Bob Novak says Fitz knows who outed Plame

Jun 27, 2005
Novak: Feds know who outed CIA agent

April 20, 2006

BY DAVE NEWBART Staff Reporter Advertisement

Robert Novak said Wednesday that special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald knows who outed a CIA agent to the Chicago Sun-Times columnist but hasn't acted on the information because Novak's source committed no crime.

Novak also hinted that he personally didn't rely on the Fifth Amendment -- which protects people from testifying against themselves -- in Fitzgerald's investigation. Fitzgerald is investigating who leaked CIA operative Valerie Plame's name to Novak and other reporters in an effort to discredit her husband, a critic of the Bush administration.

Novak made his remarks at the first of an occasional series of forums jointly sponsored by the Sun-Times and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sun-Times political writer and Channel 5 reporter Carol Marin, who moderated the forum, immediately asked Novak what he could say about the Plame case.

But he called the speculation "ridiculous," declining to reveal his actions.

"I'm not going to tell you because it's none of your damn business," he said.

[headline]To reveal more if probe ever ends

Still, he did say, "If I had gone before a grand jury and taken the Fifth Amendment, Mr. Fitzgerald would have that on the street in about two minutes."

Novak also claimed that investigators know who leaked the information, although he did not say how they know.

"The question is, does Mr. Fitzgerald know who the source was?" Novak asked. "Of course. He's known for years who the first source is. If he knows the source, why didn't he indict him? Because no crime was committed."

Novak said he doesn't believe his source violated laws forbidding the disclosure of a CIA agent's identity.

A spokesman for Fitzgerald declined to comment on Novak's remarks.

At an appearance in December, Novak said President Bush knows his source, too. On Wednesday, he called those remarks "indiscreet."

Novak said he would reveal more "in time, when this investigation, if it ever ends, ends."

On the midterm elections this November, Novak said it was "possible, not probable" that Democrats would retake control of the House of Representatives. But he said the Republicans and their leader are in trouble.

"The edge seems to be right now to the Democrats," Novak said. "...President Bush is not what I would call a skilled politician. He seems aloof, almost arrogant."

Despite the historically large gap between Republican and Democratic voters on whether they approve of the job Bush is doing or the war in Iraq, Lyn Ragsdale, head of UIC's political science department, agreed that "there is not going to be a huge seat swing in 2006."

Wow... The big questsion that comes to mind is why Bob hasn't said anything about this before now? And why won't he say more?

I smell a book deal.