Politics & Policy

Rove and Libby: Hubris Authors Never Contacted Us

The CIA-leak investigation book -- without two key figures

In response to an e-mail asking whether he and Isikoff had contacted Rove and Libby, Corn responded:

Your impression is wrong — as you will see when you read the book and the source note. Mike — who also got your note — will reply to you with some more details about his dealings with the Rove and Libby camps. At one of the Libby hearings, as Wells was walking into the courtroom, I asked if he was talking to reporters, he said no. Mike, I believe, also tried to reach him and/or Jeffress and got nothing. Ask him about that. And we did put a request into the White House that covered a host of matters and got nothing from it. So it’s simply not true we did not talk to — or try to talk to — the Rove and Libby sides. You might want to wonder about whoever told you that.

In an excerpt of Hubris published in Newsweek, Isikoff writes that Novak “caused a huge stir when he revealed that Valerie Plame, wife of Iraq-war critic Joseph Wilson, was a CIA officer.” But when it was originally published, Novak’s column caused virtually no stir at all — until Corn published an article claiming that Mrs. Wilson worked under “nonofficial cover” for the CIA. And even then, there wasn’t much notice until New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer picked up on Corn’s article and demanded an investigation. Those demands, combined with a leaked letter to the Justice Department from then-CIA Director George Tenet calling for an investigation, eventually created the political pressure that caused the Justice Department to begin a formal probe, which continues today under special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

I told [Rove lawyer Robert] Luskin I was working on a book late last year on all this and reminded him again in April at the time I was talking to him about Rove’s last grand jury appearance as we went over– yet again — the Rove, Cooper and Novak issues that I was writing about for the magazine. (I have operated under the assumption that he and others didn’t have a different version of the truth for a book than they do for the readers of Newsweek.) Mark [Corallo] was interviewed for the book last December (about a matter he dealt with at the Justice Department) and I spoke to him periodically over the next six months about matters relating to Rove. At one point, he even helped put me in touch with a source for the book. Barbara Comstock certainly knew I was working on a book for at least the last six months and I certainly spoke to her during that period. (The Libby lawyers have consistently no commented me and David, as they have everybody else.) Finally, Dan Bartlett was sent a lengthy email that included questions for the book relating to Rove unrelated to the leak case. He chose not to respond.

Byron York, NR’s White House correspondent, is the author of the book The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy: The Untold Story of How Democratic Operatives, Eccentric Billionaires, Liberal Activists, and Assorted Celebrities Tried to Bring Down a President — and Why They’ll Try Even Harder Next Time.

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