White House not restaffing or apologizing for now


President Bush gestures as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House to board Marine One helicopter, Friday, in Washington. White House officials braced for the possibility that Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide would be indicted in the CIA leak case, but held out hope presidential confidant Karl Rove might escape charges for the time being.

The Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2005 at 12:26 a.m.
The White House on Monday rebuffed calls for a staff shakeup, the firing of Karl Rove and an apology by President Bush for the role of senior administration officials in the unmasking of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
Three days after the indictment and resignation of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, the administration said it would have to remain silent as long as there was an investigation of the leak and legal proceeding under way. Bush ignored reporters' questions during an Oval Office meeting with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
''We don't want to do anything from here that could prejudice the opportunity for there to be a fair and impartial trial,'' presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said.
Friday's indictment of I. Lewis Libby and the continuing investigation of Rove were a blow to Bush's already troubled presidency.
Republicans and Democrats alike have urged Bush to remake his presidency by bringing in fresh advisers with new energy to replace members of a team worn down by years of campaigning and governing. But administration officials said that was not in the works.
Cheney promoted two of his advisers to fill the jobs handled by Libby, his confidant. David Addington, who has been the vice president's legal counsel, was named chief of staff, while John Hannah, his deputy national security adviser, was named national security adviser. Both men have been on Cheney's staff for more than four years.
Libby faces his first court appearance Thursday before U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton.
''There's no discussion of staff changes beyond the usual vacancies that occur or beyond filling the vacancy that the vice president did as well,'' McClellan said.
While White House officials were relieved that Rove was not indicted, Democrats demanded that he be fired. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., led the charge, calling for apologies from Bush and Cheney and saying the administration should explain the vice president's role in the unmasking of Plame.
The administration refused to respond. ''If people want to try and politicize this process, that's their business,'' McClellan said.

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