New LA Times article out that says Fitzgerald is still questioning people, this time Rove associates about contact he had with reporters in the days leading up to his outing of Valerie Plame. We can only imagine he is cross-checking Rove’s recent four-hour testimony, thus giving Unka Karl a case of prickly heat. Sounds like his command performance did not impress Mr. Fitzgerald with its bravura.
Fitzgerald has also got FBI agents combing the Wilson’s neighborhood, asking neighbors whether they were aware Mrs. Wilson worked for the CIA before she was outed by Robert Novak. Again, it sounds like an attempt to head off a defense that claims “no foul” because her place of employment was common knowledge, and something that is going to be a lot easier to establish now than after the whole thing turns into a bigger media circus than it already is.
It’s an impressive attention to detail. And then there’s this delightful stocking stuffer:
Some of the questioning indicated that Fitzgerald may still be considering indictments on charges that some have viewed as too difficult to pursue, including a prosecution under a federal law that makes it a felony to reveal the name of a covert agent.
But neighbors contacted by The Times said they told the FBI agents that they had no idea of her agency life, and that they knew her only as a mother of twins who worked as an energy consultant.
Critics of the leak investigation have argued that it was an open secret that Plame worked for the CIA; if many people knew that she worked for the agency, it would make prosecution under the 1982 law protecting covert agents impossible. (my emphasis)
Oh please, let it be true. If only to send Victoria Toensing into inchoate rage.
Some people familiar with national security investigations said they found this week’s questioning to be curious at a time when Fitzgerald appeared to be wrapping up his investigation. They said establishing her covert status should have been a priority at the outset of the case; if her employer was already well known, the prosecutor would not have a case to bring under the agent-protection law.
Or maybe the claim is just so specious and absurd nobody bothered to try and disprove it until someone raised it like it actually made sense.
As a bonus stocking stuffer, stop by World o’Crap and read the Rovegate Talking Points for Dummies. Something they should distribute to all the Hardball guests prior to air time, IMHO. And yeah I’m talking to you, Andrea Mitchell.