Occasionally I get e-mails from Washington folks who work on the Hill claiming to possess juicy insider digs on our public servants and their corporate paymasters. I usually delete said e-mails, as I don't want to be responsible for propagating dirty rumors or false information that can't be corroborated. I'd rather let Judith Miller and the New York Times do that. Nonetheless, in the past 24 hours I have been contacted by three separate congressional Democrats in Washington, and a Justice Department official, first by e-mail and later phone, who all say the same thing: Karl Rove is about to be indicted.
All this comes on the heels of events that transpired over the weekend, as two different individuals, journalist Michael Isikoff and political commentator Lawrence O'Donnell, both claimed that Karl Rove might have been responsible for leaking the identity of an undercover CIA officer's identity to Matt Cooper of Time magazine. Isikoff claims that Cooper talked to Rove during the period that Valerie Plame's identity was leaked, but there is still no proof that Rove was the culprit. As Isikoff of Newsweek wrote on July 3:
“The e-mails surrendered by Time Inc., which are largely between Cooper and his editors, show that one of Cooper's sources was White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, according to two lawyers who asked not to be identified because they are representing witnesses sympathetic to the White House. Cooper and a Time spokeswoman declined to comment. But in an interview with Newsweek, Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed that Rove had been interviewed by Cooper for the article.”
If it turns out that Rove did leak Plame’s identity to Cooper, it still does not necessarily mean that he was also Robert Novak's inside guy, although it surely raises suspicion. The indictment, as I am told, will most likely be of felony weight. In fact, Karl Rove may be accused of perjury, as Bush's top strategist told a grand jury that he was not responsible for leaking Plame's identity to Time.
So the charge may not be for leaking top-secret information to the press, but for perjuring himself.
Sources also all say that this indictment is likely to come down either late this week or early next week. Of course Rove's lawyer denies that his client ever “knowingly” handed over classified information to the media, or is the “target” of any investigation. Perhaps Rove “unknowingly” leaked the information, and he's the “subject” rather than a “target” of an investigation. Time will tell.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who has been leaked this information either. Over at Redstate, a right-wing Internet blog, one member who calls himself “Ohsure”, also claims that “[four] Great sources confirmed” the matter, and later added: “I not only don't do this, I have never done this. But here it is; ‘Karl Rove will be indicted late this, or early next week.’ I'm trusting a source. So either I am made a [sic] into an overzealous horses a**, or..., I have good sources and may be more trusted to get these things right.”
Joshua Frank is author of the highly anticipated new book Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, which has just been released by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy or two for a discounted rate at: www.brickburner.org. Read an excellent review of Left Out! by Adam Engel.
* Follow-up article posted July 7: Is Rove the Leaker? Stay Tuned... by Joshua Frank
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