This week, Newsweek will be running a piece
which examines the details of Tim Russert's deal with special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Hold please.
According to a Newsweek article from Michael Isikoff, Leak Investigation: The Russert Deal--What It Reveals
The deal was not, as many assumed, for Russert's testimony about what Libby told him: it focused on what Russert told Libby. An NBC statement last year said Russert did not know of Plame, wife of ex-ambassador Joseph Wilson, or that she worked at the CIA, and "he did not provide that information to Libby."
This would suggest that Fitzgerald is now, at least in part, concentrating on verifying the testimony of some administration officials.
A source close to Karl Rove, who requested anonymity because the FBI asked participants not to comment publicly, says the White House aide--who passed info about Wilson's wife to Time's Matt Cooper--only knew about her CIA job from either a reporter or "somebody" who heard it from a reporter; he can't remember which or who.
Rove did not initially discuss his talk with Cooper with the FBI, but later volunteered info about it and called agents' attention to a subpoenaed e-mail he had written to national-security aide Stephen Hadley mentioning the conversation, the source said.
Luskin again, apparently. My question is: when did Rove volunteer this info? After Time handed over the documents? Before?
The memo, dated June 10, 2003, was labeled top secret at the top of the first page; a paragraph referring to "Valerie Wilson" at the CIA had the letters snf in front of it, for "Secret No Foreign," meaning the info is secret and can't be shared with any foreign national, says a government official who reviewed it but asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the material.
Note that this differs from reports earlier this week that noted a designation of "s" rather than "snf," fwiw.
Fitzgerald has been said to be investigating whether any aides violated the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act--which makes it a felony to disclose the identity of a covert CIA employee: it requires showing the violator knew the agent's undercover status. (The State memo makes no reference to that.) But the CIA's initial "crimes report" to the Justice Department requesting the leak probe never mentioned that law, says a former government official who requested anonymity because of the confidential material involved.
Any ideas on the 'former government official'? Tenet?
Regardless of the initial DoJ report, there still remains a chance of the IIPA playing a large role in Fitzgerald's forthcoming charges. The INR memo wasn't the only source of Wilson's identity, though it might have been the origin for some to donnect the dots. Someone had to know Valerie Plame (not Wilson) and her full background.
Update [2005-7-25 1:5:21 by jorndorff]: Russert on MTP adds:
Russert: There has to be an original source, somebody.
Russert: Even if it came from a reporter...
Russert: ...the reporter got it from someplace.
Totenberg: Right. And...
Russert: But I was asked what I said. I did not know.