Watergate II : “investigation still open”


Richard Moore

    Fitzgerald said he will be keeping the investigation "open
    to consider other matters." But, he said, "the substantial
    bulk of the work in this investigation is concluded."

Some people assume this means that there will not be more
indictments. I don't think so. Why keep a grand jury
process 'open' unless there is an intention to return more

When he says that the bulk of the work is completed, I
think that means he has established the 'theory of the
case'. With that theory established, other indictments can
be issued without substantial further investigation. In
this regard, see:




Cheney's top aide indicted; CIA leak probe continues

Libby charged on 5 counts, confident he'll be 'totally

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The CIA leak investigation is "not
over," special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said Friday
after announcing charges against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby,
Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff.

Fitzgerald said he will be keeping the investigation "open
to consider other matters." But, he said, "the substantial
bulk of the work in this investigation is concluded."

Libby resigned Friday after a federal grand jury indicted
him on five charges related to the leak probe: one count
of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury and two
counts of making false statements. ( Charges explained )

Libby said in a written statement he is "confident that at
the end of this process I will be completely and totally

"Today is a sad day for me and my family," he said.

"I have spent much of my career working on behalf of the
American people," he said. "I have conducted my
responsibilities honorably and truthfully." ( Quote
gallery )

During an afternoon news conference, Fitzgerald outlined
what he called the "very serious" charges. ( See video of
Fitzgerald outlining charges -- 13:50 )

"A CIA officer's name was blown, and there was a leak, and
we needed to figure out how that happened, who did it,
why, whether a crime was committed, whether we could prove
it, whether we should prove it," he said.

"Given national security was at stake, it was especially
important that we find out accurate facts."

The charges against a high-ranking official "show the
world that this is a country that takes its law
seriously," Fitzgerald said.

Libby was charged with lying to FBI agents and to the
grand jury about conversations with reporters. ( Read the
full text of the indictment )

Libby testified that he heard CIA operative Valerie
Plame's identity from Tim Russert of NBC News when, in
fact, he learned of Plame's identify from other government
officials, the indictment alleged.

"Mr. Libby's story that he was at the tail end of a chain
of phone calls, passing on from one reporter what he heard
from another, was not true," Fitzgerald said.

"He was at the beginning of the chain of phone calls --
the first official to disclose this information outside
the government to a reporter -- and then he lied about it
afterwards, under oath and repeatedly," he said.

Libby's attorney Joseph Tate said Fitzgerald concluded
Libby did not violate a law that makes it a crime to
intentionally disclose the identity of a covert agent. (
Watch as news of Libby's resignation breaks -- :52 )

Tate said in a written statement that Libby is innocent,
and he asked that the public not judge the case until a
verdict is returned.

He said he and his client were "dismayed" and "surprised"
at the charges, and accused Fitzgerald of turning "alleged
inconsistencies in Mr. Libby's recollection and those of
others" into charges.

White House 'saddened'

Libby discussed Plame's identity in the summer of 2003
with reporters after her husband, diplomat Joseph Wilson,
wrote a highly critical op-ed column in The New York Times
that challenged intelligence used as part of the rationale
for the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

Descriptions of those conversations by reporters say Libby
criticized the CIA and discussed Plame's identity in part
to cast doubt on Wilson's accounts in the Times and
elsewhere, the indictment alleged.

The 22-page indictment said Libby -- before discussing
Wilson and Plame with reporters -- discussed them with
several people in the White House, identifying them only
by title and alleging no wrongdoing on their part.

They included Cheney, then-press secretary Ari Fleischer,
an undersecretary of state identified by two sources as
Marc Grossman and a senior White House official referred
to as "Official A." Two other sources close to the probe
said "Official A" is Karl Rove, President Bush's top
political adviser.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said
the charges "suggest a senior White House aide put
politics ahead of our national security and the rule of

These are so far the only indictments in a nearly two-year
investigation. If convicted on all counts, Libby, 55,
could face a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $1.25
million fine, Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said Libby would not be arrested and refused to
discuss any possible plea deal. Court officials said Judge
Reggie B. Walton has been assigned to the case.

The indictment comes at a time of political difficulty for
the White House and Republicans, with the president's
approval ratings at a low ebb.

Bush on Friday called the legal proceedings "serious" and
said he accepted the resignation of Libby, who also was an
assistant to the president and a national security adviser
to Cheney. ( Watch Bush's reaction -- 1:08 )

Speaking to reporters at the White House, the president
said Libby has "sacrificed much in his service to this
country," and he cautioned that "in our system each
individual is presumed innocent and entitled to due

"While we're all saddened by today's news, we remain
wholly focused on the many issues and opportunities facing
this country," he said.

Cheney said in a statement that he accepted Libby's
resignation "with deep regret," calling him "one of the
most capable and talented individuals I have ever known."

'No decision'

Rove, who testified four times before the grand jury, was
not indicted Friday, but sources said he is not out of
legal jeopardy. ( Full story )

Rove's attorney Robert Luskin issued a statement Friday in
which he said Fitzgerald "advised Mr. Rove that he has
made no decision about whether or not to bring charges."

"We are confident that when the special counsel finishes
his work, he will conclude that Mr. Rove has done nothing
wrong," Luskin's statement said.

The event that triggered the legal and political quagmire
was a syndicated newspaper column by Robert Novak,
published on July 14, 2003, about Wilson.

Before Novak's column, Plame's role as a CIA officer was
classified and "not widely known" outside the intelligence
community, Fitzgerald said.

In a written statement, Wilson on Friday called the
indictments an "important step in the criminal justice

"It is certainly not a day to celebrate," Wilson said,
adding that he and his wife "are confident that justice
will be done."

"Revealing my wife Valerie's secret CIA identity was very
wrong and harmful to our nation," Wilson said. "I feel
that my family was attacked for my speaking the truth
about the events that led our country to war."

CNN's Kelli Arena, Dana Bash, John King and Kevin Bohn
contributed to this report.



"Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World"

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