Sources: FBI quizzes Wilson, Novak
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI has interviewed retired career diplomat Joseph Wilson, newspaper columnist Robert Novak and Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as part of the probe into who blew Plame's cover as a CIA operative, government sources said Wednesday.
The sources said several CIA officials also have been interviewed. The FBI was expected to conduct the first interviews with White House officials late Wednesday or Thursday, government sources said.
The sources would not say who might be interviewed first or how many interviews would be conducted.
Some officials think it is unlikely that the FBI and career Justice Department prosecutors will be able find who leaked Plame's identity to Novak for his syndicated column.
Leak investigations are notoriously difficult because of the universe of people who know the information and because journalists almost never reveal their sources.
All but a few White House staffers met a Tuesday deadline to turn over documents to the White House counsel that may be pertinent to the investigation, senior Bush administration officials said.
Under orders from the White House counsel's office, employees were to search their records and turn in all potentially relevant documents -- including e-mail messages and phone logs -- to that office by the 5 p.m. deadline, or sign a form saying they have none.
Senior administration officials said the only staffers who didn't meet the deadline were those who were traveling or who had extenuating circumstances.
Christopher Wolf, a lawyer representing Plame and her husband, said they are considering a lawsuit because of what he described as damage done to them by the leak.
Wilson said Sunday that he and his wife were concerned about their personal security now that she has been revealed as a CIA operative. (Full story)
Novak, a CNN contributor, revealed Plame's identity in a July 14 column about Wilson's trip to Niger for the CIA in 2002 to investigate a British intelligence report that Iraq had attempted to obtain uranium from the African country.
Wilson, who was director of African affairs at the National Security Council late in the Clinton administration, had disclosed the trip in a New York Times op-ed article the week before.
Wilson wrote that he told the CIA he could find no evidence to prove the Iraq-Niger connection nearly a year before President Bush referred to it in his 2003 State of the Union as part of the rationale for war with Iraq.
Although Bush later backed off the State of the Union assertion, Wilson's revelations helped fuel allegations the Bush administration exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq before the war. (Full story)
Wilson, who was acting U.S. ambassador to Iraq during the first Gulf War and later was ambassador to Gabon, said he believes the leak was meant "to discourage others from coming forward" and as retaliation for the Times article.
Novak has said two senior administration officials gave him the information about Plame.
Wilson said he believes the leak came from White House officials. The White House officials denies the accusation.
Wilson said reporters told him that after Novak's article came out someone at the White House called them and said Wilson's wife was "fair game."
Bush called the investigation "a criminal matter" Monday and said he expected all aides to cooperate fully and in a timely manner. He also voiced confidence that the Justice Department "will do a good, thorough job."(Full story)
Democrats have called for a special prosecutor, saying it would ensure more independence in the investigation. (Full story)
CNN's Kelli Arena and John King contributed to this report.