Roger L. Simon

Attention Charles Schumer!

Some disappointing news for you today in the Financial Times:

Karl Rove, deputy White House chief of staff and the top political adviser to US President George W. Bush, did not reveal the name of a covert CIA agent at the centre of a politically charged investigation, according to grand jury testimony from a Time magazine reporter.

The investigation concerns whether top administration officials broke US laws in an effort to undermine a high-profile critic of the Iraq war.

Matt Cooper, the reporter who escaped a jail sentence when he agreed to testify in the case, told the investigation last week that Mr Rove had tried to discredit Joseph Wilson, a former US ambassador, by challenging Mr Wilson’s version of a 2002 investigation into whether Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi dictator, was trying to buy uranium from Niger. Mr Rove told the reporter that the Niger investigation had not been ordered by the director of the CIA, but that instead Mr Wilson was sent to the African country on a low-level mission at the suggestion of his wife, a covert agency operative working on weapons of mass destruction.

But Mr Cooper told the grand jury he was certain that Mr Rove had never used the name of Mr Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, and never indicated she was a covert operative.

Ho-hum. Next scandal.