Did Robert Novak rat on New York Times reporter Judith Miller? While some have suggested Miller—who never wrote a word about CIA spook Valerie Plame—was dragged into the leak probe when her name turned up on a White House call log, several beltway insiders close to the investigation say special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald learned of Miller’s involvement from Novak himself.

Though the GOP hatchetman claims he’s never spoken to the grand jury about the column, a well-known Democratic pundit tells Radar, “Novak is the media’s Joseph Valachi,” referring to the 1960’s mafia capo who was the first mobster to testify against La Cosa Nostra. “There’s no question he rolled over.” According to our sources, Miller shared Plame’s identity with her perfidious fellow neocon after deciding not to publish it herself; Novak then called his two White House sources—one of whom was Karl Rove—for confirmation and wrote the July 14, 2003 column that blew Plame’s cover.

Soon after, Fitzgerald dispatched agents to question Novak about his sources and he promptly spilled the beans. The special prosecutor then subpoenaed Miller, who’s currently in jail on a contempt charge. Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson—whose Times’ op-ed triggered the leak in the first place—is open to the theory. “If Novak met with the special counsel and satisfied all their needs, they wouldn’t have any need to call him in front of the grand jury,” Wilson tells Radar. “As for what he told them [about Miller], why don’t you ask Novak?”

Repeated calls and e-mails to the Prince of Darkness went unanswered, and Times spokesman Toby Usnik would only say, robotically, that “Ms. Miller learned about Valerie Plame from a confidential source or sources whose identity she continues to protect to this day.” Noble, indeed. As for Novak, we hear fellow pariah Michael Jackson is looking for a ghostwriter.