EXCLUSIVE: The D.C. rumor mill is thrumming with whispers that 22 indictments are about to be handed down on the outed-CIA agent Valerie Plame case. The last time the wires buzzed this loud — that Tom DeLay would be indicted and would step down from his leadership post in the House — the scuttlebutters got it right.
Can it be a coincidence that the White House appears to be distancing President Bush from embattled aide Karl Rove? “He’s been missing in action at more than one major presidential event,” a member of the White House press corps tells us.
If the word on the street is right a second time, we have a bit of advice for Rove: Go with vertical stripes, they’re way more slimming.
Now admittedly, Radar Magazine is not what I would call an authoritative source, and it's possible they got this story mixed in with the Marine indicted for stealing secrets about the Fillipino government, but there are some interesting events going on in DC now:
1) From Raw Story: President Bush's most trusted adviser, Karl Rove, has been absent from recent White House events, leading those close to a CIA outing case to speculate that he has been told he is the target of an investigation, RAW STORY can confirm.
The buzz on Capitol Hill is that Rove has received what sources called a "target letter," or a letter from the prosecutor investigating the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson telling him that he is now a target in the investigation. To date, no reporters have been able to confirm this account. One lawyer says that at this point in the investigation it would be more likely any letters would normally be notifications of an indictment.
2) From Reuters: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The federal prosecutor investigating who leaked the identity of a CIA operative is expected to signal within days whether he intends to bring indictments in the case, legal sources close to the investigation said on Wednesday.
As a first step, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was expected to notify officials by letter if they have become targets, said the lawyers, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Fitzgerald could announce plea agreements, bring indictments, or conclude that no crime was committed. By the end of this month he is expected to wrap up his nearly two-year-old investigation into who leaked CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity.
The inquiry has ensnared President George W. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby. The White House had long maintained that Rove and Libby had nothing to do with the leak but reporters have since named them as sources.
Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, declined to say whether his client had been contacted by Fitzgerald. In the past, Luskin has said that Rove was assured that he was not a target.
Libby's lawyer was not immediately available to comment.
"It's an ongoing investigation and we're fully cooperating," said Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride.
3) The aforementioned release of Judith Miller may have just been a final gesture after the stark realization that her testimony didn't matter, or if it did, it cleared officials higher than those that are liekly to be indicted. Some of these likely indictments include Rove and Libby, of course, but also Mary Matalin, who worked briefly for the Bush administration for both Bush and Cheney simultaneously.
4) The nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court has the conservatives in the nation apparently frothing. However, two scenarios occur to me: One, that is a staged upset on the part of the right wing to reinforce the notion that Miers is middle-of-the-road.
However, it's also possible that she's being put on the bench in order to shield her from testifying in any trial that could involve an indicted President (to which she was personal counsel, and as such was singlehandedly the person most involved in covering up his AWOL status in the Texas Air National Guard. Sitting justices of the Supreme Court cannot be indicted (they can be impeached), nor can they be subpoenaed, but they may testify of their own free will.
Up until the Paula Jones case, a sitting President could not be indicted, something the right wing went to great pains to cherry pick a judge who would overturn that argument. It may have backfired, big time.