ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Sunday, October 23, 2005

In Defense of "Hypocrisy"

The Kossacks are calling out Kay Bailey Hutchinson over her appearance Meet the Left Meet the Press. Kay essentially argued that it's silly to prosecute someone for perjury if there's no underlying crime.

The Kossacks make this point:

On Meet the Press, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson picks up where [Bill Kristol] left off:
I certainly hope that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation were not a waste of time and dollars.
Russert reminded her that Republicans didn't always feel that way. Maybe lying about sex is more important than lying about releasing classified information. Hell, the Media seems to think so.

Now, I agree that perjury is a serious crime and should be prosecuted. In that, I am consistent.

However, it has been demonstrated that Plame was not a "covered" agent and had not been for quite some time - so long that mentioning that she worked for the CIA was not a violation of the law. (At least, this is what we know today from publicly available information - which may be countered by confidential information that is only known to Fitzgerald). So, I will change my position and argue against prosecution for perjury for "the architect" if the following criteria are met:
  1. Fitzgerald confirms that Plame was not a covered agent and the "statute of limitations" of her previous covered status meant that disclosure of her as a CIA employee is not in violation of the law
  2. Rove's repeated testimonies are truthful in the most objective sense, without legalistic maneuverings
If Rove actually found additional notes/emails/etc that he then used to improve his testimony and actively sought to correct the record, then it's unwise to prosecute.

I know the answer to #1 (assuming current facts do not change). I can't imagine that Rove sat in a grand jury and argued over the meaning of the word "is" and "disclosure." If he did, then it's time for a full court to hear the situation.

Unfortunately for the Left, they have no basis for arguing for a perjury charge when they so successfully characterized perjury as a mere misdemeanor. And that will give me the opportunity to use the ultimate slur (at least to them) against the Left: Hypocrisy!!!!

*** Update from ARC: Brian ***

Thought I'd throw my position in here instead of my own post. Perjury is perjury. If Rove, or Libby, or anybody else went into a GJ and lied (about a material fact) then they should be indicted and prosecuted. I've been clear on that from the beginning, as have you Saint. The key is the material fact. So far in the press the one thing that people seem to be pointing to Rove about is the discrepency between Cooper and Rove on their conversation. The only discrepency was that Rove said the purpose of the call was welfare reform and Cooper disagreed. That isn't a material fact to the underlying issue and as such shouldn't be prosecutable under perjury.

So the only thing that looks to be pointing to Rove as to perjury would be that he didn't recall the conversation at all, until the email was found, at which point he testified. Sorry, that doesn't seem like perjury to me, especially, since it was his lawyer that essentially found the new document.

We'll just have to wait and see what the GJ returns with regards to indictments though. I think the trial baloons of defenses that Kay is throwing seem premature if you ask me.

ARC: Brian

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler