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April 27, 2006

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Assistant Village Idiot

It reminds me of jury duty, when a woman tried to insist "Well even the defense attorney said he was at that club," and I had to point out "No, that was the prosecutor who said that." Scary.

clarice

Mac agrees with me--V. Novak told more to Luskin than she publicly disclosed, and that included the fact that the Time reporters knew all about Plame and the call was a set up using Cooper and welfare reform to avoid Rove's suspicion.It was a set up.

Jeff cites a NYT article online now which has some interesting info--R Novak testified to the gj since Rove's last appearance and Cooper has apparently been demoted. He's now editor of the mag's website.

ed

Hmmm.

Anybody get the feeling that Fitz is trying to keep the current Democrat meme of "Culture of Corruption" alive in the media?

clarice

Maybe.
Maybe he's wising up.
No one can stay that dumb forever.

ghostcat

If Fitz concludes he was set up himself, it's gonna hit the fan. Nothing ticks off the likes of him more than being played for a fool.

Jeff

My guess is that Rove will not be indicted for forgetting about Matt Cooper

Dishonest framing aside - of course Rove will not be indicted for forgetting about Matt Cooper, he would be indicted for not forgetting about Cooper but pretending that he had -- that was my guess too for most of the day, until reading Vandehei's very useful stenography for Luskin. Short version: if that's the best that Rove's got, I think he's in deep trouble.

Jeff

I also think Kornblut was frankly misleading about Cooper: she made it sound like a demotion simply because she drew a parallel between Viveca Novak effectively being fired and Cooper's move. In fact, I think it was a promotion.

ed

It was reported as a promotion at the time. The New York Observer bit is here

clarice

From the WH beat to editor of the website is a promotion? Right.

Not to me.

ed

White house beat to Political Editor for Time.com. who reads the print mag anyway?

clarice

It would take a great deal more than we have on the record for me to conclude Rove committed perjury rather than forgeting a few minute long inconsequential conversation which--by the SP's account--there was little substantive difference.

MayBee

VandeHei's story is stenography? But Pincus just lets his source tell their story.

Funny, jeff.

You want to see stenography, check out Dana Priest's stories about Sandy Berger. As I said, though, I don't think it was stenography so much as typesetting his lawyer's press release and jotting her name down in the byline.

Jeff

VandeHei's story is stenography?

I honestly didn't mean it in a bad sense at all, truly, which is why I said it was very useful. He basically just presents Luskin's version of events, and is very upfront about it, and that is something very useful to know right now. So the point was that there is an important function and an appropriate role and place for that kind of journalism. And I say that regardless of the fact that it is different from (my description of) Pincus' practice insofar as we know that the other version(s) of events won't get aired, since Fitzgerald doesn't talk.

Jeff

To put it another way, Vandehei's is without doubt the most important story about today's events. It certainly completely changed my mind about them.

Rick Ballard

If Fitz indicts on V. Novaks watercooler stuff coupled with Matt "Huh, that's what I said." Cooper's version of a conversation then Gonzales should test those BS oversight affidavits that Comey and Fitz cooked up and drag Fitz's butt in on the carpet for a chat.

It ain't gonna happen (indictment) but it's about time Fitz put his phony continuing investigation to bed.

Kate

My personal opinion is that VandeHei's reporting on this story has been particularly bad. He also was on a panel with last year with Chris Matthew and David Schuster that was particularly embarrassing, very tin foil conspiracy, and there is poor Jim with the WAPO corporate logo behind him. Jim wants Rove indicted more than Matthews.

The New York Times has the most accurate, least sensationalized reporting on the story.

Jim is not in Jason's league, but he is not getting the real inside scoop on this story.

Tom Maguire

Dishonest framing aside - of course Rove will not be indicted for forgetting about Matt Cooper, he would be indicted for not forgetting about Cooper but pretending that he had...

Fitzgerald's fantaises are the truth, and mine are lies?

As noted, we have not much of anything on the record to demonstrate that Rove did not, in fact, simply forget.

If Fitzgerald wants to pretend otherwise, he will go for it.

In which case, Rove will be indicted for failing to convince Fitzgerald and the GJ that he forgot; whether he actually forgot will be evaluated by the trial jury, and will be known only to God.

clarice

Now Comey and Fitz explaining under oath their special esp would be worth paying to see,Rick.

ed

"he is not getting the real inside scoop on this story"?

But he's quoting Luskin.

MayBee

Jeff- he may not have interviewed Fitz for the story, but there is plenty of VandeHei and not only Luskin in the story.

I know I'm giving you a hard time, but I think you called it stenography because that makes it sound like it's Luskin's straight story, and yet it still convinced you that Rove is in trouble. So hey, you weren't convinced by VandeHei that Rove is in trouble...you were convinced by Lusking himself.
Sorry, I'm not buying your steno. The article isn't steno for good or bad.

MayBee

Read this paragraph and tell me justice would be served by charging perjury here. Considering the main leaker was someone else entirely, and the leak seems not to be a crime.
Furthermore, is it not true that Rove had told the GJ he talked to someone- Novak?

--
All the while, Fitzgerald suspected that Rove was acknowledging what had happened only because new evidence was surfacing, according to lawyers in the case. But Rove and his lawyer have presented an alternative explanation: that Rove genuinely did not remember his conversation with Cooper, and testified to that effect even though he was aware of rumors that he was one of Cooper's sources.
--

This paragraph just screams DROP IT to me. This is the kind of argument you threaten to pull the car over for, not indict on.

MayBee

Lusking himself sounds like an odd activity, doesn't it?

Anyway, Jeff, that steno thing just bugs me. I'm sorry to be jumping on you for it.

Jeff

MayBee - It was tongue-in-cheek, and it's true I'd make that joke - even if it was meant to be overall complimentary - sooner with a rightwinger than a lefty. But I genuinely think Vandehei is a good reporter, I've defended him before, and I really meant to compliment the article at the end of the day. The idea that Vandehei is some kind of lefty, though, is crazy.

clarice

Yes, Rove admitted he'd talked to Novak, and IIRC he told the SP he told Cooper, though the SP adopted a different version of the conversation for the indictment.

Here's one of the reasons why I think V. Novak told more to the SP than she reported...she had several conversations about this with Luskin, apparently a personal friend. One would have sufficed if all she reported to him was that Cooper remembered a conversation with Rove. My spidey sense says these talks were reports back about who else at Time knew about Plame befoe Cooper called and why Cooper, not--say--Calibresi was picked to probe Rove and Libby.

Jeff

As noted, we have not much of anything on the record to demonstrate that Rove did not, in fact, simply forget.

You mean like the video of Rove twirling his evil mustache and saying, "I screwed those guys! I didn't forget, I lied! Lied! Lied!"? I mean, what are you talking about? What would you expect? And there is a huge amount of circumstantial evidence - I am not asserting it adds up to indictment, but I am saying that this statement is weak (unless you want to emphasize "demonstrate," in which case it's lame).

In which case, Rove will be indicted for failing to convince Fitzgerald and the GJ that he forgot

In one sense, of course. Just like any number of people in the history of the world are indicted for failing to convince a prosecutor and the grand jury that there is an innocent explanation for the crime they are indicted on. Of course it's up to a jury to determine, thankfully. But it's silly to just assert that you're being indicted for something perfectly innocent.

MayBee

via Jeralyn's archives:

COOPER: I was one of a number of Time reporters working on a big cover story that week and I was trying to get in touch with Mr. Libby over at the White House. And we finally hooked up on July 12th. And we talked a bit on the record. We talked a bit off the record. And I had heard the day before from the president's political adviser, Karl Rove, that Wilson's wife might have played a role in dispatching him to Africa and that she worked at the CIA. And so I asked Livvy--Libby, excuse me, if he had heard anything like that. And he said, `Yeah, I've heard that, too.'

Mr. COOPER: Well, I guess the indictment alleges that he went on to qualify it and say that, `I don't know if she works there, I have heard this from reporters' and a few other things...

SMITH: Right.

Mr. COOPER: ...that the prosecutor says constitutes perjury. I don't know if there was perjury here. I do know what he said to me.

SMITH: Yeah. If we understand the indictment correctly, Libby told the FBI and the grand jury that it was reporters, people like you, presumably, who told him Plame's identity. Would you--could you discern that from your conversation? You suggested it, he confirms it?

Mr. COOPER: No--it--yeah. Yeah, I suggested it, he confirmed it. But there was no suggestion, I guess, as alleged in the indictment that he went ahead and, you know, talked to me about how he heard it and such.

This is what one of Libby's perjury counts is based on.
Note that there are a number of reporters working on a big cover story. I wonder if Viveka ever heard any of them giggling.
But if another perjury charge comes up on this Cooper minutae, it will be a travesty.

MJW

What confuses me is Luskin's statement: "In connection with this appearance, the special counsel has advised Mr. Rove that he is not a target of the investigation."

Now, I realize anything a lawyer says about a client must be subject to a great deal of scrutiny, but if Fitzgerald actually said what Luskin claims he said, I don't see how it squares with VandeHei's story. I don't think the "in connection with this appearance" qualifier gets around it, if Rove was actually attempting to convince the grand jury that he didn't commit a crime. Clearly, anyone in that position is a target of the investigation in connection with that appearance.

It would certainly be possible for Rove to be the target of the investigation, yet not in connection to a specific appearance, if he were testifying in regard to something that affected someone else and was unrelated to any accusation against himself, but that isn't what the WaPo article says happened.

If Luskin had merely claimed Fitzgerald had not told Rove he was a target of the investigation, I'd suspect Luskin had previously informed Fitzgerald that Rove was declining the need to be notified, so he could later claim he hadn't been notified. But if Fitzgerald went further and said Rove wasn't a target, I can't imagine any similar trickery.

Kate

I notice that the media attempted to bury the Mary McCarthy story. It was not on my YAHOO page for the first 48 hours. Now, right on schedule, along comes Fitz to provide his worshippers in the media a leak story that the media likes, can follow, doesn't confuse them.

What do we know about Comey. He thrust this partisan upon the passive Bush Administration. Is he a Bush appointee, a Clinton holdover.

I'm wondering if the trend of Democratic operatives undermining the White House may extend to the Justice Department as well.

Patton

Judith Miller FORGOT about her conversation in June with Libby in which Wilsons wife was mentioned.

UGO FORGOT he talked about her with Woodward.

The evidence in this case is that to everyone involved, the discussions about Plame were FORGETABLE until David Corn started screaming about outing an agent...then all of the sudden they were supposed to be the most memorable thing on Earth.

Truzenzuzex

Let's see...

Truthout claims Rove was at the GJ as a result of a target letter he received sometime in the last, oh, six months or so.

If we assume that is true, Vandehei's reporting on Rove makes sense. I have seen target letters before (not with my name on it, fortunately) and the ones I have seen invite the target to appear before the GJ to answer questions regarding the matter for which they are under investigation. So putting the two together definitely fits the process as I understand it.

Then why, oh why, would Luskin specifically state to the press that Rove "is not a target of the investigation"? What we have here, if we accept Vandehei's article at face value, is Rove behaving exactly as a target would behave if he had no Fifth Amendment privilege available to him, and funny enough that is exactly the situation Rove is in.

Assuming that Luskin isn't just lying outright or substituting his opinion for that of the prosecutor despite a letter, Rove's actual status as "target" or "subject" is still a matter for speculation depending upon who you are more inclined to believe - Rove's attorney or Leopold's anonymous sources. Both have a definite agenda, so you pays your money and you gets your status.

The only scenario I can think of where this all makes sense is if Fitzgerald has, for some reason, decided to ignore normal procedure. That is, Rove is a target and has not been sent a target letter. This might make sense if Fitzgerald thinks that Rove will simply resign and attempt to reclaim his Fifth Amendment privileges if he is identified as a target. The downside for Fitzgerald is that this could be seen as an attempt to deprive Rove of his constitutional right to remain silent by deception and coercion, which might motivate a judge to look askance at any charges Fitzgerald brings.

Patton

Jeffrey, Vadehei doesn't have to be a 'lefty' to be an idiot.

Here is what Vandehei said about Dick Cheney and the accidental shooting:

""MATTHEWS: .......It‘s now Tuesday, the vice-president has yet—forget the press room—he has get to speak to the American people and explain this incident. Why doesn‘t he tell the American people? They‘re the ones I would worry about if I was him. They are elected officials.

VANDEHEI: He doesn‘t felt like he has to. He‘s never going to come out publicly and talk about this. In your clip before, you‘ve shown, he shows he has absolute disdain for the media, particularly the national media, he doesn‘t give a hill of beans what you and I think about him, so he‘s going to handle this the way he wants to handle it. """

He‘s never going to come out publicly and talk about this.

He‘s never going to come out publicly and talk about this.

OHH, BY THE WAY, THE NEXT DAY CHENEY GAVE AN EXTENSIVE INTERVIEW ON THIS SUBJECT.

You listen to idiots at your peril. Vandehei proved he has no clue.

boris

huge amount of circumstantial evidence

No there isn't. The only assumption that supported the "conspiracy to leak" in the OVP was the claim that the leak must have come from there because they were the first and only to know.

UGO knocked out that support. It is now clear that a number of reporters were in the know and abuzz around the time a few non reporter witnesses recall the subject coming up in conversation. It is also apparent that reporters did not have to reveal that to Fitz and the GJ in their testimony.

That is a severe distortion which in combination with hindsight blindness is fueling this travesty.

Florence Schmieg

I am suspicious of any reporter who is a regular commenter on Hardball or the Chris Matthews show.

maryrose

Well let me try to post this comment again.
Kate:
You are right, the sleight of hand performed by the MSM substituting Rove story for McCarthy was typical. They are at risk with the McCarthy story because the public sees what is really going on.
Florence:
Unless reporters are writing opinion pieces they should not be commenting on an editorial show like Matthews's and predicting what they hope will happen. Stick to the facts and don't try to make the story turn out the way you secretly want it to.

kim

No matter how good they are at reporting or talented at looking and sounding good on TV, they nearly all have this bad case of bias up the ass, which has been there so long they miss it whenever it's not there. They simply can't take the discomfort of living without it.
===============================

Tom Maguire

From Jeff:

Short version: if that's the best that Rove's got, I think he's in deep trouble.

If you would like to walk us through it and make the case, I would love to post it - why should I give the Anon Lib all the pixels, or ink, or whatever?

Obviously, Fitzgerald may have a lot we don't know about, but I haven't seen anything reported that makes this Cooper conversation so memorable, or (unlike Libby's "Heard it as if for the first time" so implausible.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'I mean, what are you talking about? What would you expect? And there is a huge amount of circumstantial evidence...'

You are aware where the burden of proof lies, Jeff?

kim

I think they are still trying to pull it off, with Fitz complicit. But the seams, they are a bursting. Nonetheless, like Squiggler et her pal al, I keep hoping Fitz is an honest man, able to recognize his own mistakes, even massive and embarassing ones.

Get out the old lamp, my friend. Light it up. Let's roll.
====================================

kim

BDS = Bias Down South.
===============

PeterUK

"'I mean, what are you talking about? What would you expect? And there is a huge amount of circumstantial evidence...'

Hearsay evidence Jeff.

JM Hanes

Maybee

"Note that there are a number of reporters working on a big cover story."

I believe the cover story may have been the piece on welfare reform that Cooper apparently "forgot" was the subject he supposedly called to talk to Rove about in the first place. That info came to light in the email which Luskin/Rove retrieved. Cooper subsequently went back to his own files, and what to his wondering eyes did appear? Welfare reform. I say indict 'em both! Shoot, indict 'em for a conspiracy to obstruct!

vnjagvet

As has been exhaustively demonstrated on this site, the case against Libby is, except for background information, based entirely on the testimony of three reporters about converstations they had with the defendant and how those conversations differ with the defendant's version to either the FBI or to the GJ.

That is the classic "he said she said" situation.

Were Rove to be charged, based on what we know now, it would be based on Cooper's testimony about a certain conversation, Rove's testimony which originally did not acknowledge that conversation, and his subsequent testimony acknowledging it after his (Rove's) attorney was told that it probably took place.

There is, of course, an issue of fact as to whether Rove's original testimony was merely an oversight, or intentionally deceptive.

I say that like the Libby case, this one is at the very best a marginal one to charge as a crime.

Ham sandwich, anyone?

topsecretk9

Judith Miller FORGOT about her conversation in June with Libby in which Wilsons wife was mentioned.

UGO FORGOT he talked about her with Woodward.

Add to that, Cooper FORGOT he WAS working on Welfare Reform story and perhaps called the WhiteHouse switchboard earlier that week

Also, there was much discussion about the DOJ guidelines for perjury, that is if a subject does go and corrects the testimony...there has to be more than Fitz feelings

topsecretk9

Oh, JMHanes -- remembered.

JM Hanes

From Vanderhei:

Rove for the first time partly waived his attorney-client privilege to detail conversations he had with his attorney, Robert Luskin, about the leak and his knowledge of it, the source said.

Fitz clearly must be going after Rove for coming forward on the email in anticipation of being exposed, which means, IIRC, it doesn't count as good behaviour.

If you're a "target," I think you can either decline to testify or assert your 5th Amdendment rights. Are there actually any explicit guidelines as to the difference between subjects and targets of investigation? Why on earth would any Prosecutor actually deliver a target letter? Seems to me, a potential defendant -- esp. in a high profile political position -- gets burned either way. In this case, the only way in which Rove is not a target of this investigation is because he's clearly not guilty of the crime Fitzgerald was supposedly investigating.

At this point I think it could go either way. I don't think Fitz has got nearly as much to work with here as he does with Libby, but I also think he wants to indict Rove so badly he can taste it.

topsecretk9

UGO FORGOT he talked about her with Woodward.

UGO couldn't forget this, because Woodward for at least a year was prodding him about it for the story Woodward was working on.

Tom Maguire

...but I also think he wants to indict Rove so badly he can taste it.

FWIW - if Fitzgerald's appointment is thrown out on Constitutional grounds, he may as well have two cases thrown out.

boris

I don't think Fitz has got nearly as much to work with here as he does with Libby, but I also think he wants to indict Rove so badly he can taste it.

Since the public disclosure that Plame was CIA came through UGO and not Libby/Rove, Fitz is frantic to establish some connection between the administration and "the crime".

Novak had enough for his column from UGO and Harlow even without Rove's "heard that too". Still, to Fitz that qualifies as a link of sorts and if Rove goes into the stew he can claim "conspiracy".

The hope expressed hereabouts that Fitz has integrity and will figure it out and do the right thing ... False ... Hope ... Fugetaboudit.

Fitz, Jeff, Greenfield, AnonLib etc are afflicted with Seafoam Syndrome and there is no cure. Were those guys on Flight 93 they would have cursed Mark and Todd as the plane plowed into the field for getting them all killed.

topsecretk9

Appeal... on Drudge...no link

A federal judge has refused to dismiss perjury and obstruction charges against a former top aide to Vice President Cheney in the CIA leak case...

topsecretk9

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/04/27/D8H8ENMG0.html

Judge Won't Dismiss Case Against Libby
Apr 27 12:05 PM US/Eastern
Email this story
By TONI LOCY
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON

A federal judge refused Thursday to dismiss charges against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former top White House aide who was indicted on perjury and obstruction charges last year in the CIA leak scandal.

In a 31-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton turned down a motion by lawyers for Vice President Dick Cheney's onetime top assistant, who challenged the authority of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to handle the case.

sad

So this is based on the constitutionality of Fitz' appointment and not on the merits of the case?

JM Hanes

Well, then, let's just rustle up a Special Counsel for Mary McCarthy, ASAP, 'cause what's good for the gander is good for the goose, right? Let's petition Chuck Schumer, shall we?

sad

JMH

But she's a noble whistleblower!!!!

(best if read with a severe whine)

Jeff

Tom - Here you go, from my first take (there are a couple of more specifications since, having to do with exactly what Rove is up to, but my basic outlook stands):

So I'm reading Vandehei's article in Post, and it is pretty straightforwardly (and honestly) Luskin's version of what's going on and what Rove testified to today. There's a lot of interest, but overall Luskin has now pretty much persuaded me out of my earlier sense that Rove was getting off the hook. If this is the best that Rove's got, I think he's in deep trouble:

Rove's testimony focused almost exclusively on his conversation about Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper in 2003 and whether the top aide later tried to conceal it, the source said. Rove testified, in essence, that "it would have been a suicide mission" to "deliberately lie" about his conversation with Cooper because he knew beforehand that it eventually would be revealed, the source said.

This gets explained a little more explicitly later in the article:

Luskin told the prosecutor that Viveca Novak had informed him that she had heard from other Time reporters that Rove was Cooper's source for a July 2003 story on Plame. Luskin shared this information with Rove -- before Rove testified that he did not recall his conversation with Cooper.

Yesterday, Rove told the grand jury that it would make no sense for him to lie in February, knowing that all of this would soon be public, the source said.

Now, this is just about the lamest thing I have ever heard. Rove's story, then, is that he heard from Luskin about TIME saying Rove was a source for them before he ever testified (which helps explain why there has been so much fuss about exactly when the VNovak-Luskin conversation took place), but didn't mention it then because he truly couldn't remember, and he couldn't have been trying to hide anything because he knew contrary information would eventually come out. This story makes little sense in its own terms, it's not believable in its own right, and for a specific reason I really doubt Fitzgerald will buy it.

It makes little sense on its own terms, because if Rove knew there were rumors - but rumors isn't really the right word, since they were coming out of the very newsroom one of whose reporters Rove was said to have talked to - in February 2004, he almost certainly would have mentioned them in his testimony, no? Wouldn't he have said something to the effect of, I've heard that people at TIME are saying I was a source for one of their reports, but I'll be damned if I can remember anything like that? And it sure sounds like he made no mention of the rumors.

This story is not believable on its own terms in part for reasons Vandehei goes on to specify:

But the timing of that Luskin-Novak conversation is in dispute. Novak has said she testified that the conversation took place between January and May of 2004 -- which could place it either before or after Rove's initial grand jury testimony. Moreover, Rove did not know at that point that Cooper would later be forced to testify and reveal him as a source, according to lawyers who follow the case.

It may even be worse; Schuster is saying that Viveca Novak says the conversation took place in March, which would be really bad for Rove (though I'm skeptical of that report). In any case, this entire alibi from Rove leaves out a key element, one Fitzgerald recently showed us he attributed some importance to in the case of Libby: the fact that these guys first floated their stories to the FBI in the fall of 2003, perhaps never thinking it would go any further, and once it did, the die was cast, as Fitzgerald put it in relation to Libby, and they were compelled to tell a story to the grand jury that was at least largely consistent with what they had told the FBI. So on the assumption that Rove's February 2004 testimony basically matched his fall 2003 FBI interview(s) [with respect to Cooper at least], I seriously doubt that Fitzgerald will be particularly impressed by this story: that Rove knew all about the Luskin-VNovak conversation by February 2004 and it had no impact on his testimony, thereby showing that he was testifying in good faith. The alternative explanation, which Fitzgerald has already suggested he buys with regard to Libby, is that the die was cast, and Rove was stuck with his bs story from his FBI interviews. This is bolstered by the fact that Rove appears not to have made any mention of his knowledge of the rumors about his involvement in February 2004, and by the fact that Rove did not have good reason to believe that Cooper would eventually be compelled to testify. Plus all the other evidence.

Jeff

boris - Aside from the hilarity that you have continued your quackery by coming up with yet another syndrome, I find it astonishing when fellows like you feel comfortable tapping away on your keyboard and making the most outrageous accusations. It's shameless and cowardly.

boris

yet another syndrome

Just for you sport.

boris

making the most outrageous accusations

Let's be clear. It was not an accusation. If the war on terror is analogous to Flight 93 then the attitude depicted describes yours.

As for cowardly ...

See this
cathyf

I'm not following you, Jeff. You seem to have constructed this timeline:

1) Rove testifies in Feb, 2004 that he didn't remember telling anyone about Wilson's wife (presumably other than being R. Novak's confirming source.)

2) V. Novak testifies that she told Luskin that the newsroom gossip is that Rove was Cooper's source, and most likely this was about Mar, 2003, although it could have been as early as Jan, 2003.

Your conclusion: Since Rove did NOT testify about being Cooper's source in Feb, 2003, then this PROVES that Rove KNEW about being Cooper's source in Feb, 2003? Hmmm... Does that mean that if Rove had given a perfect verbatim recounting of the conversation then you would conclude that this is PROOF that he knew NOTHING about it?

Even if Rove had heard a third-hand rumor that somebody was saying he was their source, why should he have taken that any more seriously than Joe Wilson's accusations of frog-marchable offenses that had been brayed about by various jackasses for months? When you testify under oath you stick to telling the truth about what you know. You leave out various random speculations about random gossip of unknown provenance. And we already know that if you do babble on about things you don't actually know about, you end up facing perjury and obstruction charges...

cathy :-)

boris

Does that mean that if Rove had given a perfect verbatim recounting of the conversation then you would conclude that this is PROOF that he knew NOTHING about it?

LOL Seriously doubt Jeff can follow that.

Appalled Moderate

Since Fitz can't seem to drop this, one does have to believe Fitz believes it's likely he's lying. However, to push a perjury charge based on a conversation made right before the man is going on vacation that has nothing (repeat NOTHING) to do with the original leak to non-V Novak seems just the sort a person who wants to be the next Judge Starr would do. Hopefully, Fitz is not in that category.

boris

Judge Starr didn't want to investigate Monica.

Pofarmer

"tell me justice would be served by charging perjury here. Considering the main leaker was someone else entirely, and the leak seems not to be a crime."

That's kind of the main point in all of this, isn't it? There apparently was no initial crime. Yet, here we are, nearly 3 years later, still investigating people for disagreeing with reporters accounts of events(and threatening indictment for it, apparently). So, what is really going on here? There was perjury related to something that wasn't a crime in the first place? The whole thing is just a black hole of billable hours.

boris

disagreeing with reporters accounts of events

The only time I was in the news the reporters got it totally wrong.

PeterUK

Boris,
Reporter?journalists are incredibly sloppy,they are by occupation gossipmongers,eyecatching tittletattle is their stock in trade.Facts are there to pad out the story.

Jeff

cathyf - 1. You're getting your years mixed up. 2. I'm just working with the Vandehei story, which I take to present Rove's version of events. So it's Rove - and not me - who is claiming that he knew that a TIME reporter was saying that others at TIME claimed Rove was a source on Plame when he testified in February 2004, and so he would have to be crazy to have lied about his own knowledge of it, since he knew it was likely what those others knew or believed would come out. That's Rove, according to Vandehei, not me.

You pick up on one item. Of course, we're not talking about random speculation about random gossip of unknown provenance. If we were, then Rove could not claim that it would be crazy for him to lie, since you just dismiss out of hand such random crap, it provides no argument for the craziness of lying. Also, if Rove did not mention anything about it whatsoever, it makes it harder to believe Rove knew about it since it may well be that the conversation happened after Rove's grand jury appearance.

But let's grant it, let's say it makes perfect sense, as you claim, for Rove to say not a word about any of that in his February 2004 grand jury appearance. The story is still weak. When Rove started answering the investigation, he had no reason to think reporters would testify, for multiple reasons. And what's more, he definitively did not know about the TIME claims that he learned about no earlier than January 2004. So the idea that such knowledge could explain that it would have been a suicide mission to lie simply doesn't apply to his fall 2003 testimony, when, as Fitzgerald put it with regard to Libby, the die was cast.

Now, I suspect part of what is going on is that Rove has to explain why his changed story in 2004 was in good faith and not motivated by concerns about others contradicting him. In that sense, the very fact that he didn't change his story with the supposed knowledge of what was being said at TIME means that's not what motivated him to change his story. That makes it more plausible, he is arguing, that even though chronologically he only changed his story when it looked pretty clear that the other partner to their conversation (Cooper) was going to testify and contradict him, the real motivation was the discovery of the Rove-Hadley email. In fact, the story goes, the knowledge of what was being said at TIME did not jog his memory. But the email did. Hence, Rove changed his story in good faith.

I just don't think Fitzgerald is likely to buy that. At the very least, whereas earlier yesterday, I thought Rove actually might just be confirming his part in the VNovak-Luskin-Rove stuff and be off the hook, from Vandehei's article it's clear that Rove is trying to explain his way out of an apparent corner, Chuck Robb-style. He may well succeed. But whereas I thought yesterday he was out of that corner, it seems to me now he's not.

PeterUK

"I'm just working with the Vandehei story, which I take to present Rove's version of events. So it's Rove - and not me - who is claiming that he knew that a TIME reporter was saying that others at TIME claimed Rove was a source on Plame when he testified in February 2004,"

It is neither,it is Vandehei.

boris

he had no reason to think reporters would testify, for multiple reasons

Ah yes, the conspiracy of silence. Rove thought he was safe behind the wall of confidentiality. He had absolutely no reason to suspect reporters would take the waiver at face value. No no no. Absolutely no reason to suspect anybody in the MSM bore even a hint of ill will towards the kind gentle little fuzz ball known as W's brain.

Not very smart was he? No they never are.

Sue

Jeff,

I could have sworn I read somewhere that Rove still doesn't remember the Cooper phone call. Only what the email says. Am I dreaming that?

larwyn

WH Press corp demands that TV's be tuned to CNN.
JUST REPORTED BY BRIT HUME/FNC

One hour later tv were changed from FNC to CNN in the press room.

Tony Snow hasn't even taken up the podium yet!

This is good. All WH TV's should be tuned into CNN, might get the WH to jump out faster after
hearing the memes and lies 24/7 on that dispicable
network.

Jeff

Sue - There has, I think, been some reporting to the effect that Rove says, if the email says it, it happened, but I don't specifically remember, or something like that. But there's also been reporting that the email jogged his memory.

Sue

Okay. I thought I had read where he said he still didn't remember the conversation.

cathyf

Suppose that Rove did hear before his Feb testimony that Luskin heard from some Time buddy who heard from somebody who heard from somebody whose desk was across from Cooper that Rove was Cooper's source. And he shrugged it off because,

a) every frothing Beltway partisan had been braying like a jackass for six months that Rove was the source and was gonna get frog-marched,

b) he didn't remember ever talking to Cooper before the whole Plame kerfuffle started.

Ok, now suppose Rove remembered full well the complete details of the Cooper call in Feb, 2004. So he lied in his testimony, even though,

a) Rove had a contemporaneous written record of the call which says that he did NOT "take the bait" that Cooper was offering,

b) Cooper's article was a lie if Rove's email to Hadley is correct, and skirting pretty close to a slandarous lie against Rove, so the idea that Cooper would "protect" Rove was pretty far-fetched,

c) Rove had written a blanket release encouraging any reporter who had a conversation with Rove about Plame to come forward.

Oh, yeah, committing perjury was a brilliant move. If Rove remembered all this stuff, then he would have gone to the grand jury and said, "Cooper called about welfare reform, and tried to get me to talk about Wilson, and I just laughed him off and told him Wilson was a liar and not to get too far out based upon what Wilson says." Then it would just be a he-said/he-said case, and Fitzgerald wouldn't have been able to lay a glove on him.

Look, the only plausible explanation is that Rove truly forgot, and told the simple truth. Because he truly forgot, he did not have enough information to know which lie he needed to construct and how he needed to construct it. Because if he remembered, and he wanted to lie about it, he would have used his memories to construct a functioning lie, not this lame-ass story which is so lame it's got to be true.

cathy :-)

boris

Look, the only plausible explanation ...

Jeff is impervious to logic.

It's been tried.

boris

IIRC Cooper was not one of Rove's good old buddies, a friend and confidant, true blue to the end trusted with his very soul ...

... nope, it was their 1st ever contact.

MayBee

I think there is more discrepancy in the story. Cooper is certain that Rove brought up the Wilson's wife story in their conversation and informed Cooper of the connection.

Cooper thinks Libby just did a I'm hearing that too and Rove did a "have you heard about this...?" I think that's why Fitzgerald is going after so hard here.

I don't see where Jeff sees that Rove knew in Feb 2004 that Time is talking about him being the source (besides, of course, the Frog March calls in all the press).
But I do think Rove is smart enough, if he knows he's lying about Cooper, to look into who the new guy is and who he's married to. And not put all his eggs in the Cooper basket.

Jeff

boris - Yawn. Your much-vaunted (by you) skills at logic, like your much-vaunted (by you) courage, are not as powerful or real as you think. Stick with the quackery. You're much better at it.

boris

Stick with the quackery. You're much better at it

Your response is a lame joke.

The only way this claim works is if you think Fleischer and Bartlett found it impossible to imagine

Words like "only" and "impossible" are a rhetorical attempt to set up a straw dummy argument. The "richness of the likelyhood" is that Tenet was expected to confirm that which they "certainly have spoken the talking point themselves".

Assuming the assumption they were assuming was assumable then it's unreasonable to assume if they even knew it was classified that the CIA would assume it was ok to give the presumably classified information to the unassuming reporter.

Ha ha.

boris

quack

kim

You know what a doctor can do that a duck cannot? He can stick his bill up his ass.
====================================

boris

lol

MayBee

larwyn- You know who made that demand?

Jeff's friend, VandeHei. That, my friends, is serious journalism.

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Wilson/Plame