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N.Y. Times Reporter Released From Jail

At that time, she asked him why Wilson had been chosen to investigate questions Cheney had posed about whether Iraq tried to buy uranium in the African nation of Niger. Libby, the source familiar with his account said, told her that the White House was working with the CIA to find out more about Wilson's trip and how he was selected.

Libby told Miller he heard that Wilson's wife had something to do with sending him but he did not know who she was or where she worked, the source said.

Libby had a second conversation with Miller on July 12 or July 13, the source said, in which he said he had learned that Wilson's wife had a role in sending him on the trip and that she worked for the CIA. Libby never knew Plame's name or that she was a covert operative, the source said.

Libby did not talk to Novak about the case, the source said.

One lawyer involved in the case said Miller's attorneys reached an agreement with Fitzgerald that may confine prosecutors' questions solely to Miller's conversations with Libby. Bennett, reached last night, said he could not discuss the terms of the agreement for Miller's testimony. Abrams did not return a call seeking comment.

One lawyer said it could become clear as early as next week whether Fitzgerald plans to indict anyone or has negotiated a plea bargain.

Other reporters, including Matthew Cooper of Time magazine and Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post, have provided limited testimony about their conversations with Libby after receiving what they said were explicit waivers of their confidentiality agreements.

In July, on the day he was scheduled to be jailed along with Miller, Cooper agreed to be questioned by Fitzgerald. He said his source, who turned out to be Karl Rove, President Bush's close political adviser, had assured Cooper he had voluntarily provided a waiver of their confidentiality agreement. In recent months, Rove's role in the saga has become more clear. He testified that he discussed Wilson's wife with Cooper and Novak but that he never mentioned her by name.

Lawyers involved in the case believe today's testimony could mark the end of an investigation in which more than a dozen Bush administration officials have testified before a federal grand jury or have talked to FBI agents involved in the nearly two-year-old probe. Bush was interviewed as part of the investigation.

Fitzgerald cast a wide net, interviewing numerous State Department officials and some of Bush's closest advisers, to determine if anyone illegally revealed Plame's name.

Fitzgerald has made it clear for more than a year that Miller was the main obstacle to completing the case and that he was prepared to exert pressure on her to testify. People involved in the case said they began to hear earlier this week that Miller was looking for a way out of jail.

In recent weeks, people close to Miller said her attorneys grew anxious that Fitzgerald would extend her time behind bars. Fitzgerald has the authority to extend the grand jury investigating possible leaks for another 18 months, and he could ask the judge to hold Miller in jail for six more months, lawyers familiar with the case said.

Miller's role had been one of the great mysteries in the leak probe. It is unclear why she emerged as a central figure in the probe despite not writing a story about the case.

Staff writer Carol D. Leonnig contributed to this report.

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