Special prosecutor reportedly finalizing CIA leak charges

[JURIST] Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald [official website] could bring charges in the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive] Wednesday, wrapping up a two-year investigation into the leak of undercover operative Valerie Plame's identity. Sources close to the case say that FBI agents recently interviewed Plame's neighbors who said they had been surprised to learn that Plame worked for the CIA, suggesting that Fitzgerald is trying to establish that Plame's status was covert and that there damage caused by the news that Plame worked for the CIA. If Fitzgerald brings charges against Bush administration officials for illegally disclosing Plame's identity, under the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act [50 USC s. 421 text], Fitzgerald must show that the person disclosing a covert agent's identity knew of the status. There is also speculation that Fitzgerald could bring charges [JURIST report] against Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, and top Bush political advisor Karl Rove for making false statements, obstruction of justice and disclosing classified information. The grand jury term expires Friday and a session is scheduled Wednesday. Before any indictments are issued, the federal grand jury [Dayton Law backgrounder] must agree unanimously that there is probable cause to bring charges. The Washington Post has more.

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