October 26, 2005 08:25 AM

Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the CIA leak case, is expected to present possible charges to a federal grand jury as early as Wednesday, say reports.

These charges may hit the White House, which reportedly has been bracing for Fitzgerald’s alleged findings. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, is but one focus of the probe, while the FBI was conducting some 11th-hour interviews of others in the high-profile case, The Washington Post and NBC News report.

Another prominent figure in the investigation is Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove, says The Post. At the core of the investigation is who illegally disclosed the CIA affiliation of Valerie Plame in an effort to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who was a Bush administration critic. Wilson had claimed in articles that appeared in The Washington Post and The New York Times that flawed intelligence was used to justify the war in Iraq.

According to The Times, in a story that the White House did not refute, Fitzgerald was said to have notes taken by Libby showing that he learned about Plame from Vice President Cheney a month before she was identified by columnist Robert Novak.

There is no indication that Cheney did anything illegal or improper, reports The Post, which goes on to say that this is the first evidence to surface that shows he knew of Plame well before the controversy surrounding her disclosure developed.

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