Let’s start off with Larry O, who seems to still not have recovered from his meltdown on Hardball a while back. Instead of calling him bitter or shrill, we will just say he has an ‘edge’ you folks on the left will like:
Rove’s lawyer is now an on-the-record liar. The proof: Luskin told the Washington Post the other day that if Rove escapes indictment, it won’t be “the product of my particular skill or cleverness.” Whenever prominent Washingtonians resort to humility in print, they are lying at minimum about their state of mind. Luskin’s lie runs deeper than that. The truth is Rove is not yet indicted exclusively because of his lawyer’s “particular skill.”
The Washington Post profile that provoked Luskin’s one-and-only public lie stresses how good Luskin is at both the legal complexities of criminal defense work and the much simpler but time-consuming task of spinning/using the Washington press corps. If Luskin wasn’t brilliant at both of those things, Rove would be indicted now. Luskin’s use of Viveca Novak in his last minute meeting with Patrick Fitzgerald as the first grand jury’s term was expiring is what left Fitzgerald with only one name to indict.***
You’re the special prosecutor. You’re on the verge of indicting one of the most powerful White House aides in history on lying to the FBI and perjury. His lawyer makes a last minute pitch that really muddies your waters. At trial, the lead prosecution witness is going to be a Time reporter testifying about his conversation with the defendant. Now you learn that the lead defense witness is going to be another Time reporter testifying about her conversation with the defense lawyer. You know this is going to sound too weird for a jury to get past reasonable doubt. You don’t indict.
Instead, what Fitzgerald is doing now is getting Viveca Novak under oath to check how her story is going to sound to a jury. If Fitzgerald does not indict Rove after hearing from Novak, then it will be Viveca Novak who saves Rove. Which is to say it will be Luskin’s relationship with the press, with Viveca Novak in particular, that saved Rove. If Rove beats the rap, it will definitely be the product of Bob Luskin’s particular skill and cleverness.
Next up, the WaPo:
The CIA leak investigation returned to a more active stage yesterday as a special prosecutor presented information to a grand jury for the first time in six weeks.
Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald’s decision to enlist a new grand jury comes as he continues to investigate possible criminal charges against senior White House adviser Karl Rove. Rove faces possible legal consequences for not telling investigators for months that he had provided information about CIA operative Valerie Plame to Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper in July 2003.
Rove disclosed the conversation only after Cooper was subpoenaed to testify about their discussions, said sources familiar with Rove’s account. Rove maintains that he initially forgot about the contact, the sources said.
Yesterday was the first time a grand jury has met to consider the case since Oct. 28, when a previous grand jury indicted I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff. Fitzgerald, who arrived with four deputies, an FBI agent and boxes of files, declined to comment on the three-hour session as he left the courthouse. No witnesses were seen entering the grand jury room.
But several legal experts and sources involved in the case said Fitzgerald was probably providing the new grand jury with a primer on what has been learned in the investigation and what remains unresolved. They said the prosecutor’s move into a more active probe could spell trouble for Rove, or for other people enmeshed in more recent developments in the case.
Jane Hamsher, whose FireDogLake is beating us like a rented mule in the 2005 Weblog awards (go vote- we are in ninth place and sinking like anchor), comments.
Tom Maguire has alternate coverage of Plame related issues.