Thursday, June 22, 2006

xymphora on Rove/Leopold

* xymphora:
"Despite dragging him back and forth to the Grand Jury, Fitzgerald was obviously getting nowhere with Rove. Did Fitzgerald’s people fear that Rove wasn’t taking their threats seriously enough? By planting the story with the only source gullible enough to run with it, and by passing the same information to Wilson to create the appearance of dual sourcing, Fitzgerald’s office made it seem that there was credible evidence that an indictment was imminent. The idea would be to use this to force Rove to give up somebody else. The story got mangled in the telling, and Rove never worried about it anyway, as he knew Fitzgerald could never convict him, and he knew he had Bush’s pardon in his back pocket should the worst come to worst. Nevertheless, the idea that this was a trick from Fitzgerald’s office makes sense, and that sourcing would explain why Truthout still cannot believe it has been had.

Fitzgerald took the pressure off himself early on by nailing Libby, but he has wasted so much time and energy with Rove that the optics of his position will mean he will need another indictment before he gives up. My guess is one of the usual names: Hadley, Hannah, Fleitz or Bolton. Bolton might be a good guess, as his insanity appears to be spinning out of control (is he off his meds?), and the old-school Republicans, for whom Fitzgerald works, would like to find an excuse to get him out of a position where he can further destroy the reputation of the United States."

interesting speculation. i don't particularly buy it - but, hey, I'm at a loss to even have a theory at this point.

Let's hope xymphora is correct about Bolton. I wonder if that would scupper his re-recess appointment? probably not.

13 comments:

Miguel said...

Fitzgerald planting a story with Truthout? Give me a break! I think Xymphora is way off on this one.

lukery said...

lol - i didnt buy it either

but i can't even find a narrative that makes sense....

emptywheel said...

I'm sympathetic to the notion that Leopold was set up by someone, though I don't believe it's Fitz. Also, Joe Wilson's "hearing this rumor" came from several journalists (one of whom I find very very credible), all getting it on single source. So at least one respectable person was telling this story.

That said, I've heard some somewhat wacky rumors of late, and believe there are people rumoring whose involvement in the investigation was thought to have been done a while ago. So either they're lying about their knowledge to somehow support the cabal. Or they're reflecting real knowledge that just doesn't exist anywhere on people's horizons of understanding of this case.

Wake up said...

Did Fitzgerald’s people fear that Rove wasn’t taking their threats seriously enough? By planting the story with the only source gullible enough to run with it, and by passing the same information to Wilson to create the appearance of dual sourcing, Fitzgerald’s office made it seem that there was credible evidence that an indictment was imminent."


Wow, something that makes Truthout's reporting seem remotely plausible by comparison (but only by comparison).

So Luskin and Rove would have no reason to believe what Fitzgerald communicated directly to them and laughed him off as a feeble bluffer despite the fact he is endowed with the authority of the U.S. Attorney General.

Recognizing his obvious impotence, Fitzgerald snapped, violated the rules of criminal procedure, the rules of professional responsibility, DOJ policy and federal criminal statutes knowing that he could only get Rove's attention by having his threats indirectly communicated to rove and Lusking by a discredited reporter working for a fringe left website with no credibility even among the vast majority of the Left.

After all, when the prosecutor explains to you what evidence he has that he thinks gives him a case it's safe just to blow him off but if Jason Leopold and Joe wilson claim to have anonymous sources saying you've already been indicted then you darn sure better cave.

Miguel said...

Wake Up,
I agree with most of what you write except for this "fringe left website".

Despite the fact that they've destroyed their credibility with this report, I don't think there's anything "fringe" about TO. They've simply screwed up a story badly and refuse to apologize and come clean, IMHO.

Wake up said...

Well, we can agree to disagree about whether Truthout is on the "fringe."

I do see folks at Democtratic Underground, Daily Kos, Talk Left and other sites I would consider "Left" but not "fringe" mostly either criticizing or ridiculing Truthout. (albeit with a few defenders chimng in too).

Perhaps all the criticism is the result of this episode (as would be true of me as I really had no knowledge of Truthout other than it existed before this) but, I certainly detect a sentiment that suggests many people think Truthout had it coming and a certain unconcealed satisfaction that it has been discredited.

Perhaps, that is simply a matter of many being glad a rival for attention (and $) from the same segment of the "audience" has been eliminated which will make their favored sites stronger, but I certainly detect a more personal or emotional element at play indicating many felt Truthout was hurting the overall liberal cause with extemism even before this fiasco.

Also, having read a good bit at Truthout since this all began, I do find striking the high proportion of folks there who ascribe to some really "fringe" conspiracy theory explanations on many subjects and who are totally unable to critically analyze information that supports their predetermined world-view no matter how bizarrely outlandish the information may be.

lukery said...

emptywheel - that was a bit obscure for me. can you type that a little more slowly pls? particularly para 2.

who is telling these rumours? are you saying that they're coming from (ex) targets/witnesses?

and re "knowledge that just doesn't exist anywhere on people's horizons of understanding of this case."
are you saying that the case is much broader/different than people have been led to believe? (which is what i've long-argued)

lukery said...

WakeUp - i dont think people thought badly of TO before this episode (and AFAIK it really isn't known for the message boards over there)

Wake up said...

I admit I never saw much of any talk about Truthout (good, bad or indifferent) prior to this saga. I was just basing my suspicion about prior (perhaps unspoken) ill will on the tone and tenot of discussions on other liberal sites. (Does AFAIK mean as far as I know?)

On your reply to emptywheel, i disagree. i see no reason to believe the case is not exactly what it appears to be-- one that began to investigate evidence concerning anyone violated disclosure laws in identifying Plame as a CIA employee but has now focused on perjury, false swearing and obstruction issues regarding interactions with the special counsel, investigators and grand jury.

I very much doubt anyone will ever be charged for conduct relating to the disclosure of Plame's identity and I'd say at most we might see charges similar to those filed against Libby brought against someone so far under the media radar (but I doubt it.)

all the rumors and speculation are just that and all of it seems to be based on absolutely no actual knowledge and mostly comes from people lacking even a basic understading of law and the practice of law.

One example, all the talking heads kept babbling about how Rove's many (I believe 5) GJ appearances indicated he would be indicted). To me that suggested that Luskin had to believe there was a very good chance Rove could avoid indictment. I still felt there was a good chance he would be indicted, but the repeated appearances before the GJ had to be something more than Rove willingly just letting Fitzgerald reel out more rope with which to hang Rove. The political considerations here might override the normal preference to take the 5th and not testify at all before a GJ you know is considering your role in a suspected crime, but before you go back for the 3rd, 4th and 5tyh times you HAVE to believe it serves some purpose other than providing the prosecution with more evidence to support your indictment and possible conviction.

lukery said...

wakeup: "(Does AFAIK mean as far as I know?)"
yep - good guess! (there's also a variant: AFAIC - where C = concerned)

re TruthOut - AFAIK they have only been tainted because of their involvement with JL.

re "...evidence concerning anyone violated disclosure laws in identifying Plame as a CIA employee... "
my long-held view is that the story about Plame's outing being "in retaliation for Wilson's comments" doesn't really stand up - and i hope/suspect (without a lot of proof) that Fitz is looking into the broader question about WHY she (and Brewster Jennings) was outed. (you may not be aware, but i have a particular interest in Sibel Edmonds' story - which could very well be related to the intentional outing of BJ (via Plame))

re "mostly comes from people lacking even a basic understading of law and the practice of law."
yep - you are correct - and that includes me. I get the sense that you are familiar with the law - and really appreciate your input here.

re "but before you go back for the 3rd, 4th and 5tyh times you HAVE to believe it serves some purpose other than providing the prosecution with more evidence to support your indictment and possible conviction."
as you note, there are also political considerations. many have argued, wrongly or rightly, that for these people, an indictment is equal to a conviction - and that they'd therefore go to any lengths to risk even an indictment.

what do you think of the scenario that Rove cooperated relatively early on, and that his subsequent GJ appearances were primarily focused on others? e.g. it is widely presumed that Rove was the source of the 250 pages of emails earlier this year.

Wake up said...

"Cooperate" is a relative term. I think Rove probably "earned" Fitzgerald's grudging acceptance that any case against him would be weak when relatively early Luskin notified Fitzgerald that Rove's alleged failure to recall speaking with Cooper about Plame had been "corrected." When Luskin disclosed the existence of emails indicating Rove and Cooper did discuss it and Rove came back to the grand jury to "clarify," the ability to establish rove's INTENT to make false statements was obviously greatly reduced. I don't think though that fitzgerald abandioned the option of indicting Rove that early. I do think he was probably considering it right up to the point he sent Luskin the letter.

I have little doubt that Rove has and is expected to continue to give testimony and statements concerning his and others actions. I don't think there is an agreement though, and it simply is absurd to think Fitzgerald got the GJ to indict Rove for perjury, false swearing or obstruction as a hammer to coerce cooperation because obviously that make his cooperation worthless in court.

lukery said...

thanks again WakeUp.

"...absurd to think Fitzgerald got the GJ to indict Rove for perjury, false swearing or obstruction as a hammer to coerce cooperation"
sure - point taken.

my question about the emails wasnt about the Rove/hadley/cooper email - but rather the 250 pages of them that turned up in april (http://www.talkleft.com/new_archives/014697.html and http://talkleft.com/new_archives/014117.html)

it appears that Rove may have been the source for those, or at least directed Fitz to their whereabouts (although luskin denied it). If Rove was the source, then can we infer anything about that in terms of another inflection point in Rove's 'co-operation'?

Wake up said...

As I have said, I have no inside information. I assume Rove has and will continue to be "cooperative" even though there is no "cooperation agreement."

I cannot say whether or not Rove directly or indirectly pointed Fitzgerald toward the Cheney office deleted e-mails that became known in the early Spring.

He may have done so directly in terms of saying what you have here is not complete; I know because some correspondence of which I am aware is not included in what the VP turned over already. That scenario presupposes Rove knew what had been disclosed by the VPs office and while it is unlikely Fitzgerald would have shared everything with Rove it is quite likely the VP's office and Rove (and other administration officials) were keeping each other abreast of materials disclosed to Fitzgerald. It's also possible that either something Rove said or materials he disclosed tipped off fitzgerald that additionl materials from the VP's office existed. (For example, Rove could have said he recalled sending or receiving correspondence Fitzgerald did not already have or FRove could have produced documents where it appeared the the VP's office was the recipient, sender or at least "cced."

I think we can be pretty sure Rove did not directly deny the existence of anything subsequently uncovered and that Fitzgerald at the least felt there was insufficient evidence Rove directed or was involved in any deletions or other efforts to conceal documents the Administration was required to produce.

I ASSUME Rove has "cooperated" because it makes sense. Perjury/false swearing. obstruction tupe charges are considered very difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt because you have to prove not only a false statement but that the statement was made with the willful intent to deceive regarding a material matter. All evidence of Rove's cooperation would certainly buttress his claims that he did not intend to deceive and make him much harder to convict than with the lack of evidence of cooperation-- and of course, in some circumatances affirmative non-cooperation could be used to bolster the arguemtn he was trying to deceive. (passive non-ccoperation, i.e, staying quiet would not be admissible).

I have no reason to believe Fitzgerald believes Rove is without sin (and I certainly do not). The problem people have is when they take that assumption -- rove did bad things and no indictment has resulted and rather than take it at face value SPIN wild tales about secret indictments and undisclosed immunity and hidden forces subverting the system in ways that contrary to the interests of both sides.

You don't have to LIKE the result or AGREE with it to simply accept the reality it is the result. When one scenario makes total sense and is completely consistent with all know facts it is not wise to reject in favor of a scenario thgat makes no sense and is completely inconsistent with all known facts.

That Rove has not been indicted and it is understood he will tell what Fitzgerald considers to be the truth if and when asked without a formal immunity agreement accounts for all known facts (Rove could still be charged if he "double-crosses" fitzgerald and the lack of an indictment DOES NOT CLEAR HIM IN THAT SENSE) and requires no flights of fancy into illogical conspiracy theories where the details would be contrary to the interests of both Rove and Fitzgerald AND INVOLVE ACTIONS AND PROCEDURES THAT SIMPLY DEFY ALL LOGIC.