When I supported Patrick Fitzgerald’s prosecution of Scooter Libby, many of you confidently asserted that Fitzgerald knew that Plame was not covert. Ergo, you said, he knew early on in the investigation that “no crime had been committed,” and he should have dropped the investigation immediately. In this post, I argued (among other things) that those of you making that argument were “making assumptions that the facts can’t cash.” I noted that it was entirely unclear whether Plame was indeed covert; why, even Tom Maguire didn’t know for sure.
Today, it has become more clear, with this report:
An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame’s employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was “covert” when her name became public in July 2003.
It’s anybody’s guess why Fitzgerald didn’t bring charges of outing a covert agent; my guess is that he couldn’t prove intent. But the idea that he should have dropped his investigation as soon as he “found out Valerie Plame wasn’t covert” just took a pretty big hit.