June 13, 2006
Breaking News: Karl Rove Will Not Be IndictedThe New York Times reports:
The prosecutor in the C.I.A. leak case on Monday advised Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, that he would not be charged with any wrongdoing, effectively ending the nearly three-year criminal investigation that had at times focused intensely on Mr. Rove.Note that the only source of this story seems to be Rove's attorney, Donald Luskin; Fitzgerald's spokesman wouldn't comment. Luskin has put a spin on the case before so it's possible he's doing it again, but if he really has an official letter from Fitzgerald, that effectively closes the investigation and/or possible indictment of Rove in the Plame case.
This is good news for the White House, of course. Rove will now be able to concentrate on strategizing for the November midterm elections. Expect the Republican strategy to have his usual dirty fingerprints all over it.
Needless to say, it's a letdown for us in the left, although there was writing on the wall pointing to this outcome that we didn't want to acknowledge: recall that when Fitzgerald announced Libby's indictment last year, he declared the investigation closed. Although there were signs pointing to Rove's possible indictment -- his five-time appearance before the grand jury, for example -- it was all largely speculation. However, let's not forget that the prosecution of Scooter Libby continues.
To recap, the issue with Rove centers on why he didn't disclose in the beginning that he had a conversation with reporter Matt Cooper about Valerie Plame. Rove said he forgot about it and only remembered because of a memo to Stephen J. Hadley referring to the said conversation.
The timing of that discovery looked highly suspect for two reasons: not only did it take Rove a year from the first time he talked to investigators to reveal the memo that supposedly triggered his recollection, but it was also about the time of his revelation that Fitzgerald began compelling reporters involved in the case to talk. That last development implies that Rove admitted to his conversation with Cooper only after it was evident that the latter's testimony will directly contradict his.
If Rove is truly in the clear, focus will again turn to Truthout and Jason Leopold who reported that Karl Rove has been indicted on May 12th. As late as yesterday, Leopold was pointing to a mysterious "Sealed vs. Sealed" indictment with case number "06 cr 128". It was returned by the grand jury the week of May 10th and he speculates that it may be the Rove indictment. Truthout's Marc Ash, again issued a statement further clarifying Leopold's latest article.
Truthout and Leopold certainly have a lot of explaining to do. At the very least, Leopold was clearly misled by his sources. Whether he reveals them as he threatened to do if the story was bogust as it now seems to be remains to be seen.
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