White House Complying With CIA Leak Probe

The White House has received and is complying with subpoenas from a federal grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA officer's identity, President Bush's spokesman said Friday.

After receiving the subpoenas in late January, the White House counsel's office sent a letter to staff members "urging everyone to comply fully with the request," Scott McClellan said.

"We're still in the process of complying fully," McClellan told reporters during a briefing in Crawford, Texas, where Bush is spending the weekend.

Asked whether any White House staff member had claimed Fifth Amendment rights and refused to testify during sessions with the grand jury, McClellan replied: "I have no knowledge of any invoking their right against self-incrimination."

McClellan would not say how many subpoenas were issued.

The Long Island, N.Y., newspaper Newsday reported Friday that three subpoenas also were issued seeking the July records of an internal task force called the White House Iraq Group, which was created to publicize the threat of Saddam Hussein.

In addition, the grand jury wants the transcript of a White House spokesman's press briefing about Nigeria (search); a list of who attended a July 16 White House reception in honor of former President Ford's 90th birthday; and records of White House contacts with more than two dozen journalists and news organizations.

The subpoenas were issued to the White House on Jan. 22. The grand jury is attempting to find out if a federal law was violated that prohibits the intentional disclosure of the identity of an undercover agent by officials with security clearances.

The investigation came from concerns that officials in the Bush administration had told reporters the name of the CIA officer, Valerie Plame (search), to discredit her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson (search) IV, and his criticism of the administration's Iraq policy.

"The president has always said we would fully comply with the investigation, and the White House counsel's office has directed the staff to fully comply," White House spokesman Erin Healy told Newsday.

Two of the subpoenas are focused on July White House events, contacts and records around the time of a July 14 column by syndicated columnist Robert Novak (search) that said senior administration officials told him Plame was a CIA officer.

A third subpoena is a repeat of Justice Department document request to the White House that sought records about staff contacts with Novak and two Newsday reporters, Knut Royce and Timothy Phelps. The subpoena added journalists from The Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC's "Meet the Press," MSNBC's "Hardball," and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press.