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Miller to meet with CIA leak prosecutor

Interview could lead to another appearance before grand jury

From Carol Cratty
CNN Washington Bureau

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New York Times reporter Judith Miller is welcomed back to the newsroom Monday in New York.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The special prosecutor in the CIA leak investigation will interview New York Times reporter Judith Miller next week, according to one of Miller's attorneys, Floyd Abrams.

Miller's meeting with prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will occur Tuesday in Washington, Abrams said, but it will not be conducted in front of the grand jury looking into the leak of Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative.

However, Abrams said, Fitzgerald could decide after the interview to have Miller make another grand jury appearance.

Miller testified to the jury on September 30 after receiving a waiver from the source whose confidentiality she went to prison to protect: Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. She had been jailed for 85 days.

Abrams would not comment on a Reuters report that Miller has given notes from a conversation she had with Libby weeks earlier than was previously known. The report cited its sources as saying the new information could lay the foundation for a conspiracy charge, should it show an orchestrated campaign to discredit Plame's diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson.

On Thursday the attorney for presidential adviser Karl Rove said that his client will appear for a fourth time before the grand jury hearing testimony in an investigation into the leak. No date was disclosed. (Full story)

Knowingly identifying a covert agent is a felony under federal law, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Fitzgerald is trying to determine whether any crimes were committed when Plame's identity was exposed in a July 2003 piece by syndicated columnist and longtime CNN contributor Robert Novak.

Novak said the disclosure was made to him by two "senior administration officials." He has refused to say publicly who his sources were, and what cooperation he may have given Fitzgerald, if any, remains unclear.

Plame's husband, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, challenged one of the Bush administration's chief arguments for launching a war against Iraq: that then-President Saddam Hussein was seeking uranium from Africa to restart his country's nuclear weapons program.

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, Wilson wrote about his mission to Niger, in central Africa, to investigate the claim and how he found no evidence to support it.

"I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat," Wilson wrote.

One week after his article appeared, his wife's identity was exposed.

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