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Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Again

Bump and Update: Mark Ash of Truthout, like me, received denials from Mark Corallo and Bob Luskin. Ash, however, this afternoon writes he is sticking with Jason's story, saying Truthout has picked up additional sources.

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Original Post:

Update: Mark Corallo has responded. I've added it to the end of the post.

Beleaguered investigative reporter Jason Leopold was on the Ed Schultz radio show yesterday, defending his Truthout article that Karl Rove has been indicted. He sounds very confident. You can listen here.

Jason told Schultz that on Saturday he got a phone call from his sources telling him that the action Friday was not at the courthouse, but at Patton Boggs. They provided an extraordinary level of detail about what took place at the law firm.

Jason is continuing to receive new details. He said that yesterday, he was told that the entire 4th floor of Patton Boggs was locked down for the marathon meeting. He reiterated his prior information, that Rove was there with his secret service detail, that plea negotiations were going on which ultimately were rejected outright, after which he was given an envelope containing the Indictment and told he had 24 hours to get his affairs in order.

Jason said he believed by Saturday night, his article would break in the Washington Post, New York Times and other papers. He noted that yesterday, at Rove's NEI speech, only one reporter asked him about CIA leak case. No one had bothered to follow up on the story. No one asked him if he had been indicted.

Jason says he confirmed the story with more than 2 sources. He says Knights- Ridder, MSNBC and ABC News now have one source for the story.

He said that these same sources are repsonsible for his being able to break the story about the 250 pages of e-mail documents turned over to Fitzgerald in February.

Schultz asked him if he thought he was being attacked by blogs because of jealousy. He responded that it's not jealousy, it's hatred.

Jason said he does not believe he was set up. He still believes in his article, and reminds Ed that it said the indictment would be announced sometime this week.

Jason also is checking on Fitzgerald's whereabouts Friday, and said he is going to check every vet within 20 miles of Luskin's house to see if he really was there with his cat.

Jason said he is upset that some have accused him of lying. He would have no motive to lie. His goal was to get the story, not to bs anyone.

So, two questions that should be easy to answer that could shed light on whether Jason's sources are accurate:

1. Does Patton Boggs in D.C. have a 4th floor? Or does it occupy four floors or more of an office tower?
2. Does Karl Rove have a secret service detail? According to the Secret Service website,

Today, the Secret Service is authorized by law to protect:

  • the President, the Vice President, (or other individuals next in order of succession to the Office of the President), the President-elect and Vice President-elect;
  • the immediate families of the above individuals;
  • former Presidents, their spouses for their lifetimes, except when the spouse re-marries. In 1997, Congressional legislation became effective limiting Secret Service protection to former Presidents for a period of not more than 10 years from the date the former President leaves office.
  • children of former presidents until age 16;
  • visiting heads of foreign states or governments and their spouses traveling with them, other distinguished foreign visitors to the United States, and official representatives of the United States performing special missions abroad;
  • major Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates, and their spouses within 120 days of a general Presidential election.

Then there's the question of why would Fitzgerald be conducting plea negotiations if the indictment had already been handed down? On that one, overlooking the issue of whether Fitzgerald would disclose a sealed indictment to Luskin and Rove before it was unsealed by the Court unless he also had obtained the Court's permission to do so, I can see one possible scenario.

Perhaps Rove had been indicted on perjury and false statement charges, and Fitz was offering to let him plead to those counts, with a sentence concession for his cooperation, and letting him know that if he didn't accept the deal, he'd be going back to the grand jury and asking them to indict on obstruction of justice as well. Perhaps the 24 hours to get his affairs in order had to do with 24 hours to accept or reject the plea offer. (After all, it's not like Rove would be going to jail on Monday even if there was an Indictment. Like Libby, he'd get a personal recognizance bond. ) Even if Rove decided to reject the offer on Friday, at the end of the marathon session and didn't need until Monday, the earliest Fitz could go back to the grand jury for the indictment on the additional count would be today. The grand jury that is hearing the CIA leaks case meets Wednesdays and Fridays.

Jason says his sources are clear the indictment tendered to Rove was already voted on by the grand jury. Is it possible that Fitzgerald didn't file it with the clerk of the court, but provided a copy to the Judge with a motion to seal it and a motion to allow him to share it with Rove and Luskin? Will we ever know? See, Libby's Indictment (copy of filed indictment here.) The first page contains the date it was filed with the Court and the date in 2003 the grand jury was sworn in. The last page contains signatures for the grand jury foreperson and Fitzgerald, but not the dates the signatures were placed there.

Both Mark Corallo and Robert Luskin were very specific, emphatic and believable in their denials to me. But I also believe Jason that his sources have provided him this information. Which leads me back to wondering whether his sources were being truthful and accurate. [Added: The biggest problem for me is the sources' insistence that the Indictment was already voted on. See Ex-Fed's comment below.]

I'm also wondering why Fitzgerald spokesperson Randall Samborn won't disclose whether Fitz was in Chicago or Washington on Friday. Why is that a secret?

Update: I e-mailed Mark Corallo this morning about the secret service detail and the number of floors at Patton Boggs. He didnt' answer about the secret service detail, but he did say Patton Boggs is in a building with more than four floors and Bob's office is not on the fourth floor. He also reiterates his denial of a meeting Friday:

Again, it is demonstrably false that any meeting took place on Friday (at Patton Boggs or anywhere else). This fraud needs to admit that he is lying and go away for good.....why did Leopold LIE about being a London Sunday Times Reporter?

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  • Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Wed May 17, 2006 at 10:17:34 AM EST
    TL: 1. Patton Boggs 4th floor. Using Microsoft's Virtual Earth birdseye, (and comparing it to Patton Boggs own site photo and their address, and Google maps satellite imagery), it looks like they have a photo of their D.C. office on their site, and there are at least 8 (I stopped counting at 8) floors in their building. 2. Re the Secret Service detail, I recall the postings re Rover's AEI speech also noted he had Secret Service protection there. Regardless, in these days of Unitary Executives and signing statements yielding obedience-optional laws, one shouldn't place too much stock in the statutory limitations Congress passed. With a swipe of the Unit's hand, Rover gets a Secret Service detail. After all, laws are for little people.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 10:17:47 AM EST
    The entire administration must be in full damage control mode today.

    Google 'luskin 2550 M street suite 500' and see what comes up. PB&B appears to have its main reception on the 5th floor, so one must presume there is a 4th floor.

    Please contact Joe Wilson. If he backs J.L.'s story to any degree it's bubbly time for the imminent perp walk of the evild turd!!

    Is there any indication that Fitz has used the pattern of (a) indict, (b) demand immediate plea, (c) seek immediate additional or superseding indictment if there is no plea? For that matter, does anyone have any experience with federal prosecutors or special prosecutors using that approach? My experience is limited to one large district, but I haven't seen a tactic like that used. I've seen prosecutors tell defendants that they are planning to supersede at some point if they don't plead (often, the hammer is something like money laundering), but I haven't seen it done on that short time frame. I would think that most savvy prosecutors would be concerned about framing it that way because the situation is very susceptible to selective or vindictive prosecution claims -- as superseding indictments often are. Unless Fitz was very careful, all Rove's lawyers would have to do is say "we told him that we wanted to file motions x, y, and z to challenge him, and he said if we were going to do that, then he was going to add more serious charges." Then Fitz has a sticky issue -- if nothing else, a major distraction in the case. Again, the federal practice I've seen is not the whole universe of federal practice, but I've never heard of a prosecutor using this tactic on such a timeline.

    Quick Question(s)..."Sealed Indictment" - what does this mean? (I know what it is - just not sure of the practice of using them.) Can a sealed indictment be dismissed or nolle prossed if the prosecutor "extracts" what s/he wants from the putative defendant? Can it exist "sealed" for a length of time -months? years?

    The whole question of what city Fitz was in on Friday seems ... like it should be something that can be discovered. The spokesperson might not be willing to say, but someone (someone not connected to his office, that is) had to see him that day, right? I mean he can't have been walking around all day with a paper bag over his head!

    If Jason's sources hold up, the intensity of this coverup is mind boggling. My God, to lock down an entire floor of Patton Boggs! For this kind of reaction to Fitz's "indictments" it's not far fetched to assume Fitz has not only connected the dots but set them in concrete. It's an entire brain trust trying to find wriggle room.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 10:53:27 AM EST
    Stu: The whole question of what city Fitz was in on Friday seems ... like it should be something that can be discovered... ...and speaks rather loudly to the quality, or lack thereof, of main stream media lately. Have they been so thoroughly cowed by bushco that they won't even ask the most obvious questions or do the most basic legwork anymore?

    Ex-Fed, I agree with you. The time frame seems too short for a superseding request, it would smack of involving the grand jury in plea agreement negotiations. That's one of the reasons I don't think Jason's sources were accurate about him having been handed a returned indictment, as I've said many times. Maybe I should make that clearer in the post. Update: I just added this to the post.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#11)
    by scribe on Wed May 17, 2006 at 11:05:54 AM EST
    edger: For that matter, why not check the pizza places, sandwich shops and takeout joints that surely populate the neighborhood of 25th and M NW? 15 hours is a long time to go unfed. Or, if the building has its' own in-house cafeteria, I'd bet there's one or more (likely immigrant) kitchen workers who'd know and talk about delivering meals to everyone on the floor. I guess doing legwork and talking to real people is below j-school grads....

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#12)
    by Dadler on Wed May 17, 2006 at 11:09:42 AM EST
    A Leopold is counting his spots In the media jungle of rots Stood by his account Said the truth he did mount Like Cheney embraces his clots

    leopold is more confident than he should be. You say above: "Jason is continuing to receive new details. He said that yesterday, he was told that the entire 4th floor of Patton Boggs was locked down for the marathon meeting. He reiterated his prior information, that Rove was there with his secret service detail, that plea negotiations were going on which ultimately were rejected outright, after which he was given an envelope containing the Indictment and told he had 24 hours to get his affairs in order." In Leopold's world, is a 24 hour interval different than it is in mine?

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#14)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 11:18:13 AM EST
    scribe: I guess doing legwork and talking to real people is below j-school grads.... I guess people are just way too terrified of losing jobs these days, and end up suffering with that old ball and chain on their ankle in more ways than one. Maybe I'm weird or something, but giving up self respect to keep a job was never high on my list of worthwhile things to do.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#15)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 11:22:47 AM EST
    I want to believe Leopold so badly but: Is it strange to anyone that Leopold is so confident about the indictments? What I mean is, its one thing report "this is what my sources said, and I believe them." Its seems another thing to say, "I am confident of the indictments." Or maybe I'm just overly skeptical.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#16)
    by scribe on Wed May 17, 2006 at 11:37:06 AM EST
    edger - I agree with you, but the point is, it's one thing to do the legwork, even if it only goes in the notebook. You never know what you'll find. It's a whole different thing to not even go out and ask. They don't call them golden handcuffs for nothing. And giving up self-respect for job - not in the books. fireback - skepticism's OK, even healthy, but I think Leopold's getting so much crap from so many angles he can only hold fast and wait. What would you do in his shoes?

    James, the 24 hours has been explained time and again.

    Edger, how exactly do you know that other journalists haven't asked? According to Tom Edsall yesterday, people have been following up on all of Leopold's claims and has said that as of yet, they haven't been able to confirm any of them. Edsall does seem to think that an indictment is imminent, though. This was on some WaPo chat yesterday, saw it on DKOS.

    Any chance it was somebody other than Rove in the 4th floor of Patton Boggs with the secret service and Fitz??

    Also (sorry for the repeated comments, but I keep thinking of other things) didn't I read that Andrew Card was seen around DC, in a grocery store, just before leaving his post with Secret Service? Probably saw that in Wonkette. If Rove has been getting threats, which given how hated the guy is is not out of the question, he might have been assigned secret service.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#21)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 12:18:52 PM EST
    HollywoodLiberal - I don't. But if they had and they had some information, I would think they'd all be falling over each other to get to press before the other guy. Just a thought, you know. I realize the press has never been much of a competitive bunch. ;-)

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#22)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 12:20:43 PM EST
    As Stu said: what city Fitz was in on Friday seems ... like it should be something that can be discovered No?

    TL: The "24 hours" has been explained, but not well or persuasively. I'm frankly surprised at your credulity in this matter. There are numerous things about the truthout(thewindow) piece that should set any lawyer's BS detector pegging the redline. Not the least of them is the idea of a prosecutor giving a putative target a 24-hour "get your affairs in order" deadline (a formulation that has more in common with bad TV lawdramas than the real world) on a Friday (or, depending on which iteration of the story yu're currently crediting, the wee small hours of Saturday), which is subsequently amended to mean "24 business hours" -- a formulation unknown to the professional world as far as I can tell -- with said amendment happening after the 24 hours elapsed much in the manner of a doomsday cultist who is determined that his prediction that the world would end on a certain date didn't quite pan out. I con't fathom why you're giing the benefit of so many doubts here, when you acknowledge that at a minimum a certain "detail" -- viz., the "serv[ing]" of a returned indictment -- cannot possibly have happened. News flash. That's no detail. That's the bogus story's whole sizzle. But it's pure hokum.

    TL: The "24 hours" has been explained, but not well or persuasively. I'm frankly surprised at your credulity in this matter. There are numerous things about the truthout(thewindow) piece that should set any lawyer's BS detector pegging the redline. Not the least of them is the idea of a prosecutor giving a putative target a 24-hour "get your affairs in order" deadline (a locution that has more in common with bad TV lawdramas than the real world) on a Friday (or, depending on which iteration of the story yu're currently crediting, the wee small hours of Saturday), which is subsequently amended to mean "24 business hours" -- a formulation unknown to the professional world as far as I can tell -- with said amendment happening after the 24 hours elapsed much in the manner of a doomsday cultist who is determined that his prediction that the world would end on a certain date didn't quite pan out. I can't fathom why you're giing the benefit of so many doubts here, when you acknowledge that at a minimum a certain "detail" -- viz., the "serv[ing]" of a returned indictment -- cannot possibly have happened. News flash. That's no detail. That's the bogus story's whole sizzle. But it's pure hokum.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#25)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 12:23:31 PM EST
    I just got off the phone with Randall Sanborn, Fitzgerald's spokeman! I'd like to officially confirm his comment to me. "No comment" was his response to my question as to whether or not Fitzgerald was in Washington or Chicago. There you have it....my breaking news for the week.

    (Please excuse the double post. My fault. Didn't think it went through the first time. Appy polly logies.)

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#27)
    by scribe on Wed May 17, 2006 at 12:25:45 PM EST
    TL: So we find out from Corallo the hard facts that: (a) there are more than four floors at Patton Boggs' offices (we established that independently - see my first comment this thread); (b) Luskin's office is not on floor #4. Corallo's spinning, it seems. I don't think anyone said the meeting was in Luskin's office - rather that they were at Patton Boggs offices. (If I'm wrong, someone please correct me....) If I were Fitz, I'd think going to Luskin's office would be sort of an acknowledgment of his being in a more powerful situation than me - he sits behind his expensive desk, I'm in an uncomfortable sidechair with no desk before me. Maybe not even an end table for my cup of coffee. Bad power dynamic. If I were Luskin, I wouldn't let Fitz in my office, if only because I'd be concerned for what he might see. Plus, it'd be letting him into my sanctum, where I meet with clients. Bad - intrusion on my base. Rather, the meeting would (to my lights) more likely have been in a conference room. The conference room need not have been on the same floor as Luskin's office. Corallo does not address this, eliding that point. Use of a conference room would also, IMHO, be more consistent with locking down a whole floor. People wandering by and all that. Then, we get namecalling. "It is demonstrably false ..." OK, if you say it is, demonstrate it. No one's giving you the benefit of the doubt because (a) you're a PR person and (b) you work for Luskin and Rover. Sorry, but that's what it is. Calling Leopold a fraud - more namecalling, to distract from the fact-free beginning of the response. All in all, a very professional PR job, but fact-free. Color me unconvinced - one way or the other.

    Damn you, Randall Sanborn! edger But if they had and they had some information, I would think they'd all be falling over each other to get to press before the other guy. Not if they couldnt' confirm anything. Plus, they have been reporting that, actually.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#29)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 12:34:32 PM EST
    I just got off the phone with security at Patton Boggs. I asked her what company resides on the 4th floor. She told me the whole building is Patton Boggs. FYI

    To The TL Crew-- I have nothing witty nor newsworthy to say concerning the impending (hopefully) indictment of the pudgy pink dweeb.I would like to thank Jeralyn and all the folks @TL for their tireless work.This is one of the few places that are treasure troves of data for "Plameaholics". Jason was right about the "lost" emails, I pray he has this nailed as well. Keep Up The Good Work, Please... MacReady

    Actually, time being measured in business hours used to not be all that unusual. When I first saw the story Saturday it said 24 business hours. I think the amending was in the reporting of the article. If it was 24 business hours, that would be three days, Monday, Tuesday and today. Which would mean that tomorrow would be the day for the indictments. I have no idea if someone misled Leopold or not. We shall see.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#32)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 12:52:52 PM EST
    fireback: I just got off the phone with Randall Sanborn, Fitzgerald's spokeman!... "No comment" was his response to my question as to whether or not Fitzgerald was in Washington or Chicago. You're a step ahead of me. Thanks, fireback... "No Comment"??? i.e.: ummm, we can't talk about it i.e.: We neither confirm nor deny. i.e.: We can't answer that. i.e.: There are reasons we can't answer that, or we would. i.e.: Yes, he was probably in Washington. Anyone else want to pick at this open sore? How about some "wild speculation"? What could cause Fitzgerald to go silent on this? Is the president or vice president being indicted?

    Fitz wants to go silent on this because it's his policy to be silent. No comment until he has a comment, on his terms. They also may have a policy in general never to comment on his whereabouts, for security reasons, even if it's after the fact. That's what I'm thinking.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#34)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 12:56:06 PM EST
    In the financial business where a work. When you purchase a stock, we refer to it as T+3. Trade date plus 3 business days. If the trade date was Friday, 3 business days would be Wednesday (Mon. Tues. Wed.). Business hours I suppose could be different.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 01:00:36 PM EST
    Good point Hollywood - I didn't think of it, but now that you mention it, Fitz would have legitimate security concerns. Many people do not want to see rove go down...

    security concerns - Plus all the other bad people he's been putting in jail over the years, and currently - mobsters, drug dealers, terrorists, etc.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#37)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 01:06:47 PM EST
    Still - knowing where he was after the fact wouldn't jeopardize his safety, would it?

    well all that's just swell. I just wish it was coming from another source.

    Bob in Pacifica: Please, please share one example of time being measured in business hours in this or any bygone era, if you are so very sure that there was once a time when this practice was common. As to your musing at the end that time will tell whether Leopold was misled or not, how much time, exactly, praytell? some of y'all seem quite content to move the goalpost, I'd like you to tell us exactly how much time must pass or how much contrary evidence must pile up before you are willing to acknowledge that the story -- not credible on its face -- is in fact pure hokum and bunkum. And the query whether Leoplold was misled or not assumes that in the event the story is proved false Leopold was only engaging in honest, albeit overly credulous, reporting. Those are not the only possibilities. The possibility of a largely or wholly fabricated story is very real. Even if he really did report what his ever-shifting number of sources told him, then still no pass. I don't think anyone should let Judy Miller get away with the whole "if your sources are wrong, you're wrong, and my sources got it wrong" defense; why should we let this schmuck have the benefit of such a defense.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#41)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 01:22:37 PM EST
    SDangerfield. I don't think you can say that the story is "not credible on its face -- is in fact pure hokum and bunkum." I can understand doubt, but not fact. Unless YOU can prove otherwise.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#42)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 01:24:15 PM EST
    Also, where is the contrary evidence you speak of?

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#43)
    by squeaky on Wed May 17, 2006 at 01:30:20 PM EST
    SD-
    I don't think anyone should let Judy Miller get away with the whole "if your sources are wrong, you're wrong, and my sources got it wrong" defense; why should we let this schmuck have the benefit of such a defense.
    It has to do with intent. Miller was working with Rove et al. to spread propaganda. Her hands are not clean, while Leopold was working to find out about Rove. Leaker v whistleblower is in the ballpark here. Besides urging your country to war on the front pages of the NYT is wholly different than Leopold is posting a story on a small internet magazine. What damage is done if Leopold is wrong? You can cancel your subscription to truth out. What damage was done by Miller? your comparison is weak if not outrageous.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#44)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 01:38:14 PM EST
    SD, I think I sped read through your post too quickly. Sorry about that. I do wonder what single bit of evidence you have to refute the claims? I too have looked at Leopold's past, and do have my questions, but apparently his editor also agrees.

    OK, lemme start from the beginning. Evidence that the story is not credible on its face: (1) It claims that Fitzgerald gave Rove an 24-hour deadline on a FRIDAY, which is, for those slow on the uptake, the day before Saturday and Sunday. The subsequent amendment to "24 businees hours" makes it even less credible, not more. (2) It claims that Fitzgerald told rove that he had the 24 hours (however they are counted) "to get his affairs in order" which makes absolutely no sense, inasmuch as there is no possibility that if Karl were indicted, he would be incarcerated pending trial. (3) It claims that Fitzgerald handed Rove a returned indictment, i.e., one the grand jury had already voted on, which for reasons that jeralyn has at least touched on is so highly unorthodox (and possibly unlawful) that the claim does not withstand scrutiny. (Oh, and no fair pleading the Jason-is-not-a-lawyer defense; that's tantamount to saying, don't blame Jason for not having the expertise to contoct a more convincing story.) (4) It claims that the discussions went on for 15 hours. Again, highly dubious on its face. Contrary evidence: (1) Direct denials of the meeting from Rove's attorney (who can be discplined by the DC Bar for making a false statement). (2) direct denials by rove's attorney that there was an indictment. (3) The fact that NOTHING has happened in the 4-day period following the story, which would be very odd if an indictment had in fact been served on a defendant (if the indictment were sealed, it would be unsealed after the defendant surrendered to authorities or possibly after making arrangements to surrender to authorites). (4) The substantial body of evidence that undercuts Leopold's credibility (JL "voluntarily left" Dow Jones right before the wire serivce had to issu corrections on a number of his wire dispatches; Salon retracted JL's piece on White on the grounds tha he lifted 7 paragraphs from the Financial Times (that's a lot of paragraphs!) and that a key piece of evidence could not be authenticated; apparently canned from his gig at RawStory (how bad do you have to be to fall out of favor there!); bizzarre sock-puppet theater documented at TNR. How's that for starters? Still waiting on examples of the once-common usage of "business hours" as a measure of time, that is, and not as a way of designating when a business is open.

    A Fitzgerald meeting with Luskin wouldn't have occured in his office. It would have been in a conference room...say on the foiurth floor?

    Squeaky, Do you have some unique window into JL's intent such that you can confidently say that his hands are clean? Just because he is in the anti-Rove camp doesn't make his motives pure. Could be doing this to aggrandize himself, to get attention, to try to spin a story that he could claim as a scoop in the event Rove gets indicted in order to rehabilitate a career that appears to be in the crapper. There are a lot of possible motives other than truth-seeking that could be operative here. In any event, the comparison involves a principle of journalistic integrity, not a comparison of the gravity of the fallout from the breach of journalistic integrity. That principle is this. If your reporting is based on what sources tell you, you are vouching for the veracity of those sources. If you are blind-sourcing the article, such that readers cannot figure out who is pitching the info and thus make their own judgments as to the sources' credibility and motives, your responsibility as a journalist is heightened even further. Thus if you buy a load of bull from your sources -- especially if it's on an important matter, which this doubtless is -- you can expect to get roundly criticized for it.

    I'm with Dangerfield, except I do allow that Leopold may have been misled. His checkered past, his tendency to boast, his over-eagerness, and his ability to be extremely ingratiating, all add up to the possibility that he was set up and that some would want to give him the benefit of the doubt. But the story does seem unreliable on its face. And, if the 24-hours vs. 24-business-hours (and what exactly that term signifies) has been adequately explained, I sure didn't see it, and I've been looking.

    Leopold's sources would almost certainly have to be in that law office. If they were attorneys (but not the main ones), they violated the canons of ethics - but they would have gotten the facts right. If they were non-attorneys (paras, admins) they might have been mistaken about the status of the indictment. The third possibility is that the "approved" leak came from Luskin or an associate working on the case...but seems unlikely to me. I am betting the sources were non-attorneys working in that office. I think the chances are better than even that Leopold got the story basically right except for a crucial mistake about the status of the indictment. In other words, the indictment would be voted on today. Speaking as a non-attorney myself, of course.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#50)
    by squeaky on Wed May 17, 2006 at 02:16:31 PM EST
    Do you have some unique window into JL's intent such that you can confidently say that his hands are clean?
    No, I am giving the guy the benefit of doubt, just as I am doing with your opinion. In both cases I believe that all hands are clean. A judgment call on my part, nothing more. But comparing Leopold to Miller is over the top. I assume that your point was merely rhetorical and not sincere opinion.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#51)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 02:56:59 PM EST
    Ok, I'm going to play defense attorney for a moment here. 1st, the article never says what will exactly happen or is supposed to happen in 24 hours, whether business or not. I suspect Truthout inferred the business part not knowing either. On face, you can't conclude what would happen or if the announcement of the indictment would coincide with that happening. 2nd, I don't think Jeralyn said it was "highly unorthodox." It may not be the norm, but neither is this case. We're talking about potentially going after the VP of the US. The plea process and negotiations in this matter is far normal. 3rd, 15 hours does seem like a long time, but I would not characterize it as "on its face not credible." Lastly, I agree that Leopold's past gives cause for concern. However, when you consider the risks of being wrong in his report, and more importantly, his editors support, it certainly helps to erode some of that doubt.

    i hope Jason is right. yet the issue of verifying the accuracy of information and determining source credibility seem just as relevant as seeing Rove and Cheney getting their just rewards. on its face, though, it's a little hard to imagine what JL could gain by allowing himself to be misled or perpetuating a fraud. there's something about the venom with which his credibility is being attacked that leads me to think that there is something else going on here. . .

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#53)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 03:14:26 PM EST
    The "venom" is the intense passion to rid us from this this vile administration. Unfortunatly for Leopold, his news is so "too good to be true", his past must come out in the attempt to verify it. Or maybe that's you point.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#54)
    by squeaky on Wed May 17, 2006 at 03:17:09 PM EST
    there's something about the venom with which his credibility is being attacked that leads me to think that there is something else going on here. . .
    My guess is that it may be Leopold is not well mannered and gracious when attacked or criticized. Many on both the left and right seem to hate him so all I can imagine is that he has burnt a lot of bridges by lashing out or, something along those lines.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#55)
    by RF on Wed May 17, 2006 at 04:01:10 PM EST
    Patsy? This guy sounds like Black Box Bev gone wild-

    Here are some of Edsall's comments yesterday on WaPo. It's not a catagorical denial.
    Miami, Fla.: The blogs are abuzz with reports of Karl Rove's impending (some say actual)indictment. What's the story? Tom Edsall: I think we will know very soon, perhaps as soon as early afternoon. No guarantee, however. snip Tom: Is it true that Patrick Fitzgerald met with Karl Rove and his people at Rove's firm of Patton, Boggs over the weekend to try and reach a "deal"? I heard it from reliable sources and also heard that no deal was reached and that Fitzgerald could be indicting Rove as early as today. What have you heard? Thanks! Tom Edsall: Jim VandeHei, who has been ahead of his competitors on this story, has been trying to track down every rumor, including the one you cite. We have not been able to confirm the kind of detail you describe. WaPo 5/15/06


    An update has just been posted at truthout.org. (Sorry, don't know how to make an active link.) Update addresses Friday meeting (now confirmed by "many sources") plus clarification on "24 hours." [Instructions are in the comment box.]

    Squeaky--thanks for the feedback on JL but i was thinking something a little more sinister. Something along the lines of Dan Rather getting fed s*it and Mary McCarthy's outing and all the lie detector tests at what's left of the CIA..., and ABC news being under surveillance, NSA and Hayden's hearings, uh, tomorrow?. I mean we're talking about r*atf*cking rove here.Jason must be a pretty courageous guy to be trying to out-dog Mr. Slime himself. maybe kafka's "impatience is the greatest sin of all" is what's at work here

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 17, 2006 at 04:36:16 PM EST
    Jason reminds me of a weather forecaster who forecasts rain....everyday. He's probably hoping that there isn't a drought on the way. I mean, I never, never, never want to hear about "koolaid" drinkers again.

    sheeeit PPJ...by your analogy this administration has been a walking monsoon ever since "Mission Accomplished". Actually, I wanna see Karl twist in the wind sloooowly. Shrub is down into the 20s now for an approval rating, so Turd Blossom's well seems to have already run dry. Why mess with success people?

    Yo Dangerfield, I know you probably get no respect, but, come on, why spend so much time defending Rove? Whether JL's story is true or not, your guy is going down. Your endless responses sound an awful lot like whistling past the graveyard to me.

    Yes phi x 174, Kafka is perfect for this occasion. The fundamentals in the Rove case point to an indictment at some point, so even if Leopold were wrong about the details of the indictment, we can still expect the same outcome. But after reading Ash's account, I don't see much doubt about the indictment and we're just going to have to wait. It's ironic that Rove and others in this administration can lie unrelentingly and still react in astonishment when someone appears to get their facts wrong -- talk about a monumental double-standard!

    Jrock: What did Dangerfield say to lead you to believe he/she was on Rove's side? Looks more to me as if Dangerfield is on the side of solid reporting from the left. That's my position and I agree with most of what I've read from Dangerfield here. Really committed progressives, liberals, leftists can take issue with members of their own side without being accused of being evil, can't they?

    Yes, Agent99. ANd IF i have misread his intentions, then I'm sorry.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#64)
    by DonS on Wed May 17, 2006 at 06:21:32 PM EST
    OT I mean, I never, never, never want to hear about "koolaid" drinkers again. How about "turning the corner" in Iraq? Oh yeah, my hunch, Turdblossom is toast whether today, tomorrow, next week or next month. Someone that toxic and polluted, must reap the whirlwind. Ask Lee Atwater, if you could.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#65)
    by oldtree on Wed May 17, 2006 at 06:45:32 PM EST
    icebergs are large wonderful things with many little things concealed in their bowels. some say you can't watch an iceberg melt, that it is like watching grass grow, or teaching a pig to sing (it wastes your time and annoys the pig) but if you do watch an iceberg melt, like magic, those hidden little things become visible, and fall into a pattern. if you can find so many little things with the tip melting, one can only imagine how much new information will be revealed when we have warmer temperatures

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#67)
    by Phoenix6 on Wed May 17, 2006 at 07:30:18 PM EST
    Everyone seems to be missing what to me is an obvious point (if you assume Luskin could be spinning in his response). Luskin never said Fitzgerald wasn't in DC on Friday. He said he was in Chicago. Yeah, he could have been in Chicago that morning before he flew to DC. In other words Luskin said nothing.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#68)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed May 17, 2006 at 07:32:29 PM EST
    Truth is better than fiction. The suspense is killing me. But it's nice to know that Rove is on the hot seat. He must be eating Xanax by the handfuls.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#69)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 07:34:49 PM EST
    oldtree: if you can find so many little things with the tip melting, one can only imagine how much new information will be revealed when we have warmer temperatures Very nicely constructed metaphor, oldtree. Large amounts of bright light should help the process.
    You know there's something that's goin' on around here
    The surely, surely, surely won't stand the light of day


    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#70)
    by squeaky on Wed May 17, 2006 at 07:37:23 PM EST
    Phoenix6-
    Yeah, he could have been in Chicago that morning before he flew to DC. In other words Luskin said nothing.
    Great point. They use their words very carefuly. That is why he gets paid in gold bars or whatever. Never lies. Always, as you prove, says nothing.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#71)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 07:48:35 PM EST
    ...we have additional, independent sources that refute those denials by Corallo and Luskin.
    ...
    When we asked why they were not going public with this information, in each case they expressed frustration with superiors who would not allow it. Mark Ash @ Truthout
    scribe: They don't call them golden handcuffs for nothing.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#72)
    by Phoenix6 on Wed May 17, 2006 at 07:54:25 PM EST
    They use their words very carefuly. That is why he gets paid in gold bars or whatever. Never lies. Always, as you prove, says nothing. Here's what was reported: "4. As far as [Luskin] knows, Patrick Fitzgerald was in Chicago on Friday." But nothing about DC. And then there's this: "the alleged meeting in his office..." How about in the building. Being the skeptic that I am of Rovisms, I also read this: "There is "no truth whatsoever" to any of Jason Leopold's recent stories about Karl Rove's resignation..." I think that could later be spun (if Rove is indeed indicted) as Luskin meaning not every part of Leopold's story was 100% accurate. It's not like they are sticklers for absolute honesty. Luskin has misled the press before if I remember correctly.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#73)
    by squeaky on Wed May 17, 2006 at 08:05:33 PM EST
    What a talent he is.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#74)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 08:06:27 PM EST
    Sorry, that's Marc Ash, not Mark. I knew that - I just forgot that I knew that. Luskin and Corallo will probably have the same excuse...

    If the Grand Jury had actually VOTED to indict, ie., it is a DONE DEAL, and Karl Rove informed the president of this, why on earth is he still working at the White House? The Grand Jury voted on Octobter 28 to indict Libby, who then resigned immediately. Later that day Fitzgerald held his press conference. Rove would have done the same. Do you really think that in addition to a Rove indictment the president and his lawyers would want to deal with the accusation that despite knowing he was under indictment, Rove continued to work at the White House? I can just see the headline: "Rove Indicted on Friday, continued to work at White House for 10 days with Bush's knowledge." Do you think Bush's lawyers and handlers would allow that? Tony Snow? Bolten? Come on. The Grand Jury has almost certainly not yet indicted Rove, or he would have resigned. More likely is that Fitzgerald went to Rove and his lawyers, told them he was going to seek an indictment for perjury, and tried to work out a plea deal. If they didn't accept, he might add additional charges and go for the full sentence. Again, if the Grand Jury had voted to indict Rove, he would have had to resign and leave the White House, just like Libby did.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#76)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 08:16:44 PM EST
    Dem4Warner08, possible I suppose. But, it assumes that rove and bush are accountable to something completely foreign to them. Integrity.

    It's no so much a matter of integrity as political astuteness (which they sometimes do show). I just don't think they'd want to add fuel to the fire. Best just resign -- that's bad enough. Hanging on until a public announcement, and then having it get out that Rove was officially indicted days earlier -- no, that's something they'd probably want to avoid.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#78)
    by squeaky on Wed May 17, 2006 at 08:28:06 PM EST
    Dem4Warner08-
    Again, if the Grand Jury had voted to indict Rove, he would have had to resign and leave the White House, just like Libby did.
    I can see why you would have that opinion, but Rove is going to be working for the Chimp/Cheney regime even if behind bars. Even if the news would be as you say: "Rove Indicted on Friday, continued to work at White House for 10 days with Bush's knowledge." Bush and Rove could easily spin out of it. Loyalty, and presumed innocence will be part of the spin, Bush could even quote the constitution and proclaim that we are a land of laws. bla, bla..

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#79)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 08:34:36 PM EST
    I agree, Squeaky. Somehow Dem, I have the feeling that bush would say something to the effect of "There is a presumption of innocence here - and anyone in my administration found to have committed a crime will no longer work in this administration."

    Why, then, was Libby's exit immediate? No, if there was a voted on indictment, Rove would have been forced to leave. It doesn't matter if he runs the show from his home office or not. He would no longer be working at the White House. You just don't keep a job at the White House when you face criminal charges. That's why it seems more plausible that Fitz told Rove he would seek an indictment. Leopold's sources, in their excitement, probably took this as "Rove's indicted."

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#82)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 08:45:27 PM EST
    Dem4Warner08, I don't agree. I think the White House will do what it can to delay and minimize exposure to this. Why go through the attention once for Rove's resigning, and again for Fitzgeralds announcement? I think they believe (and probably correctly so) that most people aren't going to care about a few days. They'll just spin it to say, "well it wasn't official until the announcement, yada yada yada" or some BS like that. There are so many ways to spin that scenario. Not to mention "it could be an ongoing investigation." BTW, now that would be a whopper of a revelation Fitz could be bring us, some day soon. "Investigation is not complete..." Please, Please, I need a fitzburger.

    HOW long between indictment and MUG SHOTS? Fitzgerald is just gonna let them keep it secret for days, let alone at all? I'm lost.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#84)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 08:58:48 PM EST
    I'll agree with Dem4Warner08 to his point about "Leopold's sources, in their excitement, probably took this as "Rove's indicted." I will bet that the truth is somewhere in between. You have a blog reporter reporting one thing with some decent corroberating info. and not a peep from the MSM. I'll bet something big went on Friday at that law office. I'll bet some serious negotiations and probably an indictment guaranteed to come. It's all news we're not hearing from the MSM, so I'll give Leopold some credit regardless of how perfectly accurate he will turn to be or not.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#81)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 17, 2006 at 08:59:31 PM EST
    Sailor - I haven't the slightest idea if Rove will be indicted. But, given that Fitzgerald has been infected with the political disease, perhaps. I'm just enjoying watching all the children snicker that they may get to see Mrs. Johnson's underwear.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#66)
    by Sailor on Wed May 17, 2006 at 09:02:33 PM EST
    Jason reminds me of a weather forecaster who forecasts rain....everyday.
    Nice to know that even this commenter has come to realize that Rove will be indicted sooner or later.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#85)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed May 17, 2006 at 09:49:28 PM EST
    IANAL but can't they seal the indictments, continue negotiations and, if no deal is reached, unseal the indictments?

    Fireback, thanks for making the calls to Samborn and Patton Boggs. I agree any meeting would have been in a conference room. And that Fitz could have been in both Chicago and D.C. on Friday. I also agree that Rove might have secret service detail due to threats. I don't think the 24 business hours refers to three business days but to the next business day falling after 24 hours is up, in this case Monday. "Putting his affairs in order" could mean Rove had until Monday to decide on the deal and if he rejected it (which according to Jason he did on Friday, ahead of time), he was being warned that he'd definitely be indicted shortly and facing things like resigning his job and having to arrange for obviously huge legal fees. In other words, it was a deadline after which his life would be radically altered by an Indictment.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#87)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 10:48:45 PM EST
    TL, Your welcome. Clearly, I'm past the point of obsessed. I really appreciated the work you do here by the way. I don't know what people did in the past to get breaking news analysis. BTW, I called my second source at Patton Boggs (OK, I admit it, I cold called a receptionist in a random office in the building, my 1st source was someone in security). That would now make 2 sources!!! She said the 4th floor was like any other floor; offices and a conference room (she may have been guessing on that). She also said she was aware of the Leopold article but did not see any activity around the office. It's a big building though, so that's hardly a surprise. Maybe tomorrow I'll call all of them in the building.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#89)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 11:46:17 PM EST
    Broken link above in firebacks post. http://talkleft.com/new_archives/www.waynemadsenreport.com

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#90)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 11:50:05 PM EST
    Let's try this again. Here's the link.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#91)
    by fireback on Wed May 17, 2006 at 11:56:19 PM EST
    Doesn't the DiFizti Code open Friday?

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#92)
    by Edger on Wed May 17, 2006 at 11:58:43 PM EST
    Great find, fireback! From Wayne Madsen Reports:
    The special prosecutor, who has prosecuted one defense attorney in the Hollinger case, is reportedly investigating whether Luskin, as an officer of the court, may have violated laws on obstruction of justice.
    This is almost too much pleasure in one report to bear. Like that one extra drink that gets you dancing on the table with a lampshade on your head, it takes things to a new level. Almost like, not just Fitzmas, but catching Santa in the act and him handing you his whole bag! Rove and his lawyer? Anybody says 'how are you?' to me today, I'll answer 'any better I couldn't stand it!'

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#93)
    by Edger on Thu May 18, 2006 at 12:00:47 AM EST
    Jeralyn, no wonder Luskin was in such a bad mood when you called him the other night!

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#94)
    by fireback on Thu May 18, 2006 at 12:25:38 AM EST
    YES. LOL Edgar. I'm trying not to get too excited over here, considering how bizaare things have been around here. However, I'm putting my lampshade on for bed now and I'll be sure to count my fitzings.

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#88)
    by fireback on Thu May 18, 2006 at 12:27:47 AM EST
    OHHHH things are looking interesting. wayne madsen confirms friday indictment it's beginning to look a lot like Fitzmas... from May 17, 2006 -- LATE EDITION -- WMR can report tonight on more details concerning the confusing reports regarding Karl Rove and Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald from last Friday. WMR can confirm that the appearance of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales before the Grand Jury at the US Federal Courthouse in Washington was a formality in which the jury informed the Attorney General of their decision to indict Karl Rove. That proceeding lasted for less than 30 minutes and took place shortly after noon. Gonzales's personal security detachment was present in the courthouse during the Grand Jury briefing. From the courthouse, Gonzales's motorcade proceeded directly down Constitution Avenue to the Department of Justice. [much more, follow link and read.]

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#95)
    by Edger on Thu May 18, 2006 at 12:30:29 AM EST
    This whole smear campaign against Jason Leopold has been based on destoying his credibility. Bob Luskin... paybacks are hell, aren't they?

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#96)
    by Edger on Thu May 18, 2006 at 12:31:44 AM EST
    I'm out of here. Have a good night, and a good tomorrow, fireback. :-)

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#97)
    by Phoenix6 on Thu May 18, 2006 at 12:40:34 AM EST
    I don't know quite to make of Wayne Madsen. He has some credentials and contacts, but he seems a bit of a flake and conspiracy maven. I note in an earlier entry on his blog he staked out the federal building and reported seeing a caravan, so who knows?

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#98)
    by fireback on Thu May 18, 2006 at 01:06:55 AM EST
    This whole investigation has been quite a learning experience to me. I would normally write off guys like Madsen because I'd expect to see some corroberation in the MSM. But considering how poorly they have performed recently, I'm going to have to reassess things. It seems pretty inexcusable that the MSM has even touched this story.

    Today is May 28,,,No indictment...................Leopold is a lier.....Stuart

    Re: Truthout Editor Sticks by Leopold Article, Aga (none / 0) (#100)
    by squeaky on Sun May 28, 2006 at 07:01:31 PM EST
    Today is May 28,,,No indictment...................Leopold is a lier.....Stuart
    There is a good possibility that you may be prematurely wrong. In other words: How do youknow that Rove was not indicted? Special source? What if the indictment is sealed and there is a gag order, for instance? This isn't anything like the leaky Starr investigation, where the public knew up to minute details all the time. Fitzgerald does not leak. We may not know for months. We'll see. The story will end.