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Rove 'Knowingly' Refusing Interviews on Plame Leak

Editoy & Publisher | July 04, 2005

NEW YORK Two days after his lawyer confirmed that his name turned up as a source in Matthew Cooper's notes on the Valerie Plame/CIA case, top White House adviser Karl Rove refused to answer questions about the development today.

Rove traveled with President Bush when he spoke at a July 4 event in West Virginia today, but refused all requests for interviews about his role in the controversy that threatens to send Cooper, of Time magazine, and Judith Miller of The New York Times to jail this week for refusing to reveal sources.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had called on Rove to clear the air on Sunday. "We've heard it from his lawyer, but it would be nice to hear it directly from Mr. Rove that he didn't leak the identity of Valerie Plame, and that he didn't direct anyone else to do such a dastardly thing," said Schumer.

Outside the presidential rally in Morgantown, one protester made reference to the case, holding a sign that read: "Jail Karl Rove," according to a New York Times dispatch.

Rove's lawyer has asserted that while he was interviewed by Cooper he was not the key source who revealed Plame's identity as a CIA agent. Rove's critics, however, suggest that he could be charged with perjury if he did not tell the truth about this to a grand jury.

Several dozen other protesters demonstrated against the war in Iraq, the paper said, chanting, "Please support our troops, not the president!" But a large turnout for the president more than countered that.

Meanwhile, Lawrence O'Donnell, the MSNBC analyst who first broke the Rove/Cooper link on Friday, wrote on the Huffington Post blog today, that Rove's lawyer had
"launched what sounds like an I-did-not-inhale defense. He told Newsweek that his client 'never knowingly disclosed classified information.' Knowingly.

"Not coincidentally, the word 'knowing' is the most important word in the controlling statute ( U.S. Code: Title 50: Section 421). To violate the law, Rove had to tell Cooper about a covert agent 'knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States.'"

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