News from the DNC:
Washington, DC - In his column today, Robert Novak finally admitted that Karl Rove was a confirming source for his story that revealed the identity of a covert CIA operative during a time of war. Specifically, Novak wrote that Rove talked to him about the agent's identity by "confirming his primary source's information." This new development contradicts previous White House assertions that Bush's staff was not involved in the leaking of the classified information and breaks the President's promise to fire anyone found to have taken part in the leak.
Also, while these new revelations make clear that one of President Bush's top aides was involved in leaking classified information, there are still questions about what else Rove revealed to Novak. Novak noted that, "I have revealed Rove's name because his attorney has divulged the substance of our conversation, though in a form different from my recollection." [Chicago Sun-Times, 7/12/06] The Federal investigation into the leaking of a covert CIA agent's identity during a time of war has also led to the indictment of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements.
"It is unthinkable that President Bush has not fired Karl Rove for leaking classified information during a time of war," said Democratic National Committee Press Secretary Stacie Paxton. "This Administration is once again guilty of putting party ahead of country for political gain. The President told the American people that he would fire anyone in his Administration involved in the leaking information regarding Valerie Plame's identity, yet Karl Rove remains on the job.
"It is shameful that Rove is publicly on the attack when he has not been truthful about his role in this scandal, and it's hard to take seriously the President's criticism of leaks when his own staff has engaged in politically-motivated disclosures of classified information during a time of war. Democrats remain committed to putting the interests of the American people and ethical government ahead of nasty, partisan politics."
September 29, 2003: McClellan Said Leaker Would Be Fired. Scott McClellan said: "If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration." [White House Press Briefing, 9/29/03]
September 30, 2003: Bush Said That If There Was A Leak In His Administration They Would Be "Taken Care Of." President Bush reiterated stern treatment for the culprit, saying, "if there was a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of...And so I welcome the investigation...I have told our a dministration people in my administration to be fully cooperative. I want to know the truth." [White House, Bush Travel Pool, 9/30/03]
October 30, 2003: Bush Said Appropriate Action Will Be Taken Against The Leaker. President Bush said: "I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it. And we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing." [FDCH Political Transcripts, 10/30/03]
October 6, 2003: Bush Said The Leak Was A Criminal Action. When asked about the severity of the CIA Leak President Bush said, "this is a serious charge, by the way. We're talking about a criminal action." [Federal News Service, 10/6/03]
October 10, 2003: McClellan Said He Spoke With Rove And Libby Personally, They Denied Being Involved. Press Secretary Scott McClellan said political advisor Karl Rove, Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Lewis Libby, and National Security Council member Elliott Abrams had each denied being the source of the leak. Said McClellan, "Those individuals - I talked - I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that's where it stands." [WH Briefing, 10/10/03]
October 2003: McClellan Said It Was Ridiculous To Think Rove Was To Blame for Leak. "'There's been nothing, absolutely nothing, brought to our attention to suggest any White House involvement [in the CIA leak],' said White House spokesman Scott McClellan... McClellan dismissed the suggestion and said the White House would cooperate with a Justice Department probe. But he said it was 'ridiculous' to blame Rove." [Daily News, 10/30/03]
Bush Told Cheney To Lead Efforts To Discredit Wilson: "Get It Out." According to an article published in National Journal, "President Bush told the special prosecutor in the CIA leak case that he directed Vice President Dick Cheney to personally lead an effort to counter allegations made by former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV that his administration had misrepresented intelligence information to make the case to go to war with Iraq, according to people familiar with the president's interview." Furthermore, Bush told prosecutors during his June 24, 2004 Oval Office interview that he directed Cheney to disclose highly classified intelligence information to defend his administration and discredit Wilson. One senior government official familiar with the discussions between Bush and Cheney said that Bush told Cheney to "get it out," or "Let's get this out," regarding information that administration officials believed would rebut Wilson's allegations and would discredit him. [National Journal, 7/3/06]