Patrick Fitzgerald puts “paid” to one of the favorite GOP talking points about the Valerie Plame Wilson affair:
Prior to July 14, 2003, Valerie Wilson’s employment status was classified. Prior to that date, her affiliation with the CIA was not common knowledge outside the intelligence community. Disclosure of classified information about an individual’s employment by the CIA has the potential to damage the national security in ways that range from preventing that individual’s future use in a covert capacity, to compromising intelligence-gathering methods and operations, and endangering the safety of CIA employees and those who deal with them, the indictment states.
Note that the press release says that these statements are in the indictment. That means that Fitzgerald thinks he can prove them beyond reasonable doubt.
Not only that, Libby knew he was playing with classified information:
Shortly after publication on or about June 19, 2003, of an article in The New
Republic magazine online entitled “The First Casualty: The Selling of the Iraq War,” Libby spoke by telephone with his then Principal Deputy and discussed the article. That official asked Libby whether information about Wilson’s trip could
be shared with the press to rebut the allegations that the Vice President had sent Wilson. Libby responded that there would be complications at the CIA in disclosing that information publicly, and that he could not discuss the matter on a non-secure telephone line.