June 20, 2008

McClellan Doesn’t Know If Crimes Committed

A former Bush administration spokesman told a U.S. congressional committee he doesn't know if a crime was committed when Valerie Plame's identity was leaked.

Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan, has written What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception, in which he discusses several issues the White house faced, including the disclosure of the name of Plame as a CIA operative.

McClellan told the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee he doesn't know if U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was involved in leaking the information that Plame was a CIA agent.

I do not know whether a crime was committed by any of the administration officials who revealed Valerie Plame's identity to reporters, nor do I know if there was an attempt by any person or persons to engage in a cover-up during the investigation, he said. I do know that it was wrong to reveal her identity because it compromised the effectiveness of a covert official for political reasons.

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, compared McClellan to Judas, suggesting he had sold out Bush for a few pieces of silver.

A more recent Bush spokesman, Tony Fratto, told reporters on Air Force One that the administration isn't concerned about McClellan's testimony.

I think Scott has probably told everyone everything he doesn't know, so I don't know if anyone should expect them to see anything new today, he said.