A spokesman for a top White House aide under scrutiny in a criminal leak probe, Karl Rove, yesterday vigorously denied an Internet report that the political adviser to President Bush was told that he had been indicted on charges of perjury and lying to investigators.
"The story is a complete fabrication," the spokesman for Mr. Rove, Mark Corallo, told The New York Sun. "It is both malicious and disgraceful."
A liberal Web site, Truthout.org, carried a report authored by Jason Leopold, alleging that Mr. Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, was given the indictment during a marathon, 15-hour meeting in Washington Friday with the special prosecutor handling the inquiry, Patrick Fitzgerald. The site also reported that Mr. Rove had advised senior White House officials that he would be indicted.
Mr. Corallo said there was no such meeting Friday, Mr. Luskin was not in his office that morning, and Mr. Fitzgerald was in Chicago. The spokesman said there was no indication that Mr. Fitzgerald has made a decision about whether to seek charges against Mr. Rove in the inquiry.
In response to a query from the Sun yesterday, Mr. Leopold defended the report. "This was a story that we had more than two sources on," he said.