Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More Plame weirdness as Rove set free

I take everything the media reports with a grain of salt. Remember the march to war in Iraq? WMDs? Aluminum tubes for uranium enrichment? The threat of Saddam's nuclear program? The erroneous reporting from NYTimes', Miss Run Amok, Judy Miller? Yeah, don't throw a party just yet.

Being a former prosecutor herself, Christy at FDL raises the pertinent issues on this morning's news reports that Rove has been cleared according to Karl's lawyer, Luskin:

If Luskin is coming out and saying publicly that they got a letter from Pat Fitzgerald which says that Rove will not be charged, there are two things that I want to see and know:  (1) what does the letter actually say, word for word; and (2) does it say something along the lines of "Please thank Karl for his cooperation in this matter." 
Johnston [of NYTimes] has always seemed to have good sources within the Luskin/Rove camp (although, frankly, who didn’t last year when Luskin may have called every reporter in the universe).  So it’s not surprising that Luskin would pick the NYTimes as his outlet for announcing news of a letter freeing-up Rove (if, indeed, that is what it fully does…although, I have to say, in all honesty, as an attorney you would never make an announcement like this without something in hand from the prosecutor which purports to say this — you’d never be taken seriously in any other case otherwise…).
Johnston wrote:
In a statement, Mr. Luskin said, "On June 12, 2006, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove."
Yeah, I want to read the Fitzgerald letter for myself. Maybe the letter guarantees immunity for cooperation. In lawyer-speak, Fitz wouldn't "anticipate" charges against Rove if a tit for tat agreement was reached. Who knows? What's key is watching how the Cheneyoids react and how the press spins the news.

Christy criticized the limp-wristed media for glossing over the Plame case (with emphasis):
Rove was not the only person that Fitzgerald was looking at in the grand scheme of this investigation. And to spin this as the case being over is laziness on the part of David Johnston — and the media writ large, frankly — who have never dug into this case to realize that the players were larger than the Libby and Rove narrative frame that the corporate media types have conveniently used throughout the investigation.  And that the be all and end all of the case was not the ultimate criminal charges, but the exposure of the smarmy underbelly of the Bush Administration and their standard MO of attacking, with a vengeance, anyone who dares to question them — even when those questions are not only appropriate but also expose them in a lie.
I’ve said this before, and I will say it again: unless and until I hear it from Patrick Fitzgerald, the investigation continues to be ongoing. Which means that there are still potential developments down the road, should the evidence (like handwritten marching orders on the Wilson op-ed in Dick Cheney’s handwriting) lead there.
And I’ve also said this, and it is worth a reminder:  Patrick Fitzgerald and his team are career professionals.  You do not charge someone with a criminal indictment merely because they are scum.  You have to have the evidence to back up any charges — not just that may indicate that something may have happened, but you must have evidence that criminal conduct occurred and that you can prove it....
NYTimes reported (with emphasis):
In his statement Mr. Luskin said he would not address other legal questions surrounding Mr. Fitzgerald’s decision. He added, "In deference to the pending case, we will not make any further public statements about the subject matter of the investigation. We believe that the Special Counsel’s decision should put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove’s conduct."
But it was evident that Mr. Fitzgerald’s decision followed an exhaustive inquiry into Mr. Rove’s activities that had brought the political strategist dangerously close to possible charges. In October, when Mr. Libby was indicted, people close to Mr. Rove had suggested that his involvement in the case would soon be over; speculation about Mr. Rove’s legal situation flared again in April when he made his fifth appearance before the grand jury.
Christy brings up the unresolved issue of Dick Cheney's involvement. Maybe Karl flipped on Cheney to save his own skin, something I've previously speculated. Maybe Truthout's report about the Sealed v. Sealed indictment hasn't materialized because Rove pre-empted a jury trial with a sealed presidential pardon. I've never heard of such a tactic, but with the Bush II WH, executive power has reached an unprecedented level. Or Fitz has used the sealed indictment to force Rove's cooperation in hunting bigger prey. Since we can't read the Fitz letter that Luskin cites, we'll have to wait for justice.

Whether Fitz can't prove his case against Rove to merit an indictment, Truthout fell off the reality wagon, Rove cut a deal for immunity or used a "sealed" presidential pardon to erase his alleged May 10 indictment, Truthout's Jason Leopold needs to out his sources. Regardless if he's free from prosecution, Rove can't escape the impending civil lawsuit Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame are expected to file. Look at what happened to OJ Simpson.

Fitzgerald continues to demonstrate that he's as solid as a rock in prosecuting a case based on evidence that he can prove. Sand in the umpire's face makes it harder, but the game has lapsed into extra innings. With all the speculation, one thing's for certain. The Plame investigation ain't over until Fitzgerald says it's over. A jury hands up indictments or not, a defendant pleas or stands trial, and then a jury convicts or acquits. Those are the facts.

UPDATE: Digby reminds how Rove is still a lying, scumbag piece of shit and his "testimony should be very interesting."

UPDATE II: I'm in good company on the Rove has flipped theory. As I've said before, Bush's Brain could conveniently remove Cheney. Who needs him?