Ex-State Department official admits leaking Plame identity to press: NYT Joshua Pantesco at 9:42 AM ET
[JURIST] A lawyer involved in the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage [official profile] has identified himself as the "initial and primary source" for the Robert Novak column that revealed Valerie Plame Wilson's CIA affiliation. The New York Times also learned from lawyers close to the case that Armitage learned of Plame's CIA affiliation from a memo that did not mention her undercover status, and that he subsequently passed the information on to Novak. Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald [official website], the prosecutor who led the investigation into the leak of Plame's identity, never brought charges against any official under statutes prohibiting the willful disclosure of CIA officers.
Former vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense profile] was charged last year with obstruction of justice and perjury [PDF indictment; JURIST report] in connection with Fitzgerald's investigation. Libby has pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] and has requested a one-month delay in his trial [JURIST report], which is now scheduled to begin in February. Critics have said that Libby may have told reporters about Plame's identity in retaliation for statements made by her husband that undermined the Bush administration's position that Iraq was seeking uranium for their nuclear weapons program. Columnist Robert Novak revealed Plame's CIA affiliation eight days after Wilson went public with his allegations. The New York Times has more.
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