Fitzgerald, Cooper, Sauber, Rove , Luskin and Ginsberg

No, Fitzerald, Cooper, Sauber, Rove , Luskin and Ginsberg is not the name of a law firm. Here are the dots.

I've been wondering why there has been no comment from Karl Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, since the information came out about Rove's right and left hand aides being called to the grand jury last Friday. The LA Times reports Luskin declined comment. I haven't found anything with a comment from Luskin, but think this August 1 Legal Times interview (subscription required) with Richard Sauber, Matt Cooper's lawyer, is interesting and may shed some light on Luskin's silence. Sauber says that Fitzgerald isn't disclosing his hand, either in conversation or in body language.

LT: From all that you've heard and all of the people you have spoken to, what do you think Fitzgerald is aiming for?

RS: I spent a lot of time on the phone [with Fitzgerald] and in person. He was so careful not to give away anything -- even with body language -- any indication of what he was looking at or where he was going. It was quite astonishing how uncommunicative he was. So the short answer is, I don't know.

But the only clue is that he submitted some fairly extensive material under seal. Every judge who has commented on that [has said] how impressive the showing is and how important this case is to national security. All I can surmise is that he has a substantial amount of evidence to continue a fairly robust investigation. And it does involve classified material.

I'm coming to the conclusion that Fitzgerald isn't being any more forthcoming with Luskin than he has been with Sauber or any other defense lawyer, hence Luskin's recent silence. I wonder whether Luskin was suprised that Fitzgerald called Rove's aides to the grand jury. Most likely he found out from the aides' attorneys, after the subpoenas were issued and before the aides testified. Even though the attorneys may have told Luskin what their clients intended to say in their testimony, and later, after they testified, what the aides remember being asked and how they answered, I think Luskin isn't as sure as he has been in the past that his client isn't morphing from a subject into a target - hence, his silence.

All of this brought me to wondering how Rove hooked up with Luskin, a known liberal. Here's the answer from California law newspaper The Recorder (subscription required):

Luskin met Rove through a referral from Patton Boggs partner Benjamin Ginsberg, a legal adviser to the Bush-Cheney campaign who in August 2004 resigned after revealing that he had also advised the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that sought to discredit John Kerry's military record.

Which now makes me wonder whether Ginsberg, as a partner of Luskin's, isn't one of the frequent "sources familiar with Rove's grand jury testimony." Is Ginsberg serving as an ex-officio, behind the scene counsel to Rove? Don't forget, Ginsberg both represented the Bush campaign during the 2000 Florida recount and served as counsel to the Bush 2004 re-election campaign.

The last quote I see from Luskin is in a July 25 Wall St. Journal article (free):

The grand jury's term "ends in October, but could be extended for six months if prosecutors believe there is a reason to continue." Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, "said that generally speaking, it wouldn't be unusual for a federal prosecutor to hold the current grand jury over." Among other things, prosecutors "seem to be interested in whether administration officials' stories match those of the reporters they talked to." Rove's "recollection of his conversation with Mr. Cooper may be of interest because of divergences with Mr. Cooper's account of its details."

So there have been no statements in the last nine days from Luskin reiterating that Rove is not a target. Is Luskin tired of repeating himself? Doubtful. Is he unsure? I suspect he is.

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  • Re: Fitzgerald, Cooper, Sauber, Rove , Luskin and (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:53 PM EST
    Great catch about Ginsberg. Another possibility is that Luskin may have realized that he was not helping his client. He said some stupid things in the past, but that may be giving him too much credit to think he notced. But I like the idea better that, as you imply, Rove may already be a target. There us nothing that compels Fitzgerald to publically say that he is now a target. I hope Fitzgerald is really almost finished with his investigation. I can not see them keeping him on after Oct.; Comey is gone, there seems to be a Chicago based shake up in the Justice Dept. kos has some details.

    Here is a comment on a post by Lawrence O'Donnell at huffington link Could anyone here comment on the post and Peter's comment on the 8 missing pages? [text deleted]

    Re: Fitzgerald, Cooper, Sauber, Rove , Luskin and (none / 0) (#3)
    by theologicus on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:55 PM EST
    There are still several imponderables. For example: 1. Will Fitgerald be able to continue his investgation after October if he wants to? What will happen if he is prevented? Does he have enough to press charges anyway in some matters? 2. Will Fitgerald be given the axe in a new Saturday night massacre? If so, what will be the fall-out? Would the media give the administration another pass? 3. Wil Rove and others be granted immunity, if possible, or a presidential pardon? Again, how much fall-out would there be? Clearly it ain't over till it's over.

    Re: Fitzgerald, Cooper, Sauber, Rove , Luskin and (none / 0) (#4)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:55 PM EST
    Why is Libby's nickname Scooter? What a bizarre nickname for a grown man.
    Maybe he wanted to play shortstop for the Yankees.

    Re: Fitzgerald, Cooper, Sauber, Rove , Luskin and (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:55 PM EST
    John Dean is an excellent source for legal tidbits for he has been following this one quite closely, 8 15 03 ,1 6 04, 10 10 03, 4 22 05 to some of the other charges, besides the difficult to prove Identities Protection Act, that can be brought against the leaker(s) are The Espionage Act of 1917, The ,Federal Conspiracy Statute, similar charges brought against Jonathan Randal. Immunity granted in the North case may not apply here because witnesses after North testified were considered tainted because of the much greater press coverage and leaks then; Fitzgerald has held tight ship and had done most of his work before the case hit the front pages. All of Deans Plame pieces are here.

    theologicus, Interesting questions. Here's what I think, for what it's worth. 1) I think he will be able to continue past October. From a legal standpoint it looks like he has enough to charge someone with a crime, and since that crime may be conspiracy it would make sense to allow him more time to try to nail everyone involved in said conspiracy. On the political side of things, he's already gotten so much praise for being thorough, deliberate, etc. that it would look strange if the investigation was cut short. 2) I don't think they'll axe him, and if they do the fallout will be huge. Again, so much praise from right and left (I think even Bush said he had "every confidence" in him), and the media has finally taken a liking to this story (recall circus press conferences with poor ol' Scott). 3) This is tricky. They may well get out of doing time, and I don't think the fallout would be good...but who knows? Clearly it really ain't over till it's over, and we've got a long way to go.