"Official A" is Karl Rove

Raw Story and the Associated Press report that "Official A" (p. 8, par. 21 of Libby Indictment) is Karl Rove. The paragraph reads:

On or about July 10 or July 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke to a senior official in the White House (“Official A”) who advised LIBBY of a conversation Official A had earlier that week with columnist Robert Novak in which Wilson’s wife was discussed as a CIA employee involved in Wilson’s trip. LIBBY was advised by Official A that Novak would be writing a story about Wilson’s wife.

Read it closely. It doesn't say that Official A is Novak's source. It says he had a conversation with Novak in which it was discussed that Wilson's wife was a CIA employee and that Novak was going to write about it. It doesn't say whether Offical A told Novak about Plame's CIA employement or whether Novak gave Rove the information.

How is this inconsistent with what Rove's team has previously said he told the grand jury? This New York Times article provides one such instance:

Mr. Rove has told investigators that he learned from the columnist the name of the C.I.A. officer, who was referred to by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and the circumstances in which her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, traveled to Africa to investigate possible uranium sales to Iraq, the person said.

After hearing Mr. Novak's account, the person who has been briefed on the matter said, Mr. Rove told the columnist: "I heard that, too." The previously undisclosed telephone conversation, which took place on July 8, 2003, was initiated by Mr. Novak, the person who has been briefed on the matter said. The person who provided the information about Mr. Rove's conversation with Mr. Novak declined to be identified, citing requests by Mr. Fitzgerald that no one discuss the case. The person discussed the matter in the belief that Mr. Rove was truthful in saying he did not disclose Ms. Wilson's identity.

...Asked by investigators how he knew enough to leave Mr. Novak with the impression that his information was accurate, Mr. Rove said he heard portions of the story from other journalists, but had not heard Ms. Wilson's name.

The AP reported a long time ago (quoted here)

The person, who works in the legal profession and spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, told The Associated Press that Rove testified last year that he remembers specifically being told by columnist Robert Novak that Valerie Plame, the wife of a harsh Iraq war critic, worked for the CIA.

What am I missing? Why is this a big deal? Isn't the question still whether Rove told Novak or Novak told Rove and how is that answered by the Indictment?

Novak told Newsday reporters back in July, 2003:

Novak, in an interview, said his sources had come to him with the information. "I didn't dig it out, it was given to me," he said. "They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it."

... Novak reported that his "two senior administration officials" told him that it was Plame who suggested sending her husband, Wilson, to Niger.

So I think it's still an open question as to who Novak's second source was.

More on Novak's sources here and here.

I think a bigger question may be who was Walter Pincus's source in June, 2003? I speculated here that it was Karl Rove.

Remember, Fitzgerald knows who both Pincus's and Novak's sources are.

< Russert and Libby and the Complaint About a Reporter | Official "A" as a Trial Witness for Libby >
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  • Re: "Official A" is Karl Rove (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:30 PM EST
    I am looking for any info on Bush/Cheney 2004 Gop electioneering activity on military bases from spring, Rove front companies, and astroturf jobs other than swiftboat stuff cheneygate

    Re: "Official A" is Karl Rove (none / 0) (#2)
    by Strick on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:31 PM EST
    I need to see a transcript of Fitzgerald's press conference, but I believe he said that "Official A" was another person in the VP's office. That would certainly leave Rove out of the equation and bring in a couple of other people who have been mentioned prominently in recent weeks.