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Novak testifies Libby not CIA leak source as defense gets underway

[JURIST] Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak [CST website] testified Monday that former vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense website] did not leak to him the identity of former undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Both Novak and Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward testified that it was former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage [official profile] who had told them about Plame's identity. Plame and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, sued Armitage [JURIST report] in September for serving as the primary source responsible for disclosing Plame's CIA affiliation after he admitted [JURIST report] to unintentionally leaking her identity.

In July 2006, Novak revealed [JURIST report] that Karl Rove [official profile], President Bush's top political advisor, was one of two secondary sources who confirmed that Plame was employed by the CIA and helped initiate the ambassador's 2002 mission to Niger. It was Novak's July 2003 column that publicly outed Plame, thus igniting the CIA leak scandal [JURIST news archive]. Libby is not charged with leaking Plame's identity, but instead faces perjury and obstruction of justice charges [indictment, PDF; JURIST report] in connection with the investigation into the leak. The prosecution rested [JURIST report] its case in the trial late last week. Reuters has more.

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