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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Monday, April 03, 2006

Plame Gossip - Fitzgerald Knew

Fitzgerald learned the source of the leak in the Plame case very early in 2004 according to the latest article by Jason Leopold. This article also fleshes out the letter Fitzgerald wrote to Comey to define the scope of his authority in regards to obstruction, perjury, destruction of evidence, and the other crimes of coverup.

Summarizing, Fitzgerald approached John Hannah(VP's office) who had "played a major role in the Plame Wilson leak," and threatened him with cooperation or jailtime. Hannah flipped, although no one in the administration seems to have known that, and started singing. It was shortly after this that Fitzgerald began developing perjury cases against Rove and Libby(Bush and Cheney's respective right hand men.)

This article really fleshes out the context and timeline of part of Fitzgerald's investigation. It reiterates the main point in Jason's last story,

However, Rove was actually a source for Novak and another reporter who wrote about Plame Wilson but failed to disclose that fact in nearly a dozen times he was questioned about his role in the leak.

Sources said that Fitzgerald is now preparing the paperwork to present to a grand jury outlining the charges against Rove in hopes of securing an indictment.


My only question would be, how does Hadley figure into this version of the story as the last reporting by Jason said Fitzgerald was preparing to indict Rove or Hadley? Obviously, a Rove indictment would fit that, but where does Hadley fit in? Is this telling me that Hadley agreed to cooperate so Rove went down, or that Fitzgerald had a case and was waiting to see whose name went on top? And is Rove truly the end of the investigation?

I don't know, but there's some piece missing here.

UPDATE: Talkleft makes a reasonable argument that Hadley was Novak's source, although the one Washington insider I know and some pretty good analysis elsewhere still point to Armitage. But a "Hadley as Novak's source" would meet all the requirements of the current reporting.

Bottom line, no matter my confusion over Hadley's role, the Rove indictment watch has started again.

Expect to see some sort of coordinated effort to attack Fitzgerald in the press to politically blunt the indictment, "he still hasn't found anything after two years," "nothing to do with the underlying crime," and our old favorite, "Plame wasn't covert."

I think that if Rove is indicted, it will have a moderate direct impact. Questions over this administration's honesty will be reinforced and, at least temporarily the polls will drop a little more. I just don't see an Ollie North "I did it for my country" defense flying on this one.

The real question is whether he'll go down alone or squeal to stay out of prison.

2 Comments:

  • Is this telling me that Hadley agreed to cooperate so Rove went down, or that Fitzgerald had a case and was waiting to see whose name went on top? And is Rove truly the end of the investigation?

    Damn I'm glad that you stay on top of this stuff. Personally, I think the latter. Fitzgerald has done nothing if not keep the true targets of the investigation close to the breast. Moreover, like any good prosecutor, he's using the little fish to go after the bigger fish, turning them, and then going higher--as evidenced by all of the rumors that Rove has already turned on Cheney.

    By Blogger Kvatch, at 2:27 PM  

  • That's kinda what I was thinking, but the veiled implications up the chain seem to be evaporating a little. That may be real or just my perception. I'm convinced that Cheney was involved in the leaking and probably the coverup in his office, but so far, I've seen nothing but circumstantial proof, plausible deniability.

    I do feel that that's the way Fitzgerald is operating, going up the chain,and there's some evidence that Rove has been partially cooperating, but I go back and forth on whether Cheney is the ultimate target. Personally, I think he's the top of the pyramid, but it's my belief that Fitzgerald would deal Rove out of perjury to nail the ringleader of the obstruction whether it was Cheney or not. I don't think Fitzgerald is approaching this from politics except that the profile of the players requires more care. I think he's approaching this from his version of right and wrong. He's after the biggest criminal, not the biggest name.

    But I have to say from what I know that the arrows do point to Cheney ordering at least his office's part of the coverup, and the fact that it is the top aides in both offices facing indictment and my hunch that the Card resignation is tied in, points me to think there are more big fish in the sites.

    But I just don't know, for some reason today's article reads more as closing the possibilities than opening them. May just be my state of mind.

    Mike

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 4:04 PM  

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