THE BLOG
03/27/2006 02:36 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Behind the Scenes: Rove and Libby in Deadly Legal Dogfight

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This just hit the internet at Raw Story, and TWN has confirmed the essential points through a source close to Rove:

According to several Pentagon sources close to Rove and others familiar with the inquiry, Bush's senior adviser tipped off Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to information that led to the recent "discovery" of 250 pages of missing email from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Rove has been in the crosshairs of Fitzgerald's investigation into the outing of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson for what some believe to be retaliation against her husband, former U.S. Ambassador to Gabon, Joseph Wilson. Wilson had been an ardent critic of pre-war Iraq intelligence.

While these sources did not provide any details regarding what type of arrangements Rove's attorney Robert Luskin may have made with the special prosecutor's office, if any, they were able to provide some information regarding what Rove imparted to Fitzgerald's team. The individuals declined to go on the record out of concern for their jobs.

According to one source close to the case, Rove is providing information on deleted emails, erased hard drives and other types of obstruction by staff and other officials in the Vice President's office. Pentagon sources close to Rove confirmed this account.

None would name the staffers and/or officials whom Rove is providing information about. They did, however, explain that the White House computer system has "real time backup" servers and that while emails were deleted from computers, they were still retrievable from the backup system. By providing the dates and recipient information of the deleted emails, sources say, Rove was able to chart a path for Fitzgerald directly into the office of the Vice President.

Rove giving Patrick Fitzgerald a path into 250 pages of deleted and/or previously unprovided electronic communications from and within the Vice President's office must give serious heartburn to Scooter Libby's defense team, being paid for in part by this cabal of supporters.

Fitzgerald, as I have written before, is setting a high standard for how public officials should conduct themselves.

We have about nine months before the Scooter Libby trial starts. The real question is whether Fitzgerald will widen the pool of those charged with crimes -- and it's still too early to tell.

Steven Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note, and is both a frequent contributor to Huffington Post and editor of Bolton Watch.