What is the underlying crime in the Scooter Libby trial? When Fitzgerald took over the case he already knew who had given Plame's name to the press. It was Richard Armitage, Under Secretary of State, during the Powell reign at State. Still he pursued this case knowing full well who the source of the leak was. At best it was an inadvertent leak and when Armitage realized it was a significant problem he went directly to the Justice Department and informed them of his discussions with journalist Robert Novak. Still Fitzgerald pursued this case as if he had to spend tens of millions of dollars to keep his name in the press and vindicate otherwise wild goose chases in his career that amounted to nothing. There was no crime here. Valerie Plame, under the law, was no longer a CIA undercover agent. She had not worked in that capacity outside of the U.S for over five years. Therefore, she was no longer covered under the covert agents act. So the discussion of whether she was a covert agent at the time is a moot point. It's unfortunate that when Fitzgerald realized that his case was going nowhere, he decided to pursue Libby on charges of perjury in order to come away with a victory in the courts.