Friday, April 28, 2006

Fitzmas Time In The City?

Prosecutor Weighs Charges Against Rove in Leak Case
NYT: Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor in the C.I.A. leak case, is expected to decide in the next two to three weeks whether to bring perjury charges against Karl Rove, the powerful adviser to President Bush, lawyers involved in the case said Thursday.

With the completion of Mr. Rove's fifth appearance before the grand jury on Wednesday, Mr. Fitzgerald is now believed to have assembled all of the facts necessary to determine whether to seek an indictment of Mr. Rove or drop the case. ...(more)
Now, before I go getting my hopes too far up (as if they're not already), let's take a step back and take a look at why Rove might have been testifying before the GJ for a 5th time. At first glance there appears to be a glaring contradiction between Leopold's reporting that Rove testified after having received a "target letter", and Rove's atty's claim that:
AP: Rove "testified voluntarily and unconditionally at the request of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to explore a matter raised since Mr. Rove's last appearance," Luskin said in a statement. "Mr. Fitzgerald has affirmed that he has made no decision concerning charges."
Over at the Whiskey Bar, Billmon serves up a sobering dose of reality that seemingly reconciles that connundrum:

... I know Rove thinks he can tapdance his way out of anything, and Luskin may have every bit as high an opinion of his client's cleverness as the Evil One does himself. But still, given the stakes, and Patrick Fitzgerald's won-loss record, it seems to me Luskin is skating close to the edge of malpractice, if not over it. Being the guy who helped the president's brain get himself indicted is not a good way to boost your future billable hours.

Unless, of course, Rove wasn't there in the role of possible target, trying to fast talk his way out of an indictment, but rather in the role of a cooperating witness, delivering on his end of a plea bargain. (...)

This is precisely what Raw Story (which is compiling a pretty good record of its own in this case) said was in the process of going down last month:
Karl Rove, Deputy White House Chief of Staff and special adviser to President George W. Bush, has recently been providing information to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the ongoing CIA leak investigation, sources close to the investigation say.
According to several Pentagon sources close to Rove and others familiar with the inquiry, Bush's senior adviser tipped off Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to information that led to the recent "discovery" of 250 pages of missing email from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. (...)
Karl Rove has described his three and a half hour meeting with a grand jury as grueling, and is more worried about being prosecuted than ever, MSNBC is reporting.
The movie is The French Connection, and the scene is the one in which Popeye Doyle and his partner bust into a junkie bar, looking for a lead on the big shipment that's supposed to be hitting town. They rough up the regulars a bit, then Doyle picks one out and takes him back to the men's room -- for what we assume will be a private skull cracking session. But, when the door closes, we learn that the junkie is actually a snitch. Doyle finds out what the guy knows, and then, as he's getting ready to leave, asks him: "OK, where do you want it?" The junkie points to his eye and Doyle slugs him -- hard enough to draw blood. So the others won't get suspicious, you see.
It looks to me like Karl is showing off his bruises.
OK, I just threw out what I thought were a few of the tastiest morsals to Billmon's argument. You really should go read the whole thing. It's pretty damn compelling IMO.

Jane's not buying it though:

... Fitzgerald has quite a bit on Rover. Some think this is an indication Rove has flipped; I’m with Digby who thinks it’s more likely due to this:
Rove was no lawyer but he carried a kind of preturnatural confidence in court cases. Like in his high school debates, he always felt better than anybody in the room. He could beat anybody with the strength of his argument or the weight of his will. When a team of blue-chip lawyers in a tobacco case grilled Rove for a deposition some years earlier, he was not just confident, but arrogant, fending off their questions with playful insults. On the stand in the Kay Bailey Hutchison trial, he was masterful in frustrating the prosecution. Now he had a former U.S. Attorney General in his cross hairs, and as Rove sat at the table in the federal courthouse, he turned his head slowly and looked over at the defense table with the thin sliver of a smile. It was a dark smile, determined, and there was not mistaking the message: You are my enemy and you will pay.(Bush’s Brain p. 190)
Of course, as many others have noted, as far as the rats are concerned, it’s all about the 2006 election. They will do anything, say anything, sell anybody out and devote all their energies to stalling shamelessly to make sure Democrats never get subpoena power and start investigating their sorry asses. ...(more)
Huh? Now I'm not so sure what to think. That last paragraph though, especially "it’s all about the 2006 election", that much you can be sure of. It sure seems to me that throwing Cheney under the bus would be just about the best thing they could do to that end.

We'll just have to wait with bated breath and see how this thing plays out.

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