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Bob Woodward testifies in Libby case

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-usleak1117,0,3027577.story?coll=ny-leadnationalnews-headlines Woodward was told of Plame more than two years
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 16, 2005
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      http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-usleak1117,0,3027577.story?coll=ny-leadnationalnews-headlines

      Woodward was told of Plame more than two years ago

      By Jim VandeHei and Carol D. Leonnig
      THE WASHINGTON POST

      November 16, 2005, 7:59 AM EST

      WASHINGTON -- Washington Post Assistant Managing
      Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the
      CIA leak case that a senior administration official
      told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her
      position at the agency nearly a month before her
      identity was disclosed.

      In a more than two-hour deposition, Woodward told
      Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald that the
      official casually told him in mid-June 2003 that Plame
      worked as a CIA analyst on weapons of mass
      destruction, and that he did not believe the
      information to be classified or sensitive, according
      to a statement Woodward released yesterday.

      Fitzgerald interviewed Woodward about the previously
      undisclosed conversation after the official alerted
      the prosecutor to it on Nov. 3 -- one week after Vice
      President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter"
      Libby, was indicted in the investigation.

      Citing a confidentiality agreement in which the source
      freed Woodward to testify but would not allow him to
      discuss their conversations publicly, Woodward and
      Post editors refused to disclose the official's name
      or provide crucial details about the testimony.
      Woodward did not share the information with Washington
      Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. until last
      month, and the only Post reporter whom Woodward said
      he remembers telling in the summer of 2003 does not
      recall the conversation taking place.

      Woodward said he also testified that he met with Libby
      on June 27, 2003, and discussed Iraq policy as part of
      his research for a book on President Bush's march to
      war. He said he does not believe Libby said anything
      about Plame.

      He also told Fitzgerald that it is possible he asked
      Libby about Plame or her husband, former ambassador
      Joseph C. Wilson IV. He based that testimony on an
      18-page list of questions he planned to ask Libby in
      an interview that included the phrases "yellowcake"
      and "Joe Wilson's wife." Woodward said in his
      statement, however, that "I had no recollection" of
      mentioning the pair to Libby. He also said that his
      original government source did not mention Plame by
      name, referring to her only as "Wilson's wife."

      Woodward's testimony appears to change key elements in
      the chronology Fitzgerald laid out in his
      investigation and announced when indicting Libby three
      weeks ago. It would make the unnamed official -- not
      Libby -- the first government employee to disclose
      Plame's CIA employment to a reporter. It would also
      make Woodward, who has been publicly critical of the
      investigation, the first reporter known to have
      learned about Plame from a government source.

      The testimony, however, does not appear to shed new
      light on whether Libby is guilty of lying and
      obstructing justice in the nearly two-year-old probe
      or provide new insight into the role of senior Bush
      adviser Karl Rove, who remains under investigation.

      Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Rove, said that Rove is
      not the unnamed official who told Woodward about Plame
      and that he did not discuss Plame with Woodward.

      William Jeffress Jr., one of Libby's lawyers, said
      yesterday that Woodward's testimony undermines
      Fitzgerald's public claims about his client and raises
      questions about what else the prosecutor may not know.
      Libby has said he learned Plame's identity from NBC's
      Tim Russert.

      "If what Woodward says is so, will Mr. Fitzgerald now
      say he was wrong to say on TV that Scooter Libby was
      the first official to give this information to a
      reporter?" Jeffress said last night. "The second
      question I would have is: Why did Mr. Fitzgerald
      indict Mr. Libby before fully investigating what other
      reporters knew about Wilson's wife?"

      Fitzgerald has spent nearly two years investigating
      whether senior Bush administration officials illegally
      leaked classified information -- Plame's identity as a
      CIA operative -- to reporters to discredit allegations
      made by Wilson. Plame's name was revealed in a July
      14, 2003, column by Robert D. Novak, eight days after
      Wilson publicly accused the administration of twisting
      intelligence to justify the Iraq war. Fitzgerald's
      spokesman, Randall Samborn, declined to comment
      yesterday.

      Woodward is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative
      reporter and author best known for exposing the
      Watergate scandal and keeping secret for 30 years the
      identity of his government source "Deep Throat."

      "It was the first time in 35 years as a reporter that
      I have been asked to provide information to a grand
      jury," he said in the statement.

      Downie said The Post waited until late yesterday to
      disclose Woodward's deposition in the case in hopes of
      persuading his sources to allow him to speak publicly.
      Woodward declined to elaborate on the statement he
      released to The Post late yesterday afternoon and
      publicly last night. He would not answer any
      questions, including those not governed by his
      confidentiality agreement with sources.

      According to his statement, Woodward also testified
      about a third unnamed source. He told Fitzgerald that
      he does not recall discussing Plame with this person
      when they spoke on June 20, 2003.

      It is unclear what prompted Woodward's original
      unnamed source to alert Fitzgerald to the mid-June
      2003 mention of Plame to Woodward. Once he did,
      Fitzgerald sought Woodward's testimony, and three
      officials released him to testify about conversations
      he had with them. Downie, Woodward and a Post lawyer
      declined to discuss why the official may have stepped
      forward this month.

      Downie defended the newspaper's decision not to
      release certain details about what triggered
      Woodward's deposition because "we can't do anything in
      any way to unravel the confidentiality agreements our
      reporters make."

      Woodward never mentioned this contact -- which was at
      the center of a criminal investigation and a
      high-stakes First Amendment legal battle between the
      prosecutor and two news organizations -- to his
      supervisors until last month. Downie said in an
      interview yesterday that Woodward told him about the
      contact to alert him to a possible story. He declined
      to say whether he was upset that Woodward withheld the
      information from him.

      Downie said he could not explain why Woodward said he
      provided a tip about Wilson's wife to Walter Pincus, a
      Post reporter writing about the subject, but did not
      pursue the matter when the CIA leak investigation
      began. He said Woodward has often worked under ground
      rules while doing research for his books that prevent
      him from naming sources or even using the information
      they provide until much later.

      Woodward's statement said he testified: "I told Walter
      Pincus, a reporter at The Post, without naming my
      source, that I understood Wilson's wife worked at the
      CIA as a WMD analyst."

      Pincus said he does not recall Woodward telling him
      that. In an interview, Pincus said he cannot imagine
      he would have forgotten such a conversation around the
      same time he was writing about Wilson.

      "Are you kidding?" Pincus said. "I certainly would
      have remembered that."

      Pincus said Woodward may be confused about the timing
      and the exact nature of the conversation. He said he
      remembers Woodward making a vague mention to him in
      October 2003. That month, Pincus had written a story
      explaining how an administration source had contacted
      him about Wilson. He recalled Woodward telling him
      that Pincus was not the only person who had been
      contacted.

      Pincus and fellow Post reporter Glenn Kessler have
      been questioned in the investigation.

      Woodward, who is preparing a third book on the Bush
      administration, has called Fitzgerald "a junkyard-dog
      prosecutor" who turns over every rock looking for
      evidence. The night before Fitzgerald announced
      Libby's indictment, Woodward said he did not see
      evidence of criminal intent or of a major crime behind
      the leak.

      "When the story comes out, I'm quite confident we're
      going to find out that it started kind of as gossip,
      as chatter," he told CNN's Larry King.

      Woodward also said in interviews this summer and fall
      that the damage done by Plame's name being revealed in
      the media was "quite minimal."

      "When I think all of the facts come out in this case,
      it's going to be laughable because the consequences
      are not that great," he told National Public Radio
      this summer.
    • Gregory
      Greg, I think this is most amusing...or amazing...what great spy writer could ever have a manuscript that would rival this real-life one? Gregory ...
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 16, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Greg,

        I think this is most amusing...or amazing...what great spy writer
        could ever have a manuscript that would rival this real-life one?

        Gregory

        --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, Greg Cannon
        <gregcannon1@y...> wrote:
        >
        > http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-
        usleak1117,0,3027577.story?coll=ny-leadnationalnews-headlines
        >
        > Woodward was told of Plame more than two years ago
        >
        > By Jim VandeHei and Carol D. Leonnig
        > THE WASHINGTON POST
        >
        > November 16, 2005, 7:59 AM EST
        >
        > WASHINGTON -- Washington Post Assistant Managing
        > Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the
        > CIA leak case that a senior administration official
        > told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her
        > position at the agency nearly a month before her
        > identity was disclosed.
        >
        > In a more than two-hour deposition, Woodward told
        > Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald that the
        > official casually told him in mid-June 2003 that Plame
        > worked as a CIA analyst on weapons of mass
        > destruction, and that he did not believe the
        > information to be classified or sensitive, according
        > to a statement Woodward released yesterday.
        >
        > Fitzgerald interviewed Woodward about the previously
        > undisclosed conversation after the official alerted
        > the prosecutor to it on Nov. 3 -- one week after Vice
        > President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter"
        > Libby, was indicted in the investigation.
        >
        > Citing a confidentiality agreement in which the source
        > freed Woodward to testify but would not allow him to
        > discuss their conversations publicly, Woodward and
        > Post editors refused to disclose the official's name
        > or provide crucial details about the testimony.
        > Woodward did not share the information with Washington
        > Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. until last
        > month, and the only Post reporter whom Woodward said
        > he remembers telling in the summer of 2003 does not
        > recall the conversation taking place.
        >
        > Woodward said he also testified that he met with Libby
        > on June 27, 2003, and discussed Iraq policy as part of
        > his research for a book on President Bush's march to
        > war. He said he does not believe Libby said anything
        > about Plame.
        >
        > He also told Fitzgerald that it is possible he asked
        > Libby about Plame or her husband, former ambassador
        > Joseph C. Wilson IV. He based that testimony on an
        > 18-page list of questions he planned to ask Libby in
        > an interview that included the phrases "yellowcake"
        > and "Joe Wilson's wife." Woodward said in his
        > statement, however, that "I had no recollection" of
        > mentioning the pair to Libby. He also said that his
        > original government source did not mention Plame by
        > name, referring to her only as "Wilson's wife."
        >
        > Woodward's testimony appears to change key elements in
        > the chronology Fitzgerald laid out in his
        > investigation and announced when indicting Libby three
        > weeks ago. It would make the unnamed official -- not
        > Libby -- the first government employee to disclose
        > Plame's CIA employment to a reporter. It would also
        > make Woodward, who has been publicly critical of the
        > investigation, the first reporter known to have
        > learned about Plame from a government source.
        >
        > The testimony, however, does not appear to shed new
        > light on whether Libby is guilty of lying and
        > obstructing justice in the nearly two-year-old probe
        > or provide new insight into the role of senior Bush
        > adviser Karl Rove, who remains under investigation.
        >
        > Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Rove, said that Rove is
        > not the unnamed official who told Woodward about Plame
        > and that he did not discuss Plame with Woodward.
        >
        > William Jeffress Jr., one of Libby's lawyers, said
        > yesterday that Woodward's testimony undermines
        > Fitzgerald's public claims about his client and raises
        > questions about what else the prosecutor may not know.
        > Libby has said he learned Plame's identity from NBC's
        > Tim Russert.
        >
        > "If what Woodward says is so, will Mr. Fitzgerald now
        > say he was wrong to say on TV that Scooter Libby was
        > the first official to give this information to a
        > reporter?" Jeffress said last night. "The second
        > question I would have is: Why did Mr. Fitzgerald
        > indict Mr. Libby before fully investigating what other
        > reporters knew about Wilson's wife?"
        >
        > Fitzgerald has spent nearly two years investigating
        > whether senior Bush administration officials illegally
        > leaked classified information -- Plame's identity as a
        > CIA operative -- to reporters to discredit allegations
        > made by Wilson. Plame's name was revealed in a July
        > 14, 2003, column by Robert D. Novak, eight days after
        > Wilson publicly accused the administration of twisting
        > intelligence to justify the Iraq war. Fitzgerald's
        > spokesman, Randall Samborn, declined to comment
        > yesterday.
        >
        > Woodward is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative
        > reporter and author best known for exposing the
        > Watergate scandal and keeping secret for 30 years the
        > identity of his government source "Deep Throat."
        >
        > "It was the first time in 35 years as a reporter that
        > I have been asked to provide information to a grand
        > jury," he said in the statement.
        >
        > Downie said The Post waited until late yesterday to
        > disclose Woodward's deposition in the case in hopes of
        > persuading his sources to allow him to speak publicly.
        > Woodward declined to elaborate on the statement he
        > released to The Post late yesterday afternoon and
        > publicly last night. He would not answer any
        > questions, including those not governed by his
        > confidentiality agreement with sources.
        >
        > According to his statement, Woodward also testified
        > about a third unnamed source. He told Fitzgerald that
        > he does not recall discussing Plame with this person
        > when they spoke on June 20, 2003.
        >
        > It is unclear what prompted Woodward's original
        > unnamed source to alert Fitzgerald to the mid-June
        > 2003 mention of Plame to Woodward. Once he did,
        > Fitzgerald sought Woodward's testimony, and three
        > officials released him to testify about conversations
        > he had with them. Downie, Woodward and a Post lawyer
        > declined to discuss why the official may have stepped
        > forward this month.
        >
        > Downie defended the newspaper's decision not to
        > release certain details about what triggered
        > Woodward's deposition because "we can't do anything in
        > any way to unravel the confidentiality agreements our
        > reporters make."
        >
        > Woodward never mentioned this contact -- which was at
        > the center of a criminal investigation and a
        > high-stakes First Amendment legal battle between the
        > prosecutor and two news organizations -- to his
        > supervisors until last month. Downie said in an
        > interview yesterday that Woodward told him about the
        > contact to alert him to a possible story. He declined
        > to say whether he was upset that Woodward withheld the
        > information from him.
        >
        > Downie said he could not explain why Woodward said he
        > provided a tip about Wilson's wife to Walter Pincus, a
        > Post reporter writing about the subject, but did not
        > pursue the matter when the CIA leak investigation
        > began. He said Woodward has often worked under ground
        > rules while doing research for his books that prevent
        > him from naming sources or even using the information
        > they provide until much later.
        >
        > Woodward's statement said he testified: "I told Walter
        > Pincus, a reporter at The Post, without naming my
        > source, that I understood Wilson's wife worked at the
        > CIA as a WMD analyst."
        >
        > Pincus said he does not recall Woodward telling him
        > that. In an interview, Pincus said he cannot imagine
        > he would have forgotten such a conversation around the
        > same time he was writing about Wilson.
        >
        > "Are you kidding?" Pincus said. "I certainly would
        > have remembered that."
        >
        > Pincus said Woodward may be confused about the timing
        > and the exact nature of the conversation. He said he
        > remembers Woodward making a vague mention to him in
        > October 2003. That month, Pincus had written a story
        > explaining how an administration source had contacted
        > him about Wilson. He recalled Woodward telling him
        > that Pincus was not the only person who had been
        > contacted.
        >
        > Pincus and fellow Post reporter Glenn Kessler have
        > been questioned in the investigation.
        >
        > Woodward, who is preparing a third book on the Bush
        > administration, has called Fitzgerald "a junkyard-dog
        > prosecutor" who turns over every rock looking for
        > evidence. The night before Fitzgerald announced
        > Libby's indictment, Woodward said he did not see
        > evidence of criminal intent or of a major crime behind
        > the leak.
        >
        > "When the story comes out, I'm quite confident we're
        > going to find out that it started kind of as gossip,
        > as chatter," he told CNN's Larry King.
        >
        > Woodward also said in interviews this summer and fall
        > that the damage done by Plame's name being revealed in
        > the media was "quite minimal."
        >
        > "When I think all of the facts come out in this case,
        > it's going to be laughable because the consequences
        > are not that great," he told National Public Radio
        > this summer.
        >
      • Greg Cannon
        Gregory, I agree, it is a very odd situation. And I just heard something about Libby s lawyers saying Woodward s statement is not totally true. I don t know
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 16, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Gregory,

          I agree, it is a very odd situation. And I just heard
          something about Libby's lawyers saying Woodward's
          statement is not totally true. I don't know the
          details on what they're saying.

          Greg

          --- Gregory <greggolopry@...> wrote:

          > Greg,
          >
          > I think this is most amusing...or amazing...what
          > great spy writer
          > could ever have a manuscript that would rival this
          > real-life one?
          >
          > Gregory
          >
          > --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, Greg Cannon
          > <gregcannon1@y...> wrote:
          > >
          > > http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-
          >
          usleak1117,0,3027577.story?coll=ny-leadnationalnews-headlines
          > >
          > > Woodward was told of Plame more than two years ago
          > >
          > > By Jim VandeHei and Carol D. Leonnig
          > > THE WASHINGTON POST
          > >
          > > November 16, 2005, 7:59 AM EST
          > >
          > > WASHINGTON -- Washington Post Assistant Managing
          > > Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in
          > the
          > > CIA leak case that a senior administration
          > official
          > > told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her
          > > position at the agency nearly a month before her
          > > identity was disclosed.
          > >
          > > In a more than two-hour deposition, Woodward told
          > > Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald that the
          > > official casually told him in mid-June 2003 that
          > Plame
          > > worked as a CIA analyst on weapons of mass
          > > destruction, and that he did not believe the
          > > information to be classified or sensitive,
          > according
          > > to a statement Woodward released yesterday.
          > >
          > > Fitzgerald interviewed Woodward about the
          > previously
          > > undisclosed conversation after the official
          > alerted
          > > the prosecutor to it on Nov. 3 -- one week after
          > Vice
          > > President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis
          > "Scooter"
          > > Libby, was indicted in the investigation.
          > >
          > > Citing a confidentiality agreement in which the
          > source
          > > freed Woodward to testify but would not allow him
          > to
          > > discuss their conversations publicly, Woodward and
          > > Post editors refused to disclose the official's
          > name
          > > or provide crucial details about the testimony.
          > > Woodward did not share the information with
          > Washington
          > > Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. until
          > last
          > > month, and the only Post reporter whom Woodward
          > said
          > > he remembers telling in the summer of 2003 does
          > not
          > > recall the conversation taking place.
          > >
          > > Woodward said he also testified that he met with
          > Libby
          > > on June 27, 2003, and discussed Iraq policy as
          > part of
          > > his research for a book on President Bush's march
          > to
          > > war. He said he does not believe Libby said
          > anything
          > > about Plame.
          > >
          > > He also told Fitzgerald that it is possible he
          > asked
          > > Libby about Plame or her husband, former
          > ambassador
          > > Joseph C. Wilson IV. He based that testimony on an
          > > 18-page list of questions he planned to ask Libby
          > in
          > > an interview that included the phrases
          > "yellowcake"
          > > and "Joe Wilson's wife." Woodward said in his
          > > statement, however, that "I had no recollection"
          > of
          > > mentioning the pair to Libby. He also said that
          > his
          > > original government source did not mention Plame
          > by
          > > name, referring to her only as "Wilson's wife."
          > >
          > > Woodward's testimony appears to change key
          > elements in
          > > the chronology Fitzgerald laid out in his
          > > investigation and announced when indicting Libby
          > three
          > > weeks ago. It would make the unnamed official --
          > not
          > > Libby -- the first government employee to disclose
          > > Plame's CIA employment to a reporter. It would
          > also
          > > make Woodward, who has been publicly critical of
          > the
          > > investigation, the first reporter known to have
          > > learned about Plame from a government source.
          > >
          > > The testimony, however, does not appear to shed
          > new
          > > light on whether Libby is guilty of lying and
          > > obstructing justice in the nearly two-year-old
          > probe
          > > or provide new insight into the role of senior
          > Bush
          > > adviser Karl Rove, who remains under
          > investigation.
          > >
          > > Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Rove, said that Rove
          > is
          > > not the unnamed official who told Woodward about
          > Plame
          > > and that he did not discuss Plame with Woodward.
          > >
          > > William Jeffress Jr., one of Libby's lawyers, said
          > > yesterday that Woodward's testimony undermines
          > > Fitzgerald's public claims about his client and
          > raises
          > > questions about what else the prosecutor may not
          > know.
          > > Libby has said he learned Plame's identity from
          > NBC's
          > > Tim Russert.
          > >
          > > "If what Woodward says is so, will Mr. Fitzgerald
          > now
          > > say he was wrong to say on TV that Scooter Libby
          > was
          > > the first official to give this information to a
          > > reporter?" Jeffress said last night. "The second
          > > question I would have is: Why did Mr. Fitzgerald
          > > indict Mr. Libby before fully investigating what
          > other
          > > reporters knew about Wilson's wife?"
          > >
          > > Fitzgerald has spent nearly two years
          > investigating
          > > whether senior Bush administration officials
          > illegally
          > > leaked classified information -- Plame's identity
          > as a
          > > CIA operative -- to reporters to discredit
          > allegations
          > > made by Wilson. Plame's name was revealed in a
          > July
          > > 14, 2003, column by Robert D. Novak, eight days
          > after
          > > Wilson publicly accused the administration of
          > twisting
          > > intelligence to justify the Iraq war. Fitzgerald's
          > > spokesman, Randall Samborn, declined to comment
          > > yesterday.
          > >
          > > Woodward is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative
          > > reporter and author best known for exposing the
          > > Watergate scandal and keeping secret for 30 years
          > the
          > > identity of his government source "Deep Throat."
          > >
          > > "It was the first time in 35 years as a reporter
          > that
          > > I have been asked to provide information to a
          > grand
          > > jury," he said in the statement.
          > >
          > > Downie said The Post waited until late yesterday
          > to
          > > disclose Woodward's deposition in the case in
          > hopes of
          > > persuading his sources to allow him to speak
          > publicly.
          > > Woodward declined to elaborate on the statement he
          > > released to The Post late yesterday afternoon and
          > > publicly last night. He would not answer any
          > > questions, including those not governed by his
          > > confidentiality agreement with sources.
          > >
          > > According to his statement, Woodward also
          > testified
          > > about a third unnamed source. He told Fitzgerald
          > that
          > > he does not recall discussing Plame with this
          > person
          > > when they spoke on June 20, 2003.
          > >
          > > It is unclear what prompted Woodward's original
          > > unnamed source to alert Fitzgerald to the mid-June
          >
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