The New York Sun revealed this morning that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's latest filing in the Lewis Libby case includes the statement:
"Defendant [Libby] testified that he was specially authorized in advance of the meeting [with NY Times reporter Judith Miller] to disclose the key judgments of the classified NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] to Miller on that occasion because it was thought that the NIE was 'pretty definitive' against what Ambassador Wilson had said and that the vice president thought it was 'very important' for the key judgments of the NIE to come out."
Fitzgerald's filing also states:
"Defendant testified that the vice president later advised him that the president had authorized the defendant to disclose the relevant portions of the NIE."
Under Executive Order 13292 issued by President Bush on March 25, 2003, the president and the vice president have the power to declassify intelligence information where the public interest in declassification outweighs the need for classification. A prior Executive Order issued by President Clinton, EO 12958, contains the same public interest standard for presidential declassification, but did not provide for vice presidential declassification powers.
Since Fitzgerald interviewed both the president and the vice president, it seems to me that by this filing Fitzgerald is admitting that it was not a crime to disclose the identity of Valerie Plame. Am I missing something?
UPDATE: Just One Minute has the Fitzgerald .pdf filing here.
A word from Stephen Blackwood
1 hour ago