As special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald nears a decision, perhaps as early as today, on whether to issue indictments in his two-year probe, Bush has already circled the wagons around Rove, whose departure would be a grievous blow to an already shell-shocked White House staff and a President in deep political trouble.
That’s what the Daily News has this morning, in an article that claims that President Bush knew two years ago that Karl Rove was the one who leaked Valerie Plame’s name to the press (a federal crime, in case anyone was unclear on why it’s important — and Bush, as President, is the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer).
The story begins:
An angry President Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair, sources told the Daily News.
“He made his displeasure known to Karl,” a presidential counselor told The News. “He made his life miserable about this.”
Bush has nevertheless remained doggedly loyal to Rove, who friends and even political adversaries acknowledge is the architect of the President’s rise from baseball owner to leader of the free world.
So for the past two years, while a multi-million dollar investigation went on, Bush, who had promised to fire anyone who leaked classified information, kept mum. He could have ended it all with one phone call — but he didn’t.
As you probably also expect, the question has come up: If denying that you got a blowjob is an impeachable offense, what’s this?
Here’s something they don’t mention, though: A hint from the City Pages Blotter that things may go higher than Rove:
Dick Cheney: The new conventional wisdom says that Cheney, not Rove, is the great white whale that Fitzgerald’s chasing. One has to presume that Cheney would be very hard to catch, for one simple reason: Practically everyone who stands to get in trouble for the Plame leak is in hot water over things they did in the trenches, and their later efforts to cover their tracks. Merely giving the go-ahead to attack Joe Wilson would not constitute a crime, unless it could be shown that Cheney knew he was approving specific measures that were illegal. The wild card, again, involves what John Hannah has told Fitzgerald. If Cheney had a hands-on, day-to-day role in the Wilson campaign, that’s a different matter. But if Fitzgerald had the goods to go there, why wouldn’t Cheney have been subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury by now?
The Agonist has something similar.
[UPDATE] From Whiskey Bar, What Did He Know and When Did He Know It?
I’d like to know who leaked, and if anybody has got any information inside our government or outside our government who leaked, you ought to take it to the Justice Department so we can find out the leaker … I don’t know who leaked the information, for starters. So it’s hard for me to answer that question until I find out the truth.
George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
October 6, 2003
“So it’s hard for me to answer that question until I find out the truth.”