Karl Rove, Andy Card and the Newly Discovered E-Mails

I'm back to connecting dots and reading between the lines of recent news reports. The New York Times reported Friday:

A lawyer with knowledge of the case said that Mr. Rove had known for more than a month that he was likely to make another appearance before the grand jury.

It was one month ago on March 28 that Andrew Card resigned, with no plausible reasons given and no future plans announced.

On September 29, 2003, the Justice Department decided to launch a full investigation into the Valerie Plame leak and then White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales told White House officials to preserve all e-mails, telephone records and logs-- but gave them a 12 hour heads up.

From the Congressional Record, October 22, 2003:

On September 23, the Attorney General says he and CIA Director Tenet sent a memo to the FBI requesting an investigation. On September 26, the Department of Justice officially launches its investigation.

Interestingly, it took 4 days after that ``official'' launch for the Justice Department to call White House Counsel Gonzales and notify him of the official investigation. ....When the Justice Department finally asked the White House to order employees to preserve documents, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales asked for permission to delay transmitting the order to preserve evidence until morning. The request for a delay was granted.

Bob Schieffer interviewed Alberto Gonzales on CBS's Face the Nation.

SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you the obvious question, Mr. Attorney General. Did you tell anybody at the White House, get ready for this, here it comes?

GONZALES: I, I told one person, ah, in, in the White House of, of the notification, and, and --


GONZALES: and immediately -- ah, I told the chief of staff. And immediately the next morning, I told the President and, shortly thereafter, there was a notification sent out to all the members of the White House staff.

Here's more on Gonazles telling Andy Card . As Think Progress noted:

So the one person who knew that an investigation was underway was Chief of Staff Andrew Card, who also happened to be aboard Air Force One in July 2003 with Ari Fleischer, Colin Powell, and the top secret State Department document that contained the identity of Valerie Wilson. So, did Card tell Rove or Libby or anyone for that matter the night before Alberto Gonzales sent out the email to staff that they would soon be asked to preserve all documents?

The AP then reported :

The White House did not immediately respond to questions Sunday about whether Card passed that information to top Bush aide Karl Rove or anyone else, giving them advance notice to prepare for the investigation.

On April 10, 2006, Jason Leopold wrote:

In early June 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney met with President Bush and told him that CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson was the wife of Iraq war critic Joseph Wilson and that she was responsible for sending him on a fact-finding mission to Niger to check out reports about Iraq's attempt to purchase uranium from the African country, according to current and former White House officials and attorneys close to the investigation to determine who revealed Plame-Wilson's undercover status to the media.

Other White House officials who also attended the meeting with Cheney and President Bush included former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, her former deputy Stephen Hadley, and Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove.

.... Throughout the second half of June, Andrew Card, Karl Rove, and senior officials from Cheney's office kept Bush updated about the progress of the campaign to discredit Wilson via numerous emails and internal White House memos, these sources said, adding that some of these documents were only recently turned over to the special counsel.

So we're back to the "recently turned over docments consisting of e-mails and internal memos." During a February 24, 2006 hearing (pdf) in the Scooter Libby case, Libby's lawyer told the Judge that 250 pages of e-mails had recently been turned over to Fitzgerald and that Team Libby would be receiving them that date. Jason Leopold has much more on their significance.

There also have been reports that Rove led Fitzgerald to the 250 pages of undiscovered e-mails. Larisa at Raw Story reported on March 27, the day before Andy Card resigned:

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.

Larissa spoke to Luskin, who denied Rove was involved with the recently discovered e-mails or that Rove had a deal with Fitzgerald. He kept to the mantra that Rove is cooperating fully as if only because it's his civic duty. She continues:

In a January letter to Libby's defense team, Fitzgerald expressed concern that some emails might be missing. "Some e-mails might be missing because the White House's archiving system had failed," he said.

Sources say that the missing emails, which surfaced only a month later were not really "missing." Rather, they had been deleted by White House staff. Fitzgerald may have been aware of this at the time of his January letter when he cited the missing emails.

If there was an intentional deletion of e-mails in the Vice-President's office, someone is going to get charged with obstruction of justice sooner or later.

In the meantime, I'm wondering, did Karl Rove throw Andy Card under the bus? Or could it have been the other way around?

< Keith Richards Hospitalized in New Zealand | Duke LaCrosse DA and Accuser's Prior Gang Rape Allegation >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Exquisite dot connecting! So, do we think that as of last Oct. 28th, Fitz was unaware of the 250 emails, or any other intentionally deleted evidence? And, given that we've heard essentially nothing about Card as a target up to this point, would it be plausible that Fitz would suddenly indict him without bringing him back to the GJ as he has with Rove?

    Currently working link for AP story: link

    Thanks, Dan. I updated the post to include the link to the AP story. Obsessed, I don't think Fitz is planning on indicting anyone besides Rove in this next round, but I could be wrong. Also, I think the investigation will continue after Rove is indicted, if he is indicted.

    Email is required, by law, under the Federal Records Act, to be preserved.

    Re: Karl Rove, Andy Card and the Newly Discovered (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 08:24:36 AM EST
    Interesting. Nice pick, Obsessed. Obsessed's cite to the Federal Records Act case makes clear that not only the data in an email is a "government record" but also the metadata. The metadata cannot be lawfully destroyed, as it is a government record. Period. Since the defendant in the case Obsessed cites was the Executive Office of the President, well, these folks can hardly claim ignorance or lack of cllateral estoppel effect. They're stuck with the decision in that case. Now, off to the books to find out whether the Federal Racords Act contains a criminal sanction, in addition to mere obstruction of justice. I had the chance the other day to read Murray Waas' article of Friday evening, re Rove's spin on why he's testifying to the GJ a fifth time. Short version: Rove's defense to perjury/false statements charges will be "those silly media folks, rushing off to press with unsubstantiated gossip labeled fact". Comment, TL? Also, Obsessed, I think Fitz likely was well aware of the "deleted" emails prior to Rover rushing in with them, if only in the sense that with this crew in the WH, a 12-hour advance notice of an investigation coming down would invariably mean they'd try to clean up the place before the cops got there. Meaning, he would have had "knowledge" there had been something destroyed or deleted, and it was just a matter of pushing until it popped to the surface.

    I'll repeat a data point I've been floating elsewhere. One of the things Fitz did in the days just after Fitzmas was meet with Adam Levine, supposedly to discuss an email Rove sent him just after speaking with Cooper. If Fitz has an email that logically must follow or immediately precede the Rove-Hadley email, he has information that should lead him to any emails that have been deleted. Furthermore, if he interviews someone about the provenance of that email, he may have even more data, that will help him determine what has happened. Which is to suggest, obsessed, that I think Fitz may have gotten more leads at Fitzmas which gave him confidence he'd be able to get to the bottom of the case of the missing emails. If he were really smart, he might have asked Luskin, "say, I'm looking for more information about how busy your client was when he forgot the Cooper conversation. Any written evidence you can give me?"