Rove's role in CIA case thorny for White House

Credibility at stake; adviser could face legal repercussions
By Gail Gibson
Baltimore Sun National Staff
Originally published July 13, 2005

Questions about senior aide Karl Rove's role in unmasking a covert CIA agent have created a political headache for the White House, but legal analysts said yesterday that the disclosures of his actions to date are unlikely to produce a criminal indictment under a little-known, little-used federal law intended to protect the identities of spies.

That does not mean that Rove, the president's most prominent and skillful political adviser, is in the clear. Federal prosecutors could pursue far more common charges, such as obstruction of justice or perjury, attorneys who have closely followed the grand jury probe said yesterday.

For Rove and the White House, there also is a more immediate credibility crisis.

The White House has offered repeated public assurances that any administration official found to have disclosed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame would be fired and that Rove was not connected to the leak. But for a second day yesterday, officials refused to respond to news accounts showing that Rove discussed Plame's job with a Time magazine reporter, although without using her name. [...] Read it all at the Baltimore Sun: http://tinyurl.com/9nnx5

© Virginia Metze


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