Karl Rove gets to testify again. From the
Rove Said to Testify in CIA Leak Case
By JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writer
Federal prosecutors have accepted an offer from presidential adviser Karl
Rove to give 11th-hour testimony in the case of a CIA officer's leaked
identity but have warned they cannot guarantee he won't be indicted,
according to people directly familiar with the investigation.
The persons, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of grand
jury secrecy, said Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has not made any
decision yet on whether to file criminal charges against the longtime
confidant of President Bush or others.
The U.S. attorney's manual requires prosecutors not to bring witnesses
before a grand jury if there is a possibility of future criminal charges
unless they are notified in advance that their grand jury testimony can be
used against them in a later indictment.
Rove has already made at least three grand jury appearances and his
return at this late stage in the investigation is unusual.
The prosecutor did not give Rove similar warnings before his earlier
grand jury appearances.
Rove offered in July to return to the grand jury for additional testimony
and Fitzgerald accepted that offer Friday after taking grand jury testimony
from the formerly jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller.
Before accepting the offer, Fitzgerald sent correspondence to Rove's
legal team making clear that there was no guarantee he wouldn't be indicted
at a later point as required by the rules.
Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, said Thursday he would not comment on any
ongoing discussion he has had with Fitzgerald's office but that he has been
assured no decisions on charges have been made. Rove would first have to
receive what is known as a target letter if he is about to be indicted.
"I can say categorically that Karl has not received a target letter from
the special counsel. The special counsel has confirmed that he has not made
any charging decisions in respect to Karl," Luskin said.
He said that Rove "continues to be cooperative voluntarily" with the
special counsel investigation and "beyond that, any communication I have or
may have in the future are going to be treated as completely confidential."
For almost two years, Fitzgerald has been investigating whether someone
in the Bush administration leaked the identity of Valerie Plame as a CIA
officer for political reasons. Dozens of government officials were
interviewed and boxloads of documents collected.
Reporters have been called before a grand jury to testify about their
conversations with Rove and I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's
chief of staff.
Leaking the identity of a covert agent can be a crime, but it must be
done knowingly and the legal threshold for proving such a crime is high.
Fitzgerald could also seek charges against anyone he thinks lied to
investigators in the case.
The leak investigation stems from a July 2003 syndicated column by Robert
Novak identifying Plame as a CIA operative. Plame is married to former
Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, who says his wife's identity was disclosed to
discredit his assertions that the Bush administration exaggerated Iraq's
nuclear capabilities to build the case for war.
Miller spent 85 days in jail before agreeing to testify before the grand
jury. The newspaper identified Libby as her source.
Rove, Bush's top adviser on political strategy and policy, has known the
president for three decades. He worked for Bush as far back as 1978, when he
unsuccessfully ran for Congress. Rove orchestrated Bush's campaigns for
Texas governor and president, then brought his political skills into the
This could add an interesting twist to the case. It does not sound like he
worked out any deals considering he can not get a guarantee of not being a