The NY Times comes out swinging:
Nearly two years after stating that any administration official found to have been involved in leaking the name of an undercover C.I.A. officer would be fired, and assuring that Karl Rove and other senior aides to President Bush had nothing to do with the disclosure, the White House refused on Monday to answer any questions about new evidence of Mr. Rove’s role in the matter.
With the White House silent, Democrats rushed in, demanding that the administration provide a full account of any involvement by Mr. Rove, one of the president’s closest advisers, turning up the political heat in the case and leaving some Republicans worried about the possible effects on Mr. Bush’s second-term agenda.
But the story ends with a balanced ‘fizzle’:
Based on the e-mail message, Mr. Rove’s disclosures are not criminal, said Bruce S. Sanford, a Washington lawyer who helped write the law and submitted a brief on behalf of several news organizations concerning it to the appeals court hearing the case of Mr. Cooper and Judith Miller, a reporter for The New York Times. Ms. Miller has gone to jail rather than disclose her source.
“It is clear that Karl Rove’s conversation with Matt Cooper does not fall into that category” of criminal conduct, Mr. Sanford said. “That’s not ‘knowing.’ It doesn’t even come close.”
There has been some dispute, moreover, about just how secret a secret agent Ms. Wilson was.
“She had a desk job in Langley,” said Ms. Toensing, who also signed the supporting brief in the appeals court, referring to the C.I.A.’s headquarters. “When you want someone in deep cover, they don’t go back and forth to Langley.”
The predictable outcome is another blast of anger from both sides. Personally, I will stick with Tom Maguire’s analyses (the most recent installments are here and here), although not necessarily his conclusions.