WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate Democratic leader said yesterday that presidential adviser Karl Rove should resign because of his role in the exposing of a CIA officer’s identity, and a veteran Republican senator said President Bush needs “new blood” in his White House.

Rove has not been charged, but the investigation continues in the case that brought the indictment and resignation Friday of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said yesterday he was disappointed that Bush and Cheney responded to the indictment by lauding Libby. He suggested they should apologize for the leak that revealed the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame, whose husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, has been critical of the Bush administration.

“First of all, the vice president issues this very terse statement praising Libby for all the great things he’s done,” Reid said. “Then we have the president come on camera a few minutes later calling him Scooter and what a great patriot he is.”

“There has not been an apology to the American people for this obvious problem in the White House,” Reid (D-Nev.) told ABC’s “This Week.”

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said on “Fox News Sunday” that Cheney should “come clean” about his involvement and why he discussed Plame with Libby before Libby spoke to reporters about her.

“What did the vice president know? What were his intentions?” Dodd said. “Now, there’s no suggestion the vice president is guilty of any crime here whatsoever. But if our standard is just criminality, then we’re never going to get to the bottom of this.”

Democrats appearing on Sunday talk shows portrayed Libby’s indictment as one of many serious problems surrounding the White House and one of several allegations raising questions about Republican ethics.

Republicans repeatedly said the charges have been made against only one individual and that Libby should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

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