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Pincus Reveals Fleischer as CIA Leak Source

Asked by the defense what Libby had told him about Plame, Sanger replied, "Nothing, I believe."

Under cross-examination, Fitzgerald elicited from Sanger the fact that Cheney's public affairs director at the time, Cathie Martin, was present during the entire interview. Through that questioning, the prosecutor suggested that Libby might have been reluctant to leak Plame's identity to a journalist with a co-worker present.

Novak took the stand this afternoon and testified that he learned about Plame's CIA role from Armitage and confirmed the information with White House senior adviser Karl Rove.

Defense attorney Theodore Wells Jr. pressed Novak to say that hundreds of reporters and others could have known about what was going to appear in his July 14 column in the days preceding its publication because the material was sent over the Associated Press wire on July 11 or July 12. Novak also said he discussed the information about Wilson's wife with a close friend, conservative lobbyist Richard Hohlt on July 11.

Novak also professed that part of the reason he wrote about Wilson and his wife was that he found Wilson unpleasant and a "questionable choice" to look into the Niger claims when he met him in a television show "green room" that summer.

"He was saying that things had been done in a superior way in the National Security Council before in the Clinton administration," Novak recalled. "I thought it was sort of an obnoxious performance."

Also this morning, Libby's attorneys lost an effort to summon NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell to testify as a witness in his defense. U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton ruled that Mitchell does not need to testify, despite strenuous arguments byWells that the well-known television journalist could help discredit her colleague, the prosecution's key witness, Tim Russert, NBC News' Washington bureau chief.

The jury heard tapes of Libby's grand jury testimony during which he said that, in the second week of July 2003, Russert told him that "all the reporters" knew that Wilson was married to a CIA employee. Libby told grand jurors that, at the time of his conversation with Russert, he had the impression he was learning this for the first time.

Russert has testified that was impossible because he did not know about Plame at the time he spoke to Libby.

Late last week, the prosecution concluded its portion of the trial, which consisted of 11 days of testimony from 10 government officials and journalists. Prosecutors also played eight hours of the audiotapes from Libby's testimony before the federal grand jury that was investigating the Plame leak.

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