Richard Armitage (politician) - Role in Plame Affair

Role in Plame Affair

  • On November 15, 2005, journalist Bob Woodward of The Washington Post revealed that "a government official with no axe to grind" leaked to him the identity of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame in mid-June 2003. According to an April 2006 Vanity Fair article (published March 14, 2006), former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee said in an interview "that Armitage is the likely source is a fair assumption," though Bradlee later told the Post that he " not recall making that precise statement" in the interview.
  • On March 2, 2006, bloggers discovered that "Richard Armitage" fit the spacing on a redacted court document, suggesting he was a source for the Plame leak.
  • On August 21, 2006, the Associated Press published a story that revealed Armitage met with Bob Woodward in mid-June 2003. The information came from official State Department calendars, provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.
  • In the September 4, 2006 issue of Newsweek magazine, in an article titled "The Man Who Said Too Much", journalist Michael Isikoff, quoting a "source directly familiar with the conversation who asked not to be identified because of legal sensitivities", reported that Armitage was the "primary" source for Robert Novak's piece outing Plame. Armitage allegedly mentioned Ms. Wilson's CIA role to Novak in a July 8, 2003 interview after learning about her status from a State Department memo which made no reference to her undercover status. Isikoff also reported that Armitage had also told Bob Woodward of Plame's identity in June 2003, and that special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald investigated Armitage's role "aggressively", but did not charge Armitage with a crime because he "found no evidence that Armitage knew of Plame's covert CIA status when he talked to Novak and Woodward".
  • Novak, in an August 27, 2006 appearance on Meet the Press, stated that although he still would not release the name of his source, he felt it was long overdue that the source reveal himself. Armitage has also reportedly been a cooperative and key witness in the investigation. According to The Washington Note, Armitage has testified before the grand jury three times.
  • On August 29, 2006 Neil A. Lewis of The New York Times reported that Armitage was the "initial and primary source" for columnist Robert Novak's July 14, 2003 article, which named Valerie Plame as a CIA "operative" and which triggered the CIA leak investigation.
  • On August 30, 2006, CNN reported that Armitage had been confirmed "by sources" as leaking Ms. Wilson's CIA role in a "casual conversation" with Robert Novak.The New York Times, quoting people "familiar with his actions", reported that Armitage was unaware of Ms. Wilson's undercover status when he spoke to Novak.
  • The Times claims that White House counsel Alberto Gonzales was informed that Armitage was involved on October 2, 2003, but asked not to be told details. Patrick Fitzgerald began his grand jury investigation three months later knowing Armitage was a leaker (as did Attorney General John Ashcroft before turning over the investigation).
  • On March 6, 2007 a jury convicted Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, of "obstruction of justice, giving false statements to the FBI and perjuring himself, charges embodied in four of the five counts of the indictment".
  • On July 2, 2007, President Bush issued a Grant of Executive Clemency that commuted the prison terms imposed on Lewis Libby.
  • On September 7, 2006, Armitage admitted to being the source in the CIA leak. Armitage claims that Fitzgerald had originally asked him not to discuss publicly his role in the matter, but that on September 5 Armitage asked Fitzgerald if he could reveal his role to the public, and Fitzgerald consented.
  • In a review of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, which hit book stores in early September 2006, Novak wrote: "I don't know precisely how Isikoff flushed out Armitage, but Hubris clearly points to two sources: Washington lobbyist Kenneth Duberstein, Armitage's political adviser, and William Taft IV, who was the State Department legal adviser when Armitage was deputy secretary."

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