Murray Waas at the National Journal has another sizzling scoop: Then-Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft continued to oversee the Valerie Plame-CIA leak probe long after he learned that top White House officials were suspected of involvement. (He didn’t recuse himself from the investigation for two months…)
Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft continued to oversee the Valerie Plame-CIA leak probe for more than two months in late 2003 after he learned in extensive briefings that FBI agents suspected White House aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby of trying to mislead the FBI to conceal their roles in the leak, according to government records and interviews. Despite these briefings, which took place between October and December 2003, and despite the fact that senior White House aides might become central to the leak case, Ashcroft did not recuse himself from the matter until December 30, when he allowed the appointment of a special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, to take over the investigation.