Report: Fitzgerald Will Question Rove Aide Again

Bump and Update: Raw Story reports that this information, posted on TalkLeft yesterday, is accurate. RS says Fitz is wrapping up his probe and looking to charge Karl Rove with false statements to investigators and perjury. His aide, Susan Ralston, is said not to be in jeopardy, but has been called back to the grand jury, perhaps Monday.

Original Post: 11/9

Susan Ralston is described as Rove's "right hand man." She is also a Filipino American and her involvement in the leaks probe has generated news coverage in the Phillipines. The Philippine News reports today that she will again "appear before Fitzgerald" concerning a telephone call between Matthew Cooper and Karl Rove on July 11, 2003.

Ralston appears to be a person of critical interest in the investigation, just like her boss Rove....In one of the two appearances before the Special Prosecutor, she and another Rove aide, Israel Hernandez, were asked why Rove’s phone conversation with journalist Cooper was not recorded in the logbook. The response was that Cooper did not dial Rove directly but was switched to his line by the operator.

Ralston, in her usual, briskly efficient but friendly manner, apologized that she was occupied and could not speak to Philippine News for this article. Later that day, Maria Kimmery, White House media liaison officer, called on behalf of Susan and suggested that White House press spokesman Scott McClelland’s remarks at that day’s press meeting might be helpful for PN’s purpose.

The Filipino American community is keeping close tabs on the investigation. Many of them said it would be regrettable if Ralston left the White House for any reason, but especially with a whiff of scandal attached to her name.

[hat tip Patriot Daily. TalkLeft background is here.

Going to the press briefing for July 11, which was by Ari Fleischer and Condi Rice, the relevant statement I see is this one:

RICE: But I will tell you that, for instance, on Ambassador Wilson's going out to Niger, I learned of that when I was sitting on whatever TV show it was, because that mission was not known to anybody in the White House. And you should ask the Agency at what level it was known in the Agency.

The plot thickens.

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    Note that the PN article says simply that Ralston will talk to Fitzgerald, whereas the RawStory article says she will appear before a grand jury. There was some discussion earlier about whether a new grand jury would need to be empaneled, or whether an existing grand jury could be used. Could you please clarify? Also, the most interesting line in the RawStory article is that Fitzgerald is "trying to convince the grand jury that Rove made false statements . . ." I wonder where RawStory could have gotten that information? They say it's "lawyers familiar with the case," but only Fitzgerald and his staff know what he's saying to the grand jury -- assuming he is currently working with a grand jury. It's getting interesting.

    Update: there is a Richard Sale article on this subject over at Pat Lang's website, here.

    Now Jane Hamsher says the Ralston story is strongly disputed by two sources (one at the NYT, the other a person who testified - I think I'm getting those attributions right)

    I don't understand why everyone is freaking out cause Jane Hamsher got two people, one, someone at the Times, and two a witness, to tell her the story is wrong. For one, Jane Hamsher is a hollywood producer and I doubt that she has solid sources on this story. She's great at opining and pontificating on her blog, but I just have a problem believing that her sources are better than that of full-time reporters who seem to be fleshing out this material. Plus, why would a witness who had already testified before the grand jury know whether Ralston is going to testify? How would that person know? Why would that person know? What if her source on that is Karl Rove? Clearly it's got to be someone in the Veep's office or it's Matt Cooper at Time. If it's someone at the Veep's office than it's clear that person is lying. This story seems plausible to me. Plus there's another story that's nearly identical by Richard Sale. So something is happening here. Lastly, Hamsher should at least say something about the people she has spoken with. I guess anyone with a blog can simply say a report is bogus and cite any two sources they want