Plame On


The investigation of the leaks about Valerie Plame may be getting bigger, wider, more revelatory. The NY Times reports:

In looking at violations beyond the original focus of the inquiry, which centered on a rarely used statute that makes it a felony to disclose the identity of an undercover intelligence officer intentionally, prosecutors have widened the range of conduct under scrutiny and for the first time raised the possibility of bringing charges peripheral to the leak itself.

The expansion of the inquiry's scope comes at a time when prosecutors, after a hiatus of about a month, appear to be preparing to seek additional testimony before a federal grand jury, lawyers with clients in the case said. It is not clear whether the renewed grand jury activity represents a concluding session or a prelude to an indictment.

The broadened scope is a potentially significant development that represents exactly what allies of the Bush White House feared when Attorney General John Ashcroft removed himself from the case last December and turned it over to Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the United States attorney in Chicago.

"Charges peripheral to the leak itself?" Translation from the original Nixon: It's not the crime, it's the cover up that gets people in trouble. It's a phrase that's gotta make the Bush folks get a little weak in the knees. In nothing else, it allows this thing to drag on longer. Whole story here.

The White House should have just listened to Reason way back when.