Fitzgerald says Libby lied repeatedly

WASHINGTON (AP)_The special counsel looking into the leak of an undercover CIA agent's identity says Lewis Libby claimed he'd just been passing along information he heard from other reporters.

But Patrick Fitzgerald says that's not true. He says Libby had talked with other officials several times about Valerie Plame, and the fact that she was the wife of a Bush administration critic, Joseph Wilson.

Fitzgerald says Libby is the first person known to have passed that information along to a reporter.

He says Libby is trying to make it appear that he was "at the tail end" of a chain of phone calls. But Fitzgerald says Libby was, in fact, at the beginning of that chain -- and that he repeatedly lied about it under oath.

Fitzgerald told reporters that it's important for the nation's security, and for the safety of its undercover agents, that the identities of those agents be kept secret.

Libby was indicted today on five counts. He then resigned as Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, and left the White House.

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