U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer's July 24, 2003 letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller

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U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer's July 24, 2003 letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller


July 24, 2003
The Honorable Robert Mueller
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20429

Dear Director Mueller:

I am writing to request that you launch an immediate criminal investigation into reports that two senior members of the Bush Administration made the identity of an undercover Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative public.

According to several recent news accounts, two senior Administration officials last week distributed unsolicited information indicating that Valerie Plame, the spouse of long-time State Department veteran Ambassador Joseph Wilson, was a CIA operative. This disclosure was part of an apparent attempt to discredit Ambassador Wilson’s findings about potential uranium exports from Niger to Iraq and intimidate other officials from speaking their minds.

As you are aware, the unauthorized disclosure of information relating to the identity of an American intelligence official is a crime punishable by fines and up to 10 years in prison under the Intelligence Identities and Protection Act. On Tuesday of this week, the White House denied that it had given any authorization to release such information on Ms. Plame. It is essential, therefore, that you discover source of this information because it would appear that a significant intelligence asset has been illegally compromised.

By disclosing the identity of a reportedly senior undercover operative who is active in our nation’s fight against the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Administration officials have possibly endangered Ms. Plame and her entire network of intelligence contacts in order to avoid political embarrassment. In the process, they may also have undermined our national security just as the specter of WMD threats from North Korea and Iran loom on the horizon.

If the facts that have been reported publicly are true, it is clear that a crime was committed. The only questions remaining to be answered are who committed the crime and why? I request that you immediately launch an investigation to determine the source of this information and assess whether there is enough evidence to refer the matter for criminal prosecution.

Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator

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