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White House Authorized Leaks, Libby Says

Former vice presidential aide Lewis Libby, indicted for leaking a CIA agent's identity, has testified that any classified information he may have leaked to a reporter was authorized by President Bush through the vice president. The claim is included in court documents released Thursday.

Libby told a grand jury that classified information he may have leaked to a New York Times reporter was authorized for use by President Bush, acting through Vice President Dick Cheney. Lewis is awaiting trial on charges that he lied to the grand jury, which was investigating the leak of the agent's identity to the media.

During a visit to Chicago in 2003, President Bush said he wanted to get to the bottom of who, if anyone, in his White House leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame to reporters.

But according to a new 39-page court filing written by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, there was quite a bit of leaking from the Bush White House in 2003. Fitzgerald wrote that Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, told a grand jury last year that he was granted approval from President Bush, giving him authority to speak to reporters about classified intelligence on Iraq.

The White House has refused to comment on the new document, because Libby's case is an ongoing legal matter.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Greene is an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author. He is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most listened-to radio news program in the United States, and also of NPR's popular morning news podcast, Up First.