Friday, December 09, 2005

Time Reporter Is Questioned in Leak Case

The New York Times
Time Reporter Is Questioned in Leak Case

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 - A Time magazine reporter met on Thursday with the special counsel in the C.I.A. leak case to answer questions about her conversations last year with a lawyer for Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, a senior editor of the magazine said.

The reporter, Viveca Novak, met with the prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, for more than an hour at the office of Ms. Novak's lawyer, Henry F. Schuelke III.

Jim Kelly, Time's managing editor, said Ms. Novak's account of her testimony, in a deposition, would appear in the magazine on Monday.

Mr. Fitzgerald sought to question Ms. Novak about conversations she had with Robert D. Luskin, a lawyer for Mr. Rove, who has been under scrutiny in the investigation into the disclosure of a C.I.A. officer's identity.

Mr. Luskin testified in a deposition last Friday about his conversations with Ms. Novak, said people who had been briefed on the matter. Mr. Luskin said Thursday that he would not discuss the deposition, first disclosed by CNN on its Web site.

What information the prosecutor hoped to learn from Ms. Novak and Mr. Luskin was not publicly known, but lawyers in the case had suggested that the information could be used by Mr. Luskin to help Mr. Rove explain his belated disclosure of a conversation with another Time reporter, Matthew Cooper.

Ms. Novak agreed to cooperate with the investigation, the magazine said. Mr. Cooper waged a lengthy legal battle resisting Mr. Fitzgerald's effort to obtain his testimony, but in the end he answered the prosecutor's questions about his conversations with Mr. Rove and I. Lewis Libby Jr., then chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

"We thought that Matt Cooper's involvement was it for Time magazine," Mr. Kelly said. "Obviously other people are involved."

Mr. Fitzgerald has focused on why Mr. Rove did not disclose until a second grand jury appearance, in October 2004, his conversation with Mr. Cooper. It was in that conversation, Mr. Cooper said, that Mr. Rove spoke about the C.I.A. officer.