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December 02, 2005

Comments

cathyf

Hey, wait a minute, I think I was the first one with (essentially) that story:
November 28, 2005 at 10:24 AM

Suppose that Rove/Luskin are claiming that the first time Rove found out that Cooper was protecting a conversation he had with Rove is that Viveca Novak told them. And that this was what caused them to go searching Rove's hard drive for any files that dealt with "Cooper" around the right dates, and they turned up the email. Then perhaps Fitzgerald is simply confirming the details -- yes, she told Luskin, yes, it was these dates, yes, he seemed surprised. Why would Viveca want to obstruct that, especially if Luskin is the one who pointed Fitzgerald to her as someone who could corroborate the conversation?

cathy :-)

John Kerry

I disagreed at first, now I agree with you.

Jeff

The NYT article also appears to err in identifying the date in October 2004 when Rove appeared before the grand jury: the NYT says October 14, whereas it seems to have been October 15. In either case, it would be very important to know when Rove's appearance was scheduled, and how that happened, since Cooper was hit with contempt on October 13, after having been subpoened with regard to Rove, in effect, on September 13. There are other relevant dates too, but the question goes to whether Rove's recantation of his earlier testimony was made with knowledge of the imminent revelation that it was false. Was it just a coincidence that Rove's appearance before the grand jury happened two days after Cooper gets hit with contempt? What about September 13 - was Rove already scheduled to go in then? And when in the summer or early fall of 2004 did the relevant Novak-Luskin conversation take place? i take it Rove has to thread the needle and claim that Novak's hint or whatever to Luskin triggered immediate action on Rove ande Luskin's part, which led to the discovery of the email, which was immediately turned over to Fitzgerald. So in that regard, the later Novak told Luskin about Cooper the better. However, the closer in time Rove scheduling his grand jury testimony, and perhaps turning over the Hadley email, gets to Cooper being called and compelled to testify, the more fishy that looks. The best evidence for Rove will be able to show an electronic trail of looking for and finding the email that happens in as brief a window as possible between the date of his conversation with Novak and the date Luskin/Rove turned over the email to Fitzgerald.

I wonder about that vagueness on the dating of the Novak-Luskin conversation in the NYT article. Might Luskin be sending a signal to his friend Novak that he is being vague on it and asking her to do likewise?

owl

TM...I am seeing double...no make that triple.

Dwilkers

Is there an echo in here?

topsecretk9

I seem to recall that Rove volunteered to testify again starting in July of 2005.

Also Time said this:

"Viveca Novak, to testify under oath about conversations she had with Robert Luskin, Rove's attorney, starting in May 2004, while she was covering the Plame inquiry for TIME."

Am I missing something in this timeline?

Kate

Jeff-you detail why Fitzgerald could indict Rove for perjury. However, he had two years to indict Rove, and the case looks very weak to me. I think he should exercise the prosecutorial discretion usually reserved for Democratic targets and end his investigation.

Fitz will have his hands full with Libby's case.

Jim E.

"I seem to recall that Rove volunteered to testify again starting in July of 2005."

Right. Because once Cooper testified, Rove figured he had to once again clarify his statements. So Rove testified in Oct 2005, too.

Everytime Cooper popped up, Rove needed to amend his testimony. Wonder why Rove's folks didn't share the V Novak conversation until AFTER his Oct 2005 appearance and only days prior to Libby's indictment. Shouldn't this have come up in his Oct 2005 testimony? Shouldn't Luskin have contacted Fitz? Folks repeatedly get mad at Fitz, but here we have a target (Rove) that is continually being cute with what he decides to disclose, and when. It's getting to be laughable for anyone to claim that the Bush administration has been cooperating with this investigation. Libby, Rove, and Mr. X have not cooperated with this investigation, except in a self-serving fashion.

I wonder what Cooper thinks about his colleage Viveca. Here he is really to go to jail, and Viveca's blabbing to Rove's attorney about secret conversations that apparently benefit Rove. I'm lost as to the "principle" behind reporter-source confidentiality other than trying to protect the powers that be.

I think Jeff may be on to something with his last sentence. Why exactly would Rove's camp be leaking anything to the NY Times right now? Why aren't they keeping their mouths shut? Luskin might be throwing up signals for his personal friend, Viveca. Given her past cooperation with the defense attorney, this is fair speculation (unless, that is, Viveca's already testified, which I don't think she has).

Jim E.

"Fitz will have his hands full with Libby's case."

He also has his hands full with Conrad Black, the former governor of Illinois, Mayor Daley's crew, and another Middle East related case. Fitz can juggle several things, so I wouldn't worry about him being able to handle Turdblossom as well.

Jeff

I seem to recall that Rove volunteered to testify again starting in July of 2005.

Yeah, it's easy to get confused about all the times Rove has gone back to the grand jury, evidently to change his story. Rove did volunteer to testify again in July 2005, right at the time Cooper finally testified, and Rove didn't go before the grandy jury until October 2005. That was, however, his fourth time before the grand jury, and one of the other times came in October 2004. Another was February 2004 and I can't remember when the other one was.

I take it the relevance of May 2004 is that that is when Cooper initially got subpoened, so presumably Fitzgerald wants to nail down when exactly Novak may have first mentioned a Cooper-Rove connection to Luskin. Luskin apparently is saying to the NYT that it was summer or early fall 2004, which is better for Rove. If, for example, Luskin hears about the Rove-Cooper connection from Novak way back in May 2004, and Rove hears about it, and they don't go to Fitzgerald with the Rove-Hadley email and the desire for Rove to change his testimony until considerably later, as it becomes more and more clear that Cooper himself is likely to testify, then Rove is in much greater danger of getting nailed for changing his testimony, whereas if it happens later (but not too late), Luskin can make the case that Rove genuinely had his memory jogged by Novak and was not recanting in the face of the imminent discovery -- thanks to Cooper's testimony -- that Rove's earlier testimony was false.

Jim E.

TM correctly points out that the NY Times quotes the Time article correct by substituting "administration" for "government." TM happened to miss, however, that the Times didn't include the comma after "Plame." It seems about equally significant to me.

What is the earth shattering difference between "administration" and "government" officials? And why are commas any less important to complain to the Public Editor over?

Jim E.

"incorrectly" instead of "correct" above

Jeff

However, he had two years to indict Rove, and the case looks very weak to me.

It's incorrect that he had two years to indict Rove, given first of all the dates of the testimony for which Rove would presumably be indicted and, second and more significant, the delays in the investigation from the battles over privilege and so on. So that's a really weak point.

Second, though I'm not shocked to hear the case looks very weak to you, I'm not sure what you could possibly be basing that on, since there is a lot we don't know. We apparently know that Rove changed his testimony, that his earlier testimony was incomplete and he altered it. If Rove can show that there was a very short span of time between when he heard from Luskin that Novak was saying there was a Rove-Cooper connection, when they went back and searched for relevant emails, when they found the Hadley-Rove email and when they turned that email over to the investigation and expressed the desire for Rove to recant his testimony and change it, and if Fitzgerald cannot persuasively show that what prompted Rove to change his testimony was fear of his contact with Cooper coming out imminently from Cooper's testimony but rather the rediscovered memory via Novak and the Hadley-Rove email of Rove's contact with Cooper, then that looks like a pretty weak case. I in fact believe that that is what very well may happen. Otherwise, though, it is plausible that Fitzgerald may have grounds to believe Rove committed a crime and that he can demonstrate that beyond a reasonable doubt and indict Rove. I'd be curious to hear if you disagree with that, and if so, on the basis of what known facts.

Jeff

What is the earth shattering difference between "administration" and "government" officials?

It is quite significant, because the latter significantly widens the universe of sources, and obviously extends it to members of the government who are not members of the Bush administration, which may speak to the motives of the sources. For instance, I take it government officials would encompass many members of the CIA who would not count as administration officials.

don

So, Libby is indicted for perjury and obstruction because he purposefully led the prosecutor down the false path pointing towards journalists YET Rove is to be indicted because he "failed" to point in the "false" direction. This is gotcha with huge stakes - much more than Sam Donaldson getting in a last minute shot. Fitz needs to get perspective and look at his investigation. this is what happens when a prosecutor has no adult supervision or senior eyes to say you are wrong.

owl

Yeah Jeff, and if someone would put a squad car on the highway, they would be able to catch about a hundred criminals in half the time and money. Speeding is a crime. The most God awful waste of time and money is being spent here for what?

noah

TM:

I think Kaus had a point. It is bizarre that you look normal!

I am having a really tough time deciphering your point.

I wish JayDee would come back...he's easier to beat up!

:-)

Jeff

don - Incorrect. Libby was indicted for perjury and obstruction because he is alleged by Fitzgerald to have testified falsely deliberately. If Rove is indicted on the same charges, it will be for the same reason. Is it inconceivable that Libby would perjure himself in claiming he heard from reporters first about Plame, or at the time thought he did and was surprised to so hear, while Rove would perjure himself for deliberately not revealing that he had leaked information about Plame to a reporter? I'm not saying any of it happened and amounted to a crime -- we'll have to wait for Libby's trial and to see whether Rove even gets indicted -- but surely it's not inconceivable or even logically improbable.

owl

If he was going after the crime being committed by the CIA/DNC using their MSM, then I could understand it. That is what I assumed was happening. Then Fitz comes out and tells the storytellers story.

Since he has started, I have seen a leak by the CIA/MSM about planes in NYT. I have seen the CIA/MSM do their number about secret prisons in the WaPo.

And Fitz indicts Libby. And just keeps on keeping on..... Name in lights and history is the only reason I can even remotely lay this on.

don

Try explaining that to a jury!!!!

Kate

Jeff - this is based on a conversation with Cooper.

Now, did Rove track down Cooper and engage in a long discussion and give an evil laugh while talking about Plame and what fun it was to out her.

No, Cooper called Rove to discuss welfare reform and introduce himself. Cooper brought up Wilson's trip and Rove tried to wave him off it as a bad story and left for vacation. The conversation lasted 2 minutes.

There is no reason to lie about this conversation. Based on what I've seen of Cooper, I'd forget any conversations with him as well.

If Fitzgerald indicts on this then he is the Federal Ronnie Earle.

Jim E.

"The conversation lasted 2 minutes."

So?

Jeff

If he was going after the crime being committed by the CIA/DNC using their MSM, then I could understand it. That is what I assumed was happening.

owl - Thanks for the good laugh.

The most God awful waste of time and money is being spent here for what?

Well, I take it Fitzgerald made the judgment that the underlying matter was significant and troubling enough and the obstructing activity serious enough to warrant prosecution. If your response is, then indict on the other crime, I think that probably shows a misunderstanding of how federal prosecutors and prosecutions standardly work. Also, as I read the indictment and heard Fitzgerald's press conference, he is convinced there was an underlying action that was a crime.

There is no reason to lie about this conversation.

Well, the pretty obvious reason is that Rove wanted to minimize his role in the whole Plame affair, plus it is possible he thought he could easily get away with it when he initially talked to investigators, imagining that the investigation, under the control of John Ashcroft, wasn't going to go anywhere. Again, I'm not saying I know that to be the case, but it is certainly coherent and plausible. Also, even by the account in Rove's email to Hadley, Cooper's call had several purposes and was not merely to discuss welfare reform and introduce himself. And again, Cooper brought up Wilson's trip, Rove brought up Wilson's wife.

Do you likewise believe that Libby wasn't lying? I mean lying, as distinct from committing a particular crime like perjury, obstruction of justice, and false statments to investigators.

Truzenzuzex

Jeff:

I wonder about that vagueness on the dating of the Novak-Luskin conversation in the NYT article. Might Luskin be sending a signal to his friend Novak that he is being vague on it and asking her to do likewise?
So now Novak and Luskin are conspiring to obstruct justice?

What a vivid imagination you have! As the wonderful (and unfortunately recently deceased) Pat Morita said to Ralph Macchio in the Karate Kid, "You too much TV."

Jeff

Truz. - Thanks!

TM

I agreed at first, now I disagree.

Posted by: John Kerry | December 02, 2005 at 08:59 AM

Hey, wait a minute, I think I was the first one with (essentially) that story:
November 28, 2005 at 10:24 AM

Suppose that Rove/Luskin are claiming that the first time Rove found out that Cooper was protecting a conversation he had with Rove is that Viveca Novak told them. And that this was what caused them to go searching Rove's hard drive for any files that dealt with "Cooper" around the right dates, and they turned up the email. Then perhaps Fitzgerald is simply confirming the details -- yes, she told Luskin, yes, it was these dates, yes, he seemed surprised. Why would Viveca want to obstruct that, especially if Luskin is the one who pointed Fitzgerald to her as someone who could corroborate the conversation?


cathy :-)

Posted by: cathyf | December 02, 2005 at 09:00 AM

I knew I stole that from someone...

Posted by: TM | December 02, 2005 at 09:10 AM

WOW....3 times a winner?

Posted by: owl | December 02, 2005 at 09:20 AM

A long jail term with no possibility of parole,TM. ;).

If Rove's story is that he forgot the conversation and that it hadn't shown up in the initial log/email, etc searches, her testimony would be exculpatory--it would show that he wasn't willfully hiding the conversation but had no independent recollection of a matter which for some reason hadn't shown up in the initial record searches.

Posted by: clarice | December 02, 2005 at 09:20 AM

Or it could be viewed that Rove knowingly kept back the info about the Cooper's call until Luskin found out from Viveca that Cooper was going to spill the beans to Fitz. Then Rove came forward. So his recanting doesn't count if he knew the Cooper call was going to come out because of Cooper's testimony.

The only problem with this is it seems like Luskin told Fitz about the Viveca conversation prior to Libby being indicted and for whatever reason Fitz saw it more as evidence of Rove's innocence that guilt. Maybe before Fitz heard about Viveca from Luskin, Fitz did think that Rove only came forward because he heard Cooper was going to testify, but the Viceca story put any indictment on ice.

I still don't see how Viveca telling Luskin about the Cooper call can help Rove unless Viveca tells Fitz "yes, Luskin seemed really surprised so I gave him a lie detector test and he was telling the truth about no knowing anything. Then I gave him the "water boarding" treatment and he still said the Cooper call was news to him and his client. And then I did a Vulcan mind meld with Rove and he had no recollection of the Cooper call."

Posted by: Hu Dafuk Noos | December 02, 2005 at 09:53 AM

Ha Hu, remember the SP shouldn't charge anyone unless he believes he has a prosecutable case, and if one explanation is at least as credible as the other, he shouldn't indict. And, in fact, I think the exculpatiry explanation is MORE credible than yours.

Posted by: clarice | December 02, 2005 at 10:10 AM

From the linked NYT story: "On Oct. 14, 2004, Mr. Rove went before the grand jury again to alter his earlier account, by saying he had also discussed the C.I.A. officer with Mr. Cooper."

Gee-I wonder what happened right before that?:

October 13: "Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan ordered Cooper jailed for as long as 18 months, but stayed his order until after the case is heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

So on 10-13 Cooper is ordered to jail.

The next day Rove gets his memory back and "clarifies" his earlier "claricified" testimony. A coincidence?

Of course Cooper told Rove that night-I'll appeal this ruling Karl-but I am not going to jail to protect your identity. So Rove can no longer risk it and has to come clean to Fitz.

How you people can continue to defend this scumbag is beyond me.

Posted by: creepy dude | December 02, 2005 at 10:11 AM

How you people can continue to defend this scumbag is beyond me.

This is hilarity. Wilson can't even get his mispeaks, slander of the reporters who quote him, literary flair and reading glasses on right, and your twittered that Rove who NEVER uttered P L A M E perhaps forgot Cooper called HIM.

I HOPE Rove told the GJ he "miss-spoke" and didn't see the email because he didn't have his glasses therefore may have become confused, and you know because he a 40-50 odd year old THAT IS HIS RIGHT (ahem)

Posted by: dogtownGuy | December 02, 2005 at 10:24 AM

creepy dude - for what it's worth I'm pretty sure Rove appeared before the grand jury on October 15, not the fourteenth, as the Times (mistakenly, i think) reports today. Nevertheless, the point stands.

Posted by: Jeff | December 02, 2005 at 10:31 AM

The ravages of age and 2-3 years in one of the fastest jobs in the world would cause a person with a very good memory to sift out a lot of chaff. The people posting here might consider a 1-2 minute conversation with Matthew Cooper 2 or 3 years ago an important event. For a guy in Rove's job, it might be about as important as remembering whether he bought Charmin or Brand X toilet paper 3 years ago.

Posted by: TP | December 02, 2005 at 10:32 AM

Okay, I've got a stupid question. Is there any record of what Rove said in his testimony? (I.e., did he admit talking about Plame, as opposed to the more generic bit about getting too far out in front of the Wilson story?) Because it seems to me a lot of folks are relying on Cooper's version of the conversation or the Times's recap of the testimony . . . neither of which am I willing to accept uncritically.

Posted by: Cecil Turner | December 02, 2005 at 10:36 AM

You're right Jeff. It's actually better-since I was wondering how Rove could get to the GJ so fast.

So Cooper tucks the kids in on the night of the 13th, drinks lots of Scotch, ponders his options, and calls Rove on the 14th. Rove recants on the 15th.

Rove is indicted on the ?

Posted by: creepy dude | December 02, 2005 at 10:38 AM

The people posting here might consider a 1-2 minute conversation with Matthew Cooper 2 or 3 years ago an important event.

Come on TP, how could ANYONE not be so taken with Wilson and his bona fides that they should forget?

On the otherhand, it is totally expected that Wilson could forget, misspeak, get confused because he was of course advancing his golf game at the time!

Posted by: dogtownGuy | December 02, 2005 at 10:39 AM

This is all part and parcel of what originally gave Fitzgerald pause in his investigation. Rove is in the clear.

Posted by: maryrose | December 02, 2005 at 10:39 AM

Do you lefties think the Grand Jury just sits and waits for some to show up and testify, like the Maytag repairman? And that you can just run in and testify on a moments notice ( or without any notice?_).

As a practical matter testimony with the GJ present has to be scheduled, they dont meet every day. With Defense counsel calling the Prosecutor and discussing a new fact and a need to alter prior testimony and then the Prosecutor checking the GJ schedule and then getting back to them and needing to fit that in with a hectic WH schedule, it likely that the process began a weeks in advance. Perhaps even longer.

Your AHA to me is laughable, the two events are so close as to more argue for not being related than being related.

Posted by: Gary Maxwell | December 02, 2005 at 10:51 AM

I've never seen it Cecil.

Knowing who Cooper is married to ought to have given Rove plenty to think about in all that time? Plus think about Coop. He will never ever give up his source......big flak in court. Then can't go to jail, the children doncha know. He comes out of there and just can't quit talking, just spilling those beans. No, no, say it aint so....that good man that would never ever give up a source! Then goes on TV yaking about Rove. He needs a special shield to protect him from himself.

Posted by: owl | December 02, 2005 at 11:02 AM

Maxwell-the GJ met on specific days-I believe it was Wednesday and Fridays.

October 15 was a Friday-and thus the first available GJ date available after Cooper was ordered to jail. We know Fitz was in D.C. on the 13th.

So if negotiations to get Rove in to the GJ started on the 13th after Cooper's sentencing-getting Rove there on the 15th is no big shakes.

As for relatedness-well, if Hogan had NOT ruled Cooper in contempt, i.e. you're free to keep your source secret, Cooper, but you believe that Rove would nevertheless have come in and recanted his earlier testimony, well...I disagree.

Posted by: creepy dude | December 02, 2005 at 11:12 AM

Yes, we don't know what Cooper said to the GJ though we do know his after testimony report of the conversation was considerably toned down from his initial report. Do not ever forget what I call the Sidney Blumenthal rule--The gj testimony is secret so you can make up any damned thing you want about what occurred.

Posted by: clarice | December 02, 2005 at 11:15 AM

Hu Dufuk Noos:

Or it could be viewed that Rove knowingly kept back the info about the Cooper's call until Luskin found out from Viveca that Cooper was going to spill the beans to Fitz. Then Rove came forward. So his recanting doesn't count if he knew the Cooper call was going to come out because of Cooper's testimony.

Well, heck, if Fitzgerald knows about that, there would be no reason at all to get Novak's testimony on record, would there? If Fitzgerald knows Rove deliberately omitted the Cooper conversation and disclosed it only after his lawyer found out, there is no way possible Luskin could have dissuaded Fitzgerald from indicting Rove.

I still don't see how Viveca telling Luskin about the Cooper call can help Rove unless Viveca tells Fitz "yes, Luskin seemed really surprised so I gave him a lie detector test and he was telling the truth about no knowing anything. Then I gave him the "water boarding" treatment and he still said the Cooper call was news to him and his client. And then I did a Vulcan mind meld with Rove and he had no recollection of the Cooper call."

I guess that may be so if you assume from the outset that Rove is EEEVVVIIILLL and was intent on foiling the prosecution.

But unfortunately for you (and fortunately for the rest of America), Fitzgerald seems to understand that it isn't what he thinks about Rove that is important - it's what he can prove.

Whether Luskin was surprised or not is and was irrelevant. Oh, it may help perception, but everyone understands that someone's recollection of someone else "acting surprised" is not an objective fact. What is exculpatory is that the Novak conversation with Luskin, in and of itself, lends credibility to Rove's version of events.

Posted by: Truzenzuzex | December 02, 2005 at 11:16 AM

Just kind of a random thought... Cooper's whole journalistic ethics argument where he said that Rove's general release wasn't good enough takes on kind of an interesting twist in the light of the claim that Rove does not remember the conversation. Maybe the information was going both ways -- Viveca told Luskin that Cooper was protecting a conversation with Rove, which she had heard from Cooper. Then Viveca tells Cooper that Rove has no memory of any conversation, which she heard from Luskin. Cooper then says, "wait a minute, how can this be a legitimate release if Rove doesn't even remember the conversation that he is giving the release about?" So he fights back against the subpeona.

Meanwhile, Rove and Luskin are searching white house computers for any evidence that the phone call happened, they find the email, and they schedule GJ testimony. This is all happening at the same time because both events were catalyzed by a Viveca-Luskin conversation that extended over a short amount of time. A very close and methodical reading of the timeline could very well rule out less-innocent explanations completely, or at least establish that there is no way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was something nefarious going on. Or, of course, it could rule out the innocent explanations, and Rove is sunk. Given that Rove would presumably know if he had lied or not, it seems like this is a pretty big risk to take if Rove knows that he lied.

Also, with the computer search, there is a good chance that there were other people involved -- like tech support folks from the white house and/or Luskin's law firm. If they can testify about things like when the search started, how hard it was, when the email was found, that, too, can corroborate or impeach Luskin's and Rove's stories.

cathy :-)

Posted by: cathyf | December 02, 2005 at 11:21 AM

I have to admit for reporters who have pledged to protect their sources why are the almost eager to go on the talk shows and spill the beans or as Clarice says spin the story any way they please. They are burning their sourse bridges behind them.

Posted by: maryrose | December 02, 2005 at 11:27 AM

Trusensuxus-you're committing premature exoneration. We don't know enough about the dates.

If V. Novak told Luskin in summer '04 that Cooper was a Rove source, but Rove only mentions this to Fitz two days after Cooper is sent to jail-is that really so good for Rove?

Posted by: creepy dude | December 02, 2005 at 11:30 AM

And let's not forget the context here-this is the sort of people involved here:

An email From Abramoff to Reed, January 18, 2002 2:28 p.m.:

I have an urgent matter for him. The Choctaws [the Mississippi Choctaws were an Abramoff client] -- who have given literally hundreds of thousands to our candidates and groups - are getting screwed at DoJ [The Department of Justice] on a jail funding . . . We really need some serious swat from Karl. I have asked Susan [Ralston] to get me in to see him on this, but if you could mention it, perhaps I could get him the materials and save the need to meet? Thanks Ralph.

Posted by: creepy dude | December 02, 2005 at 11:39 AM

On one hand I agree with creepy dude, on the other, Fitz knew about the Viveca/Luskin conversation before he indicted Libby, so if it was no impact or a negative why didn't Fitz indict Rove when he did Libby? It seems like he didn't because either he felt, for whatever reason, that the Viveca story was good for Rove or Fitz had no intention of indicting Rove in the first place.

Posted by: Hu Dafuk Noos | December 02, 2005 at 11:40 AM

Well I agreed with creepy until, for whatever reason, he throws in some bizarre Abramhoff reference. You know, Abramhoff the lobbist who gave money to both Repubs and Dems.

Posted by: Hu Dafuk Noos | December 02, 2005 at 11:42 AM

Creepy Dude:

Trusensuxus-you're committing premature exoneration. We don't know enough about the dates.

If V. Novak told Luskin in summer '04 that Cooper was a Rove source, but Rove only mentions this to Fitz two days after Cooper is sent to jail-is that really so good for Rove?

So you are suggesting that maybe Rove and his lawyer, an officer of the court, consipired to hide relevant information from the investigation, information that both Rove and his lawyer knew should have been provided at his original GJ appearance.

In order to make this work, Rove and Luskin would have had to hope that:

* Cooper would have been willing to lie about the conversation rather than reveal his source, or;
* Cooper would have rotted in jail for a long time rather than reveal his source even after Rove had given Cooper permission to testify about their conversations.

I know you think Rove is a bad guy, but not even the most partisan liberal can seriously suggest he is stupid. If so, what does that say about the Democrats who failed to defeat Bush in two elections?

Posted by: Truzenzuzex | December 02, 2005 at 11:49 AM

Does anyone remember who let it be known that Rove barely escaped indictment? I seem to recall it was Luskin. So, Rove's reputation is to be forever tarnished on the basis of a leak from his lawyer! It would seem to be malpractice on Luskin's part unless Rove consented.

Posted by: noah | December 02, 2005 at 11:54 AM

HDN wrote: "Fitz knew about the Viveca/Luskin conversation before he indicted Libby, so if it was no impact or a negative why didn't Fitz indict Rove when he did Libby?"

The story is that Rove *was* going to be indicted, but that Luskin's last second meeting (we now know if was about Viveca Novak) gave Fitz "pause." At that point, Fitz only had one last GJ meeting, which he devoted to Libby, and not enough info about the Viveca stuff. He's now tying up loose ends.

Posted by: Jim E. | December 02, 2005 at 11:59 AM

Close but no cigar Trusensux-Rove wasn't counting on Cooper lying or going to jail-just not being held in contempt.

As for fear of jail for the conspiracy-it's called the pardon. But Luskin too-you sputter-Check out Luskin's background sometime btw-the guy is no whiteshoe Republican type.

I agree the elections of Bush reveal stupidity on some people's part-but it ain't Democrats.

Posted by: creepy dude | December 02, 2005 at 12:01 PM

Creepy,

You may be spot on with your analysis of republicans, but you aren't seriously suggesting that you are proud of democrats are you?

Posted by: Sue | December 02, 2005 at 12:04 PM

for what it's worth I'm pretty sure Rove appeared before the grand jury on October 15, not the fourteenth, as the Times (mistakenly, i think) reports today.

Ha! The Times made that mistake the last time they tackled the subject of Rove and grand jury appearances, but they wouldn't correct that, either.

Oct 14, 2005

Oct 15, 2004

TM

OK, this is confusing as heck, but I have moved the other comments over here and deleted the double post.

Sorry about that - I am blaming typepad.

Cecil Turner

you're committing premature exoneration

I thought that was physically impossible for a Thranx. [Oh, er . . . never mind.]

Sorry about that - I am blaming typepad.

Remember: it's not the quality of the story . . . it's sticking with it.

creepy dude

Sue-of course I'm not proud of the Democrats. But I find myself constantly detesting those in power. And right now the Dems have no power.

I assume it's because any person who actively seeks power already has a character flaw, i.e. power hungry.

I seriously advocate we abolish popular Congressional elections and appoint them by a random lotterty of citizens.

Jeff

TM - Following your link to your earlier post that included comment on the Times confusion over October 15, 2004 and October 14, 2005, it seems like there are a lot of issues from that post worth revisiting in light of what we're now learning (we think), especially the version we're now getting of how the Hadley-Rove email was discovered. I also take it that the questions Anonymousliberal raised about how that email could have failed to have been found in early 2004 at the latest have yet to be answered.

topsecretk9

Get the feeling the Rove/Luskin team are outwitting the media--building up this huge suspense which ultimately results in a huge let down? It worked once before.

This tactic is two-fold. By crafting their answers to reporters in a suspenseful--questions still lurk way-- it solidifies the Rove/Luskin team taking this investigation seriously (i.e. not dismissive of Fitz) and the media trip over themselves ever so happy to paint the bleak picture for Rove- even if it comes directly from Roves team- and then, the big let down.

--which in turn keeps TM very busyl.

Just a thought.

Sue

Creepy,

I understand about the power thingy and your lottery idea might deserve a second look. Term limits might also be an option and repealing the 17th amendment another. I think, though, we are limiting ourselves to who we can get to run for office by the way we treat them before, during and after. Who, other than someone who has a character flaw to begin with, would put themselves and their families through the process?

Jeff

topsecret - The trouble with your theory is that the WaPo's story the other day pushed the "Novak exculpates Rove" line very hard. I took that to be an effort by Luskin to tamp down speculation that the fact that Novak was going to be questioned was bad for Rove.

TP

TS9. Rove wouldn't play a low expectations game, would he? : ^ )

topsecretk9

Jeff
You could absolutely be right, but I seem to recall the same tactic surrounding the email and Luskin talking to Byron York. Starts out good, then fuel to the fire, looks bleak again....rope a dope. Who knows.

topsecretk9

Total tinfoil land (but it kind of seems like it is Time Mags turn to take the WAPO/NYT hit)

but what if Vivika said something to the effect

"Does Karl recall speaking to Matt Cooper? Oh, he may not remember he spoke about Niger because Coop was also working on a story about Welfare Reform at the time too"

Explains how they (r/luskin) would then find the email...

"Cooper wrote that after reviewing his e-mails from the days in question, "it seems as if I was, at the beginning of the week, hoping to publish an article in Time on lessons of the 1996 welfare-reform law." Cooper also wrote that, "I may have left a message with his office asking if I could talk to him about welfare reform."

"Cooper's e-mail (July 11) to Time Washington bureau chief Michael Duffy said, "Spoke to Rove on double super secret background for about two mins before he went on vacation..."

topsecretk9

the bold on the "email" above was to show how Time DC Bureau (Peeps) would know Coop was working on Welfare Reform as they were reviewing all Coop notes to comply with subpoenas.

Jeff

but what if Vivika said something to the effect

"Does Karl recall speaking to Matt Cooper? Oh, he may not remember he spoke about Niger because Coop was also working on a story about Welfare Reform at the time too"

Explains how they (r/luskin) would then find the email...

How does that explain how Luskin-Rove-WH would then (and only then) find the email? Or by "find" do you mean "fabricate"?

topsecretk9

In retrospect, "seems as if" and "I may have" aren't good after GJ testimony statements, are they?

That is... if he is being honest in his printed "Time Mag" account of testifying he did NOT recall Welfare Reform.

Sue

Jeff,

How would you fabricate an email? Wouldn't it take a tech savvy person about 2 seconds to know whether it was tampered with? Planted? Out of sequence?

topsecretk9

Jeff
STOP being snarky this instant! NOT fabricate. I think that a fabricated email would be awfully easy to detect and I'm fairly certain in this day and litigious age that Luskin was not having Rove sneaking into the office to tap out and turn back the clock on an archived email let alone retrieving the dang email himself. In fact I'm sure that most emails are archived automatically in some server and that Rove most likely did not save a year old somewhat smallish email to Hadley on his hard-drive (ONLY to be foiled by the IT teams copy too!).

There have been somewhere near 300 comments here on how the emails were searched for.

I am saying if Vivika mentioned "Welfare Reform", that may be how they came about finding "an email" that then mentions Niger.

This email to Hadley probably had Luskin jumping for joy.

topsecretk9

Okay, maybe Jeff wasn't being too snarky, but I am trying to be anti-too much snark...I am in happy mood for my birthday par-tay with all my favorite peeps tonight.

Rick Ballard

Sue,

The Dark Master can cause hurricanes and earthquakes - creating false email is less than child's play.

cathyf
"Does Karl recall speaking to Matt Cooper? Oh, he may not remember he spoke about Niger because Coop was also working on a story about Welfare Reform at the time too"
Nah, the story is that the welfare reform angle was unknown until the email showed up.

The whole search thing is all a bit vague -- did Fitzgerald already have the email as part of some gargantuan pile of undigested stuff that was turned over in response to the subpeona? Presumably the subpeona searches would have been conducted by WH techies -- so if faced with 50,000 messages that satisfied the search criteria, they would have scanned down message subject lines and not opened anything unless it looked interesting, and "welfare reform" wasn't interesting. Then if Viveca gave them "Cooper" and approximate dates, they would have gotten just a few emails, and they would have opened and read each one all the way through, and discovered that the "Welfare Reform" email was about something completely different.

cathy :-)

Sue

TS9,

Happy birthday!!!

Sue

Rick,

I forgot about his evil genius.

Sue

They would have problems with my emails. I don't like putting anything in the subject line.

noah

Happy birthday top secret dog!

BTW what are peeps?

topsecretk9

thank Suzy-Q

CathyF

The story is, but the real story? Also, I can easily see Time cognizant of Welfare Reform subject BEFORE because Coop was sending emails about it, only it did not seem relevant really to anyone at the time as it pertains to the investigation (at Time) - Rove testified about Welfare Reform. Cooper didn't (or so he says). I think Luskin pulled out his "V.Nov-WR" card at the end.

Not gonna let his client take a hit for Coop.

maryrose

Uh oh Shuster is at it again on Hardball saying maybe V.Novak's testimony will help Rove or hurthim? And Isikoff[ flush the Koran down the toilet; ] is back to his usual pontificating. Thank God for the sane Deborah Orin to give us the straight scoop.

Kate

David Shuster is an idiot whose "reporting" is a joke. He was predicting mass indictments and that Fitzgerald was investigating pre-war intelligence.

However, on CNN I saw a segment that seemed to imply that Fitz thought Rove talked to V. Novak and now it's supposed to be Luskin and that both (Luskin and V. Novak) will testify before Fitz next week.

I was on my way out the door to pick up my car but thought that was interesting.

Syl

HOLD THE PRESSES!

I just saw Deborah Orin and Isikof on Hardball. She said this explanation in Time was just gossip among the reporters there. They have no actual source for the rumor that Viveca told Luskin that Cooper had a convo with Rove.

We'll have to wait for the transcript.

Syl

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOP!

Arf!!

topsecretk9

hey Syl
Thanks! Arf Arf.

clarice

ts--It's my birthday, too--No wonder I like you so--Sagittarians rule..

Syl

Clarice!!

Happy Birthday to you too!

I have Sagittarius rising! That makes us, well, not related in any way. LOL

arrowhead

Happy Birthday Clarice & TOP!

Isikoff falls into the same category as Doris Kearns Goodwin. Neither have any credibility left, yet the MSM keeps trotting them out.

owl

ts,Syl..happy happy.

Love Deb Orin on Hardball as she is one of the few that can get anything in on him. Of course today he talked over her for almost a minute. Par.

FYI about Matthews. Even though he did not even say it today (lol) he now says "neo conservative". I have heard him on 2 separate days. Pick me up off floor, after listening to him rant "neocon" for 2 solid years. I bet it's hard on him to remember.

Cooper. We only know what Cooper has told us. I am going on record as not trusting Cooper. We do not KNOW what he told the gj. I don't trust a word he says and certainly not his recounting of his gj testimony. Look at the fact that he called Rove and probably wiggled a phone call with promise of Welfare Reform story. They were nuts for some press at WH. Then he hits him with Wilson and yes, Rove probably yaked. Then that worm Coop scraps what got him in the door and writes that hit job. Then he won't testify. Then he does. Now he is all over TV trashing Rove. I don't trust what he did inside the gj, making a real problem for Rove and possibly Fitz. So I am not surprised if someone has something on Cooper. Bad smell from that direction.

pollyusa

Also heard Orin on Hardball. I had the feeling she was saying that the Time employees were with Cooper and thought Viveca may be out of line.

She seemed to indicate that it may be information passed from Luskin to V. Novak that is of interest to Fitz. Don't hold me to this, Orin was not sure herself.

Sue

Happy birthday Clarice.

kim

Azay gesund.
=============

Lesley

Hey! They say its your birthday! Happy Birthday Topsy and Clarice.

I started - cursorily - scrolling through that long post (above) and thought, " Oh brother, Return of the Night of the Living Dead, Part 85." Imagine my relief when it was TM.

clarice

Thanks all--

maryrose

Happy Birthday Clarice and Top and thanks for your excellent observations.

Jeff

topsecret - I honestly was not being snarky, perhap for once. I could see no other way of making sense of your take. But I see now that is because I find it almost impossible to imagine how the Rove-Hadley email was not found at least as early as early 2004, so the idea that the welfare reform thing caught it, where "Cooper" and "Niger", among other things, did not, did not occur to me as a conceivable take. Happy birthday, anyway. As for snark, why did it not surprise me that clarice had something to say about astrological signs in this context?

MJW

Cooper was subpoenaed on April 21, 2004 to talk about Libby, and on Sept. 13, 2004 to talk about Rove. Fitzgerald said he followed DOJ guidelines, so he had to have specific information that Cooper had something significant to say about Rove. So, either Fitz discovered the e-mail on his own, Hadley told him about it, Cooper or someone Cooper talked to revealed the conversation, or Rove and Luskin turned over the e-mail. Considering the various possibilities, and the timing of V. Novak conversation, my money's on the last choice.

topsecretk9

NO F'ing WAY?

ts--It's my birthday, too--No wonder I like you so--Sagittarians rule.. I'll say FIRE signs roo the day!

Clarice my sistah! It's late, there are too many nappers/just resting peeps.....and to their chagrin and dismay -- I check in and what?????? Decem. 2 is Clarice's day too!

Great minds think alike!

Happy Birthday Clarice, maybe someday we will cross paths!

Cheers! okay this took like 10 minutes to type. I am buzzin and the there are many who are telling me to STOP this and well off !

topsecretk9

early 2004, so the idea that the welfare reform thing caught it, where "Cooper" and "Niger", among other things, did not, did not occur to me as a conceivable take.

Oh Jeffey! I know you weren't (to respond to your post!)

You are probably right (and I could be 100% RIGHT- disclaimer so some a-holio -- ahem Jim E--ahem doesn't desk top it --also do not take Jim E up on a wager, he will not follow through--I tried with Merlot)

I just think that "welfare reform" was of NO importance to us until Luskin talked about it to B-York. In fact (and I am only speaking from my experiences with attorneys, well okay my a-hole brother in law, but they keep whatever lame defense close to their chest-hand until it becomes necessity) and so I think it is one of those important/un-important overlooked facts.

It's out there. I just think it is part of the "story" --- the "notes" is what Cooper was protecting.

Time (not Mag) will tell.

noah

And happy birthday Clarice...such a lovely name and a beautiful mind!

Truzenzuzex

Cecil:

you're committing premature exoneration

I thought that was physically impossible for a Thranx. [Oh, er . . . never mind.]

ROFL.

cathyf

Jeff:

I find it almost impossible to imagine how the Rove-Hadley email was not found at least as early as early 2004
Note for future reference: Jeff is technologically illiterate...

cathy :-)

JM Hanes

Except as a matter of accuracy, the importance of Oct. 14 vs. Oct 15 seems overstated here. As TM noted this morning, the ruling that ultimately sent Judy Miller to jail was handed down on Feb. 15, 2005. It's hard to imagine Rove betting on Cooper in any case, but having issued a general waiver and with court rulings all going Fitz's way, it seems extremely unlikely.

Tom Maguire

Fitzgerald said he followed DOJ guidelines, so he had to have specific information that Cooper had something significant to say about Rove.

Well, I used to argue that, too.

However, DoJ guidelines do have an exception when the prosecutor has exhausted all reasonable means. And, since Fitzgerald was investigating a cover-up, he may have felt that he had met that test.

The Anon Lib had more detail, but by studying the appeal decision, a few things came clear:

(1) the *first* subpoena to Cooper did not name officials;

(2) after negotiation, Fitzgerald made the fist subpoena specific to Libby;

(3) the second subpoena is not descibed as covering, for example, a "named official".

Eventually, I came to the conclusion that Fitzgerald may not have know whom Cooper was going to identify.

My guess is that Libby had described a chat with Cooper, and said that Cooper told him the Plame story (Libby said something like, "I heard that, too".)

Fitzgerald was expecting a different version from Cooper. When Cooper came in and confirmed that, Fitzgerald concluded that Cooper must have had a prior source, and re-subpoenaed him.

clarice

Noah--thanks..

boris

They should cast Jodi Foster to play you in the Plame Game movie.

Tom Maguire

Here is my Bonus Speculation that bashes Cooper and explains why the Viveca/Luskin story gave Fitzgwerald pause:

Remember Cooper's drama on the jailhouse steps in the summer of 2005, when he got a waiver that very day, and avoided jail? Part of his explanation was that he had been unwiklling to contact Rove, but somethig Luskin said (roughly, "Matt Cooper is not going to jail to protect Karl Rove") made Coopert think he was being invited to request a personal and specific waiver.

Great story, and maybe that is what he told the grand jury (I want to re-read his personal account in TIME and see what he told Russert, too).

However - in Oct 2005, Luskin comes to Fitzgerald and says, wait, in the summer of 2004, after Cooper got subpoenaed, Viveca Novak came sniffing around hoping Cooper could get a waiver from Karl (all very subtly, of course).

Or are we really supposed to believe that Coope rjust happened to blab to Viveca, who just happened to blab to Luskin?

And Fzitgerald starts thinking to himself, hmm, Cooper, my star witness against Rove, is makng up stories about the circumstances that led to his waiver. Troubling.

Which brings us to the present.

OK, from the Russert talk, here we go. I am liking my theory a bit more:

And so on the morning of that clip you just saw, my lawyer called me and had seen in The Wall Street Journal that morning Mr. Rove's lawyer saying, "Karl does not stand by any confidentiality with these conversations," or words to that effect, and then went on to say, "If Matt Cooper's going to jail, it's not for Karl Rove." And at that point, at that point only, my lawyer contacted Mr. Rove's lawyer and said, you know, "Can we get a kind of personal waiver that applies to Matt?" And Mr. Luskin and he worked out an agreement and we have a letter that says that "Mr. Rove waives confidentiality for conversations with Matt Cooper in July 2003." So it's specific to me and it's personal, and that's why I felt comfortable, only at that point, going to testify before the grand jury. And once I testified before the grand jury, then I felt I should share that with the readers of Time.

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Luskin, Rove's attorney, is suggesting that you had the same waiver throughout the last two years, and only when you were confronted with going to jail did you, in effect, decide to compromise your source or not protect your source.

MR. COOPER: Well, I protected my source all along. I don't maintain that I haven't. I have all the way along, and that's why we went to the Supreme Court. That's why I stood by the source even after Time had disclosed my documents. We went to Rove only after seeing his lawyer, in some sense, invite us to, in that quote in The Wall Street Journal. My lawyers and the editors at the time did not feel it was appropriate for me to go and approach Rove about some kind of waiver before then.

Oh, Sidebar - Cooper hints he may have more sources, but also says that Rove was his first. My guess - he did what Novak did, and called the CIA press office.

OOPS - this Saturday WaPo story tells a very different tale.

Tom Maguire

Oh, and Happy belated, Clarice and Top.

Cecil Turner

Happy belated birthday from me as well, and best wishes.

clarice

Thanks, Tom and Cecil.

clarice

Too bad Libby cannot charge for the viewing of his lawyer's cross examination of the press. He'd be able to cover more than his legal fees if he could.

You think only Andrea is fretting?

maryrose

Clarice, I am convinced all these reporters have a lot to answer for in past and current reporting. They are lazy and don'tdo their homework. As a teacher that is offensive to me.My dad always said the media were biased and guess what/ they are.

MJW

TM, after rereading Fitzgerald's brief, I've concluded I was too hasty in forming my opinion on why Cooper was re-subpoenaed, and that you are very likely correct that it was due to his original testimony. I'd rejected that idea, because I knew the original subpoena (as revised) was specific to Libby, and also knew it was in Cooper's interest to avoid bringing anyone else into it. I forgot that simply by saying that he got confirmation from Libby, he unavoidably implied he had a previous source. I guess, like Andrea Mitchell, I screwed up.

kim

Clarice, I think Libby's getting his money's worth. This production is the works. This is tragedy masquerading as farce. Look at the themes; deception, secrecy, treachery, diametrically opposed ideologies, threats. There has been sustained a long crescendo. Some of the audience is rapt.
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topsecretk9

Thanks TM and Cecil

clarice

Kim--I tried writing the whole thing up as a comic opera--but it got out of hand--so many characters and subplots..But comic opera it is in reality.

kim

I wish you were right, but it'll be grand, yet.
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Wilson/Plame