Fitzgerald's team won't talk; Schumer wants to know more

The senator from New York says the special prosecutor should deliver a report on who leaked Valerie Plame's identity to the press.

Published June 13, 2006 4:32PM (EDT)

Patrick Fitzgerald's usually tight-lipped spokesman is saying even less than usual today. Randall Samborn won't comment on Robert Luskin's claim that he's received notification from Patrick Fitzgerald in which the prosecutor says he doesn't anticipate indicting Karl Rove. The Associated Press follows up by asking Samborn if Fitzgerald's investigation is continuing. "I'm not commenting on that as well at this time," Samborn says.

If Luskin's report of Fitzgerald's decision is accurate, then it appears Rove is clear of criminal charges in the Plame case. That doesn't mean he's innocent of any wrongdoing -- he leaked Valerie Plame's identity to Bob Novak and Matthew Cooper, and he misled investigators and the grand jury about what he did -- and it doesn't mean he's done with the case: Rove may be a witness in Scooter Libby's trial or in the prosecution of anybody else Fitzgerald might still be eyeing, and he could find himself a defendant in a civil suit that could be brought by Plame and her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson and maybe even a cooperating witness

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer hopes that Fitzgerald isn't done either. In addition to prosecuting Libby, Schumer says he hopes Fitzgerald will issue a report on what he's learned in the Plame investigation. "It is not good enough to simply have a case for perjury," Schumer tells the AP. "We still need to know who did the leak. We still need to make sure that anyone who did that is given the appropriate punishment."

Among the questions that might be addressed in the wake of such a report: Why is a political advisor to the president who leaked the identity of a CIA agent for political gain still trusted with a security clearance?

Update: This post initially referred to the "letter" Luskin reportedly received from Fitzgerald. However, Luskin's statement doesn't identify the form in which Fitzgerald's communication came. The New York Times says it was a letter. AP refers to a phone call. Pending more information, we've deleted references to a "letter."

Update 2: Rove's spokesman confirms that Fitzgerald's notification came in the form of a letter to Luskin.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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