Rove is toast.

There was a report on TPM yesterday, and at Kos, relating to the deletion of RNC emails.  Apparently, they stopped deleting them sometime in early 2005, after being told to.

By Fitz.

But, it seems, Rover continued to delete his own personal emails from the RNC servers after Fitz said to stop.

More ....

Here's the relevant excerpt from Waxman's letter to Gonzo, relating the House's investigators' discussions with counsel for the RNC, Mr. Kelner:

According to Mr. Kelner, the RNC had a policy, which the RNC called a "document retention" policy, that purged all e-mails from RNC e-mail accounts and the RNC server that were more than 30 days old. Mr. Kelner said that as a result of unspecified legal inquiries[*], a "hold" was placed on this e-mail destruction policy for the accounts of White House officials in August 2004. Mr. Kelner was uncertain whether the hold was consistently maintained from August 2004 to the present, but he asserted that for this period, the RNC does have alarge volume of White House e-mails. According to Mr. Kelner, the hold would not have prevented individual White House officials from deleting their e-mail from the RNC server after August 2004.
Mr. Kelner's briefing raised particular concems about Karl Rove, who according to press reports used his RNC account for 95% of his communications. According to Mr. Kelner, although the hold started in August 2004, the RNC does not have any e-mails prior to 2005 for Mr. Rove. Mr. Kelner did not give any explanation for the e-mails missing from Mr. Rove's account, but he did acknowledge that one possible explanation is that Mr. Rove personally deleted his e-mails from the RNC server.

Mr. Kelner also explained that starting in 2005, the RNC began to treat Mr. Rove's emails in a special fashion. At some point in 2005, the RNC commenced an automatic archive policy for Mr. Rove, but not for any other White House officials. According to Mr. Kelner, this archive policy removed Mr. Rove's ability to personally delete his e-mails from the RNC server. Mr. Kelner did not provide many details about why this special policy was adopted for Mr. Rove. But he did indicate that one factor was the presence of investigative or discovery requests or other legal concerns. It was unclear from Mr. Kelner's briefing whether the special archiving policy for Mr. Rove was consistently in effect after 2005.

*  "Unspecified legal inquiries" is, to my eyes, spelled "F-I-T-Z".  Who else would have been (a) making "legal inquiries" in 2004 and (b) had enough juice that the RNC would not have blown them off regarding something as dangerous as Karl Rove's (and the rest of the WH's) archived email?  And, don't forget, the mere fact that the WH staff was using the RNC servers for work (not political) email was itself illegal (though maybe not criminal).

And, it's well-established that for Rover, it's not a Blackberry.  It's a Crackberry.

So, yes, TL, it would appear Rover may have lied to Fitz and covered his tracks by erasing emails.  Or thought he had - one of the benefits of Fitz' keeping a close hold on information and a small team is limiting the possibility of leakage to targets.  It may be that Fitz has had these emails all along.

Thinking a little more deviously, maybe Fitz knew Rover had erased his emails and decided to wait on it.  Or maybe Fitz had the emails and decided to wait on Rover.  It is possible Fitz knew Rove was busy, through Goodling et als, installing loyalists throughout the DoJ (surely that was a topic of discussion/gossip among career personnel), and purging US Attorneys who were deemed "substandard" in the loyalty department.  I'd think it likely that, being as highly regarded in the DoJ as he is, Fitz likely heard gossip that his name was near the list.  

Remember, Sampson testified that in his discussions with Harriet Miers et als on whom to purge, Sampson suggested purging Fitz only to be met by Miers' speechless stare.  That kind of purging would have been right in character with the audacity this administration has displayed througout, and likely got back to Rove and scored young Sampson some points.

Continuing along my line of thought, Fitz may well have thought several things were going to happen - (1) he was going to try Libby (and was confident of a conviction), (2) the trial was going to start shaking the trees and (a) make a lot of other things start to drop out and (b) ignite public interest, (3) Congress was going to want to know exactly what was going on, (4) the US Attorney purge story was going to come out and develop into something with all the breadcrumbs leading to Rove's desk.  

As to #4, one cannot exclude the possibility that there was a little nudging to the Fourth Estate to "look over here" nor, as to #3, can we exclude the possibility that a lot of disgruntled career employees over at DoJ (in Schumer's words) have been talking to Congress on the QT, letting them know exactly what's known.  What we're seeing of these investigations (and that's not everything - the Congressional and Senate committees are noted, by TPM, inter alia, as being really quiet and not leaky at all) suggests they're moving very rapidly - almost like they're being guided in exactly the right direction and not down any blind alleys.

Moving on to #2 above, I'd suggest that Fitz may well have let Rove have his "no indictment" letter (which, mysteriously, we still have never, ever, seen) which was surely conditioned on Rove's having finally testified fully, truthfully and accurately in the four or five (it was so many - I forget) appearances before the GJ.  By getting Rove's testimony on the record (but maybe not showing Rove his own emails, the ones Rove thought he'd deleted), Fitz had accomplished three things.  First, he tied Rove into a story - tightly.  Second, he let Rove think he got away and let him revert to form.  Third, and most importantly, he neutralized Rove as a potential witness in the Libby trial.  The world knew (thanks to truthout, among others) that Rove came within a hairsbreadth of being indicted and somehow escaped.  Libby surely knew that calling Rove as a witness at his trial was useless.  Rove had a serious potential downside:  he was quite possibly a fellow perjurer who'd managed to slide, but still hugely open to credibility attack on those grounds.  Further Rove was tied in to a story, so he'd be no help to Libby in trying to fuzz the edges of the story with his own bullsh*t.

So, in approaching things the way he did, it would appear Fitz separated the stonewall of bullsh*t which Rove, Libby et als had erected.  He carved off Libby and neutralized Rove.

And, by waiting on Rove, Fitz managed to avoid the axe which fell on the others.  Looking back, I can see that the hue and cry (which Rover and the RWNM would have orchestrated) against Fitz, had he indicted Rove last June (when everyone, myself included thought he would), would have almost inevitably led to some removal or (at best) hobbling of Fitz.  We saw all the propaganda about "out-of-control prosecutor" after Scooter was convicted;  imagine what the RWNM would have done had Rover been indicted, too.

But, by waiting on Rove (he still has over a year on the Statute of Limitations for the 2003 events involving the Wilsons) and giving him the (temporary) pass based upon his "coming clean", Fitz has left Rove set up for a fall the minute anything Rove says contradicts any of his GJ testimony.  This cumulates a practical reason Rove's resisting testifying atop the other, imperial reasons the Admin's putting forth.  

Further, assuming Rove said he hadn't erased emails (or caused erasures), or had turned over all emails, or similar, this "new" (to us, anyway) disclosure may be all Fitz needs to come back for a fresh look.

So, big surprise, a unified scandal theory.

Of course, since the preceding diary and analysis is purely based upon deduction from the limited information available, and a little speculation on my part, I could be totally wrong.  I think I'm pretty right, though.  I've been more right than wrong with these clowns in the past and they're wholly in character, again.

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    And, here's a great editorial (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by scribe on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 09:51:29 AM EST
    Gold Bars Luskin speaks: (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by scribe on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 12:57:17 PM EST
    says Fitz got all Rover's emails.  Uh, sort of:

    The prosecutor probing the Valerie Plame spy case saw and copied all of Rove's e-mails from his various accounts after searching Rove's laptop, his home computer, and the handheld computer devices he used for both the White House and Republican National Committee, Luskin said.

    The prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, subpoenaed the e-mails from the White House, the RNC and Bush's re-election campaign, he added.

    "There's never been any suggestion that Fitzgerald had anything less than a complete record," Luskin said.

    Any e-mails Rove deleted were the type of routine deletions people make to keep their inboxes orderly, Luskin said. He said Rove had no idea the e-mails were being deleted from the server, a central computer that managed the e-mail.

    Now, does "a complete record" mean "all", or "all the ones we let survive"?

    I guess that depends on what your definition of "complete" is, eh?

    Good stuff (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 01:04:44 PM EST


    scribe (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by orionATL on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 05:20:59 PM EST
    emptywheel at ''the next hurrah" shares your interests in the tall guy from doj

    and provides readers with her usual thorough and extensive map thru documentary and legal territory.

    I have ultimate respect for emptywheel (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by scribe on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 09:08:51 AM EST
    - she's done serious, heavy lifting on this case and understands it better than possibly anyone not on the respective sides' litigation teams.

    I read her piece and, while she came to different conclusions (and did not go as far as I did), she is both persuasive and quite possibly more correct in hers than I am in mine.


    Via Jason Leopold at truthout (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Edger on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 06:41:41 AM EST
    On Friday, Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, wrote a letter to Fitzgerald asking him to reopen his investigation.

    "It looks like Karl Rove may well have destroyed evidence that implicated him in the White House's orchestrated efforts to leak Valerie Plame Wilson's covert identity to the press in retaliation against her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson," Sloan said. "Special Counsel Fitzgerald should immediately reopen his investigation into whether Rove took part in the leak, as well as whether he obstructed justice in the ensuing leak investigation."

    great analysis, Scribe! (none / 0) (#8)
    by annefrank on Sun Apr 15, 2007 at 02:37:22 PM EST
    The scenario of Fitz waiting for Rove to stick his foot in it is preferable to Fitz being cowed into not indicting Rove in Libby case.