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Karl Rove ran the U.S. presidential campaigns that saw George W. Bush elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2004. ((Ron Edmonds/Associated Press))

Top White House aide Karl Rove will not be charged in an investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's identity, his lawyer said Tuesday.

"On June 12, 2006, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove," said Robert Luskin in a statement.

Luskin said Fitzgerald's decision should "put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove's conduct."

For 22 months, Fitzgerald and a grand jury have been trying to determine who told journalists thatValerie Plame was a covert operative forthe Central Intelligence Agency.

Federal law in the U.S. makes it illegal to identify such CIA employees.

Plame's name was leaked to reporters in 2003 after her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, publiclycriticized the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq.

Fitzgerald's probe had zeroed in on Rove,President George W. Bush's top political strategist, and Lewis (Scooter) Libby,Vice-President Dick Cheney's chief of staff.

Rove has acknowledged speaking withconservative columnist Robert Novak just days before Novak wrote a piece speculating that Wilson received a government consulting contract because his wife worked for the CIA.

Libby resigned in October 2005 after being indicted in the case.

He was charged with perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice in relation to conversations with federal investigators and his testimony before the grand jury.