Rove and His Family's Future: Paying Legal Fees
Peter Baker in the Washington Post quotes Karl Rove :
About a year and a half ago, it became apparent talking to my family that there are things happening, that it was time to go."
Marcy at Empty Wheel has been cataloguing the remaining investigations that could land Rove in hot soup and notes, "we have no clear denial that Rove is leaving because the investigations into his activities may soon bear fruit."
About a year and a half ago puts us at January - March, 2006. Rove had already skirted PlameGate. There was no U.S. Attorney firing investigation going on then, or congressional investigations into politicizing federal agencies. Investigation into missing e-mails weren't that big a deal.
Rove and his wife live in Washington, not Texas. I don't think they own a house in Texas any more, although I think they own one in Florida. They have one child who is off at college. Leaving now to spend more time with the family unless someone in the family is very ill doesn't ring true. We haven't heard about any severe illness.
What Rove did have a year and a half ago, that would worry any family, were big time legal bills from PlameGate. Now that Rove is facing congressional and other inquiries on so many fronts, the U.S. Attorney firing scandal, the improper use of federal agencies for lobbying activities, the RNC E-mails and even the continuation of the Abramoff investigation and possible troubles via former aide Susan Ralston, his legal bills can only be mounting. And his lawyer, Robert Luskin, doesn't come cheap.
We've never heard of a committee behind Rove like there was behind Libby to pay legal fees. And typically, those "defense trusts" don't form until
after Indictment. Rove is a long way from any possible indictment in the congressional inquiries. The executive privilege battle, which his lawyers will argue cover former employees, could take years, well beyond the expiration of Bush's term.
A book makes perfect sense to me. The advance would bring Rove millions, enough to pay off his legal bills and relieve the stress of those bills on him and his family. I could see a publisher demanding that the book be done before the 2008 election for maximum sales potential. Finding the time to write the book while still working for the White House could prove difficult.
So I'm writing off criminal exposure from the Congressional investigations and "family time" as reasons for Rove to quit. But I can't write off the Abramoff probe as easily. Rove knew a year and a half ago his Abramoff connections had been and would continue to be investigated by the Justice Department, not Congress, and a federal grand jury with the power to indict.
I'm not saying Rove will be indicted in the Abramoff case. But, if he is, he wouldn't be able to stay on in the White House. And his legal bills to defend against an Indictment, when coupled with his congressional investigation legal fees, would be enormous.
While I would fully expect Bush to pardon Rove, he might not do it until his remaining days in office. That leaves more than a year of legal bills for Rove to pay until then.
So, I'm going with legal bills as the real reason Rove has resigned. They affect his family, making his public explanations misleading but not a lie and square with his vow to continue fighting Congressional subpoenas and other calls for his hide.
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