Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Not Dead Yet

With all the conservative crowing that the first White House official indicted in 130 years is really no big deal, there's been a growing belief on the right that the worst has passed. The Drudge rumors from yesterday suggested otherwise, but well, they came from Drudge, a man who thinks a fedora and a smirk count as "journalistic credentials." So we took those rumors with a grain of salt.

But the Washington Post? That's a different matter entirely, and the folks there seem to agree that this might be the beginning of the White House's troubles. Libby could turn on the administration to save his own hide, and Cheney could likely be called to testify:
If Libby's case goes to trial, Addington and Hannah are only two of the many White House officials -- including Cheney himself -- who could be forced to testify about how they handled intelligence, dealt with the media and built the argument for the Iraq war, according to people close to the case. Republicans worry that Libby's court fight will force President Bush to deal with the prospect of top officials testifying and embarrassing disclosures of how the White House operates and treats critics.

It is also possible, they note, that Libby will strike a plea agreement and avert a public trial. ...

Criminal defense lawyers say Cheney would probably be called as a witness in any trial, to verify and recount the conversation he had with Libby on June 12, 2003. At that time, Cheney allegedly told Libby that Plame worked in the CIA's Counterproliferation Division.
The piece continues with another bit of news that should put the clampdown on the idea that Turdblossom has escaped the Fitzgerald probe:
Fitzgerald appeared prepared to indict Rove heading into last week for making false statements, according to three people close to the probe. But that changed during a private meeting last Tuesday between Fitzgerald and Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin. It's not clear precisely what happened in that meeting, but two sources briefed on it said Luskin discussed new information that gave Fitzgerald "pause." ...

Rove remains a focus of the CIA leak probe. He has told friends it is possible he still will be indicted for providing false statements to the grand jury.

"Everyone thinks it is over for Karl and they are wrong," a source close to Rove said. The strategist's legal and political advisers "by no means think the part of the investigation concerning Karl is closed."
To quote a great American who has served as the model for this president's thinking and speaking, "It ain't over 'til it's over."


InanimateCarbonRod said...

If it really comes down to their butts vs. bad press (which will be explained away by lackeys), they will not hesitate for one second to pull out the pardon, or at least the promise of one in return for silence.

Thrillhous said...

As I've said already, I think the legal jeopardy for the white house is over. However, the political jeopardy is still very much a factor. Even if Rove doesn't get indicted, he was very clearly in the know as "Official A." His butt has to be fired, or else Bush has committed another of his patented flip-flops.

I think Holden at First Draft has an intriguing idea: a dem senator should put a hold on Scalito's nomination until Cheney and co. come clean.

Otto Man said...

That's an interesting suggestion, and a nice little bit of political judo. Bush nominated Alito to take the spotlight off the Plame indictments, but Dems can now use Alito to put the pressure back on Bush.

I like it, but I doubt we'll see a Dem with the cojones to do it. Man, I miss Wellstone.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

Billmon makes my point in a wittier fashion: http://billmon.org/archives/002323.html

ORF said...

Did anyone see that bit on the Daily Show last night where they discussed Fitzgerald's metaphor about baseball as it related to the indictment. Good god, that man is duller than dishwater!!!

Susie the Bear said...

Oh my gosh...I saw it, and it was ridiculous! Longest, most complex metaphor ever. Bleh.

S.W. Anderson said...

I doubt Libby will sell out his boss or Bush. I think that would be the case even if a pardon wasn't virtually assured.

I would be surprised if Libby hasn't been given prophylactic assurances about a pardon, all the better to steel his resolve not to rat anybody out.