Monday, May 08, 2006
AG Gonzales Allegedly Obstructing Fitzgerald Probe
A new article by Jason Leopold in Truthout indicates that Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has prepared a list of charges for a grand jury to consider soon against Karl Rove in the "Plamegate" scandal.
While a looming indictment against Rove is not new information except to people who rely only upon the mainstream media for their news, there are some intriguing tidbits to be found in Leopold's text.
This may be the most explosive:
Sources close to the case said that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales withheld numerous emails from Fitzgerald's probe, citing "executive privilege" and "national security" concerns. These sources said that as of Friday, May 5, there were still some emails that had not been turned over to Fitzgerald because they contain classified information in addition to references about the Wilsons.
What kind of crap excuse is this? Fitzgerald and his staff have clearances to see classified national security information. And what is there about the Wilsons that cannot be turned over to a federal prosecutor?
This is looking like obstruction of justice on the part of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. This is probably the reason that President Bush appointed Gonzales to the position when it was vacated by the previous AG John Ashcroft.
Another revelation in Leopold's Truthout article is that Rove was much more involved in the campaign against former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife than previously known. Leopold reports that some 250 pages of White House e-mails show that Rove was a key "architect" of the press leaks in this matter.
Some of the emails and memos were written by Rove, and are part of a growing body of evidence suggesting he lied to the grand jury and the FBI and may have obstructed justice during the course of the investigation. It was following their disclosure that Fitzgerald advised Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, several weeks ago that he intends to indict Rove for perjury and lying to investigators. The lingering question, sources close to the case said, is whether Fitzgerald will add obstruction of justice to the list of charges that he has already drafted against Rove.
As usual, the establishment media is behind the power curve, but is working to catch up as decision time about Rove nears.
Rove expects to learn as soon as this month if he will be indicted -- or publicly cleared of wrongdoing -- for making false statements in the CIA leak case, according to sources close to the presidential adviser...
Fitzgerald, according to sources close to the case, is reviewing testimony from Rove's five appearances before the grand jury. Bush's top political strategist has argued that he never intentionally misled the grand jury about his role in leaking information about undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame to Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper in July 2003. Rove testified that he simply forgot about the conversation when he failed to disclose it to Fitzgerald in his earlier testimony.
Fitzgerald is weighing Rove's foggy-memory defense against evidence he has acquired over nearly 2 1/2 years that shows Rove was very involved in White House efforts to beat back allegations that Bush twisted U.S. intelligence to justify the Iraq war, according to sources involved in the case.
That last bit confirms the information that Leopold has heard about the matter. Rove further grasps at straws in his attempt to clear himself:
(Rove) has testified, if he really wanted to damage Wilson in the summer of 2003, he would have sought out the many other reporters he knew better and trusted more than Cooper. He argued that he hardly knew Cooper, who had recently started on the White House beat -- one reason the conversation slipped his mind, the source close to Rove said.
Rove was practicing the old misdirect--leaking very sensitive material to someone not known to be a Rove press contact. In case of disaster--like a federal investigation--Rove would not be an immediate suspect.
As for the big news, Gonzales obstruction is pretty egregious. In the Watergate scandal, an Attorney General and Assistant AGs had the decency to resign rather than execute illegal orders.
Bush is lucky, at least as of now, to have picked a man who puts loyalty to his old boss from Texas ahead of the best interests of the country.