At a Critical Mass bike ride here in Albany, New York on Friday, I decided to turn the Halloween theme into a political one, at least for myself. I’m not much for costumes and makeup. So I just slapped a sign on the back of my jacket and off I rode. My sign read, "Rove is Next."
Too bad I was wrong.
Karl Rove may in fact be bulletproof. At this juncture it is quite likely that Rove will not be indicted over the Plame affair. Scooter Libby is playing the patsy for his petty lies and fabrications. As the Washington Post reported on October 29, Rove may in fact be a witness against Libby if Fitzgerald ever gets this to go to trial, something I highly doubt. According to several news sources, Rove is actually "Official A" (p. 8, paragraph 21 of lengthy Libby Indictment). The paragraph reads:
"On or about July 10 or July 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke to a senior official in the White House ("Official A") who advised LIBBY of a conversation Official A had earlier that week with columnist Robert Novak in which Wilson’s wife was discussed as a CIA employee involved in Wilson’s trip. LIBBY was advised by Official A that Novak would be writing a story about Wilson’s wife."
If you read the paragraph closer, it does not say that "Official A" is Robert Novak’s source. What it says is that "A" had a conversation with Novak in which it was discussed that Wilson’s wife was a CIA employee. It also says that Novak was going to write about it. What the paragraph doesn’t say is whether "A" told Novak about Plame’s CIA employment or whether Novak gave Rove the information.
If this is true, it means that Rove may have made a dirty deal with Patrick Fitzgerald. Reports from Jason Leopold over at Rawstory.com said Rove’s gang of lawyers talked to Fitzgerald at the eleventh hour in hopes to forestall any indictment. They got their wish.
On his fourth visit to the grand jury it seems that Rove fingered Libby to save his own skin. He could have also cleared any potential perjury charges against him by admitting his past testimonies were misleading. As the applicable perjury statute states:
"(d) Where, in the same continuous court or grand jury proceeding in which a declaration is made, the person making the declaration admits such declaration to be false, such admission shall bar prosecution under this section if, at the time the admission is made, the declaration has not substantially affected the proceeding, or it has not become manifest that such falsity has been or will be exposed."
So there it is. If I were to put money on it, I’d say Karl Rove is going to get off scott-free. No indictments over Plamegate are in his future.
JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the brand new book, Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, which has just been published by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy at a discounted rate at www.brickburner.org. Joshua can be reached at Joshua@brickburner.org.