I Dismember Momma

From Holden:

Karl Rove is counting on a faulty memory defense saving him from indictment. I’m thinking Fitzmorial day will be sweet.


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 evidence includes details of a one-week period in July 2003 when Rove talked to two reporters about Plame and her CIA role, then reported the conversations back to high-level White House aides, according to sources in the case and information released by Fitzgerald as part of the ongoing leak investigation.

Additionally, one former government official said he testified that Rove talked with White House colleagues about the political importance of defending the prewar intelligence and countering Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. It was Wilson who accused Bush of twisting intelligence about Iraq’s efforts to obtain nuclear material from Africa. The official refused to be named out of fear of angering Fitzgerald and the White House.

Robert Luskin, Rove’s lawyer, responded that “just because Rove was involved in the defense of the White House Iraq policy, it does not follow that he was necessarily involved in some effort to discredit Wilson personally. Nor does it prove that there even was an effort to disclose Plame’s identity in order to punish Wilson.”

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.


To determine whether Rove could simply forget this conversation, Fitzgerald and his investigative team have questioned current and former government officials about Rove’s involvement in the 2003 campaign to counter Wilson and defend prewar intelligence.

One former aide, who would discuss internal White House discussion only on the condition of anonymity, said Rove was intimately involved in the prewar intelligence fight and discussed various components of the plan at senior staff meetings and one-on-one strategy conversations.

The aide said Rove’s message was that “if there are no WMDs and some blame us, it will not be a pleasant election year.” The aide said Rove talked a lot about Wilson that week, but mostly about the fact he was a Democrat and needed to be rebutted.


[A]ccording to evidence compiled by Fitzgerald, Rove was discussing Wilson and/or his wife with two reporters and at least two aides in the week before her identity was revealed.

Evidence made public suggests Rove was particularly involved in rebutting Wilson after the former ambassador wrote a July 6, 2003, New York Times op-ed piece charging that Bush had “twisted” intelligence. Two days later, columnist Robert D. Novak called Rove and told him that he had heard that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA and helped arrange his Niger mission.