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   [Plame] Leak Investigation: An Oversight Issue?

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8/7/2005 6:00 pm

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Entered 8/7/2005, Updated 8/7/2005

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Newsweek Aug. 15, 2005 issue - The departure this week of Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who has accepted the post of general counsel at Lockheed Martin, leaves a question mark in the probe into who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Comey was the only official overseeing special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's leak investigation. With Attorney General Alberto Gonzales recused, department officials say they are still trying to resolve whom Fitzgerald will now report to. Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum is "likely" to be named as acting deputy A.G., a DOJ official who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter tells NEWSWEEK. But McCallum may be seen as having his own conflicts: he is an old friend of President Bush's and a member of his Skull and Bones class at Yale. One question: how much authority Comey's successor will have over Fitzgerald. When Comey appointed Fitzgerald in 2003, the deputy granted him extraordinary powers to act however he saw fit—but noted he still had the right to revoke Fitzgerald's authority. The questions are pertinent because lawyers close to the case believe the probe is in its final stages. Fitzgerald recently called White House aide Karl Rove's secretary and his former top aide to testify before the grand jury. They were asked why there was no record of a phone call from Time reporter Matt Cooper, with whom Rove discussed the CIA agent, says a source close to Rove who requested anonymity because the FBI asked participants not to comment. The source says the call went through the White House switchboard, not directly to Rove.


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