Skip to comments.Grand jury in leak probe seeks Air Force One phone records
Posted on 03/05/2004 4:30:49 PM PST by Indy Pendance
CRAWFORD, Texas - (KRT) - The White House will comply with federal grand jury subpoenas seeking phone records from Air Force One to determine whether presidential aides used the aircraft's phones to leak the name of a CIA employee to reporters, a White House spokesman said Friday.
The grand jury focus on phone calls from the presidential aircraft is one of several angles that investigators are pursuing in their effort to find a leaker. Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson contends that Bush administration officials revealed his wife's identity to punish him for speaking against the war in Iraq.
Investigators have subpoenaed other White House documents, including records of the White House Iraq Group, an internal task force that oversaw the public relations campaign to build support for the war. Investigators also requested the transcript of a July 12 briefing by former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, the list of attendees at a July 16 White House reception honoring former President Gerald Ford and records of White House contacts with more than two dozen journalists.
"We are complying with every request," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "No one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States."
McClellan spoke with reporters in Crawford, Texas, where Bush welcomed Mexican President Vicente Fox on Friday for a two-day visit to Bush's ranch.
McClellan wouldn't say how many subpoenas the White House had received or which documents had been delivered to the grand jury. The subpoenas were first reported Friday by Newsday, the Long Island, N.Y., newspaper.
The document requests indicate that the investigation is focused on high-level White House aides because only they would have access to the secure phone lines on Air Force One. Investigators requested phone records from July 7-12, when Bush was on a trip to Africa.
Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was first identified as a CIA employee in a July 14 column by conservative commentator Robert Novak. Federal law makes it a crime to disclose the identity of a CIA agent in some circumstances.
Bush has directed his staff to cooperate with investigators, and McClellan, deputy press secretary Claire Buchan and former press aide Adam Levine appeared before the grand jury last month.
"I have no knowledge of anyone invoking their legal right against self-incrimination," McClellan said.