Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A report no one wants to talk about

It's Jason Leopold and Marc Ash at truthout: "Indictment Still Sealed, Fitzgerald Still Busy."

The wingnuts aren't talking about it because they're mocking it. They're dismissing it without a shred of consideration given Leopold's previous report, still unproven, that Rove was in fact indicted back in May. Fine.

The other side of the blogosphere is also relatively quiet, from what I've seen, because, hey, why risk stirring up this pot again. Let's wait until the fat lady, aka Fitzgerald, sings. A very wise course of action.

Well, here at my humble blog, I have no such concerns, so I'm going to talk about it. I have no way of knowing if this latest report is true or not. But I don't see the harm in discussing it in a theoretical manner. Let's look at a few items from the report, and you can decide for yourself whether it's of interest:
An indictment first reported by Truthout said to be connected to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's Plame investigation remains sealed, and Fitzgerald continues to work on the leak case.

The indictment, 06 cr 128, was returned by the grand jury hearing evidence in the CIA leak case between May 10 and May 17 - right around the time that Truthout reported, based on sources close to the investigation, that Karl Rove had been indicted on charges of perjury and lying to investigators.
As authority for linking the sealed indictment to the Fitzgerald probe, Leopold and Ash cite the following: "sources with direct knowledge of the behind-the-scenes legal wrangling in the CIA leak case said the indictment specifically relates to the 2½-year-old leak probe. Other sources who have also been involved in the investigation confirmed this information." So we have a plethora of unnamed sources on our hands here, yes. Given the nature of the investigation and those who might have the knowledge being discussed here, that would be understandable. So weigh the linkage between the indictment and the leak case accordingly.

As for whether it's Rove who's been indicted...that doesn't necessarily follow from this report. Is it someone else entirely, like a Richard Armitage? Leopold and Ash present the following information from additional sources:
Attempting to gain a clearer picture of the events leading up to the June 12 letter sent by Patrick Fitzgerald to Luskin, our two-month investigation led to several interesting revelations that were communicated to us by well-placed sources. The letter is constructed in a manner consistent with what would be expected when a federal prosecutor writes a letter to a subject's attorney. The letter, we are told, spelled out what was expected of Rove, and made clear the ramifications should he fail to honor the terms of his verbal cooperation agreement with Fitzgerald. According to experts in federal criminal law, that approach is fairly standard given the circumstances.

It was Luskin, sources said, who seized on the single phrase from Fitzgerald's letter that gave the appearance of exoneration trumpeted by the US commercial press. In fact, the letter, taken as a whole, paints no such picture. According to those familiar with the letter sent to Luskin, it details the obligations of a subject, Karl Rove, who must choose between cooperation and further prosecution. If the document were made public it would indicate those obligations, the sources said.
So the theory is that was indicted but has agreed to cooperate and the indictment will as a result be dismissed down the road. So who would be "those familiar with the letter sent to Luskin?" People on the legal staffs of either Luskin or the Special Prosecutor? I find it hard to believe it's anyone in such a position. Could it be Rove plants out there seeking to further muck with a liberal reporting outfit in the run up to the election. That, I'd buy. Could it be Libby legal advisers trying to re-implicate Rove into the investigation. If they know Rove is cooperating, maybe they want to go public. How would they know this though...would it have been disclosed to them at this point or are they fishing? Is there a rivalry between the and people that's bubbling through the backrooms of Washington...

Yes, we could go on and on. All speculation, and that we love to do. The idea that a sealed, secret indictment of Rove would potentially be helping the administration by allowing that fact to go unreported is perhaps the juiciest suggestion of all the aspects of this report. It could lead to some even more spectacularly interesting possibilities afoot. But alas, that's more speculation. Hopefully Fitzgerald will fill in the public, his constituency, on all actors' parts in this interminable investigation so that speculation may soon come to an end.