April 26, 2006 — LATE EDITION Recently reassigned Deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove volunteered to testify this afternoon before a grand jury investigating the leaking of the name of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson to the media in an effort to discredit Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his conclusions that the Niger-Iraq uranium claims by the Bush administration were false. Rove was before the grand jury, without his lawyer in attendance, from 12:30 to at least 4:00 pm. Informed sources speculate that Rove only agreed to testify because he and his attorney Robert Luskin have received a “target letter” from Fitzgerald, an indication that at least one indictment is forthcoming. Rove’s lawyers and political friends are spinning the story that Rove is being cooperative with special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and has not received a target letter. Anytime major media reporters refer to “legal sources,” they are talking about Rove’s attorneys and GOP friends. The prosecution side has been noted for a total lack of leaks to the media. Last week, in court filings by Fitzgerald, Rove was named as a “subject” of the investigation for the first time. After securing a conviction against former GOP Governor George Ryan in Illinois last week, Fitzgerald’s renewed efforts in the Leakgate case resulted in the current flurry of activity related to Rove.
Rove: Legal trouble looming in CIA Leakgate case
Rove’s appearance before the grand jury meeting at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, the scene of the indictments in Watergate and the Iran-Contra scandals, was his fifth. Rove’s last appearance before the grand jury was in October 2005. That was a few just prior to the garnd jury indicting Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff I. “Scooter” Libby on five counts of criminal activity. Today, Rove prepared for his grand jury testimony by meeting with his attorneys while President Bush was announcing the appointment of Fox News’ Tony Snow as the new White House Press Secretary. Snow’s appointment is an indication that the White House, anticipating major legal problems on the CIA Leakgate front, felt it necessary to fire Scott McClellan, viewed as a disingenuous amateur, by an experienced Fox-trained spinmeister and propagandist like Snow.
U.S. intelligence community insiders also speculate that CIA Inspector General official Mary O. McCarthy was fired on orders of a White House already aware that Rove would soon be indicted in an effort to demonstrate that even the CIA leaks classified information about itself. McCarthy, who denies she was the source for the Washington Post’s story on secret CIA torture prisons in Eastern Europe, was, nevertheless, fired a week before she was eligible for retirement. However, the White House and right-wing media spin machine beat the drum that McCarthy admitted leaking the information following a polygraph.
An indictment of Rove will largely remove him from engaging in dirty political tricks in an attempt to keep the Congress from going to the Democrats in November election. Rove’s recent reassignment by new White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten was seen as an attempt to reduce Rove’s visibility but keep him engaged in the GOP election strategy. An indictment of Rove would effectively remove him from both the White House and the GOP political campaign.