Dan Balz states that the WH is doing what they can to salvage what is left of the administration:
In a White House known for both defiance and optimism, yesterday’s senior staff changes represent a frank acknowledgment of the trouble in which President Bush now finds himself. They are also a signal of how starkly Bush’s second-term ambitions have shifted after a year of persistent problems at home and abroad.
Longtime Bush confidant Karl Rove — who had hoped to use his position of deputy chief of staff to usher in an expansive conservative agenda — was relieved of his policy portfolio to concentrate on long-term strategy and planning for a November midterm election that looks increasingly bleak for Republicans.
Rove probably will remain one of the most influential voices in the White House, but his shift in responsibilities suggests that new White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten intends to operate a different White House than his predecessor, Andrew H. Card Jr., who resigned after more than five years at the helm.
Last week, on April 12, Libby counter-filed to demand extensive documents in the possession of the prosecutor. His filing, written by his lawyers, reveals that he intends to put Karl Rove on the stand as a witness to question him about his leaking of Plame’s name to reporters and presumably his role in the “concerted action” against Wilson.
In his request for documents from Rove’s files, Libby dropped mention of Rove’s current legal status.
For months, Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, has assured the press that his client, who was believed to be vulnerable to indictment for perjury, is in the clear. But Libby insisted that he was entitled to “disclosure of such documents” in Rove’s files “even if Mr. Rove remains a subject of a continuing grand jury investigation”.
Karl Rove is a subject of Fitzgerald’s investigation – this is the headline buried in Libby’s filing.
In white-collar criminal investigations, individuals who fall under the gaze of a prosecutor fit into one of three categories: witness, subject or target. Rove’s attorney has suggested that Rove is simply a witness. But that is untrue. He is a subject. A subject is someone the prosecutor believes may have committed a crime and is under investigation. If the prosecutor decides he has accumulated sufficient evidence to prove guilt, he will change the designation of that person from subject to target and then indict him or her.
Regardless of Rove’s new legal troubles, from a policy standpoint, I think there is no salvation for this administration. They have no power in Congress as Republicans with a brain are running like hell from them, they have surrendered their moral authority (IMHO) on matters of privacy, individual liberty, and fiscal restraint, as well as on issues regarding torture and the like, and the next two years are simply going to be damage control for the GOP. I fully expect two years of contentious battles over nothing, demonization of everyone who dares disagree with the party line du jour, and then, after the 2008 election no matter what the outcome, a distancing from the previous 8 years.