Subject: [LEAK-GATE] FBI interviews CIA operative

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  10:54 am



Without Justice, there is JUST_US!

[LEAK-GATE] FBI interviews CIA operative
Tue Oct 7 14:44:44 2003;article=45111;title=APFN

White House staffers face deadline in CIA leak probe
FBI interviews CIA operative

Joseph Wilson says he believes the leak came from White House officials
Tuesday, October 7, 2003 Posted: 12:10 PM EDT (1610 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- White House staffers have until 5 p.m. today to relinquish all documents that may be pertinent in an investigation into who leaked the name of a CIA operative to the news media.

Under orders from the White House counsel's office, employees must search their records and turn in all potentially relevant documents -- including e-mails and phone call logs -- to that office by the deadline, or sign a form saying they have none.

About 500 of the roughly 2,000 staffers turned over what they had on Monday, a senior administration official said. The overwhelming majority of the 500 found they had no relevant documents, the official said.

The Justice Department sent a letter to the White House last week demanding that copies of the documents be given to investigators. The letter set this Friday as a deadline for the investigators to get the material, according to an administration official familiar with the letter.

Meanwhile, FBI agents have interviewed the operative, Valerie Plame, government sources confirmed to CNN Tuesday.

The sources would not say when she was interviewed.

Christopher Wolf, a lawyer representing Plame and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, said the couple is "actively considering" a civil lawsuit because of what he described as damage done to them by the leak.

"We are evaluating the situation carefully and have made no decisions," Wolf said. Discussions are in the "early stages" and action is not likely soon, he said. Wolf would not cite any potential plaintiffs.

President Bush Monday called the investigation "a criminal matter" and said he expected all aides to cooperate fully and in a timely manner. He also voiced confidence the Justice Department "will do a good, thorough job."(Full story)

Democrats have called for a special prosecutor, saying it would ensure more independence in the investigation. (Full story)

The investigation seeks to determine who leaked Plame's identity to journalist Robert Novak in July. Novak, a syndicated columnist and co-host of CNN's Crossfire, said two senior administration officials gave him the information about her.

Wilson said he believes the leak came from the White House as retaliation for a report he had released.

In 2002, at the CIA's request, Wilson investigated a report that Iraq had attempted to obtain uranium from Niger. He concluded there was insufficient evidence to support the allegation. (Full story)

His disclosure of that mission, in a New York Times article in early July, helped fuel questions about whether the administration exaggerated the threat from Iraq to build support for the March U.S.-led invasion of the country. The White House later said that President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address should not have included the assertion that British intelligence showed Iraq had attempted to obtain uranium from Africa.

Wilson said Sunday that he and his wife are concerned about their personal security now that she has been revealed as a CIA employee.

The White House notice sent to employees Friday said the documents at issue include any created between February 1, 2002, and September 30, 2003, that "relate in any way" to Wilson's trip to Niger in February 2002 "or his wife's purported relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency;" those that relate to contact with a member of the news media about Wilson or his wife; and those that relate to contact with three reporters, including Novak.

-- CNN Senior White House Correspondent John King contributed to this report.

The Law:
Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 (50 U.S.C. 421 et seq.)
(governing disclosures that could expose confidential Government agents)

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This White House Scandal Finally Tips the Scale!

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