It’s not just Karl Rove anymore that the White House has to answer for. It’s also I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the chief of staff to Vice President Cheney.
We already know that it was a complete falsehood when Scott McClellan said in 2003 “it’s simply not true” that Rove was “involved in leaking classified information.” It was similarly false when McClellan denied that Libby was involved in the leak.
As reported by the Washington Post, Libby served as a source for Matt Cooper:
In a conversation that same day [July 11, 2003], Rove told Time magazine’s Matthew Cooper that Wilson’s wife was in the CIA and authorized the mission to Niger A day later, Cheney’s top aide, I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, told Cooper he had heard the same thing about Plame
And could he also have been Judith Miller’s source?:
While media coverage in recent days has focused on conversations White House senior adviser Karl Rove had with reporters, two sources say Miller spoke with Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, during the key period in July 2003 that is the focus of Fitzgerald’s investigation. The two sources, one who is familiar with Libby’s version of events and the other with Miller’s, said the previously undisclosed conversation occurred a few days before Plame’s name appeared in Robert D. Novak’s syndicated column on July 14, 2003.
But remember what McClellan said on October 10, 2003:
Q: Scott, earlier this week you told us that neither Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams nor Lewis Libby disclosed any classified information with regard to the leak. I wondered if you could tell us more specifically whether any of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?
MR. 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.
Cheney and Libby have a very close relationship that goes back more than a decade. So where there’s Libby, there’s Cheney.
CHENEY: Mr. Libby, Lewis Libby, “Scooter,” we call him, has been an old friend of mine. He worked for me at the Pentagon. Did a superb job for me when I was secretary of defense, and I was delighted to get him to give up his very lucrative law practice and come back into public service when I became vice president. He’s running my staff operation. A superb individual and a very, very competent, capable lawyer and also a good chief of staff. [CNN, 3/4/01]
How long before the right-wing claims Libby has also been exonerated? And what did Cheney know and when did he know it?
UPDATE: The AP is reporting on Libby’s involvement, based on Matt Cooper’s appearance on Meet the Press.