Mike Isikoff of Newsweek finally brings a bit of coverage to the Karl Rove e-mail to Steven Hadley, which spawned the Matt Cooper saga.
He is essentially telling us now what I told folks last August:
Fitzgerald should have had (if not looked at) the Rove-Hadley e-mail by March. Which means Rove's lawyers should have seen it too (and blanched!).
To recap and supplement a bit, with thanks to Reddhedd and Polly's comments at firedoglake:
White House records were first subpoenaed in Sept. 2003. The Rove-Hadley e-mail should have been caught in this net, but wasn't. Why not?
Rove's attorney, Luskin Some attorney explains that the wrong search words were used. Hmm - per the Wash Times excerpts, the word "Niger" appeared in the e-mail. Not enough of a clue? Evidently not. That said, if "Wilson" appeared in the e-mail, the Wash Times did not report it.
After Fitzgerald took over the case, he issued a new batch of subpoenas, including, per this Newsday excerpt, "records created in July by the White House Iraq Group", of which Rove and Hadley were members. Evidently, they found the e-mail this time. The NY Times has more.
The obvious guess - In his capacity as high priced defense talent, Luskin reviewed on behalf of his client the material picked up in response to the new subpoena, blanched, and alerted both Rove and Fitzgerald.
Isikoff discusses the other discrepancies between the Rove and Cooper versions of their phone call. We went through this a few days ago, but the gist is, there is good evidence that Rove and Cooper did, in fact, discuss welfare reform, regardless of Cooper's failure to recall that.
On the Judy Miller drama, Isikoff assumes, rather than reports, with this:
...the e-mail isn't the only belatedly discovered document in the case. Fitzgerald has also summoned New York Times reporter Judith Miller back for questioning this week: a notebook was discovered in the paper's Washington bureau, reflecting a late June 2003 conversation with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, about Wilson and his trip to Africa, says one of the lawyers.
I would substitute "recently" for "belatedly" (thereby losing the parallel structure) - as Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft explains, these notes were not part of Fitzgerald's subpoena. Consequently, since she has never previously been ordered to produce them, it's hard to see how they are belated.
Now, folks who have been studying the Miller saga deeply will ponder this - both Matt Cooper and TIME, Inc. were subpoenaed separately for their Rove testimony and notes. (Eventually, TIME gave up the notes, so that for Cooper, resistance was futile).
However, IIRC, the NY Times Co. was *not* subject to a subpoena, having convinced the prosecutor that all of the relevant material was in Ms. Miller's possession.
So - where was this recently discovered notebook? If, as Isikoff reports, it was "the paper's Washington bureau", might one argue that the Times had it in their possession, and misled the prosecutor? And if the Times (rather than Ms. Miller herself) discovered this a while back, shouldn't they have alerted the prosecutor immediately? OK, that is a rhetorical question - of course they should have notified Fitzgerald, unless they convinced themselves that it was in Ms. Miller's possession even though it was physically in their office.
And there is a middle "Don't ask, don't tell" scenario, in which various Washington Timesman stare at Judy's drawers (her desk drawers, for my Brit readers), and say, "You open it". "No, you open it". "I'm not gonna open it." "Well, I'm not gonna open it". Yeah, tell that to Fitzgerald.
That would be more news for the "Some of the News We Want To Print" crowd to cover - did the NY Times Company mislead the prosecutor and conceal key evidence?
But then again, Isikoff read the Russert story almost exactly backwards, turning what looks like a carefully, craftily worded denial into an unambiguous "It wasn't me", so he is not my main man on this.
From the July 29, 2005 WSJ:
Until then, Mr. Pearlstine says he viewed the leak investigation as "a speck on the horizon, at best." Now he realized that "there were institutional issues that weren't being addressed," he says. Asked to elaborate, he would say only that he came to appreciate the legal differences between defending an individual and defending a corporation. Time Inc. technically owned an electronic file that contained Mr. Cooper's notes, he says. As a result, the parent company could potentially be held in contempt of court and forced to pay large fines if its magazine and reporter didn't cooperate.
Ms. Miller, by contrast, apparently kept personal possession of her notes, and the Times's view is that it never had them.