If Karl Rove's lawyer, Bob Luskin, is still as easy to read as he has been since I broke the story that his client was Matt Cooper's source, then we now know that Rove has received a target letter from Patrick Fitzgerald. How do we know it? Luskin refuses to deny it.
Fitzgerald does not have to send Rove or anyone else a target letter before indicting him. The only reason to send target letters now is that Fitzgerald believes one or more of his targets will flip and become a prosecution witness at the pre-indictment stage. A veteran prosecutor told me, "If Fitzgerald is sending target letters at the end of his investigation, those are just invitations to come in and work out a deal."
Prosecutors prefer pre-indictment plea bargaining to post-indictment because they have more to offer you, like not being indicted at all or downgrading your status to unindicted co-conspirator. And pre-indictment plea bargaining can greatly enrich the indictments that the prosecutor then obtains. If, for example, Fitzgerald has a weak case against, say, Scooter Libby, imagine how much Rove's cooperation might strengthen that case.
If no one RSVPs to Fitzgerald's invitations, look for indictments as early as next week. If anyone does sit down with Fitzgerald, he will probably have to move to extend the grand jury, which now has only thirteen working days left in its term.
Prediction: at least three high level Bush Administration personnel indicted and possibly one or more very high level unindicted co-conspirators.
Read UPDATE here