Report: Rove Led Fitzgerald to Deleted E-Mails

Raw Story reports, and Steve Clemons of the Washington Note confirms through a source close to Karl Rove, that it was Rove who tipped off Fitzgerald to the 250 pages of deleted e-mails in Vice President Cheney's offices relevant to the Valerie Plame investigation.

According to several Pentagon sources close to Rove and others familiar with the inquiry, Bush's senior adviser tipped off Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to information that led to the recent "discovery" of 250 pages of missing email from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. According to one source close to the case, Rove is providing information on deleted emails, erased hard drives and other types of obstruction by staff and other officials in the Vice President's office. Pentagon sources close to Rove confirmed this account.

None would name the staffers and/or officials whom Rove is providing information about. They did, however, explain that the White House computer system has "real time backup" servers and that while emails were deleted from computers, they were still retrievable from the backup system. By providing the dates and recipient information of the deleted emails, sources say, Rove was able to chart a path for Fitzgerald directly into the office of the Vice President.

Raw Story called Rove's lawyer Robert Luskin for a comment. He categorically denied it, but reiterated that Rove has been cooperating fully since day 1. Shorter version: Rove is an American hero, not a rat. Sorry, but I don't buy it.

Luskin and Rove obviously would prefer Rove to come off as Mr. Truth, Justice and the American Way -- a helpful White House official who told the truth and let the chips fall where they may -- rather than as a rat who sold out his confederates in order to avoid jail -- but no matter how they try to whitewash it, it's a rollover. And Rove can't keep it a secret forever.

I think Fitz has Rove dead to rights if, as reported, he failed to disclose his conversation with Cooper in his first interview with the FBI in October 2003 or in his first appearance before the grand jury in February 2004. Murray Waas reported in December, 2005:

Fitzgerald is said to be continuing his investigation into whether Rove made false statements, committed perjury, and obstructed justice. The investigation is focused on Rove's apparent failure to disclose his conversation with Cooper in his first interview with the FBI in October 2003 or in his first appearance before the grand jury in February 2004. In October 2004, Rove revised his testimony in a second appearance before the grand jury, saying he had indeed talked to Cooper and that he had not disclosed the talk earlier because of a faulty memory.

I think Rove has been singing his heart all along, hoping to avoid an Indictment entirely. Every time it looked impossible, he remembered a little more information to tell Fitzgerald. He'll keep telling until he gets what he wants from him.

As I wrote here,

I have never bought that Rove's October, 2005 grand jury testimony was just to clear up issues about welfare reform and other details of his conversation with Cooper. I thought at the time that Rove went back to the grand jury to provide last minute testimony against others, such as Libby and Cheney, and for all we know, Hadley.

If there was intentional deletion of e-mails in the Vice-President's office, someone is going to get charged as a result of it. As defendants, they will get reports of Rove's involvement. The Government will have to disclose whether any witnesses got leniency or avoided prosecution for their own misdeeds by providing information about others. At some point, the world will know.

My instincts tell me Rove will still have to plead to making a false statement to federal officials -- but he's now worked himself down to probation and no jail in exchange for his cooperation. Fitz may allow him to remain uncharged until at least Libby's trial is over, and then let him plead to an Information charging a single false statement count. As I said here,

If they reached a deal, an Indictment is not necessary. A defendant can waive the right to be charged by Indictment and plead to an Information which is filed by the prosecutor. It's an ordinary occurrence in my district.

If they reached a deal where his continued cooperation is necessary, he can work with the successive grand jury. Or the investigators. After the people he gave evidence against decide to plead or go to trial, that's when he will get an additional 5k benefit. If he works hard enough and brings results, Fitz could request a probation-eligible sentencing zone for him.

Bottom line: Whether Karl Rove gets charged or not, there's no way I can see that he didn't sing his heart out and incriminate others.

There's lot's more of this reasoning below:

Back to the question of the deleted e-mails. Who in Cheney's office will this reach, and how high? Does Fitz have corrorborating testimony from others who have flipped in the case? Is Cheney out of the woods? While I doubt Cheney physically deleted e-mails, I wouldn't be suprised if some of the emails deleted by people in his office contained details of conversations with Cheney about Plame or instructions he gave on how to respond to the investigation.

If Raw Story's report is accurate, obstruction of justice charges are not far away.

Bob Dylan once sang, "But even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked." The same may hold true for the vice president and every one of their aides.

[Parody Graphic created exclusively for TalkLeft by CL.]

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    Re: Report: Rove Led Fitzgerald to Deleted E-Mails (none / 0) (#1)
    by desertswine on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 01:41:17 PM EST
    Rove versus Cheney. Oh boy, this could be fun. Pop open a beer and pull up a chair.

    Re: Report: Rove Led Fitzgerald to Deleted E-Mails (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peaches on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 02:03:37 PM EST
    According to Katherine Armstrong, a hunting party has been scheduled at the ranch for Mr. Cheny and Mr. Rove this weekend. Lets see who is the best shot.

    We finally have an offense Rove could be fired for: disloyalty. Really, though, would it be that big of a surprise to a prosecutor that the White House backs up their e-mail? This sounds like non-help that he's hoping will produce a get out of jail free card.

    Dumb question: what's the difference between a staffer in the OVP and an official with the OVP?

    Lord, I hope they don't mean that literally.

    Turdblossom..is there another fleur with an odeur as sweet? Not in these most impeachable times, baby!

    Re: Report: Rove Led Fitzgerald to Deleted E-Mails (none / 0) (#7)
    by ding7777 on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 06:37:24 AM EST
    Were they deleted during Andy Card's 12 gap? Is that why Andy resigned?

    Re: Report: Rove Led Fitzgerald to Deleted E-Mails (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 07:03:12 AM EST
    Heh. Heh, heh.
    Rove was talking to an aide about some political stratagem in some state that had gone awry and a political operative who had displeased him. I paid it no mind and reviewed a jotted list of questions I hoped to ask. But after a moment, it was like ignoring a tornado flinging parked cars. "We will f*ck him. Do you hear me? We will f*ck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever f*cked him!" As a reporter, you get around--curse words, anger, passionate intensity are not notable events--but the ferocity, the bellicosity, the violent imputations were, well, shocking. This went on without a break for a minute or two. Then the aide slipped out looking a bit ashen, and Rove, his face ruddy from the exertions of the past few moments, looked at me and smiled a gentle, Clarence-the-Angel smile.
    --Ron Suskind: Why Are These Men Laughing? Sharks attacking their own wounded. What goes around... etc.

    Re: Report: Rove Led Fitzgerald to Deleted E-Mails (none / 0) (#9)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 07:17:40 AM EST
    Monkey Boy has set about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Fasten your seat belts folks this going to be a thrilling ride. I only hope they come out well before the 06 elections.

    Re: Report: Rove Led Fitzgerald to Deleted E-Mails (none / 0) (#11)
    by orionATL on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 09:09:40 AM EST
    thank you for persisting in reporting on a portion of the story concerning the white house attack on the wilsons. there are so many new stories of consequence out there that it would be easy not to find time to comment on legal aspects of the libby/rove/fitzgerald entwinement. it is a charcteristic of our times that we rarely follow a single news story thru to the end. not doing so makes it much harder for this society to learn from events involving government misconduct. thanks fopr keeping us up on events in this drama.

    Re: Report: Rove Led Fitzgerald to Deleted E-Mails (none / 0) (#12)
    by orionATL on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 09:17:28 AM EST
    wait a minute. "...obstruction of justice charges are not far away." i'm just gossiping but andrew card resigns. hmmm. wonder if gonzales might get vacuumed up, too?

    That wouldn't suck.

    Re: Report: Rove Led Fitzgerald to Deleted E-Mails (none / 0) (#14)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 09:33:45 AM EST
    ding7777- Nice point!!
    Were they deleted during Andy Card's 12 gap? Is that why Andy resigned?
    That must be when they were deleted and obvoiusly Card is on the hot seat for his sanitization oversight. My question is whether or not he is a subject/target of Fitzpatrick's probe. Wouldn't it be sweet if Ashcroft was also in his sights.

    Jason Leopold is reporting that based on lengthy interviews with insiders, indictments will be likely for Rove and/or Hadley in about a month.

    Goodasgold To me you are, good as gold. YOU MADE MY DAY.

    I read that Fitz was giving a satisfied look at Rove outside the court house. I keep wondering (and more than likely this isn't going to happen, but a guy can dream--can't he?), what if in trying to save his behind from Perjury or Obstruction--Karl implicated himself or the OVP's office in a bigger crime? Title 18, Sections 793 and 794 anyone? After all, no one seems to be hiding from the original crime. Perhaps it doesn't matter that Plame was covert. I'm certainly not suggesting the IIPA (something Victoria Toensing and her half baked hubby would push as a Straw Man argument), as that has a higher threshold than both 793 and 794. It would certainly put a fork in the administration and the Republican party.