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Rove indictment watch update

By Doug Thompson
May 18, 2006

Here we are in day six of the Rove indictment watch, breathlessly waiting to see if Jason Leopold’s Truthout “scoop” from last¬†Saturday was fact, fantasy or wishful thinking.

If the report turns out to be accurate, the credit must go to the blogosphere because traditional media continues to ignore it.

From The Wayne Madsen Report:

WMR can report tonight on more details concerning the confusing reports regarding Karl Rove and Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald from last Friday. WMR can confirm that the appearance of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales before the Grand Jury at the US Federal Courthouse in Washington was a formality in which the jury informed the Attorney General of their decision to indict Karl Rove. That proceeding lasted for less than 30 minutes and took place shortly after noon. Gonzales’s personal security detachment was present in the courthouse during the Grand Jury briefing. From the courthouse, Gonzales’s motorcade proceeded directly down Constitution Avenue to the Department of Justice.

According to sources within the Patton and Boggs law firm, Karl Rove was present at the law firm’s building on M Street. WMR was told by a credible source that a Patton and Boggs attorney confirmed that Fitzgerald paid a visit to the law firm to inform Rove attorney Robert Luskin and Rove that an indictment would be returned by the Grand Jury against Rove. Contrary to other reports, some of which may have emanated from the Rove camp in order to create diversions and smokescreens, the meetings at Patton and Boggs did not last 15 hours nor was a 24-hour notice of intent to indict delivered to Rove. In the Scooter Libby case last October, after the Grand Jury decided to indict Libby on Friday, October 21 and the Attorney General personally heard the decision the same day at a meeting with the jury, the actual indictment was issued the following Friday, October 28. Several sources have told WMR that an announcement concerning the indictment of Rove will be made on Friday, May 19 generally following the same scenario from October 28, 2005 — the posting of the indictment on the Special Prosecutor’s web site followed by a press conference at Main Justice.

Truthout Honcho William Rivers Pitt, after a couple of obscenity-laced tirades against those who questioned the reports, appears calmer now:

It would probably be a good thing for the health and welfare of this community for everyone to stop beating the shit out of each other over this Rove story. This goes for me, too. I just got into a snipe-fest in another thread, and immediately felt stupid about it.

Those who have stood with truthout are owed a massive river of thanks. Your faith will be rewarded.

Those who have expressed doubts, and await further confirmation, are totally above reproach. If I didn’t know what I know, if I was a DUer out of the fact loop truthout has been in, I’d be doing and saying exactly the same things.

Those who have made this personal – with me, with each other – should stop.

truthout was right on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, yesterday and today. We will still be right tomorrow and Friday, no matter what the goddam unbelievable lapdog mainstream media has to say (or more to the point, doesn’t have to say) about it.

I understand your frustrations at the way this has played out; in fact, I call your frustration and raise it a billionfold. There are good reasons for this, and those reasons will be made clear when everything comes out. Those good reasons haven’t made the process easier.

That’s it for now. If I sound like a hypocrite for saying this, so be it. I’ll take that beating standing up.

Salon, the online magazine that fired Jason Leopold after they couldn’t confirm existence of an email he used for a story on Enron,¬†continues to question the writer’s credibility. Writes Tim Grieve in Wednesday’s War Room:
Salon and Leopold have an unhappy history. Salon took down a piece Leopold wrote for the site in 2002 after the editors concluded that some of it had been copied from the Financial Times and weren’t able to substantiate a key piece of Leopold’s reporting. Leopold stands by his story and says Salon did wrong by him. Both he and Salon’s editors have aired their sides in public.

We have no firsthand knowledge of that episode, having arrived on Salon’s staff long after it happened. But we’ve been skeptical of Leopold’s Plamegate reporting anyway.

Some of our skepticism stems from Leopold’s reports of his own troubled past. Leopold has told us, “Just because I have a past or made a mistake does not mean I am unable to cultivate sources or continue reporting.”

Some of our skepticism comes from what seems like a too-good-to-be-true quality in Leopold’s reporting: As Daou asks, “How is Leopold the only reporter in America with access” to the sources he claims to have? Leopold has told us that he has “really, really good sources” who have been “dead on” when it comes to Plamegate news.

And some of our skepticism comes from Leopold reporting that hasn’t panned out. When we wrote in December 2005 that we thought some of Leopold’s work for Raw Story was implausible, Raw Story editor John Byrne posted a response in which he defended much of Leopold’s reporting but said that three stories hadn’t been confirmed: a report that Cheney aide John Hannah was “given orders by higher-ups in Cheney’s office to leak Plame’s covert status and identity in an attempt to muzzle Wilson”; a report involving the Plamegate role allegedly played by Rove assistant Susan Ralston; and a story published days before Scooter Libby was indicted that said that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald had asked the grand jury to indict Rove; that Fitzgerald had asked the grand jury to indict Libby on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and outing Plame; and that two other government officials were likely to be indicted as well. When Libby was indicted the following Friday — not that Wednesday or Thursday, as Leopold’s reporting had predicted — Libby wasn’t charged with outing Plame, Rove wasn’t indicted at all, and there was no sign of the two mystery officials.

Leopold hasn’t written for Raw Story since January — Byrne declined to comment on his departure, saying he couldn’t discuss “personnel matters” — but questions about the reporter’s work have followed him to Truthout. Leopold’s reporting for the site has sometimes been at odds with reports in the mainstream press or statements from Rove’s camp. That’s not conclusive evidence of anything one way or the other: The mainstream press can be lazy and sometimes willfully blind, and Rove has allowed or encouraged lies about his Plamegate role to be disseminated before. But add these discrepancies to everything else, and it’s hard not to have doubts about Leopold’s work.

So the debate rages on, Rove remains free and question remain unasnwered. Maybe they will be answered on Friday, as predicted by some. Maybe they will be answered in the near future. Maybe not. Like everyone else, we’re waiting to see.