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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Plame update

Here's the latest

From The New York Times

Associates of I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, expected an indictment on Friday charging him with making false statements to the grand jury in the C.I.A. leak inquiry, lawyers in the case said Thursday.

Karl Rove, President Bush's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, will not be charged on Friday, but will remain under investigation, people briefed officially about the case said. As a result, they said, the special counsel in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, was likely to extend the term of the federal grand jury beyond its scheduled expiration on Friday.

As rumors coursed through the capital, Mr. Fitzgerald gave no public signal of how he intends to proceed, further intensifying the anxiety that has gripped the White House and left partisans on both sides of the political aisle holding their breath.

Mr. Fitzgerald's preparations for a Friday announcement were shrouded in secrecy, but advanced amid a flurry of behind-the-scenes discussions that left open the possibility of last-minute surprises. As the clock ticked down on the grand jury, people involved in the case did not rule out the disclosure of previously unknown aspects of the case.

White House officials said their presumption was that Mr. Libby would resign if indicted, and he and Mr. Rove took steps to expand their legal teams in preparation for a possible court battle.

Among the many unresolved mysteries is whether anyone in addition to Mr. Libby and Mr. Rove might be charged and in particular whether Mr. Fitzgerald would name the source who first provided the identity of an undercover C.I.A. officer to Robert D. Novak, the syndicated columnist. Mr. Novak identified the officer in a column published July 14, 2003.

The investigation seemed to be taking an unexpected path after nearly two years in which Mr. Fitzgerald brought more than a dozen current and former administration officials before the grand jury and interviewed Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney to determine how the identity of the officer, Valerie Plame Wilson, became public.

Mr. Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn, declined to comment.

Stayed tuned.