Friday, April 21, 2006


In This Case, Indictments Really Are "Just Around The Corner"

Remember the GOP/Media Complex's Starr-fed mantra during 1998 and 1999? "Indictments are just around the corner"? Well, they never were, it turns out. However, with regard to the outing by Bush White House officials of Valerie Plame as a CIA NOC -- an incident known to many of as TreasonGate -- indictments really are just around the corner. In fact, in the case of Scooter Libby's TreasonGate involvement, they've already started happening. And he's just the first. When the news of Rove's reassignment hit earlier this week, many Republicans and Democrats alike believed it was a ploy to free up Rove to do political work. But, since all he's essentially done while in the West Wing is that very sort of political work, that rationale didn't make sense to me -- especially since he can do that sort of work more effectively while physically in the White House, where he has the ability to call Bush to the phone for some extra-special arm-twisting. I knew that there had to be another reason -- and that it was most likely connected to the facts that a) Rove is still a subject of the TreasonGate grand jury's investigation, and b) the TreasonGate grand jury started meeting again this week. And it looks like I was right. From Eschaton last night:

Rover On Countdown, David Shuster said that Rove is likely heading for an indictment. -Atrios 8:22 PM
And from TruthOut yesterday:
Just as the news broke Wednesday about Scott McClellan resigning as White House press secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove shedding some of his policy duties, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald met with the grand jury hearing evidence in the CIA leak case and introduced additional evidence against Rove, attorneys and other US officials close to the investigation said. The grand jury session in federal court in Washington, DC, sources close to the case said, was the first time this year that Fitzgerald told the jurors that he would soon present them with a list of criminal charges he intends to file against Rove in hopes of having the grand jury return a multi-count indictment against Rove. In an interview Wednesday, Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, confirmed that Rove remains a "subject" of Fitzgerald's two-year-old probe. "Mr. Rove is still a subject of the investigation," Luskin said. In a previous interview, Luskin asserted that Rove would not be indicted by Fitzgerald, but he was unwilling to make that prediction again Wednesday.
Why indict Rove? Because it looks like Fitzy caught him lying repeatedly under oath, for one thing:
Fitzgerald is said to have introduced more evidence Wednesday alleging Rove lied to FBI investigators and the grand jury when he was questioned about how he found out that Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the CIA and whether he shared that information with the media, attorneys close to the case said. Fitzgerald told the grand jury that Rove lied to investigators and the prosecutor eight out of the nine times he was questioned about the leak and also tried to cover-up his role in disseminating Plame Wilson's CIA status to at least two reporters. Additionally, an FBI investigator reread to jurors testimony from other witnesses in the case that purportedly implicates Rove in playing a role in the leak and the campaign to discredit Plame Wilson's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, whose criticism of the Bush administration's pre-war Iraq intelligence lead to his wife being unmasked as a covert CIA operative. [...] Luskin wouldn't comment on whether the investigation of Rove continues to center on alleged misleading statements to which Rove testified regarding a July 2003 conversation he had about Plame Wilson with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper. Sources close to the investigation, however, confirmed that is exactly what Fitzgerald has continued to focus on and what he discussed with the grand jury Wednesday. Luskin said that Rove simply forgot about his conversation with Cooper when he testified before the grand jury because Rove had been dealing with other pressing matters, such as Bush's reelection campaign. Rove's story began to unravel when Fitzgerald discovered the existence of an email Rove sent to then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley after he spoke with Cooper on July 11, 2003. Rove did not disclose the existence of the email during his first two appearances before the grand jury. Rove testified that he found out about Plame Wilson after her identity was disclosed in several news stories. "I didn't take the bait," Rove wrote in the email to Hadley immediately following his conversation with Cooper. "Matt Cooper called to give me a heads-up that he's got a welfare reform story coming. When he finished his brief heads-up he immediately launched into Niger. Isn't this damaging? Hasn't the president been hurt? I didn't take the bait, but I said if I were him I wouldn't get Time far out in front on this."
Focus on political work? Hah. Right now, Karl's focusing on trying to keep out of prison. He's going to be spending lots of quality time with his lawyers from now on.

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