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Rove is 'Official A,' Novak's 'indirect' source, lawyers say

Jason Leopold and John Byrne

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Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove was the mysterious 'Official A' named in the indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, lawyers close to the case have told RAW STORY.

Friday's indictment identified "Official A" as a "senior official in the White House who advised Libby on July 10 or 11 of 2003" about a conversation with conservative columnist Robert Novak about an upcoming column where Plame would be identified as a CIA employee. Novak's column ran Jul. 14, 2003.

Rove is expected to be identified in several newspapers Saturday. The Associated Press is also close to naming Rove as 'Official A.'

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'Bush's brain' is not Novak's 'secret source.' He is, however, the senior administration official who said, "Oh, you know about it," when asked by the columnist about Wilson's wife sending him to Niger.

Novak wrote, "When I called another official for confirmation, he said: 'Oh, you know about it.'"

Rove's role in the case remains unclear. Those familiar with the investigation say that Rove remains in legal limbo and that Fitzgerald has not finished his inquiry into Bush's chief advisor's role.

Rove may be called on to testify against Libby in the latter's trial.

“This investigation is not yet over,” one of the lawyers in the case said. “You must keep in mind that people like Mr. Rove are still under investigation.”

A source close to Rove told the Washington Post, "There is still the chance that Mr. Rove could face indictment." Lawyers involved in the case said Fitzgerald is likely to put pressure on Libby to provide evidence against Rove or other potential targets.

"The Special Counsel has advised Mr. Rove that he has made no decision about whether or not to bring charges," Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, said in a statement. "We are confident that when the Special Counsel finishes his work, he will conclude that Mr. Rove has done nothing wrong."

In July, the Washington Post reported that Rove 'indirectly' identified Plame to Novak.

According to the Post, a lawyer familiar with the case "said that Novak showed up on a White House call log as having telephoned Rove in the week before the publication of the July 2003 column, which has touched off a two-year federal investigation and led to the jailing of New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who has refused to testify about her conversation with a source involved in the case."

Originally published on Friday October 28, 2005

 


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