Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 29, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

LATEST PLAME GOSSIP....As we all know, Karl Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, had a meeting with Patrick Fitzgerald shortly before Fitzgerald announced the indictment of Scooter Libby last month. Scuttlebutt at the time suggested that Fitzgerald had been ready to indict Rove, but got information at the meeting that made him hold off.

What kind of information? Nobody knows, but apparently it had something to do with a conversation between Luskin and Time reporter Viveca Novak (no relation to Robert Novak). From the Washington Post:

It's not clear why Luskin believes [Viveca] Novak's deposition could help Rove, President Bush's deputy chief of staff, who remains under investigation into whether he provided false statements in the case. But a person familiar with the matter said Luskin cited his conversations with Novak in persuading Fitzgerald not to indict Rove in late October.

....It could not be learned what Luskin and Novak, who are friends, discussed that could help prove Rove did nothing illegal in the leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity to reporters and the subsequent investigation of it.

In other news, Raw Story reports that Fitzgerald has reinterviewed Rove's assistant, Susan Ralston, who testified last August about Rove's conversation with Time reporter Matt Cooper, in which Plame was discussed. (This is the famous conversation that ended with Rove murmuring, "I've already said too much.") Ralston didn't log the call, and told Fitzgerald it was because it came in through the White House switchboard:

But those close to the probe tell Raw Story that Fitzgerald obtained documentary evidence showing that other unrelated calls transferred to Roves office by the switchboard were logged. He then called Ralston back to testify.

Earlier this month, attorneys say Fitzgerald received additional testimony from Ralston who said that Rove instructed her not to log a phone call Rove had with Cooper about Plame in July 2003.

Ralston also provided Fitzgerald with more information and clarification about several telephone calls Rove allegedly made to a few reporters, including syndicated columnist Robert Novak, the lawyers said.

I'm not even going to try to speculate about what all this means. There's just not enough data. But one thing is clear: whatever's going on here, it sure doesn't appear to be good news for Karl Rove.

Kevin Drum 1:36 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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