In his explosive new memoir, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan claims that Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, “and possibly Vice President Cheney” encouraged him to “repeat a lie” to the American people about the administration’s role in the leaking of Valerie Plame’s identity. This assertion, along with others, has led members of Congress, like House Oversight Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), to again ask questions about the CIA leak scandal.
On NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show today, Time magazine assistant managing editor Michael Duffy said that the renewed attention to the scandal is causing White House lawyers to be “very concerned”:
DUFFY: White House lawyers are concerned, very concerned, now that Scott McClellan’s book has led Henry Waxman and John Conyers to take another look at the Valerie Plame business. There may be hearings. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may be called. Just another way in which a Democratic Congress might make a difference during the fall.
Last week, Waxman sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, requesting that the Justice Department turn over FBI interviews of President Bush and Cheney that were conducted during the CIA leak scandal investigation. In the letter, Waxman cited “new revelations” from McClellan’s book, including the claim that “[t]he President and Vice President directed me to go out there and exonerate Scooter Libby.”
Additionally, White House lawyers are likely “concerned” that CIA leak special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald indicated this week that he would be willing to testify before Congress about alleged efforts to push him off of politically sensitive cases like the leak scandal.
As Duffy said, this “could make things rough for everyone who was affiliated with the Plame affair.”