WASHINGTON, June 13 ? The decision by a special prosecutor not to bring charges against Karl Rove in the C.I.A. leak case followed months of intense behind-the-scenes maneuvering between the prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, and Mr. Rove’s lawyer, lawyers in the case said.
The move, made public early Tuesday by Mr. Rove’s lawyer, Robert D. Luskin, brought a surprise ending to the investigation of Mr. Rove, President Bush’s senior adviser. At one point last fall, Mr. Rove seemed close to facing perjury charges over lapses in his early testimony about a conversation with a Time magazine reporter.
Mr. Fitzgerald’s decision left I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, alone among current and former White House officials still facing legal jeopardy in the three-year-old leak case. Mr. Fitzgerald announced in a letter to Mr. Luskin on Monday that he would not indict Mr. Rove, who had testified on five occasions to a federal grand jury about his involvement in the disclosure of an intelligence officer’s identity.