Thursday, April 20, 2006


Rove's Reassignment

Of course, the Republicans and cynical Democrats are saying that Rove's leaving the White House just frees up Rover Boy, who they view as an immortal and unstoppable juggernaut, to do more thuggish political work. The problem with that explanation is that Rove was ALREADY doing political work of that very sort from the White House. (And he's not exactly infallible. Remember the Social Security and Terri Schiavo messes?) Unlike with Al Gore, who the GOP/Media Complex jumped on for returning a single phone call to a donor from his desk phone instead of his cell phone, Rove can spend his entire day on the phone strong-arming backers and the press wouldn't and still won't say 'boo' about it. So why physically move him out of the White House, since he can do the job he was doing there -- political thuggery -- better than anywhere else? Because his efforts to buy off Fitzgerald by offering up Libby and Cheney have not to date been enough to save his ass, that's why. He's going to be spending an increasingly large portion of his waking hours talking with his lawyers, and it's hard to do strong-arm political thuggery when you're preoccupied with avoiding the orange jumpsuit. Here's what Sid Blumenthal has to say on the subject:

Two weeks ago, Fitzgerald filed a motion before the federal court in the Libby case stating that his investigation had proved that the White House engaged in "concerted action" from "a plan to discredit, punish or seek revenge against" former ambassador Joseph Wilson, who revealed that the rationale of the Iraq war was based on false information that the White House knew was bogus. Fitzgerald declared further that he had gathered "evidence that multiple officials in the White House" had outed his wife's clandestine identity to reporters as an element of revenge. Last week, on April 12, Libby counter-filed to demand extensive documents in the possession of the prosecutor. His filing, written by his lawyers, reveals that he intends to put Karl Rove on the stand as a witness to question him about his leaking of Plame's name to reporters and presumably his role in the "concerted action" against Wilson. In his request for documents from Rove's files, Libby dropped mention of Rove's current legal status. For months, Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, has assured the press that his client, who was believed to be vulnerable to indictment for perjury, is in the clear. But Libby insisted that he was entitled to "disclosure of such documents" in Rove's files "even if Mr. Rove remains a subject of a continuing grand jury investigation". Karl Rove is a subject of Fitzgerald's investigation - this is the headline buried in Libby's filing. In white-collar criminal investigations, individuals who fall under the gaze of a prosecutor fit into one of three categories: witness, subject or target. Rove's attorney has suggested that Rove is simply a witness. But that is untrue. He is a subject. A subject is someone the prosecutor believes may have committed a crime and is under investigation. If the prosecutor decides he has accumulated sufficient evidence to prove guilt, he will change the designation of that person from subject to target and then indict him or her. Having successfully completed his most extensive investigation and prosecution, ending with the conviction of former Governor Ryan, Patrick Fitzgerald returns to the unresolved case before him. The federal grand jury considering his evidence began meeting again this morning. Karl Rove remains a subject--for now.

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