Plame investigation 2004

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Earlier events in the Plame Leak main timeline

2004

January 2004

January 1

  • The Washington Post divulges the connection between Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey and Patrick Fitzgerald: "...Fitzgerald's personal friendship with No. 2 Department of Justice official James B. Comey Jr. - he is the godfather of one of Comey's children - leaves some critics complaining that top administration officials still have too much control over an investigation that is centered on the White House." (Von Drehle and Eggen, "Head of Leak Probe is Called Relentless," 'Washington Post, Jan. 1, 2004)

January 2

  • The Washington Post reports that Bush aides whose names have come up in FBI interviews will be asked to sign a one page form waiving their right to journalistic privilege. (Allen, "Bush Aides Face Request To Free Media To Give Names," 'Washington Post, Jan. 3, 2004)

January 6

  • White House spokesman Scott McClellan refuses to comment on whether the President will ask his staff to sign forms releasing the press from promises of confidentiality. As one government official put it, the forms are a "`quintessential cover-your-rear-end' move by investigators. `It provides political cover, because you can say you tried everything, and this is a very politically charged environment... There's no other value to it." (Allen, "No Word From Bush On Forms in Leak Probe," 'Washington Post, Jan. 6, 2004)

January 8

  • CIA briefer Craig Schmall is interviewed by the F.B.I. He does not say anything about Joe or Valerie Wilson. (trial testimony, Jan. 24, 2007; Schmall memo)

January 12

January 14

  • Robert Novak is interviewed by the Special Counsel. He answers questions using the names Rove, Harlow and "my primary source". (Novak)

January 15

January 17

  • Vanity Fair publishes "Double Exposure," a profile of the Wilsons.

January 21

  • The federal grand jury begins hearing testimony.
  • Mary Matalin, former aide to Dick Cheney, testifies before the grand jury.

January 22

  • Subpoenas for White House records are issued by the grand jury. (Newsday, WaPo)
  • Phone logs for Air Force One from July 7 to 12.
  • A transcript of the July 12 press gaggle from Nigeria.
  • A list of those in attendance at the White House reception on July 16.
  • All documents from July 6 to July 30 of the White House Iraq Group. (subpoena)
  • Documents from Feb. 1, 2002, through 2003 related to Wilson's February 2002 trip to Niger, or to Plame. 25 journalists are listed by name. (subpoena to OVP)
  • Phone logs for Air Force Two and related travel for July 12. (subpoena)
  • 10 ex-CIA officers write a letter to House leadership demanding a congressional investigation. The letter said it was time to "send an unambiguous message that the intelligence officers tasked with collecting or analyzing intelligence must never be turned into political punching bags." (Jehl, Ex-CIA Officers Seek Congressional Inquiry Into Leak of Undercover Officer's Name, Jan.22, 2004)

January 23

  • Mary Matalin, former counselor to Vice President Cheney, testifies before the grand jury. (Newsday)
  • David Kay resigns as head of the CIA's Iraq Survey Group; admitting that Iraq had no WMDs.

January 26

January 29

  • White House counsel Alberto Gonzales memos and informs employees of the January 22 subpoenas.

January 30

  • Deputy Press Secretary Claire Buchan testifies before the grand jury. (AP)
  • The CIA responds to Mr. Conyers' inquiry about its requests of the DOJ to investigate.
  • The grand jury subpoenas all email communications between the Office of the Vice President and 25 named journalists for the period June 1 to October 31. (subpoena)

Unknown January

February 2004

February 5

February 6

  • Acting Attorney General James Comey confirms to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald that Fitzgerald has plenary power in the investigation: authority to investigate crimes including "perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses". (Comey letter)
  • Former White House press official Adam Levine testifies before the grand jury. (CNN, Newsday,WaPo)
  • Deputy Press Secretary Claire Buchan testifies before the grand jury. (Newsday)

February 12

February 13

February 24

February 25

February 27

Unknown February

  • Karl Rove testifies before the grand jury for the first time sometime in February. (NYT)

March 2004

March 1

March 5

  • White House spokesman Scott McClellan answers questions about the timing of the response to the January 22 subpoenas.

March 12

Before March 24

March 24

April 2004

April 22

  • CIA briefer Craig Schmall is again interviewed by the F.B.I. He again does not say anything about the Wilsons. (trial, Jan. 24, 2007)

May 2004

May 8

  • Vice President Dick Cheney is interviewed in the case.

May 13 to 18

May 15

May 20

May 21

  • NBC News releases a statement that it intends to fight the Russert subpoena. The statement does not acknowledge Russert's already having talked to the FBI.

Unknown May

June 2004

June 2

According to John Dean, because Republican Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr removed the attorney-client privilege for government lawyers and their clients in his prosecution of Bill Clinton, this is the likely reason Bush sought outside counsel instead of the White House Counsel's Office.
  • CIA Director George Tenet resigns for "personal reasons," after a 1 hour evening meeting with Bush. (WaPo)

June 3

June 4

  • Deputy Director for Operations CIA James Pavitt resigns, and is said to have made the decision some weeks before. (BBC)

June 5

June 10

June 18

June 22

June 23

June 24

  • Morning - President Bush is questioned by Patrick Fitzgerald in the Oval Office. The interview lasts about 70 minutes and he is not under oath. (WaPo)
  • A White House spokesperson confirms that the President has retained private counsel. (CNN)


July 2004

July 6

  • The district court denies Matthew Cooper's motion to quash subpoenas.

July 12

  • Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald notifies the New York Times he is expanding investigation of an unrelated 2001 case to include leaks of information to Judith Miller (Sweet opinion). The case had been inactive for some two years.

July 16

July 20

July 31

  • CNN interviews Karl Rove at the Republication National Convention. Rove parses his language carefully: "I didn't know her name and didn't leak her name." (CNN)

August 2004

August 2

  • The grand jury issues subpoenas to Time for documents and notes relating to the July 17 and July 21 2003 Matthew Cooper articles.

August 5

  • Matthew Cooper tells Scooter Libby that his recollection of events is basically exculpatory, and asks if Libby has objections to his testifying. Libby indicates he has no objections and suggests their attorneys should talk. (Fitzgerald affidavit, p. 16)

August 7

  • Tim Russert of NBC is interviewed by the Special Counsel. Russert says he did not tell Scooter Libby anything about Valerie Plame's identity. Under agreement, Russert is not asked about what Libby told him. (AP). Also under agreement, Russert is deposed under oath and recorded, not before the grand jury.

August 9

August 12 and August 14

August 20

  • The Washington Post files a motion to quash the Pincus subpoena. (WaPo, Editor and Publisher)

August 23

  • Matthew Cooper gives a deposition after Scooter Libby personally waives Cooper from a confidentiality promise. Cooper reveals Libby as his second or confiming source. Under agreement, Cooper does not answer questions about sources other than Libby. (Fitzgerald affadavit, p. 7)

August 27

  • The Special Counsel files an affadavit opposing the quashing of journalist subpoenas. The affidavit is a good summary of prosecution knowledge at the time of the inconsistencies in Libby's testimony.

September 2004

Unknown September

  • Ari Fleischer testifies before the grand jury. (Fleischer testimony, Jan. 29, 2007)

September 9

  • The district court denies Judith Miller's motion to quash her subpoenas.

September 13

  • The grand jury issues a further and more general subpoena to journalist Matthew Cooper. The subpoena seeks documents relating to conversations between Cooper and official sources about Wilson or Plame (Tatel opinion p. 6). By implication, it is about Cooper's conversations with Karl Rove or other officials beyond Scooter Libby.

September 14

September 15

  • Journalist Walter Pincus gives a deposition concerning his July 12, 2003 conversation with an administration official. (Pincus, WaPo, AP)

September 22

October 2004

October 7

  • The district court denies Matthew Cooper's motion to quash his subpoenas.

October 12

  • Judith Miller files notice of appeal of the October 7 order.

October 13

Before October 15

  • Sometime before the grand jury appearance, Karl Rove and his attorney Robert Luskin turn over to prosecutors a copy of the July 11, 2003 email from Rove to Stephen Hadley about Rove's phone conversation with Matthew Cooper. (AP, NYT, WaPo)

October 15

  • Morning - Karl Rove again testifies before the grand jury. Rove spends more than two hours testifying before the panel. Rove is reported to have acknowledged his conversation with Matthew Cooper in this testimony, and "that it was possible that the subject of Mr. Wilson's trip had come up." (CNN, NYT, NYT, Salon,Time)
  • Matthew Cooper files notice of appeal of the October 13 order.

October 19

  • The district court consolidates the appeals of Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper.


December 2004

December 8

  • The district court hears arguments on the appeals of Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper regarding subpoenas. (Fitzgerald brief)

2005

Plame investigation 2005

2006

Plame investigation 2006

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