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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Plame Gossip - Some Armitage Confirmation

Thanks to Reality Based Educator for pointing me to this NY Daily News article in the comments of an earlier post. The main story line is confirmation of Steve Clemons' point yesterday that Armitage has been an important cooperative witness for Fitzgerald and is not expected to be indicted.

Now, this article does leave unconfirmed Clemons reporting yesterday that Armitage is the key witness against Rove although it does include an open, but teasing, line that Armitage's testimony could hurt Libby and Rove. (I agree with RBE's guess that this seems to be coming from the Armitage camp.)

There's also this bizarre paragraph, (From here on, I'm deep in speculation. Remember, I'm doing Plame Gossip here, not Plame fact. So, excercise your own judgement.)
"People don't seem to want to talk about the possibility that Karl could be named an unindicted co-conspirator," a third source close to the case said. "Can an unindicted co-conspirator remain at the White House? Personally, I don't think so."

Sheer speculation, but to me that reads like a trial balloon out of the Rove camp, or at least someone sympathetic. There've been numerous reports of dubious credibility that Rove has been offered plea deals since back in November, and it does appear that there was some sort of major meeting on the "locked down" 4th floor of Patton Boggs last Friday, still questionable whether Fitzgerald was there or not.

But, if Rove was considering a deal, I think that keeping his reputation would be a key element in his thinking. The question posed is pretty clearly as a "talk amongst yourselves" question. Start the conversations anonymously and see what the consensus is. See if Rove can keep his role as Republican kingmaker if he deals way down.

But, at this point, I wouldn't put too much into the "
unindicted co-conspirator" line, it just sounds funny to me. It doesn't have the right "feel" for what we've been watching between Fitzgerald and Rove/Luskin unless Rove is the only access point to something huge. Maybe the 250 "missing" emails, or maybe a true directed conspiracy to out Plame? But at this point, I just don't see it.

7 Comments:

  • Everything I have read confirms he damn near peed his pants when he realized what he was into and confessed to Powell and anyone that would listen what was up.

    By Blogger dusty, at 3:33 PM  

  • Now, none of those reports are from Armitage himself, but from the storyline we're getting, I agree. I wonder about the charcterization, though.

    From what I've read, he accidentally went to far, then did the right thing and spoke up. The "peed his pants" characterization seems to be coming from the Rove and Libby camps. I mean, if he was a real man he would have perjured himself, right?

    So, obviously they were trying to install some pressure on Armitage to keep his mouth shut. Not surprising, but interesting.



    My question is, if Armitage did the actual crime, why did Libby and Rove, et al, coverup.

    He was state dept, and socially and politically outside of the circle of core whitehouse folks.

    Was it just to stall the thing til after 2004 election? I find that hard to believe. Is there something bigger they're hiding? Was there a coodinated conspiracy to carefully out Plame, and Armitage stmbled into the middle of it? Or did he just go too far in his role?

    Don't know, don't know.

    Mike

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 3:57 PM  

  • One thing I've really not heard a lot about is the possibility of Rove being under sealed indictment. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Leopold may have been correct that Rove was indicted, but that the indictment is under seal. By law that remains a secret until revealed by the prosecutor. And if that's the case, can Rove keep his job as indicted, but under seal?

    Who knows. A sealed indictment might be a trading card in a plea deal. Fitzgerald is known for patience and working his way up the food chain, and I really do think Cheney is the final target. And I get the impression that Fitzy could give a rip about the politics.

    Like you say ... all speculation, but fun eh?

    By Blogger GreyHair, at 5:01 PM  

  • That's a really good question, I asked that awhile back.

    I don't see how politically the White House could continue to employ him because if it came out that they knowing were emloying someone who was indicted...

    And, if that were true, wouldn't Fitzgetrald have all the leverage in the world? Do what I say or I unseal?

    The big point to me is that if it's sealed, it very strongly suggests that there's more investigation to come.

    So far, there's fair evidence that Cheney may have at least ordered the outing of Plame, but his role in the coverup seems very unclear. Neither of those are ironclad, just suggested from the details we have, so there's no way to know.

    But, if the indictment is sealed OR Rove was offered a plea deal, it would indicate that Rove is just a small step to a much larger target.

    My working theory lately is that Libby, Rove and any other perjury and obstruction targets are merely a clearing of the evidentiary deck. That these are simply steps in gaining a clear view, and then from that, Fitzgerald can go after the Plame outers if he wants to.

    And,I have to say, dealing Rove doesn't necessarily indicate that the next step would be up the political ladder. It could also mean that Fitzgerald is looking at someone parallel or lower who committed a far graver crime.

    But Fitzgerald did telegraph one of his bits this week by releasing the Wilson editorial with Cheney's notes. He didn't have to do that to combat Libby's motion.

    Why did he do it then?

    Mike

    And, the speculation is a large part of the fun of this to me. It's like solving a mystery novel where you get certain clues and try tracking theories and such.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 5:26 PM  

  • I think it goes up to Cheney at the very least, will it ever come to light, I have my doubts. I have read that Fitz is concentrating more on who lied instead of who did it.He is meticulous and this could take years, which was also my first thought when I read Fitz's background and former cases.

    By Blogger dusty, at 6:06 PM  

  • I read that "coverup not the crime" piece, too, but I wouldn't say that's from an unimpeachable source.

    And you're implying that Bush was involved. The only evidence we have at this point of any Bush involvement is that whole bizarre NIE declassification, and at this point there's no evidence I've seen that he had anything to do with outing Plame.

    And on the coverup, there's been nothing as far as I know that would even hint that Bush was involved. I can't prove the negative here, but as far as I know there's been nothing to support Bush being involved. If he was in conversations, we don't know about it yet.

    As for Cheney, he seems certainly involved, and possibly coordinating, the Joe Wilson pushback. On the coverup, I haven't seen anything that would directly link him although we know nothing about his interview and nothing anyone else has testified to.

    I think that if the Rove indictment is not sealed, we will get a very good picture of Cheney's role as Fitzgerald sees it.

    Mike

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 8:50 PM  

  • No, I don't think the Decider-in-chief was involved..that man can't string two thoughts together..but Dead-eye..hell yes..

    By Blogger dusty, at 2:02 AM  

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