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Republicans join Democrats in wanting probe of Cheney

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February 12, 2006


Republican and Democratic senators want Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate Vice President
Dick Cheney and others in the CIA leak probe to determine if they authorized an aide
to give secret information to reporters.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., called the leak of
intelligence information “inappropriate” if it is true that unnamed
“superiors” instructed Cheney’s former chief of staff, I. Lewis
“Scooter” Libby, to divulge the material on Iraq.

Sen. George Allen, R-Va., said a full investigation is necessary.

“I
don’t think anybody should be releasing classified information, period,
whether in the Congress, executive branch or some underling in some
bureaucracy,” said Allen, who appeared with Reed on “Fox News Sunday.”

According
to court documents disclosed last week, Libby told a federal grand jury
that he disclosed in July 2003 the contents of a classified National
Intelligence Estimate as part of the Bush administration’s defense of
intelligence used to justify invading Iraq.

Fitzgerald said in
the documents it was his understanding that “Mr. Libby testified that
he was authorized to disclose information about the NIE to the press by
his superiors.”

The White House has refused to comment on the case.

“I
think this calls into question in terms of Fitzgerald’s investigation
of the conduct of the vice president and others,” Reed said. “I think
he has to look closely at their behavior.”

Allen expressed confidence in Fitzgerald, whom he called “a very articulate, professional prosecutor.”

“And I think the facts will lead wherever they lead, and I think he will prosecute as appropriate,” Allen said.

Libby,
55, was indicted on charges that he lied to FBI agents and the grand
jury about how he learned CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity and
when he told reporters. He is not charged with leaking classified
information.

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