So the 4th of July is over. How did you spend it? Fireworks? Cookout? The beach? Trying to stay out of jail?
If your name is Karl Rove, it’s probably that last one. This weekend, Lawrence O'Donnell broke the story that the e-mails Time Magazine agreed to turn over to the special prosecutor investigating the Plame leak reveal that Matt Cooper’s source was none other the Boy Genius himself.
According to O’Donnell, Rove attorney Robert Luskin's efforts to keep Karl out of jail are going to hinge on the word "knowing." Specifically, that though Luskin now admits Rove did speak to Cooper about Plame, his client "never knowingly disclosed classified information."
But let’s put Rove’s legal troubles aside for a moment and look at the political ones. These don’t hinge on how "knowing" Karl Rove was (he’s a man who is not, by the way, known for not being very knowing or for not doing things very knowingly) or on how truthful he was in his dealing with Justice Department investigators. They hinge on how truthful he was to his pals in the White House.
Americablog found this gem from presidential mouthpiece Scottie McClellan, speaking at a White House press briefing in September of 2003, where he makes it clear that if anyone at the White House leaked Plame's identity he or she should be fired and “pursued to the fullest extent by the Department of Justice”: “That is not the way this White House operates. The President expects everyone in his administration to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. No one would be authorized to do such a thing.” And later: “The President believes leaking classified information is a very serious matter.”
Hmm. Notice Scottie doesn't split hairs a la Luskin and say the issue is whether someone "knowingly" leaked the information.
Indeed, when asked whether a White House leaker should “lose their job”, Scottie lays down the law -- repeating it twice for emphasis: “At a minimum… At a minimum.”
Additionally, Think Progress unearthed this exchange, from another White House briefing that same month:
Q Scott, earlier this week you told us that neither Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams
nor Lewis Libby disclosed any classified information with regard to the
leak. I wondered if you could tell us more specifically whether any of them
told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?
McCLELLAN: I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that's where it stands.
Here the standard is even looser: "involved." It's safe at this point to say
that there is no doubt whatsoever that Karl Rove is -- at the least -- "involved in this." And further, that, if what Scottie told those reporters is true, Karl Rove’s “assurances” were apparently bald-faced lies.
Maybe Karl spent July 4th weekend knowingly being involved in polishing his
If not, he should have.
Of course, the quality of his c.v. won’t mean a lick if this photo-shop fantasy becomes Karl’s reality. A high profile perp-walk tends to dampen one’s chances of future employment.
Looks like Turd Blossom might have really stepped into it this time.