Rove Won't Be Charged in CIA Leak Case
Tuesday, June 13, 2006; 4:19 PM
WASHINGTON -- Top White House aide Karl Rove has been told by prosecutors he won't be charged with any crimes in the investigation into the leak of a CIA officer's identity, his lawyer said Tuesday, lifting a heavy burden from one of President Bush's most trusted advisers.
Attorney Robert Luskin said that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald informed him of the decision on Monday, ending months of speculation about the fate of Rove, the architect of Bush's 2004 re-election now focused on stopping Democrats from capturing the House or Senate in this November's elections.
Fitzgerald has already secured a criminal indictment against Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
The announcement cheered Republicans and a White House beleaguered by war and low approval ratings.
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Rove, said the White House official "is elated" and said that "we're done."
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said he accepts Fitzgerald's decision to not seek Rove's indictment but called on him to ferret out the person who leaked the name of then-CIA operative Valerie Plame and whether the disclosure amounts to criminal wrongdoing.
Schumer also said that Fitzgerald should issue a report on his findings and any decisions to seek the indictment of others. "I have every confidence in this decision because it was made by an independent and fair minded prosecutor," the senator told reporters at the Capitol.
"It is not good enough to simply have a case for perjury. We still need to know who did the leak," Schumer added. "We still need to make sure that anyone who did that is given the appropriate punishment."
Fitzgerald met with chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan before he notified Rove. Hogan has been overseeing the grand juries in the CIA leak case. Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn, declined to comment.
Asked if the CIA leak investigation is still continuing, Samborn said, "I'm not commenting on that as well as this time."
The prosecutor called Luskin late Monday afternoon to tell him he would not be seeking charges against Rove. Rove had just gotten on a plane, so his lawyer and spokesman did not reach him until he had landed in Manchester, N.H., where he was to give a speech to state GOP officials.
"In deference to the pending case, we will not make any further public statements about the subject matter of the investigation," Luskin said. "We believe the special counsel's decision should put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove's conduct."