FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2005
Schumer Urges White House to Fully Answer Questions on Plame Investigation
President Commented On Ongoing Investigation On Delay But Avoids Comment On White House Leak Investigation
Schumer: White House Can’t Have It Both Ways
President Bush and his advisors have consistently declined to comment on the ongoing investigation into the Valerie Plame leak, and even Scott McClellan has refused to speak about whether he was lied to based on the “ongoing investigation” blanket defense. Yet this week, in an interview with FOX News, President Bush himself was willing to comment on the ongoing investigation into Tom DeLay, asserting his belief that DeLay is innocent and his hope that DeLay would return to his role as Majority leader in the House. Well, you cannot have it both ways, commenting on an ongoing investigation when it is politically expedient and refusing to do so when things look bad.
Today, Senator Chuck Schumer sent a letter to President Bush urging him again to name the source of the White House official who leaked a covert CIA operative's identity to the press. Columnist Robert Novak said Monday that the President knows who the source is. Schumer was the first to call for an independent investigation into this serious breach of national security after Mr. Novak's column ran. He has repeatedly called on the White House to get to the bottom of this issue.
Below is Schumer's letter:
December 15, 2005
The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Yesterday I wrote to urge you to share with the American people the identity of columnist Robert Novak’s sources in the Valerie Plame affair, if you know them. Despite a continuing investigation by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, we still do not know who Robert Novak’s sources were for his July 14, 2003 column, in which Ms. Plame was identified as working for the CIA. My letter was premised on the fact that nothing prevents you from disclosing the source of this leak.
Today, I reiterate my plea to you based on news reports that you were willing to break your stated policy of not commenting on pending investigations to express clear and unequivocal support for Tom DeLay. In an interview with FOX News, you both asserted that DeLay is innocent and your desire that he return to his seat of power as Majority Leader of the House of Representatives. Given that Mr. DeLay is under investigation for serious crimes, and that you were still willing to comment on his case, I believe you are clearly within the bounds of your own policy to reveal the source of the Plame leak to the American people.
As I said yesterday in my first letter, Mr. Novak reportedly said during an address in Raleigh North Carolina on Monday that he is “confident the president knows who the source is.” Given Mr. Novak’s comment that you may now know the identity of the source of the leak, you are in a position to clear this matter up quickly. Also, unlike Mr. Novak, who can claim an interest in maintaining the confidentiality of his sources, there is no similar privilege arguably preventing you from sharing such information.
You have repeatedly suggested that you would like to get to the bottom of this affair. At one point, in 2004, you suggested that anyone who was involved in leaking the name of the covert CIA operative would be fired. Therefore, in keeping with your stated desire to root out leaks, I urge you to share with the American people whatever knowledge you have about which “senior administration officials” were responsible for disclosing Ms. Plame’s identity as a CIA operative.
If you do have such knowledge, I ask that you share what you did with that information, including whether you have disclosed it to Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald in order to advance his investigation. Moreover, the public deserves to know what disciplinary actions, if any, were taken with respect to those sources, who were described as “administration officials.”
Alternatively, I urge you to make clear that you do not know the identity of source of the leak.
I – along with the American people – look forward to hearing you clarify the record on this important issue.
Charles E. Schumer