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antiaristo, Subsections (a) and (b) of the Act are slightly different in describing the way the leaker learns the covert identity, but both require that the leaker have "authorized access to classified information," which I think would exclude Novak. Subsection (c) does not require authorized access, but it does require a "pattern of activities intended to identify and expose covert agents and with reason to believe that such activities would impair or impede the foreign intelligence activities of the United States," which again would appear to let Novak off the hook. Note that while subsections (a) and (b) refer to a single agent, subsection (c) refers to agents (plural).
antiaristo, I believe that, to be guilty under the IIPA, the leaker must have had authorized access to classified information. I don't think Novak could be charged under the Act (conspiracy, perhaps). On the other hand, when subpoenaed he must testify, and when he testifies, he must tell the truth. I think that's the leverage Fitzgerald has over these reporters.
"In his interviews with the FBI, he said he learned of this from Russert. Then in his grand jury testimony, after Fitz had gotten his notes, he said he had learned of it from Cheney, but then forgot." Emptywheel, I'm afraid that's still not quite right. According to the indictment paragraph 26, Libby told the FBI that his information about Plame came from the VP: "During these interviews, LIBBY stated to FBI Special Agents that: a. During a conversation with Tim Russert of NBC News on July 10 or 11, 2003, Russert asked LIBBY if LIBBY was aware that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA. LIBBY responded to Russert that he did not know that, and Russert replied that all the reporters knew it. LIBBY was surprised by this statement because, while speaking with Russert, LIBBY did not recall that he previously had learned about Wilson’s wife’s employment from the Vice President." He's still lying about what Russert told him, but not about where he originally got the information. My theory is that he's just confusing Russert with Cooper. I set this theory out in a comment at TalkLeft, (Nov.1, 2:45 p.m. -- sorry, I haven't figured out how to post a link). In essence, what Libby said about his conversation with Russert is pretty close to his actual conversation with Cooper.
Emptywheel, Nice post. However, I wonder about the accuracy of this statement: "In his grand jury testimony he didn't claim that he hadn't mentioned Plame's status to anyone. He said simply that he had learned of Plame's status from journalists." I believe that Libby told the grand jury that he first learned of Plame's status from Cheney and other government sources. He simply claimed to have forgotten that fact when he talked to Russert and other reporters. Thus, Libby's lies relate to what he said to and heard from reporters, not to the original source of his information about Plame.