The White House is bracing for the possible announcement Friday of indictments of top presidential aides by a grand jury probing the leak of a covert CIA operative's identity.
At issue is whether someone in the White House revealed the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame in 2003 to strike back at her husband, Iraq war critic Joseph Wilson. It is a federal crime to knowingly reveal a covert agent's identity.
Lawyers in the case have said U.S. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may ask the jury to issue charges against President Bush's chief advisor, Karl Rove, and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby.
The term of the U.S. federal grand jury probing the leak is set to expire Friday.
Lawyers say the range of charges being considered includes conspiracy, mishandling of classified information, perjury and obstruction of justice.