Video: Valerie Plame set to testify

By Producer
NBC News
updated 3/8/2007 10:21:40 PM ET 2007-03-09T03:21:40

Former CIA officer Valerie Plame, who was exposed after her husband, former diplomat Joe Wilson, criticized President Bush's prewar intelligence, will testify next week before a House committee probing how the White House dealt with her identity.

But it is unclear whether Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, who was invited by Chairman Henry Waxman to appear before his committee, will accept the invitation.

Randall Samborn, a spokesman for Fitzgerald, told NBC, "We received the letter today and are reviewing it but decline any further comment before responding to Chairman Waxman directly."

Fitzgerald this week made clear that, unlike earlier independent counsels appointed under a now-expired law, he is not required to submit investigative reports to Congress.

"They would either file charges or not file charges, and then they'd give a lengthy explanation of what they found. That is different than what ordinary prosecutors do. We file charges, and then we're obliged to prove them, or we don't file charges," said Fitzgerald.

After I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was found guilty on four of five felony counts Tuesday, Fitzgerald noted, "I am not an independent counsel. I am bound by the laws of grand jury secrecy. We're bound by the laws that we don't talk about people who have not been charged. So we are not going to be opening up our file drawers."

Samborn said Thursday that he didn't know whether that policy would affect Fitzgerald's response to the committee.

In a letter to Fitzgerald, Waxman proposed a meeting with him and ranking Republican Tom Davis to discuss the terms of any testimony.

"The trial proceedings raise questions about whether senior White House officials, including the vice president and senior adviser to the president Karl Rove, complied with the requirements governing the handling of classified information," Waxman wrote in his invitation to Fitzgerald.

"They also raise questions about whether the White House took appropriate remedial action following the leak and whether the existing requirements are sufficient to protect against future leaks," Waxman added. "Your perspective on these matters is important."

The House Oversight Committee hearing is scheduled for Friday, March 16.

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