Leopold: Fitz Considering Obstruction Charge Against Rove

It's the e-mails, as Jason Leopold reported previously and reports again today. Those 250 pages of documents that Patrick Fitzgerald told Team Libby about in his January 23 letter (pdf) and turned over to the Libby defense team in February. I thought the e-mails were all from the Office of the Vice President, but Jason reports they are also from the Office of the President, and a review of Fitz's letter (page 7) shows this to be the case.

In February, TruthOut was the first to report the existence of the 250 pages of emails from Vice President Dick Cheney's office and the Office of the President that were written in mid-2003.

Some of the emails and memos were written by Rove, and are part of a growing body of evidence suggesting he lied to the grand jury and the FBI and may have obstructed justice during the course of the investigation. It was following their disclosure that Fitzgerald advised Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, several weeks ago that he intends to indict Rove for perjury and lying to investigators. The lingering question, sources close to the case said, is whether Fitzgerald will add obstruction of justice to the list of charges that he has already drafted against Rove.

Sure, the Matt Cooper - Karl Rove conversation and Hadley e-mail is also an issue, one that likely will lead to a false statements and/or perjury charge for Rove. But Rove's failure to disclose these other communications is what reportedly has Fitz considering an obstruction of justice charge. Particularly e-mails between Rove and Andrew Card.

While [the Cooper] issue continues to be a central focus in the case against Rove, what has not been previously reported is the fact that there are dozens of other memos and emails Rove sent to White House officials in June 2003, including former Chief of Staff Andrew Card, in which Rove suggests the White House launch a full scale public relations effort to attack Joseph Wilson for speaking out against the administration.

I've been on the same page as Jason about this for a while. See, Karl Rove, Andy Card and the Newly Discovered E-Mails.. For more background:

If I as have speculated all along, Karl Rove is singing his heart out to avoid indictment on multiple charges and limit his liability to either a single charge of making a false statement to FBI investigators before the grand jury was convened, or to false statement and perjury charges, I think Rove's appearance before the grand jury today means he's both still trying to avoid an obstruction of justice charge and putting a final nail in someone else's coffin.

A fifth appearance is unusual for a subject without a deal, but not for a subject who has agreed to become a key prosecution witness. When Luskin says Rove has no deal with Fitz, I think he's saying there has been no final promises as to the amount of a sentencing reduction Rove will get for his cooperation -- or even an agreeement as to the precise charges that will be brought against him. That doesn't mean that Rove has not agreed to help Fitz in exchange for whatever Fitz decides his reward should be.

Jason reports Rove was told to be available for three hours of testimony today. That sounds to me like Fitz is planning to review the 250 pages of e-mails from Cheney's office with him.

So, is Cheney the final target? I think so, but not in this next round of Indictments. Fitz is still working his way up the ladder. I think he has Stephen Hadley in his pocket now (whom I suspect is Bob Woodward's source) -- along with Rove, John Hannah, Ari Fleischer, David Wurmser, Marc Grossman and probably Robert Joseph. He's even got Colin Powell's testimony.

Fitz's goal is to expose the White House scheme to discredit Joseph Wilson's trip to Niger through claims of nepotism, which was accomplished by disclosing to the media Valerie Plame Wilson's employment and her alleged role in suggesting her husband for the trip.

After Rove and Hadley, who's left besides Cheney?

The AP also reported on the e-mails in February.

The defense was told that the White House had recently located and turned over about 250 pages of e-mails from the vice president's office. Fitzgerald, in a letter last month to the defense, had cautioned Libby's lawyers that some e-mails might be missing because the White House's archiving system had failed.

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    Re: Leopold: Fitz Considering Obstruction Charge A (none / 0) (#1)
    by ding7777 on Sun May 07, 2006 at 12:33:17 PM EST
    Rove is just trying to hold off an indictment prior to 11/7/2006. After the elections, Bush has nothing to lose by granting pardons

    Re: Leopold: Fitz Considering Obstruction Charge A (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Sun May 07, 2006 at 12:37:52 PM EST
    (To be sung to the tune of John Prine's "Dear Abby") Oh Carl, Oh Carl You've encouraged such leaks Cheny hollers at you And the President's a freak Everytime you start talking It's a jumble of wrong If it weren't so amusing I'd wish you were gone. Oh wait, I do.

    Re: Leopold: Fitz Considering Obstruction Charge A (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Sun May 07, 2006 at 12:38:20 PM EST
    Of course, that should be Karl with a K, just like Marx. How fitting.

    Re: Leopold: Fitz Considering Obstruction Charge A (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dadler on Sun May 07, 2006 at 12:39:24 PM EST
    And, lastly, that's Cheney with that last "e". Something about songs that make me proofread like a toddler.

    How easy the words would come over, To rhyme and joke about Rover. Better words I just might, Scribble and write. After all, if Dub can get sober! Well Karl what's it to be, Obstruction of justice or perjury. Has shafting mizz Plame , Ended your game? Bit of a shame national, security.

    Re: Leopold: Fitz Considering Obstruction Charge A (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Sun May 07, 2006 at 01:23:22 PM EST
    Here's the part of the article that's most interesting to me:
    Sources close to the case said that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales withheld numerous emails from Fitzgerald's probe, citing "executive privilege" and "national security" concerns. These sources said that as of Friday, May 5, there were still some emails that had not been turned over to Fitzgerald because they contain classified information in addition to references about the Wilsons.
    At the time the probe started, Abu Gonzo was the WH counsel, and received the 12-hour heads-up from DoJ that a probe was beginning. Whether he (or some minion for him) took that time to destroy documents or warn personnel has been a long-open question. Now, Leopold facilitates more questions: So, when did Abu Gonzo segregate the "national security" and "executive privilege" emails and wall them off from the probe? How did Abu Gonzo make the decision that an email or other information fell within the category of "national security" or "Executive privilege", so as to not be produced? How did Abu Gonzo decide what the parameters of the vague categories of "national security"* or "Executive privilege" in fact were? Who, if anyone helped him? *This whole f'g case is about "national security", so I opine non-production of anything on the grounds of "national security" is yet another transparent dodge by Bushco. Where does Abu Gonzo get off not producing documents or information to Fitz? Fitz has all the plenary authority to do what he needs**, plus he has prosecuted serious terrist cases - he's cleared. So, why not produce? ** An interesting outgrowth of Scooter's recently-denied motion to dismiss because delegating to Fitz was unlawful/unconstitutional - was this motion a signal to Gonzo or someone else? The motion was lawyerly-necessary-to-make, but not really a question likely to result in a decision favorable to Scooter. I thought the previous administration's legal travails established the lack of attorney-client privilege when the attorney was paid by the public fisc. Surely Gonzo isn't clinging to that shallow reed to avoid disclosing? Has Fitz demanded that Gonzo turn over those as-of-Friday-unproduced emails to him? Will he? If he does, will that precipitate another Saturday Night Massacre and, if so, who will play Bork this time? Can we get any votes for an obstruction charge against Gonzo?

    Rove will be indicted next week and the media will descend on the White House with righteous indignation. Republicans will break and run from Bush with bold and harsh criticism. Cheney will resign for reasons of health. And whomever Bush nominates to replace Goss will be eviscerated during confirmatiion hearings. Democrats will win the majority in November. Bush censure hearings will be held, which will lead to impeachment as the truth becomes known. Neo-cons are going to experience the living hell their faith of self-delusion has wrought for them. Despite all of Bush's attempts to thwart accountability for his illegal actions and incompetence, America's system of checks and balances is more irrepressible than his tyranny. God bless America and those who serve with integrity.

    Re: Leopold: Fitz Considering Obstruction Charge A (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 07, 2006 at 02:28:08 PM EST
    et al - Everytime I read the comments in threads like this I remember the lyrics, "dream a little dream with me." First, If Fitzgerald wanted to indict Rove he has no reason not to right now. Any pardon that Bush would do would be at the end of his second term, or at least after this year's elections. As for:
    If he does, will that precipitate another Saturday Night Massacre and, if so, who will play Bork this time?
    No, all that would happen is a refusal to comply, and then a lawsuit that would go the SC after grinding along for years.

    I spy old Rover reading the Post, Over his shoulder Marley's ghost. Fitzy haunts, Waiting taunts. Hurry on up we're dying for toast

    This is interesting. From your archives Fox News is reporting that some of the e-mails turned over by White House officials to the Justice Department in the CIA leak probe mention former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, former CIA operative Valerie Plame. We can't find a news article confirming this yet, so stay tuned. Update: As of Saturday, 1:00 pm, we've seen nothing to confirm the Fox broadcast. Talkleft 10/11/03

    Everytime I read the comments in threads like this I remember the lyrics, "dream a little dream with me."
    Very ironic, coming from someone whose posts demonstrate such a strong grasp of fantasy.

    Re: Leopold: Fitz Considering Obstruction Charge A (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Sun May 07, 2006 at 09:16:15 PM EST
    Cymro-fantasy requires imagination. our friend is devoid of that, he is merely an echo chamber doing his self appointed job as a misguided patriot, parroting RNC propaganda.

    Re: Leopold: Fitz Considering Obstruction Charge A (none / 0) (#13)
    by jondee on Mon May 08, 2006 at 09:42:01 AM EST
    Sometimes I wonder if its "self appointed."

    Re: Leopold: Fitz Considering Obstruction Charge A (none / 0) (#14)
    by Edger on Mon May 08, 2006 at 02:48:06 PM EST
    "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. "Come on in." And I did. And we had the most amiable chat for a half hour." January 1, 2003 Why Are These Men Laughing? Ron Suskind, January 1, 2003
    What goes around comes around, Karl.