The former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney says in court documents that President Bush authorized the leak of sensitive intelligence information about Iraq.
In the documents, filed in federal court, Lewis "Scooter" Libby is quoted as telling a grand jury that Cheney told him the president approved giving reporters information about pre-war intelligence on Iraq.
The court papers do not suggest any wrongdoing by the president. But Mr. Bush has repeatedly said he is adamantly opposed to any leaks of classified information.
Investigators are trying to find out how the name of a CIA operative become public. The agent's husband, Joe Wilson, was a vocal critic of the administration's Iraq war policy and the prosecutor in the case says he has documents showing the administration wanted to discredit Wilson.
The papers filed in court Thursday say that Libby understood that Cheney wanted him to talk to reporters about Iraq and Wilson. The document says Libby then told reporters about Wilson's wife, the CIA agent.
The release of the sensitive information on Iraq coincided with increased questioning by critics of the administration's rationale for going to war.