Friday, April 28, 2006

Rove's splashing in the tank

Being a working artist means I miss reading my favorite bloggers and journalists on a regular basis and I overlooked attribution to Jane Hamsher for originally scooping the Viveca Novak story back in December at HuffPost. Sorry, Jane, I love ya but life happens.

With that said, Jane examines two theories on what Viveca Novak has to do with Karl Rove. I agree with Jane: MSNBC David Shuster's report seems more real. The second account from WaPo's VandeHei reeks of Luskin fishy spiel.

After absorbing vintage Plame reading from Hullabaloo and Jane, I can't say what appears to me to be reality better than Digby's primer:

The Rove version of events seems to be that Rove heard about Plame from "someone outside the white house" whose identity he can't remember. Although he lied about it to the FBI, he admitted to the Grand Jury that he confirmed that Plame was CIA to Bob Novak and that Novak told him that he was going to write a story about it. But he also said that it wasn't until July 10th or 11th, when he happened to be chattering in the office to Libby about this Novak call, that he really learned about Plame. He then spoke to Matt Cooper (on the morning of the 11th) spilled the beans about Plame, shot off an e-mail to Hadley saying that he "didn't take the bait" --- and then forgot all about that Cooper conversation and the e-mail.
He didn't remember talking to Cooper when, just a week after the conversation, all hell broke loose in Washington when Novak's column came out and it was revealed that Plame was an NOC.
He didn't remember when he was asked to search for any documentation about Wilson and he didn't find that e-mail to Hadley either.
He didn't remember the conversation with Cooper when the FBI talked to him and he didn't remember it when he first testified before the Grand Jury.
It wasn't until the following spring when Viveca Novak "pushed back" Bob Luskin, revealing that she knew Rove was Cooper's source and Luskin then fortuitously "found" the missing e-mail, that Rove apparently remembered the conversation.
Oddly, throughout this time he apparently did remember the Novak confirmation. And it would seem (although we don't know this) that he remembered the Libby conversation from the beginning while completely forgetting he talked to Cooper or wrote an e-mail to Hadley on the very same day.
After the miracle e-mail appears, Rove testifies to the GJ in October of 2004 about his conversation with Cooper. He has no reason to worry about what Cooper might say because even though he issued a "waiver", Cooper is refusing to testify and he and TIME are fighting all attempts to get them to cooperate.
At this point, it appears that all anyone knows is "gossip" that Cooper and Rove spoke. Rove says the Plame matter was a passing reference in a conversation about welfare reform.
But TIME, surprisingly, gives up the notes the next summer when the Supreme Court refuses to take the appeal and Cooper's lawyer finds a way to get Rove to release Cooper from his promise on the day he is slated to go to jail. Unfortunately for Rove, Cooper testifies (and his notes confirm) that Rove never mentioned welfare reform and spoke at greater length and in much greater detail about Plame than he had testified to earlier.
Again, it seems that Rove has not been completely forthcoming with the prosecutor.
Fitzgerald apparently did not buy the convenient Hadley e-mail memory restoration business. (He may have been convinced that other aspects of Rove's story don't add up either.) He was ready to indict. It is supposedly at this point that Luskin comes forward with yet another piece of previously undisclosed information --- reporter Viveca Novak is the one who set him on the trail of the Hadley e-mail back in the first part of 2004, long before Karl could have known that Cooper was on the hot seat. How this is supposed to exonerate Rove, we still don't know.
Digby provides more worthy of a click on Luskin's spin and Viveca Novak that I highly recommend.

Conditional upon the two Novaks' testimony, Viveca and Bob (no relationship), Rove may be charged (as was Libby) with perjury, false statements, and obstruction of justice. Karl's trip No. 5 to the witness stand might have helped Fitz to reel in a few more details in determining what charges to prosecute. Who knows? A conspiracy charge could pop up in the future. Depends on the Novaks, what documents Fitz has gathered, other key testimony (for example, Susan Ralston, Rove's aide) and whether Libby will eventually flip.

After U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton rejected a motion by Libby to dismiss charges yesterday, Scooter might turn on Rove and maybe the Veep Creep himself for a reduced sentence. If Democrats win back either the House or Senate this fall, I suspect the red-hot frying pan of subpoena power could motivate Libby to cooperate. And Rove? He's too much of a sociopath to ever admit he did anything wrong and could probably pass a polygraph lying through his pearly whites.

I'm fairly confident Fitz will land ol' shark breath and we can fire up the barbie in two to three weeks after lawyers in the Special Counsel's office finish scrutinizing transcripts of Rove's voluminous inventions. The real question... will a Fitzmas feast follow with a few more whoppers in the net? Maybe... next year. I could be wrong but I am certainly entertained.