Raw Story: Fitz to Meet Grand Jury Wednesday

Update from Firedoglake:

David Shuster reported on MSNBC on Dan Abrams show at 4:35 pm ET that they were informed yesterday eveing that the G/J was prepared to meet today with Patrick Fitzgerald. But as of today, Fitzgerald was not at the courthouse today, neither were the members of the G/J. Additionally, this is a period of high anxiety for the Rove side of things, according to Shuster.

Raw Story reports that Patrick Fitzgerald will be meeting with the grand jury tomorrow to present it with the depositions of Viveca Novak and Robert Luskin, Karl Rove's lawyer. RS reports Fitz will wrap up by the end of the year.

RS believes, as I do, that Fitzgerald will charge Rove with making a false statement to federal officials in October, 2003, prior to the time the grand jury was convened. Here's RS on Fitz's meeting last week with the grand jury:

A week ago, Fitzgerald briefed the second grand jury hearing evidence in the leak case for more than three hours. During that time, he brought them up to speed on the latest developments involving Rove and at least one other White House official, the sources said. The attorneys refused to identify the second person.

That would have to be Bob Woodward's source, whom the blogosphere has narrowed down to Stephen Hadley or Richard Armitage. I'll go with Stephen Hadley.

Raw Story had an article earlier today stating that John Hannah, who reportedly has a cooperation deal with Fitzgerald, probably for immunity, told Fitz that Rove first learned of Valerie Plame Wilson (although not by her maiden name) from Scooter Libby -- not from reporters, as he first told investigators.

According to those familiar with the case and earlier reporting by RAW STORY, Fitzgerald had already obtained the cooperation of a key witness, former Deputy National Security Adviser for Vice President Dick Cheney, John Hannah. In February 2004, Hannah agreed to cooperate with Fitzgerald when the special prosecutor uncovered evidence tying Hannah to the leak and threatened to indict him, the sources said.

Hannah gave Fitzgerald the names of some White House officials who knew about Plame Wilson and disseminated her CIA status to reporters and other White House officials, the laywers said. One of the officials Hannah appears to have implicated was Rove, they added. Cheney promoted Hannah to be his assistant national security adviser following Libby’s indictment.

Cheney would not be stupid enough to promote Hannah if he remained in legal jeopardy from Fitz. Same goes for David Addington. So, I'll speculate that both got immunity.

Raw Story also says:

Rove failed to tell investigators at the time that he had spoken about Plame to Time Magazine reporter Matthew Cooper and conservative columnist Robert Novak, both of whom later cooperated in the case. Novak outed Plame in a July 14, 2003 column.


  • Kristof op-ed appears on May 6
  • Pincus article appears on June 12
  • By June 12, Libby had learned of Wilson and his wife from the undersecretary at State, a top CIA official and Cheney.
  • Wilson writes his NYTop-ed on July 6
  • Libby told Ari Fleisher on July 7
  • Classfied Memo faxed to AF One on July 7
  • Rove spoke to Novak on July 8. Novak tells Rove about Plame. Rove says, "I heard that too."
  • Rove tells Cooper about Wilson's wife on July 11
  • Rove e-mails Hadley on July 11
  • Libby flies to Charlotte, NC with Cheney and Catherine Martin on July 12 and discussion ensues on how to respond to Joseph Wilson's claims
  • Libby talks to Cooper on July 12
  • Novak's article comes out on July 14

As for those things we don't yet know:

  • We don't know who made deals with Fitzgerald for immunity and who, if anyone, made a deal to plead guilty.
  • We don't know what Fitzgerald knows about or from people like George Tenet, Colin Powell, Stephen Hadley and Richard Armitage and those who worked at the White House, like Catherine Martin and Susan Ralston.
  • We don't know the identity of the sources for Robert Novak, Walter Pincus and Bob Woodward.

No matter which way I slice it, it seems Luskin needed to pull one more rabbit out of his hat at the 11th hour. Either his grand jury testimony did it, or Viveca buried Rove.

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    Hannah rats out Rove and then Cheney promotes him? That doesn't sound right.

    Re: Raw Story: Fitz to Meet Grand Jury Wednesday (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:59 PM EST
    Consider that Rove may have ratted out Libby. And that to the White House, cooperation is a badge of honor, not a demerit--they will say they told everyone to cooperate and praise those who did.

    Re: Raw Story: Fitz to Meet Grand Jury Wednesday (none / 0) (#3)
    by Tom Maguire on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:07:00 PM EST
    Sorry, I'm with the Quaker - cooperating is one thing (they were all ordered to cooperate). Taking a plea deal and then throwing others under the bus shouldn't merit a promotion - if Hannah got immunity, what was it immunity from, and why is Cheney promoting a guy who ducked, for example, a felony charge? As a compromise, I'll bet that Hannah is cooperating, like everyone else, and Raw Story is exaggerating the basis for his cooperation. And FWIW, a false statement from Oct 2003, subsequently corrected? After we stop laughing, we are all going to point out that the Justice Department's memory wasn't so good either - they forgot to include Matt Cooper on the first subpoena when they asked for info about contacts with Novak, and Royce and Phelps of Newsday. Cooper was on the exppanded list from Jan 2004. How dare Rove overlook the same guy we did?!? That will be some fine case. Now, I have buried my lede - according to one journalist/blogger, Bob Novak said, in a speech yesterday, "His source for the Valerie Plame information is, he is confident, the same as The Washington Post's Bob Woodward's". Well, Novak's source surely gave evidence, and a failure to mention Woodward marks either a ghastly failure of follow-up questioning by Fitzgerald, or a ghastly memory by Novak's source. I have dug up *tiny* straws suggesting that Novak was hinting about Hadley. However - why promote Hadley with this cloud over him? Or are they that insane? The nice thing about Armitage is, he has retired.

    Re: Raw Story: Fitz to Meet Grand Jury Wednesday (none / 0) (#4)
    by Tom Maguire on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:07:00 PM EST
    Sorry, brain-lock - the false statement could relate to how Rove learned about Plame, rather than his chat with Cooper. But then, why not include perjury - didn't Rove have the same story to the grand jury? And if Fitzgerald's answer is, well, yes, Rove told the grand jury the same story but perjury is harder to prove - we will resume our rude laughter.

    Re: Raw Story: Fitz to Meet Grand Jury Wednesday (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:07:00 PM EST
    I think the false statement relates to from whom and when he learned about Valerie Plame Wilson. Telling the truth later to a grand jury is not a defense to a false statements charge. Recantation is available as a defense to the charge of perjury before a grand jury, not to making a false statement to a federal official under sec. 1001.

    Re: Raw Story: Fitz to Meet Grand Jury Wednesday (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:07:02 PM EST
    I just posted this at Jane's FDL. Here's the HARDBALL transcript from this afternoon. Shuster says the grand jury WAS supposed to meet but it was canceled for unknown reasons. check out Rove's comment when asked if he was going to testify today. MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. The CIA leak grand jury did not meet today, as had been scheduled. It`s unclear why. However, MSNBC has learned new information about the ongoing focus on Karl Rove, who is back under the spotlight. HARDBALL correspondent David Shuster was at the courthouse today and has this report. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAVID SHUSTER, HARDBALL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lawyers in the CIA leak case now say Karl Rove`s status could be decided at any time. This morning, outside his home... UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you expect to testify today to the grand jury or what are your plans for today? KARL ROVE, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: My plans are to have a fantastic day, working and attending meetings. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sounds good. Do you feel that Viveca Novak`s testimony will be damaging, Sir? SHUSTER: While the grand jury ended up not meeting today, lawyers expect Viveca Novak`s deposition to be read to the panel soon. Seven weeks ago, Rove`s lawyer Bob Luskin stopped charges at the 11th hour, by arguing he could prove that the presidential adviser did not intent to mislead the investigation early on. Luskin pointed to a conversation with Viveca Novak and said it refreshed Rove`s memory and prompted Rove to immediately seek to correct and update his earlier testimony. But lawyers say Novak, in a conflict with Luskin, has testified their conversation came at least five months before Rove went back to the grand jury and acknowledged disclosing information to "Time" reporter Matt Cooper. Furthermore, Rove`s change came just two days after Cooper was subpoenaed. A lingering issue, according to lawyers, is the Karl Rove e- mail, significant not just for what it says, but possibly for who turned it over and when. On the day Rove and Cooper spoke in July, 2003, Rove wrote to White House colleague Stephen Hadley, quote, "He (Cooper), immediately launched into Niger. Isn`t this damaging? Hasn`t the president been hurt? I didn`t take the bait. But I said if I were him, I wouldn`t get `Time` far out in front on this." It`s not clear whether prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was given the e- mail early on by Hadley, or received it later from Rove. That`s important, though, because from the start then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales ordered officials to find all e-mails about administration critic Joe Wilson and turn over the e-mails immediately. The investigation began following the public disclosures about Joe Wilson`s CIA wife. The first report came from columnist Robert Novak, who said he received the information from two administration officials and later added, quote, "I didn`t dig it out, it was given to me." Lawyers in the case say Karl Rove has testified being one of Novak`s sources. The other source has remained a public mystery. At a luncheon in North Carolina on Tuesday, it`s not clear which official Novak was referring to. But Novak said, quote, "I`m confident the president knows who the source is. I`d be amazed if he doesn`t. So I say, don`t bug me, bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is." (END VIDEOTAPE) SHUSTER: For the last several months the president and his spokesmen have refused to comment on whether the investigation or on whether any actions might be taken against Karl Rove. In the meantime, lawyers say the grand jury probe continues to bear down on whether Rove should face charges. I`m David Shuster for HARDBALL in Washington. MATTHEWS: Well, the plot gets thicker. Anyway, thank you, David Shuster. Up next, is the clock ticking for President Bush`s top political kick, Karl Rove? "The National Review`s" Kate O`Beirne and syndicated columnist E.J. Dionne will be here. You`re watching HARDBALL on MSNBC. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)