.

Even so, Mr. Fitzgerald has investigated Mr. Rove's
assertions that he had forgotten the conversation with Mr.
Cooper, and why he made no mention of it in his earlier
testimony and in meetings with investigators, the lawyers

In Ms. Novak's case, the magazine's apparently swift
compliance contrasted with the legal battle waged by Time
and Mr. Cooper, who for months resisted a subpoena from
Mr. Fitzgerald for his testimony.

With his appeals exhausted, Mr. Cooper testified in July
that he had spoken with Mr. Rove about Joseph C. Wilson
IV, a former ambassador who traveled to Africa in early
2002 at the C.I.A.'s request to investigate claims of
Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium ore. Mr. Wilson later
became an ardent critic of the Bush administration's Iraq

After his grand jury appearance, Mr. Cooper wrote that Mr.
Rove did not identify Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie  Wilson,
by name, but told him that she worked at the Central
Intelligence Agency on issues related to illicit weapons
and might have played a role in sending her husband on the
Africa trip.

Ms. Novak is not related to the columnist Robert D. Novak,
who first disclosed Ms. Wilson's identity in a column on
July 14, 2003.

John Files contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company 


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