Thursday, April 27, 2006

Reeling in Rove

I checked the transcript to make sure I had heard John King correctly about Viveca, Luskin, and retrieval of Karl's emails, and yes, King did say what I thought he said only the "emails," a typo on my part, is singular. To recap:

...the Rove camp says that is why he's back before the grand jury. It's a very complicated matter, but Karl Rove first went before the grand jury in 2004 and he said that he had spoken to Bob Novak, the columnist Bob Novak. He did not mention that he had spoken in July 2003 to Matt Cooper of "Time" magazine.
Now months later, Karl Rove went back to the prosecutor with an e-mail and said, "I forgot about the conversation, it was an oversight, it was inadvertent. But I did speak to Matt Cooper about this." Now how did Karl Rove find out about that? Their version of events is that Viveca Novak, the "Time" reporter was having drinks with Karl Rove's lawyer.
And he said, Bob Luskin, the lawyer, that Rove was never a source for Matt Cooper. And she said, "Are you sure about that? That's not what people at 'Time' say." And that triggered Luskin to then order this exhaustive search of Karl Rove's e-mail and then they say they found this e-mail about the conversation with Cooper. That is their version of events, which they say supports that this was an innocent oversight, that Karl Rove forgot when he first testified.
They say they hope now answering questions about Viveca Novak's account -- she talked to prosecutors in December, will clear all this up. Again, it's hard to get information on this because it is so secretive and so sensitive but Karl Rove's camp hoping that this is the ultimate resolution.
The ultimate resolution? Ho, that's wishful thinking. I'm also highly suspicious of Luskin's version of Viveca and the email tale because he's paid to represent Turd Blossom in the best light possible. Positioning Karl as shucky-durn, he's innocent, well, that's a stretch in the rough-and-tumble hardball political world that Rove stalks and plunders. A Suskind account of how Rove deals with folks who piss him off in his own party goes something like this... "We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!" Yeah, that sounds more like the enfant terrible--the real Bush's Brain--not the, "Darn, I forgot" innocent that Luskin would lead us to believe. We know Karl lies. He did to Scotty McClellan about his involvement in the Plame case. And Luskin? He's parsing his words carefully to varnish the truth with a whole lot of sugar and spice to make Turd Blossom smell nice.

Rove last testified on Oct. 14, 2005. Gail Sherman at The New York Observer posted a few weeks ago some of the same details previously published in December 2005:
[Viveca] Novak was brought in to talk to special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald in November, after the prosecutor learned that she had discussed the Plame leak with Karl Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin. In those discussions [between January and May 2004], Novak had told Luskin that Rove was a source for Time's Matt Cooper--a connection that the lawyer had previously not known."
Novak did not alert Time editors to her involvement in the investigation for 10 days, until Fitzgerald called her back to testify under oath. "Nobody was happy about it, least of all me," Novak wrote for Time in December. That was her last Time byline.
I won't get into the hasty departure of Viveca from Time. Keeping up with the can of tangled worms that Plamegate has become has gotten complicated enough without speculating on Viveca's "retirement." Jane Hamsher already explored her husband's cozy ties to his new job at the FEC and the Administration. So what's the real versus the spiel on Rove?

Larry O'Donnell at HuffPost says the WHPC buzz is, "Rove asked to return to the grand jury." That's contrary to a statement from Luskin that says:
"He testified voluntarily and unconditionally at the request of special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to explore a matter raised since Mr. Rove's last appearance in October of 2005."
Given the propagandizing nature of this WH, I'd guess Luskin has delivered 100% spiel. The difference between being asked and asking to return to the GJ, as O'Donnell pointed out, is an indictment. Hmmm, yeah, all the recent splashing in the WH tank says to me that one big fish is about to flop out.

UPDATE: Source for the timing of the conversation between Luskin and Viveca Novak came from Joe Conason at Salon.