Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Plamegate Rodeo Roundup

Lots of news hit fast and furious last night, and I want to cover it all before it all comes out in the public. Don’t worry, I summarize at the bottom, if this is too long and you didn’t read.

First up, Steven C. Clemons of the Washington Note reported:

October 25, 2005
Indictments Coming Tomorrow; Targets Received Letters Today

An uber-insider source has just reported the following to TWN (since confirmed by another independent source):

1. 1-5 indictments are being issued. The source feels that it will be towards the higher end.

2. The targets of indictment have already received their letters.

3. The indictments will be sealed indictments and "filed" tomorrow.

4. A press conference is being scheduled for Thursday.

The shoe is dropping.

Okay. On the surface only five indictments might seem like a bad thing, but it could also mean that the bigger fish are about to fry. Kos put it best:

But for those of you who were seeking quantity, remember that quality is better. We know that many of the smaller fry have been flipping, which in turn works to bolster the case against those at the top ultimately responsible for the wrongdoing.

Kos also connected the dots on a fairly major drama bomb:

Fitzegerald (sic) still working hard according to the LA Times.

As his investigation nears a conclusion, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has returned his attention to White House adviser Karl Rove, interviewing a Rove colleague with detailed questions about contacts that President Bush's close aide had with reporters in the days leading up to the outing of a covert CIA officer.

Fitzgerald has also dispatched FBI agents to comb the CIA agent's residential neighborhood in Washington, asking neighbors again whether they were aware -- before her name appeared in a syndicated column -- that the agent, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA.

Reuters talked to one of those neighbors:

Marc Lefkowitz, who lives across the street from Plame, told Reuters two FBI agents asked him on Monday if he knew about Plame's CIA work before her identity was leaked to the press in 2003. Lefkowitz said he told them: "I didn't know."

Two lawyers involved in the case said such questioning could indicated that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald intended to charge administration officials for the leak itself, in addition to possible charges for easier-to-prove crimes like perjury and obstruction of justice.

So Fitzgerald is still looking at the leak itself, not just the perjury and obstruction of justice stuff.

Then, less than two hours later, Kos came up with this from Roll Call:

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was spotted Tuesday at the law offices of Patton Boggs paying a visit to Robert Luskin, the eccentric (for Washington, D.C.) lawyer who represents Karl Rove.

Though HOH heard about the visit from a well-placed source, Luskin refused, if politely, to confirm why or even whether Fitzgerald visited him.

The rumor floating around Patton Boggs Tuesday was that there "may" be no indictments this week because Fitzgerald "may" need to seek an extension from the presiding judge to wrap up his investigation of Flamegate (or Plamegate for those of us who aren't Judy Miller).

An extension would be little wonder, given The New York Times' whopper revelation that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby first heard about the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame not from journalists, as he initially claimed, but from his boss, Vice President Cheney. Of course, anything would be little wonder at this point.

Sources, by the way, report that Rove himself was spotted visiting his lawyer on Friday.

Indictments may or may not be coming this week, and they may or may not be coming today. Fitzgerald seems to still be investigating something, but what…well, let’s review, shall we? According to the Washington Note story, the targets of the indictments have already been sent letters, which could explain Fitzgerald’s visit to Patton Boggs; he could be attempting to make a deal with Rove, which would also explain the extension…if there are bigger fish in the pond, say, a Cheney, for example, he may need time and a deal from someone like Rove to flip on Cheney. I know party discipline and loyalty is everything to these folks, but I wouldn’t put it past Rove to flip on Cheney. At least it wouldn’t be his boy.

I don’t know. I suppose we will see what happens in the next few days.

Posted by crimnos @ 8:12 AM