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

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Left holding out hope for Fitzmas

So the latest news in the Fitzgerald probe is that Viveca Novak appears to have testified (although possibly not in front jury, but it does appear to be under oath).

As you may remember from my last post on the subject, the left was sure that Viveca was being called to testify in order to bury Rove. This despite the fact that it appeared from press reports that it was Luskin that alerted the prosecutor to the conversation. It appeared Luskin was using his conversation with Novak as explanation for why Rove didn't know about the Cooper conversation in his conversations with the FBI and his first grand jury testimony.

Basically something like this:

Luskin: Hey Fitz, you can't indict Rove, he corrected his testimony as soon as he realized he actually had talked to Cooper about plame.

Fitz: Sure I can, he's an evil genius, and the media is expecting me to indict him, haven't you read the papers?... oh wait I mean, sure I can, he "remembered" his conversation only after I called Cooper to testify.

Luskin: He remembered his conversation because we found the email detailing the conversation. And we only found the email after we did another search.

Fitz: And why did you do the other search?

Luskin: Well because I had a conversation with V. Novak where she mentioned that Cooper remembered a conversation, so we did the due diligence to do another email search.

Fitz: Oh.

Luskin: You can talk to her, she'll verify that she told me that.

Fitz: Um, ok. Your dark master will skate this time.
Rove, testified in February 2004 that he didnt' recall the Cooper conversation. He testified in October 2004 that he now remembered parts of it based on an email he sent to Stephen Hadley (Deputy National Security Advisor) recounting his conversation with Cooper. That email had been discovered after another document search in the summer of 2004.

From the WaPo article:
According to sources familiar with Rove's status, Luskin persuaded Fitzgerald in late October to postpone indicting Rove by alerting Fitzgerald to Luskin's previous conversation with Novak, among other things. Luskin argued that these private discussions helped show Rove did not intentionally conceal his conversation with Cooper from investigators. Rove has argued he forgot about the chat he had with Cooper on the phone in the summer of 2003.
The WaPo then adds this piece that has sugarplums dancing in the head of the left:
Sources familiar with their conversations say Novak's and Luskin's accounts to Fitzgerald appear to conflict on when they spoke.
Whoopdee doo. Conflict in a material way? Or conflict like Rove and Coopers conversation in that Rove says they talked about welfare reform, but Cooper says they didn't.

So what did Novak testify? We'll know for sure when she pens an article for Time for Monday's edition, but until then we can rely on this tidbit:

A source familiar with Novak's account said she believes the conversation took place in March or May, and definitely took place after February 2004, when Rove first testified before the grand jury.

This would make it appear that my theory of the conversation between Luskin and Fitz is the accurate one. That the V. Novak conversation sometime in March or May caused Luskin to get another document search where they turned up the email that refreshed Rove's memory.

The WaPo has another source though that says something different:

But one person close to the case said the conversation took place before Rove's first grand jury appearance in February. This person said the conversation was not the event that led Rove to change his testimony.
Well who is this source? Armando at Daily Kos thinks its Luskin:
The "one person close to the case" must be Luskin, and the reporter leaves the account confusing, one assumes, in order to try and protect Luskin anonymity as a source.
Huh? It could just as easily be David Corn (personal friend of Viveca Novak), based on the paragraph. Or one of the prosecutors. Armando goes into a theory:
But would it not be strange that Luskin would be arguing for the earlier date? I think not. And here's why. Luskin is stating that the Novak conversation is NOT why Rove "clarified" his testimony. Luskin will argue that the Novak conversations only were the catalyst for a review of Rove's e-mails on the subject but that this review was low priority. Or so it seems to me.
This makes no sense, because if thats the case, why would it matter when the conversation took place? It then becomes only a matter of when did the email turn up, and we know that didn't turn up until after his February GJ appearance.

Armando has a defense for this:
But what of the story that the conversation occurred BEFORE that? How can that help Rove? I think it would work like this - why would Rove lie in his February 2004 grand jury appearance if he had been tipped off before? He just didn't recall and when he had no e-mails or memos or call logs on it he just went with his memory. Nothing evil there. In essence, Rove is arguing that he is not that stupid.
So Rove knowing about the conversation (but not from his own notes) during his first GJ somehow helps him? And now that that Viveca says its March or May it hurts him? Still doesn't make sense. And based on what we know Luskin told something to Fitz to delay an indictment. Does Armando's theory fit something that would have caused Fitz to pause?

But somehow to the left it doesn't matter. Rove is guilty, ergo any testimony further implicates him no matter what it says. And if the testimony appears to be exculpatory, well.... well.... it's not exculpatory if you know all the facts!

It's becoming increasingly evident though, that Fitz started his whole investigation with the predicate that there was a conspiracy in the WH, and set about to prove that. When that didn't come to fruition, he didn't just pack up and go home, instead he had to look for something else to charge people in the White House. He bought the MSM narrative from the beginning.

For a balanced discussion of the Plame fiasco, as always, you should check Tom Maguire at Just One Minute. For a lefty view (although not as deranged as Dkos) try out firedoglake.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian