Thursday, April 27, 2006

NYT: Rove testifies for the fifth time to the grand jury

Karl Rove, the senior counselor to President Bush, testified for several hours on Wednesday before the federal grand jury in the C.I.A. leak case, in an appearance that was a sign of renewed attention by the special prosecutor in a matter that has lingered unresolved for months.
It was the fifth time Mr. Rove has appeared before a federal grand jury in the case. The appearance came at a politically sensitive time for Mr. Rove, who was relieved of his policy portfolio at the White House in a staff reshuffling earlier this month and now faces the challenge of helping Republicans maintain their primacy in the midterm elections this fall.
[. . .]
On Wednesday, Mr. Rove spent about four hours inside the federal courthouse after entering through a side door shortly before 12:30 p.m. He emerged beaming as usual at the end of his testimony. He declined to comment, but his lawyer, Robert D. Luskin, issued a statement declaring that Mr. Rove had testified "voluntarily and unconditionally" about "a matter" that had arisen since Mr. Rove's last grand jury appearance.

The above is from Anne E. Kornblut's "Grand Jury Gets Rove Testimony Over C.I.A. Leak" in this morning's New York Times. There's not a great deal that wasn't covered last night on The KPFA Evening News. (And I disagree with some aspects of Kornblut's narrative.) We will note that Viveca Novak is no longer with Time Magazine (Kornblut explains she took a "buyout package") and that Matthew Cooper "recently moved from his position as a White House correspondent to become the political editor of the magazine's Web site."

For anything of use, you really need to combine this article with Martha's highlight, Jim VandeHei's "Rove Testifies 5th Time On Leak: Bush Aide Is Said To Be Unsure if He Will Be Indicted" (Washington Post):

Luskin told the prosecutor that Viveca Novak had informed him that she had heard from other Time reporters that Rove was Cooper's source for a July 2003 story on Plame. Luskin shared this information with Rove -- before Rove testified that he did not recall his conversation with Cooper.
Yesterday, Rove told the grand jury that it would make no sense for him to lie in February, knowing that all of this would soon be public, the source said.
But the timing of that Luskin-Novak conversation is in dispute. Novak has said she testified that the conversation took place between January and May of 2004 -- which could place it either before or after Rove's initial grand jury testimony. Moreover, Rove did not know at that point that Cooper would later be forced to testify and reveal him as a source, according to lawyers who follow the case.

Matt Cooper was apparently much more free with the tongue with co-workers than he was the public (he didn't inform the public of any part he had in this until last summer). He sat on information that the public might have needed in evaluating the candidates for the 2004 election. He hid Rove as long as he could, coming forward only when he claimed he had a new release (just as he was about to be sentenced to jail time -- something Judith Miller did accept without a claim -- one Luskin, Rove's lawyer has always disputed was a new release). Viveca Novak isn't explored in the articles. Matt Cooper's rarely been explored. But the Luskin-Rove claim currently is that it would be "suicide" for Rove to intentionally cover up his conversation with Cooper (where Rove discussed then CIA agent Valerie Plame). It wasn't "suicide." At that point, every indication was that Cooper would continue to cover for Rove. He'd outed Scooter Libby in 2004. He'd maintained he would go to jail to protect his (other) source (Rove). If Luskin-Rove believed that Cooper would stay silent, they were wrong but they had reason to suspect he would. (Many people felt, ahead of time, that when push came to shove, Cooper would find a way to avoid jail time. Which he did.)

Mia notes that she doesn't want to "stir the pot" regarding the Kerry 'plan' but found a highlight. It's one worth noting (and we can continue to note positive and negative critiques/reviews of the Kerry 'plan' -- I will note that I'm not impressed with the 'plan'). From Joshua Frank's "Kerry's War" (CounterPunch):

The search is finally over. Sen. John Kerry is believed to have found his heroic voice. He apparently misplaced it back in the early '70s after standing up to the U.S. war in Vietnam upon his saluted return from battle. Now many antiwar liberals believe Kerry is dissenting yet again.
"I have come here today to reaffirm that it was right to dissent in 1971 from a war that was wrong. And to affirm that it is both a right and an obligation for Americans today to disagree with a president who is wrong, a policy that is wrong, and a war in Iraq that weakens the nation."
Kerry made his proclamation at Boston's Faneuil Hall on April 22, celebrating the 35-year anniversary of his infamous speech to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Although and others have supported Kerry's appeal to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq in 2006, the senator has been quite careful to qualify his remarks. He doesn't want all U.S. troops brought home, just enough to appease the antiwar crowd and the growing percentage of Americans who think this war isn't going so hot.

Rod passes on today's scheduled topic for Democracy Now!:

* John Dean & Daniel Ellsberg in studio together on Watergate, the Bush administration and presidential power.

Reminder of what Wally noted from Danny Schechter's Tuesday News Dissector:

David Swanson writes:
I'll be co-hosting with Verna Avery-Brown of Pacifica Radio, a live broadcast on Pacifica from 8:30-11 a.m. ET on Thursday, April 27, of a forum on Capitol Hill hosted by Congresswomen Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee.

That's today.

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