If my blog hosting service is willing, I will post my *PURELY SPECULATIVE* guesses in the Plame leak investigation:
Karl Rove walks - no indictment, nada. Jeralyn Merritt, who has been doing a superb job on this, keeps the flame flickering for a "False statements" charge based on Rove's early forgettery of his conversation with Matt Cooper of TIME. Based on the evidence leaked so far, it won't happen.
Think back to the controversial Martha Stewart case: Martha went down on a false statements charge, but as supporting evidence of her criminal intent the prosecution had evidence that she may have altered her records, supplemented by troubling testimony from her broker's assistant and a personal friend.
With Rove, as best we know, we have Karl failing to recall his conversation with Matt Cooper when asked by Federal investigators in 2003; the defense will have fun with the fact that the Department of Justice failed to ask about contacts with Matt Cooper in their original document request, so let's not underestimate
Mike Copper Matt Cooper's forgettability.
Eventually, in response to a second set of subpoenas, the relevant email between Rove and Hadley was found, Rove's attorney notified the Special Counsel, and Rove corrected his testimony. As Jeralyn notes, and as MacRanger pointed out to me a few days back, if a person corretcs their testimony during the term of a grand jury before discovery was imminent, they are in good shape.
Based on the leaks so far, this is far from a Martha Stewart scenario.
OK, on to the fall guys:
John Hannah had CIA links, so he can't convincingly plead ignorance about Ms. Plame's status. He gets a wrist slap for misuse of classified information. (Q: Does a "wrist slap" mean "no jail time", or "short time"? A: Hmm, even "short" would seem long to me; no waffling here... No jail time it is. And get your own 8-Ball). Hannah's offense - he was Novak's primary source.
David Wurmser also has CIA links, and he gets a wrist slap for leaking to Walter Pincus of the WaPo.
And Libby? He goes to trial, or walks. My full psychic prediction is that he will turn down a plea deal (after negotiating about what might have been disclosed in the accompanying indictment) and say to Fitzgerald, "Bring it on, Irish".
*If* they are filed, charges will be perjury and obstruction, as well as a conspiracy to misuse classified info. However, Fitzgerald has very serious doubts about some of his star witnesses, such as Judy Miller. Both sides are weighing the implications of the venue for a trial - Libby knows it won't be Berkeley, but it still might not be favorable for him. However, it might be politically awkward for Libby to ask for a change in venue. Of course, getting tossed into stir can be awkward, too.
No waffling: Libby goes to trial. The good news with this scenario is that otherwise, we will never know what the heck happened. Libby better plan to win, or lose, by Jan 19, 2009.
Final predictions - today is Wednesday, and if the Astros win the Series they will need seven games. There - I can't be all wrong.
FWIW: Last night there was a bit of a "Rove rally" at TradeSports. Well, "rally" for Sinister Righties - the market odds of a Rove indictment fell to about 45%. Libby was holding tough at around an 80% probability of indictment.
Currently, as of Wednesday morning: the probability of a Rove indictment is at 63%; Libby is at 76%.
OK - folks who want to back my play should SELL the Rove contract, which is headed to zero; profit will be a full $6.30 per contract.
Buy the Libby contract and try to pocket the difference when the contract rises from 76 to 100, for a profit of $3.40 per contract.
And ideas for clever spread trades? Maybe buy two Libbys for each sale of Rove, figuring there is no way that Rove is indicted and Libby walks? Very clever, but we don't give investment advice here, we just speculate. For educational purposes only, of course.
MORE: Folks who want to mock Rove's memory will want to be ready for push back on "Arkansas Alzheimer's", based on the memoery challenges experienced by Hillary and Bill in less happy times.
It doesn't have to be this way - people forget, they hedge, and they caveat their testimony, OK?
Ari Fleischer was reported to have read the famous INR memo on board Air Force One, and apparently a call from Novak to Fleischer turned up in the White House logs, so he certainly could be a source for Novak (or Pincus). And a recent hint aids his candidacy - per TIME, Novak's source is not in the White House.
However, he left the Administration the day Novak's column ran, so the impact of an indictment more than two years later will be, ahh, diminished. What will the press do, insist that the White House hire Ari back so that he can resign in disgrace? And what will the press do with all their stories about Bush harboring miscreants lo these many years?
As to Hadley, well, he is certainly a popular pick as a source for Novak, or Pincus, and he was deeply enmeshed in the leaks and counter leaks surrounding Bush's "16 Words".
However, would the White House promote him to the fairly visible post of National Security Advisor (Condi's old job) with an obvious legal cloud over his head?
The folks who gave his John Roberts and Ben Bernanke would not. On the other hand, the folks who gave us Harriet Miers might do just that.
Well, we don't duck the tough calls here - Hadley won't be on Fitzgerald's list (but if he is, don't be surprised, and remember, I almost told you so.)