Thomas Barton, Investigative Reporter
U.S. Attorney James B. Comey was appointed Deputy Attorney General for the purpose of appointing U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as "Special Counsel" to lead the investigation into who "leaked" Valerie Plame's identity as a C.I.A. employee to the press. It was all choreographed.
It was known that Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage leaked Plame's identity as a CIA employee to the press - even before Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed "Special Counsel". Go figure.
And, it was known that Armitage was the "Leaker" before Comey was chosen for his job, and before he appointed Patrick Fitzgerald as "Special Counsel," and before Fitzgerald was tasked to find out what the government already knew.
Seriously, you can't make this stuff up! Here's a sequence of key dates:
Oct 1, 2003: Bob Novak published an article that causes Richard Armitage to go immediately to the FBI and confess to being the "Leaker" in the Valerie Plame case.
Oct. 3, 2003: George W. Bush nominates Patrick Fitzgerald's peer and close friend, U.S Attorney James B. Comey, to be Deputy Attorney General.
Oct. 29, 2003: During Comey's senate confirmation hearing, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) questions Comey about the possibility of Attorney General John Ashcroft recusing himself in the Plame case and Comey appointing a Special Counsel to that case.
So, what happened next?
Comey was confirmed Deputy Attorney General.
Ashcroft recused himself, putting Comey in charge of the Plame case.
Comey appointed his close friend, Patrick Fitzgerald as Special Counsel in charge of finding the "Leaker".
And, this was all done after Armitage confessed to being the "Leaker," said he wouldn't seek legal representation, and claimed to be prepared to accept the consequences of his actions.
Fitzgerald asked Armitage to keep his guilt to himself.
Judith Miller went to jail, and Scooter Libby was prosecuted and found guilty...of something other than leaking.
Shortly after appointing Fitzgerald to the Plame case, Comey left the Attorney General's office to become lead counsel at Lockheed Martin. We'll explain the significance of that move later.
And where's Comey today? Why he's a partner at Attorney General Eric Holder's former law firm, Covington & Burling.