Jailhouse rock

Will Karl Rove soon be exchanging his suits and ties for a new wardrobe of prison denim?

David Corn was on this story early, and now it’s made it into the Times and the Washington Post:

At CIA Director George J. Tenet’s request, the Justice Department is looking into an allegation that administration officials leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer to a journalist, government sources said yesterday.

The operative’s identity was published in July after her husband, former U.S. ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, publicly challenged President Bush’s claim that Iraq had tried to buy “yellowcake” uranium ore from Africa for possible use in nuclear weapons. Bush later backed away from the claim.

The intentional disclosure of a covert operative’s identity is a violation of federal law.

The officer’s name was disclosed on July 14 in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak, who said his sources were two senior administration officials.

— snip —

Wilson, while refusing to confirm his wife’s occupation, has suggested publicly that he believes Bush’s senior adviser, Karl C. Rove, broke her cover. Wilson said Aug. 21 at a public forum in suburban Seattle that it is of keen interest to him “to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs.”

Afterthought: I certainly hope John Ashcroft sticks to his new get-tough-on-crime, no-plea-bargains policy in this case.

Update: for much more on this emerging scandal, go read Josh Marshall and Atrios.