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  Rove Still in Consideration for IndictmentApril 28, 2006 12:41 Presidential adviser Karl Rove faces the prospect of either remaining under a lingering legal cloud or indictment in a special counsel's investigation of the disclosure of a covert CIA agent's identity, according to people familiar with the case.

Rove testified Wednesday for the fifth time before a federal grand jury probing the case, and the people cited potentially ominous signs for him. Among other things, they said, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald declined to give him any assurance after his testimony that he won't be charged.

In addition, Fitzgerald is working with a second grand jury convened to continue the case after he gained an indictment against I. Lewis Libby, ex-chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, last October. Fitzgerald is continuing to focus on Rove, the deputy White House chief of staff and President George W. Bush's top political adviser.

  Phone-Jamming by GOP Invokes Images Of WatergateApril 27, 2006 22:13 Is it a third-rate political dirty trick by Republicans or a cheap attempt by Democrats to drag the GOP through the mud before November's elections?

Democrats and Republicans here are locked in a legal battle over GOP operatives who tried to suppress voter turnout in a key 2002 U.S. Senate race by jamming Democratic get-out-the-vote phone banks on Election Day.

The case has national implications. New Hampshire Democrats, through a civil lawsuit, are trying to question Ken Mehlman, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, and White House officials about why one GOP official who was involved in the scheme called the White House repeatedly.

Democrats describe the phone-jamming case in Nixonian terms, using Watergate-era phrases such as "follow the money" and "what did they know and when did they know it?"

"It's been the gift that's kept on giving for the Democrats," said Dante Scala, a political-science professor at Manchester's St. Anselm College. "It's been gradually going up the ladder, and now it's in Ken Mehlman's office."

  Judge Won'T Dismiss Case Against LibbyApril 27, 2006 22:04 A federal judge refused Thursday to dismiss charges against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former top White House aide who was indicted on perjury and obstruction charges last year in the CIA leak scandal.

In a 31-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton turned down a motion by lawyers for Vice President Dick Cheney's one-time top assistant, who challenged the authority of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to handle the case.

Libby's lawyers had argued that Fitzgerald was given too much power - more than the attorney general - and that the appointment should have been made by the president with the Senate's approval.

Walton said Thursday he did not need to "look far" in the law to reject the claim by Libby's defense team. The judge said there is no question the attorney general can delegate any of his functions.

  Bush Adviser Testifies In Cia Leak InquiryApril 27, 2006 18:33 Karl Rove, senior counselor to President George W. Bush, has testified for several hours before a federal grand jury in the CIA leak case, in an appearance that was a sign of renewed attention by the special prosecutor in a matter that has lingered unresolved for months.

The testimony Wednesday marked the fifth time that Rove has appeared before a federal grand jury in the case. The appearance came at a politically sensitive time for Rove, who was relieved of his policy role at the White House in a staff reshuffling earlier this month. He now faces the challenge of helping Republicans maintain their primacy in the congressional elections this autumn.

Rove last testified to the grand jury in October, and his lawyer has said he is not a major figure in the leak inquiry and would ultimately be exonerated.

To date, the only criminal charges in the case, which involves the exposure of a CIA operative's identity, have been brought against Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby was charged in November with lying and obstruction of justice and is preparing for trial.

The prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, has declined to comment on Rove's status, saying publicly only that he is continuing to explore outstanding issues in the case.

The White House declined to comment Wednesday about Rove's appearance. White House officials have said the recent personnel moves inside the West Wing have been unrelated to Rove's legal status.

It was unclear Wednesday whether the decision by the new chief of staff, Joshua Bolten, to remove domestic policy from Rove's portfolio preceded the scheduling of his latest grand jury testimony.

After Rove's appearance, his lawyer, Robert Luskin, issued a statement declaring that Rove had testified "voluntarily and unconditionally" about "a matter" that had arisen since Rove's last grand jury testimony.

The unresolved matter appears to involve the testimony of Viveca Novak, a former reporter at Time magazine, who told Fitzgerald last autumn that she may have unwittingly helped Rove by telling Luskin he had played a bigger role in the case than he had initially admitted.

Since Libby's indictment, Fitzgerald has summoned both Novak and Luskin to testify to the grand jury about their conversations. He also summoned Bob Woodward of The Washington Post to discuss conversations related to the CIA leak matter with an administration official who has still not been publicly identified.

Rove's appearance suggests that Fitzgerald remains interested in learning more about why, in his initial testimony to the grand jury, in February 2004, Rove failed to disclose that he had ever discussed the issue of Valerie Wilson, a CIA operative, with any reporters.

Rove came forward months later to acknowledge a phone conversation with Matthew Cooper of Time magazine in the summer of 2003 that eventually turned to the subject of Joseph Wilson 4th, the CIA operative's husband. Rove said he had forgotten the call, one of the many he participates in each day.

Lawyers for Rove have maintained that he will be exonerated in the case, in part because he volunteered details of his conversation with Cooper.

Since then, however, Novak, who worked alongside Cooper at the magazine, has said she told Rove's lawyer, in several conversations in early 2004, that she believed his client had been a source for Cooper.

Novak said the lawyer, Luskin, appeared surprised to hear of Rove's involvement, raising questions about whether Novak effectively tipped off Rove to come forward with evidence about himself.

Novak, who no longer works for Time, said Wednesday she had not had any contact with Fitzgerald since her deposition in December.

Fitzgerald, continuing to conduct the case in the utmost secrecy, did not comment about calling Rove to testify, and no one involved in the case said they clearly understood its significance. It did not appear that there would be any immediate resolution for Rove, who has spent months defending himself against assertions that his legal troubles are distracting him from his White House duties.

Fitzgerald is seeking to establish whether any crimes were committed with the disclosure of Valerie Wilson's identity, which first appeared in a column by Robert Novak - no relation to Viveca Novak - in July 2003. The identity of Novak's original source for the column that triggered the entire case is still unknown, at least to the public.

(BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM.)

Potentially complicating the case further still is the criminal trial of Libby, scheduled to begin early next year. The pretrial activity by Libby and Fitzgerald has raised several significant political and substantive questions, including whether Bush may have played a role in authorizing the leak of classified material.

Libby has pleaded not guilty and is expected to call Rove, among other witnesses, in presenting his defense.

WASHINGTON Karl Rove, senior counselor to President George W. Bush, has testified for several hours before a federal grand jury in the CIA leak case, in an appearance that was a sign of renewed attention by the special prosecutor in a matter that has lingered unresolved for months.

The testimony Wednesday marked the fifth time that Rove has appeared before a federal grand jury in the case. The appearance came at a politically sensitive time for Rove, who was relieved of his policy role at the White House in a staff reshuffling earlier this month. He now faces the challenge of helping Republicans maintain their primacy in the congressional elections this autumn.

 
  Two Sides To Story Of CIA's Alleged LeakerApril 26, 2006 14:37 In a city that lives for the whispered nugget of information, fired CIA analyst Mary McCarthy is viewed as both hero and villain.


Ask CIA Director Porter Goss, and he will tell you an officer he fired committed a grave offense damaging national security by talking to reporters and knowingly disclosing classified information.


Not so, argue McCarthy's defenders, who contend that she had a stellar government career and is merely the victim of a Bush administration witch hunt for leakers.


Associates, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of her sensitive legal situation, say the CIA authorized McCarthy on a number of occasions to talk with reporters. However, the details and timing remain unclear, including whether that was ever true after Goss took over in September 2004.

  Bush throws Conservatives Bone: Names Talk Show Host Press SecretaryApril 26, 2006 14:35 To the surprise of no one, President Bush named conservative commentator Tony Snow as his press secretary today to replace Scott McClellan, who announced his resignation last week.

"Tony already knows most of you," Bush, with tongue in cheek, told reporters in the White House briefing room, "and he's agreed to take the job anyway." Bush said of Snow, "He's man of courage. He's a man of integrity. He loves his family."

Snow becomes White House spokesman at a time when Bush's standing in the public opinion polls, buffeted by the war in Iraq and more recently by the soaring price of oil, stands at the low point of his presidency. Snow's job will not be to change the administration's policies, but to present them in the most favorable light.

Bush acknowledged that Snow had sometimes disagreed with him as host of a Fox Radio talk show...

... It turns out that Snow disagreed with the president for not being conservative enough!!!!!!


 
  Majority In Army Times Poll Think Rumsfeld Should ResignApril 26, 2006 02:49 According to a poll at ArmyTimes.com, a majority of respondents believe that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld should resign, RAW STORY has found.

At the time of this writing, 2985 readers have voted in the latest Army Times poll (link), with 1,889 (63.28%) agreeing that the "U.S. war effort is grounds for Secretary Rumsfeld to resign."

996 (33.37%) voted no and 100 (3.35%) had no opinion.

In a poll taken shortly after reports of prison abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison came out in 2004, a plurality of readers agreed that Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Richard Myers shouldn't keep their jobs "in light of the allegations." At the time, 3,644 (44.58%) thought they both should go, 3,644 (41.07%) said they should stay, and 739 responded that just Rumsfeld should go (9.04%).

  The Poll Battles: BushApril 25, 2006 17:28 If a presidential election were held this month, President George W. Bush might not color West Virginia or Virginia red in the returns, according to a USA Survey rating on the president’s approval by the people, released by local and national sponsors.

In West Virginia, Bush’s approval rating dropped to 39 percent while his unfavorable rating was recorded at 57 percent. The remaining said “don’t know.”

The poll information was released by WUSA-TV.

In Virginia, the Bush approval rate was even lower — 37 percent while 60 percent of those polled gave his an unfavorable rating. This report was released by WUSA-TV and WDBJ-TV.

  Resolution Urges Bush's OusterApril 24, 2006 20:39 Note: This article is one of many recent articles showing a groundswell of desire to impeach Bush...

The question was whether to accept a resolution to impeach President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

And as the debate went back and forth during Thursday's monthly meeting of the Kennebec County Democratic Committee, those in favor of the resolution began to prevail.

"We rather quickly ran out of cons," said Rita Moran of Winthrop, chairperson of the Kennebec County Democratic Committee.

The resolution charges the administration with misleading the public and violating the Federal Torture Act. It accuses the president and vice president of invading privacy and jeopardizing constitutional rights.

"George W. Bush and Richard Cheney have acted in a manner contrary to their trust as president and vice president," the resolution reads.

  As Congress Reconvenes, GOP Remains Under SiegeApril 24, 2006 20:35 Just when it looked like the political climate could not get worse for President Bush and the Republican Party, more storms have gathered.

This month's abrupt spike in gas prices is fueling new worries about the party's prospects in the fall elections, which have already been roiled by controversy over GOP policies on immigration, the federal budget and Iraq.

So when Congress returns today from a spring recess, Republicans face a political landscape even more challenging than when they left town two weeks ago after failing to pass legislation to crack down on illegal immigration and to curb domestic spending.

Since then, gas prices have shot up, to more than $3 a gallon in many places. Demonstrations against GOP immigration proposals have continued around the country. A new poll shows President Bush's approval ratings at new lows — and congressional Republicans' even lower.

  Hundreds Boo, Protest President On VisitApril 24, 2006 03:16 Hundreds of protesters booed President Bush as his motorcade made its way towards a fuel cell plant in West Sacramento.

People showed up from all over northern California. They are outraged about the president's stance on everything from the war to illegal immigration.

Since Saturday was Earth Day, protestors were most outspoken about his position on the environment.

Tom Pattison, Novato resident: "We want him out of our state."

Jerry Bailey, Stockton resident: "Leaders should be talking to the people. He's not talking to us."


 
  And So the Bush Shake-Up Begins. So What?April 20, 2006 16:26 The president's new chief of staff spent his first day on the job telling folks in the West Wing to go now if they were planning to go at all. Press Secretary Scott McClellan, in a masterpiece of understatement, said, ``It's time for a little bit of a fresh start.''

The fresh start couldn't have been more timely, coming on tax day Monday, with its ineffable sense of closing the book on an old year of missing receipts and W2s, and with spring busting out at the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House.

And Joshua Bolten, the new chief of staff, looks the part of a ``re-energizer.'' A young, nattily dressed former investment banker who alternates between riding a Harley and driving a pickup truck, Bolten is comfortable bowling with Bush and hanging with Bo Derek. He gets together with members of Congress even when there isn't a gun to his head.

It's easy to see why Bush has given Bolten authority to clean house. He doesn't like to do it himself -- he sent Dick Cheney to fire Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. And it holds the promise -- although rarely the reality -- of a quick fix to one of the least popular presidencies in modern history, except for those involving impeachment or resignation.


 
  Pentagon Says Retired Officers' Critical Views Not WidespreadApril 20, 2006 16:22 Recent criticism voiced by a half dozen retired generals over Iraq war planning does not reflect the mainstream views of the officer corps, a senior Defense Department official told Pentagon reporters Monday.

"There are a handful of officers that have exercised their right to speak their mind, and certainly that's their right to do that," Defense spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

Brushing aside a reporter's suggestion there's widespread disagreement among senior officers over Iraq war planning, Whitman said there are thousands of active duty, reserve component and retired general officers from the armed services.

Over the past few weeks, several retired general officers have publicly criticized Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's leadership style while calling for the secretary's resignation over alleged planning mistakes for the post-war period in Iraq.

  Good-bye and Good Riddance to McClellanApril 19, 2006 14:50 White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan announced his resignation, the latest personnel change in a Bush administration struggling to find its footing in the face of political setbacks and declining public approval ratings.

Karl Rove, Bush's deputy chief of staff and his top political adviser also is shifting roles, the Associated Press and CNN reported, citing unnamed administration officials.

Rove is giving up the job of policy coordinator and will focus on political strategy, while keeping his title as deputy chief of staff, AP reported. Joel Kaplan, the No. 2 person at the Office of Management and Budget, will become deputy chief of staff for policy, according to CNN.

  Bush Team To Shake Things UpApril 18, 2006 16:54 American President George W. Bush's new chief of staff said yesterday it was time to "refresh and re-energize the team."

He told senior White House aides who might be thinking about quitting this year to go ahead and leave now.

Taking charge in a time of crisis, with Bush's poll ratings at their lowest point ever and Republicans anxious about November elections, Joshua Bolten laid down his pointed directive at his first meeting with top presidential aides.

He did not ask for anyone's resignation, and none of the senior aides stepped forward to say they would go, White House press secretary Scott McClellan reported later.


 
  Scoop: Jason Leopold: Libby Filing - A Denial & A MysteryApril 18, 2006 16:53 Defense attorneys for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby said in a court filing late Wednesday that the former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney doesn't remember a conversation he had with a State Department official in June 2003 in which the official told Libby that Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the CIA.

But the conversation did take place, according to current and former administration officials and attorneys who have remained close to the two-year-old CIA leak probe. At least a half-dozen witnesses who testified before a grand jury over the past two years said that they were at the meeting when Marc Grossman, the former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, told Libby that Plame Wilson worked for the CIA, according to attorneys and US officials close to the two-year-old CIA leak probe. Grossman also told Libby that Plame Wilson got the CIA to send her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, on a fact-finding trip to Niger in February 2002 to check out reports that Iraq tried to purchase uranium from the African country. Wilson took the trip and reported back to the CIA in March that he found no evidence that Iraq tried to acquire uranium.

"It's not just Mr. Grossman's word against Mr. Libby's," said one former State Department official knowledgeable about the substance of the conversation between Grossman and Libby. "There were other people present at the meeting at the time when Mr. Grossman provided Mr. Libby with details about Ms. Plame's employment with the agency. There is an abundance of evidence Mr. Fitzgerald has that will prove this."


 
  Time Picks Allard As 1 Of 5 Worst Senators In U.S.April 18, 2006 03:13 Colorado Republican Sen. Wayne Allard is one of the five worst senators in Congress, according to this week's issue of Time magazine, which also chose the 10 best senators.

"In a Senate full of ambitious members, Colorado Republican Wayne Allard is so bland that his critics have dubbed him 'Dullard,"' according to the article, which criticizes him for "almost never" playing a major role in legislation despite being a Republican on the powerful Budget and Appropriations committees.

Allard's chief of staff Sean Conway decried the assessment as "more like a popularity poll" based on little other than opinion.

  Jury Finds Former Ill. Gov. Ryan GuiltyApril 17, 2006 19:42 Former Gov. George Ryan, who drew international praise when he commuted the sentences of everyone on Illinois' death row, was convicted of racketeering and fraud Monday in a corruption scandal that ended his political career in 2003.

Ryan, 72, sat stone-faced as the verdict was read and afterward vowed to appeal.

"I believe this decision today is not in accordance with the kind of public service that I provided to the people of Illinois over 40 years, and needless to say I am disappointed in the outcome," the former governor said.

  FOX Special Report Distorted Significance Of Leak Case CorrectionApril 16, 2006 15:59 This interesting article documents the many ways that a FOX News Special Report distorted the facts when discussing the Libby CIA Leak investigation.
  Is W a Liar?April 13, 2006 00:00 The White House is taking umbrage over new press reports that George W. Bush misled the American people on a key justification for invading Iraq. But Bush’s latest excuse – that he was just an unwitting conveyor of bad information, not a willful purveyor of lies – has been stretched thin by overuse.

Nevertheless, White House spokesman Scott McClellan lashed out at a Washington Post report that in May 2003, Bush described two Iraqi railroad cars as mobile biological weapons labs although two days earlier a Pentagon field investigation had debunked those suspicions in a report to Washington.

“The lead in the Washington Post left the impression for the reader that the President was saying something he knew at the time not to be true,” McClellan said on April 12, 2006. “That is absolutely false and it is irresponsible, and I don’t know how the Washington Post can defend something so irresponsible.”


 
  Mccain, Clinton Put Down Early Election MarkersApril 12, 2006 15:07 With more than two years to go before the 2008 presidential elections, the nominal frontrunners for both the Democratic and Republican parties are already in what looks like campaign mode.


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Republican senator John McCain was in Ohio yesterday in the middle of a seven-day tour that is taking him to the key primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as critical states such as Florida, Minnesota and Ohio that were closely fought in the 2004 presidential election.

Democratic senator Hillary Clinton was set to deliver a speech to the Chicago Economic Club last night blasting the economic record of President George W. Bush.

  Democrat Makes Runoff In Special Election To Fill Cunningham SeatApril 12, 2006 06:03 A school board member running for Congress advanced Tuesday to a runoff in a special election to fill the unfinished term of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, now in prison for bribery.

Democrat Francine Busby moved a step closer to the congressional office she first sought in 2004, when she lost badly to Cunningham. But the self-described soccer mom failed to avoid a June runoff in California's 50th District, where Republicans outnumber Democrats 3-to-2.

"When we go on to June, people know that this district today voted for change in Washington," Busby told supporters. "We sent a message that we will no longer accept business as usual."

In absentee voting and with 22 percent of the precincts reporting, Busby had 33,399 votes, or 43 percent, to lead all 18 candidates in the nonpartisan, all-on-the-ballot format.


 
  Bush Information Leak Reeks Of WatergateApril 11, 2006 19:30 When President Bush was asked in September 2003 about the leak that identified CIA agent, Valerie Plame, he responded with the following: "I welcome the investigation. I'm absolutely confident that the Justice Department will do a very good job."

I guess he probably didn't think, or at least he hoped that this probe and subsequent prosecution of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby wouldn't uncover evidence that Bush himself authorized leaks of classified information about Iraq prior to the invasion.

This new accusation sounds a familiar ring over the White House and reminds me more and more of the Nixon administration and the Watergate Scandal.

Both Presidents Bush and Nixon crossed constitutional boundaries for political gain and both chose vice presidents nobody wants to see promoted. But there's one big difference between the Watergate Scandal and the corrupt conduct that has emerged from the Bush Administration since the invasion of Iraq. That difference is the cost associated with the behavior.

  Pombo Targeted by Republicans and DemocratsApril 09, 2006 14:06 They call him the Capitol Cowboy - Republican congressman Richard Pombo.

For 14 years he's represented the massive 11th District, which stretches from Lodi, over to San Ramon, down through Morgan Hill. And he's in one tough political fight.

"Since I became chairman of the resources committee, I've become a bigger target," said Rep. Pombo, "and nationally, that has put me on the radar screen for the Democratic party and anything they can do to tie me down here at home they're going to try to do."

But it's not just Democrats targeting him. He also has Republican opposition for the June primary from none-other-than former Peninsula congressman Pete McCloskey, who came out of retirement at age 78, just to go after fellow-Republican Pombo.

"We were upset about the ethics of the DeLay, Abramhoff, Pombo Republican leadership," said McCloskey. "When we couldn't get anybody to run, my friends said, 'Pete you've got to.'"

  Specter Urges Bush Candor In Leak CaseApril 09, 2006 00:00 A leading Republican urged President Bush Sunday to “tell the American people exactly what happened” in a leak of information aimed at countering criticism of his reasons for taking America to war in Iraq.

The president, whose popularity is slumping, is on the defensive because of a prosecutor’s disclosure that Bush authorized a former top official, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, to share intelligence data on Iraq in 2003 with a reporter to defend his decision to invade Iraq.

Sen. Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Fox News Sunday that “there’s been enough of a showing here with what’s been filed of record in court that the president of the United States owes a specific explanation to the American people.

  Lamont Carves Himself A New Democratic NicheApril 08, 2006 21:25 The Yale Herald interviewed Ned Lamont, SOM ’80, who is challenging Conn. Senator Joe Lieberman, DC ’64, LAW ’67, in the upcoming Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Lamont, a self-made businessman, founded his own company, Lamont Digital Systems, which provides advanced video systems to colleges. In this campaign, Lamont’s supporters have cast him as a “real Democrat,” in contrast to Lieberman, who he claims is too conservative. Lamont lives with his wife and children in Greenwich, Conn.
 
  Republican embarrassed by actions within partyApril 08, 2006 16:11 I couldn't refuse adding this letter to the editor from a Mr. Kevin Duck to The Daily Advertiser. I wish more people would, as he says, open their eyes:

I am a registered Republican and have been for 21 years. Recent events have greatly disturbed me and caused me to question my affiliation. I am embarrassed by those who have represented our party.
(1) The deputy press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was arrested Tuesday for using the Internet to seduce what he thought was a teenage girl, authorities said.

(2) A French judge is threatening to subpoena - and even to prosecute - the vice president of the United States in a huge scandal involving Halliburton, while he was CEO. Specifically, a $6 billion gas liquification factory was built in Nigeria on behalf of Shell Oil by a French petroengineering company, Technip, in partnership with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root. Cheney is wanted for questioning about an untraceable 120 million pounds (U.S. $216 million) that may have been siphoned from the project in 1995 and used to bribe officials in several countries.

(3) A Texas grand jury indictment of then House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) on a charge of criminally conspiring with two political associates to inject illegal corporate contributions into 2002 state elections that helped the Republican Party reorder the congressional map in Texas and cement its control of the House in Washington; and last - but certainly not least:
(4) President Bush asking Congress for a joint resolution authorizing the use of American military forces in Iraq, by making a number of unequivocal statements about the reason the United States needed to pursue the most radical actions any nation can undertake - acts of war against another nation. It is clear now that many of his statements appear to be false.

I thought it was appalling that a president would lie under oath. I was grateful to see President Clinton leave the White House. Now it appears his misdeeds pale in comparison.

I refused to be blinded by party allegiance. It is time for us to open our eyes.

Kevin Duck

  Lawyer: Bush Left Leak Details To CheneyApril 08, 2006 00:00 President Bush declassified sensitive intelligence in 2003 and authorized its public disclosure to rebut Iraq war critics, but he did not specifically direct that Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, be the one to disseminate the information, an attorney knowledgeable about the case said Saturday.

Bush merely instructed Cheney to "get it out" and left the details to him, said the lawyer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case for the White House. The vice president chose Libby and communicated the president's wishes to his then-top aide, the lawyer said.

It is not known when the conversation between Bush and Cheney took place. The White House has declined to provide the date when the president used his authority to declassify the portions of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, a classified document that detailed the intelligence community's conclusions about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The new information about Bush and Cheney's roles came as the president's aides have scrambled to defuse the political fallout from a court filing Wednesday by the prosecutors in the complex, ongoing investigation into whether the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame was disclosed to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, an Iraq war critic.

  House Votes To Limit "Soft Money," Lift Party-Spending CapApril 06, 2006 21:20 The House approved campaign-finance legislation Wednesday that would benefit Republicans by placing strict new caps on contributions to nonprofit committees that spent heavily in the last election while removing limits on political party spending coordinated with candidates.

The bill passed 218-209 in a virtual party-line vote.

Lifting party spending limits would aid Republican candidates because the GOP has consistently raised far more money than the Democratic Party. Similarly, barring "527" committees from accepting large, unregulated contributions known as "soft money" would disadvantage Democrats, whose candidates enjoyed a disproportionate share of the $424 million spent by nonprofit committees in 2003-04.

  Ensor: Lowdown On Documents In Cia Leak Case - Apr 6, 2006April 06, 2006 21:17 An interesting excerpt from a CNN interview discussion of the Scooter Libby case. Looks like the classification of documents is working against Libby this time... but hopefully it won't result in a mistrial...

Vice President Dick Cheney told his top adviser in 2003 that President Bush had authorized the leaking of pre-war intelligence on Iraq, according to court papers released this week.

I. Scooter Libby -- who is charged with five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to FBI agents -- is seeking classified papers from prosecutors about his case involving the leak of a CIA agent's name to reporters.

CNN anchor Jim Clancy spoke to national security correspondent David Ensor on Thursday about what is in the legal documents.

CLANCY: What do the court papers actually say?

ENSOR: What is actually going on, Jim, is a struggle between the defendant, who is I. Lewis Libby, Scooter Libby, the former chief of staff of the vice president, and the prosecutor over how much information the defense can get declassified to use in the case.


 
  Signs Point To Federal Investigators Zeroing In On DeLayApril 05, 2006 22:32 Rep. Tom DeLay's decision to leave Congress ends his political problems, but his legal woes may be far from over.

The former House majority leader announced his resignation three days after court documents revealed that federal investigators have uncovered evidence of corruption in his leadership office. Tony Rudy, former deputy chief of staff to the powerful Republican congressman from Texas, admitted in a plea agreement that he sold his influence to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff while he was working for DeLay.

Rudy became the second former DeLay aide who's agreed to cooperate with federal investigators in return for a more lenient sentence.

"Any rational person in his (DeLay's) position would be very concerned," said Kendall Coffey, a former federal prosecutor who's now a prominent defense lawyer in Miami. "Whether it's working up the ladder at Enron or a drug organization, it's classic strategy to work up by getting plea agreements and cooperation at each level."

Amen.


 
  DeLay's Fall Won't End Corruption IssueApril 05, 2006 14:37 Rep. Tom DeLay ‘s fall from power amid a widening scandal robs Democrats of "Exhibit A" in their allegations of Republican corruption, but analysts said on Tuesday it was unlikely to put the issue behind Republicans before November‘s elections.

With control of Congress at stake in November, DeLay said he was dropping his bid for re-election so the party would have a better shot at keeping the Texan‘s Republican-leaning seat in the southern suburbs of Houston.

"I think I could have won the seat, but it would have been nasty. It would have cost a fortune to do it," DeLay told Fox News. He said left-wing groups had made his race against Democratic challenger Nick Lampson a rallying point.

The former House Republican leader, indicted in Texas on campaign finance charges, also plans to resign from Congress.

  DeLay Announces Resignation From HouseApril 04, 2006 14:50 Succumbing to scandal, former Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Tuesday he is resigning from Congress in the face of a tough re-election race, closing out a career that blended unflinching conservatism with a bare-knuckled political style.

"I think I could have won this seat but it would have been nasty. It would have cost a fortune to do it," said the Texas Republican, first elected in 1984.

DeLay said in an interview with Fox News that he was "looking forward to being liberated outside the House, doing whatever I can to unify the conservative cause."

  Tom Delay'S Exit Is Big Loss For House Gop | Csmonitor.ComApril 04, 2006 00:00 In another legislative century, Tom DeLay might be on a fast track to have a building named after him.
A fierce competitor, he helped Republicans take back the House in 1994, then build a national majority - while pushing through landmark conservative policies in overtime votes. Friends and foes alike called him "the Hammer."

But after years of legal woes, he may leave Congress this spring with another nickname: "Representative No. 2." That's how he's named in a plea agreement on corruption charges made by a former staffer last week.

It's a fall from power that has become nearly a template in the highly polarized House of Representatives, which has seen its last two Speakers bashed on ethics.

  Right-Wing Bloggers Attack Freed Hostage For 'Treason'April 03, 2006 17:48 The freed American hostage Jill Carroll arrived home after 83 days of captivity in Iraq yesterday - to a barrage of criticism from Right-wingers who accused her of showing too much sympathy for her kidnappers.

Miss Carroll has been under sustained assault from some on the pro-war Right. Bloggers and hosts on the country's influential talk radio stations have attacked her for stating that she had not been threatened during her confinement.

Others attacked her for wearing Muslim dress and the news channel CNN carried an interview suggesting that she was suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome", in which victims begin to sympathise with their captors. One blogger called for Miss Carroll to be arrested for treason. (I think this blogger should be arrested for the same -- Chris)

The terrorists holding her brought members of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a Sunni group, to see her. The Sunnis persuaded her to give a taped interview, which Miss Carroll said she was afraid to refuse.

  White House Shake-Up To Continue?April 03, 2006 14:55 Presidential press secretary Scott McClellan and Treasury Secretary John Snow could be next in a shake-up in the Bush administration, according to White House and GOP sources.

The possible departure of both men could be among "several senior-level staff" announcements to come within the next couple of weeks, said former White House staff members, GOP strategists and administration officials.

Other GOP strategists said they believe McClellan's position is secure because of his close relationship with President Bush going back to Texas. McClellan was a communications aide to the president when he was governor of the Lone Star state.