February 10, 2004

Bush Aide Testifies in CIA Leak Probe

"Out, out damn spot!"

Associated Press: President Bush's press secretary
said Monday he had testified before a federal grand
jury investigating the leak of a CIA undercover
officer's identity.

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Bush Aide Testifies in CIA Leak Probe
Mon Feb 9, 4:08 PM ET Add White House - AP to My

By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites)'s press
secretary said Monday he had testified before a
federal grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA
(news - web sites) undercover officer's identity.

Scott McClellan told reporters that he appeared before
the panel in Washington last week.

"I'm doing my part to cooperate, as the president
directed all of us to do," McClellan said aboard Air
Force One during Bush's trip to Springfield, Mo.

The Justice Department (news - web sites) is trying to
determine who leaked the name of CIA officer Valerie
Plame to syndicated columnist Robert Novak in July.

Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson,
contends the disclosure may have been intended to
discredit his assertions that the Bush administration
exaggerated Iraq (news - web sites)'s nuclear
capabilities to build a case for war.

Whoever leaked Plame's name could be charged with a

McClellan did not discuss the substance of his
testimony or questions asked by prosecutors. Justice
Department and White House officials have steadfastly
refused to discuss any aspect of the investigation
other than to confirm that it is under way.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of
Chicago, who is overseeing the investigation, said he
could not confirm or deny the identity of anyone who
has appeared before the grand jury.

Fitzgerald was chosen to run the investigation in late
December after Attorney General John Ashcroft (news -
web sites) disqualified himself from the politically
sensitive case to avoid an appearance of conflict of

A group of former CIA officers and several members of
Congress are demanding a congressional investigation
as well. So far, however, Republican leaders of the
House and Senate have not initiated separate action.

Posted by richard at February 10, 2004 11:03 AM