Check out this exchange from NBC’s Meet The Press between host Tim Russert and GOP Chairman (and former Rove deputy) Ken Mehlman:
RUSSERT: When one is given classified clearance, they are asked to sign an oath, and they are given a briefing book with form. Standard Form 312, it's called.
And if you read this briefing book, it says this:
"Before...confirming the accuracy of what appears in the public source, the signer of [the] SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified. If it has not...confirmation of its accuracy is also an unauthorized disclosure."
So by confirming a story from Robert Novak or sharing information with Matt Cooper, no matter where it came from, if, in fact, it was classified information, without seeking to determine whether it was declassified, it is an unauthorized disclosure.
Got that? Rove signed a form that said that if something MAY be classified, you have to ask the CIA before spilling it.