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White House Bracing for Indictments in CIA Leak Probe

The Bush administration is bracing for the possibility that one or more top White House aides may be indicted Friday, by a grand jury probing who leaked a covert CIA officer's identity.

Several U.S. news organizations, citing lawyers and others familiar with the case, are reporting that Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, will likely be charged with making false statements to the grand jury.

The reports also say President Bush's chief adviser, Karl Rove, will not be indicted Friday, but will remain under investigation.

The special prosecutor in the case, Patrick Fitzgerald, is scheduled to hold a news conference in Washington [at 18 hours, universal time].

Mr. Rove's lawyer says the prosecutor informed his client that he has made no decision on whether to bring charges against him.

At issue is whether someone in the White House illegally disclosed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame in 2003. Ms. Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, says officials exposed his wife's identity to punish him for saying the Bush administration manipulated intelligence to justify the Iraq war.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.