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October 26, 2005

Random Thought On Plamegate

I can't say I have any sort of mastery over the byzantine chronology of the Plame/Wilson affair. With bloggers like AJStrata providing meticulous and comprehensive coverage of the story, I have been content to sit back and see what develops.

A couple of things I've read recently have stuck in my head, though. Given the doubtful (to put it kindly) nature of Joe Wilson's integrity, the mere possibility of indictments against Rove/Cheney has raised my suspicions of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's motivations. Then I saw the following post by Andrew McCarthy in The Corner:

I've gotten a lot of questions about [whether Fitzgerald is a tool of the Left] from people who say some conservatives are hitting the airwaves with preemptive suggestions that my friend Pat Fitzgerald may not be as apolitical as his press clippings indicate. [...]
Let me just say this. Pat is at least as apolitical as his press clippings suggest. [...]
Pat Fitzgerald is the best prosecutor I have ever seen. By a mile. He is also the straightest shooter I have ever seen – by at least that much. And most importantly, he is a good man.
If Pat were political – or, worse, if he somehow had it in for the Bush administration – it was fully within his power to return indictments in the weeks before the November elections, which would almost certainly have cinched things for Senator Kerry. It is something, I am quite certain, it would never even have occurred to him to do. The only thing the guy I know would do is bring charges or close the case without charges when the facts of the investigation warranted doing so.

McCarthy is one of the contributors to The Corner that I admire the most; of course I could be wrong about him, or he could be wrong about Fitzgerald. And this has no bearing on whether or not Rove might actually be indicted. But it would be easier to take for me if I had a sense this wasn't a partisan witch hunt.

Moving from the general to the specific, speculation-wise, I noticed an interesting point Tom Maguire made about Rove's testimony (thanks AJStrata). Maguire notes that there's some delicious anticipation by his enemies that Rove will get caught up in a "false statements" charge, based on Rove's forgetting about a conversation he had with Matt Cooper of Time magazine.

With Rove, as best we know, we have Karl failing to recall his conversation with Matt Cooper when asked by Federal investigators in 2003; the defense will have fun with the fact that the Department of Justice failed to ask about contacts with Matt Cooper in their original document request, so let's not underestimate Mike Copper Matt Cooper's forgettability.
Eventually, in response to a second set of subpoenas, the relevant email between Rove and Hadley was found, Rove's attorney notified the Special Counsel, and Rove corrected his testimony. As Jeralyn notes, and as MacRanger pointed out to me a few days back, if a person corrects their testimony during the term of a grand jury before discovery was imminent, they are in good shape.

I've copied a couple of the important links, but the whole post is well worth reading. And it actually ties in to the more general post McCarthy made about Fitzgerald's character, because if McCarthy's right then Fitzgerald will follow the law as it's written.

Of course, everyone's speculation hinges on the what's been leaked, either inadvertently or otherwise. ( Who would have thought Harriet Miers would emerge from the info storm of speculation preceding her nomination.) The range of moods in the conservative blogosphere has ranged from pessimistic fatalism to whistling-past-the-graveyard sunniness. I'm cautiously optimistic--I hope Andy McCarthy is right about his friend.

Posted on October 26, 2005 09:22 AM

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» Plame Grand Jury Adjourns from The Strata-Sphere
UPDATE: Jeff over at the Bernoulli Effect has a great post on Fitzgerald and why we should be confident he will not be trying to create the case for leftwing conspiracists - per his friend Andrew McCarthey. This is a more good news in my opinion. E... [Read More]

Tracked on October 26, 2005 02:09 PM


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