Friday, October 28, 2005

You Went to Washington for Two Years and All I Got Was A Lousy Indictment?

10/28: UPDATE: Libby's statement, and that from his lawyer

Michelle Malkin has live blogged parts of Fitzgerald's press conference.

Q: Did Libby know whether Valerie Wilson's identity was covert?

A: ...We have not made any allegation that Libby knowingly/intentionally outed a covert agent...

Q: Terry Moran...There are some who see this is vindication of their views on the war. Is it?

A: This indictment is not about the war. Not about the propriety of the war. This is stripped of that debate and focused on a narrow transaction...they will be frustrated and not good for process and fairness of trial.

Libby indicted on obstruction of justice, 2 counts of false statment and 2 perjury charges...

Patrick Fitzgerald is in the House, the US District courthouse in Washington, D.C, that is.

Apparently the current buzz - which has been buzzing about for a few days but now newly confirmed - is that Libby will be indicted for misleading the Grand Jury that he learned of Plame through the media, when his notes say he learned of her from his boss, VP Cheney. Um, didn't he read his notes before handing them in?

Jane Hamsher suggests that these notes were found on a hard drive that Libby tried to wipe, but Fitzgerald reconstituted. Which only goes to suggest there is a lot we still don't know... Is Libby falling on his sword for Cheney over this as others have suggested? But Hamsher also warns that we should take this with a big dose of salt. And, in fact, doesn't indicate a source for this beyond the rumor mill. It does explain, though, why Libby "forgot" what his own notes said. On the other hand, perhaps it explains it too well -- in other words, it's projection. [Hat tip on Hamsher: Just One Minute]

The Corner this morning is featuring some fascinating give and take on what can be gleaned so far about Fitzgerald's prosecutorial demeanor in regard to leaving Rove under investigation - between Mark Levin, former chief of staff at the Justice Department and Andy McCarthy, for NY Prosecutor and friend and colleague of Patrick Fitzgerald.

So it looks like its going to be a mostly grinchy Fitzmas after all. But as the Captain reminds us, there are 12 days of Fitzmas to go.


10/27: Reactions to Drudge's news, based on illegal, anonymous leaks to the NYTimes, that it looks like the investigation will continue on Karl Rove and that Libby will be indicted tomorrow; there are rumors he is white collar lawyer shopping -- although you'd think he'd shop first in his former firm. After all, he was Mark Rich's lawyer. Considering the deal that guy got, too bad he can't represent himself.

At the Corner, from Mark Levin:From the New York Times piece: "Karl Rove, President Bush's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, will not be charged on Friday, but will remain under investigation, people briefed officially about the case said."

If this is accurate, and I say if, it bothers me a great deal. To continue to hang this investigation over the president's top aide seems highly inappropriate to me. If they couldn't find something on Rove by now, then move on. If they couldn't find or convince witnesses to contradict Rove by now, then move on. It appears they took another run at his assistant the other day, but may have come up empty. This is clearly disruptive to the president. And at some point you would think this would be relevant to investigators.

And from Jonah Goldberg:

Obviously, there's a lot more to know, but this sounds to me as not very good news for the White House. If Rove hadn't been indicted and Fitzgerald essentially cleared him, the White House would have been in great shape. Rove's an obvious huge asset. So, of course, if Rove had been indicted that would have been bad news for the White House but it might have had the positive benefit of ripping the band-aid right off. Rove would have been replaced, the White House could get a fresh start, etc etc. This situation (if it is the situation) brings no closure of any kind. The media is obviously going to take a glass-is-half-full perspective on this and keep up Rove-indictment-watch. That means Rove remains distracted, no fresh start. Or at least that's the way it seems in terms of very instant analysis.

AJ Strata is not the least bit happy either:

This NY Times piece is claiming Rove is in the clear, pending further investigation and Libby faces indictment for not agreeing with the press who is culpable and covering their backsides.
Fitzgerald is going to come out of this looking like an idiot. If leaking Val’s employer was not a crime, confusion over accounts about it are not a crime either.
And after two years he better have answers or admit there is simply no way to tell and move on.
Pat, you know what happened to Ken Starr’s career (rightfully) after impeachment???
Indicting those who told the truth about those who lied to America…..
Time to throw them all out of DC. The whole bunch. Media, pols and lawyers.

And Tom McGuire compares this situation, with the open indictments, to Giuliani's Wall Street investigations from the 80's:

folks who remember Giuliani's Wall Street investigations from the 80's will remember that no one was ever exonerated except by a "not guilty" verdict - once an investigation was announced, the Feds did not follow-up with an announcement that the investigation was over. That is probably all that is happening here.

Macranger, who has had some fascinating coverage, unfortunately is still on Hurricane Hiatus in Florida.


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