Fitzgerald said that the investigation will continue but that most of his work has been finished.
"Is the investigation finished? It's not over," he said. "But ... very rarely do you bring a charge in a case that's going to be tried in which you ever end a grand jury investigation. I can tell you that the substantial bulk of the work of this investigation is concluded."
Rove, deputy White House chief of staff and Bush's closest adviser, appears to have escaped indictment for now, but will continue to be under investigation.
Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, said he was told by Fitzgerald's office that investigators had "made no decision about whether or not to bring charges" and would continue their probe into Rove's conduct. Rove has testified four times before the grand jury and has maintained that he discussed Wilson's wife with reporters on the condition of anonymity and was only trading information that came from other reporters.
"We are confident that when the Special Counsel finishes his work, he will conclude that Mr. Rove has done nothing wrong," Luskin said in a statement.
Fitzgerald has been investigating the disclosure to reporters of the identity of Plame. The case goes back to February 2002, when CIA officials asked Wilson to investigate a report that Saddam Hussein had tried to obtain uranium from Niger in the late 1990s for the production of nuclear weapons. Wilson concluded that the report was false. The documents related to the alleged sale were ultimately determined to be forgeries.
However, Bush made reference to a purported uranium deal between Iraq and Africa in his State of the Union address in January 2003. Six months later, Wilson publicly accused the Bush administration of twisting intelligence and exaggerating the threat from Iraq to justify going to war, prompting criticism from conservatives and Bush supporters. Six days after a critical op-ed penned by Wilson appeared in The New York Times, conservative columnist Robert Novak wrote that "two senior administration officials" had told him that Wilson's wife was a CIA operative and had suggested sending him on the trip to Africa. Novak identified her her as Valerie Plame.
Novak wasn't the only reporter who apparently had learned about Plame's identity. Several reporters had had conversations with administration officials about a CIA link to Wilson's wife.
One of the officials who allegedly talked to reporters was Libby. Before the CIA leak investigation began, one of the words most commonly used to describe Libby was "discreet." He has testified before the grand jury, and testimony shows that he met three times with a New York Times reporter before the Plame leak, initiated a call to an NBC reporter, and was a confirming source about Wilson's wife to Time magazine. Like Rove, he is said to have talked to reporters under anonymity and was only trading information that he had heard from other reporters.
There have also been questions about Cheney's alleged role in the CIA leak.
The New York Times has reported that notes from a previously undisclosed June 12, 2003, conversation between Libby and Cheney suggest Libby first learned about Plame from Cheney himself. This appears to contradict Libby's grand jury testimony that he first heard about Plame from journalists.