Thursday, October 27, 2005

ROVE and LIBBY to be indicted

The Raw Story is reporting that "Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has asked the grand jury investigating the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to indict Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice."

In addition, "Fitzgerald has also asked the jury to indict Libby on a second charge: knowingly outing a covert operative". Two other "officials" may also be indicted.

And a deal may have been offered to Rove. And turned down.

Read the whole story.

More to come.

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Around the blogosphere:

The Anonymous Liberal, who's done some great work on this story, remains "skeptical". However, the story seems "plausible".

Hunter at Daily Kos links to another post by Richard Sale at Sic Semper Tyrannis: "[F]ederal law enforcement officials told this reporter that Fitzgerald was likely to charge the people indicted with violating Joe Wilson's civil rights, smearing his name in an attempt to destroy his ability to earn a living in Washington as a consultant." "Cheney is at the center of the controversy," and Sale is reporting that "[t]he probe is far from being at an end". A new grand jury may be empanelled and more indictments may be handed down.

At Hullaballoo, Digby responds: "First of all, the fact that there have been recent contacts with Cheney suggests that something really big is up. Second, the fact that he is going to empanel a new grand jury is also huge." And: "Gird yourselves for shrieks coming from the right so cacophanous that you will have permanent hearing damage if Fitz files civil rights charges. Their heads will start spinning like Linda Blair's and the words 'criminalization of politics' are going to be bursting forth like green pea soup."

Brilliantly put, Digby.

Steve Soto at The Left Coaster: "I'm not surprised that Fitzgerald hasn't pulled the trigger yet. There have been too many recent revelations leaking out and new developments such as his bull-rush into the Niger forgeries for me to think that he was ready. I personally now think that Fitzgerald will extend this grand jury after Friday, even if the indictments come down this week."

At Tapped, Garance Franke-Ruta gets to the heart of the matter:

Rather than signaling the end of the inquiry, however, indictments will mark the beginning of the real scandal investigation -- the public inquiry into and airing out of why the president and vice president of the United States of America took the nation to war based, in part, on forged documents that had already been disproven abroad and that were also rejected by the United States' own intelligence agencies.

That is the real scandal and the real mystery, and the more that is known about the origins of the Niger forgeries and the process by which they were given to White House sources, the more questions are raised about what, exactly, the White House thought it was doing. It is one thing for politicians to be misled by allegedly inept domestic intelligence agencies; it is quite another for them to ignore the work of intelligence agencies and use forged documents acquired through highly irregular back-channels, without verification, to mislead the American people and their elected congressional representatives in order to pursue personally desired military aims.

It's a must-read post. (Follow her links to Laura Rozen and Josh Marshall, both of whom have done some excellent work dissecting the highly disturbing Niger-Italy connection. See also Kevin Drum (also here) and Bradford Plumer.)

Balloon Juice looks at Plame's "status" at the CIA.

See also The Carpetbagger Report, Talk Left, Wonkette, and TBogg.

(The Carpetbagger Report also has a good round-up of the latest here.)

And what's going on over on the right? Nation editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel, hardly a friend of the right, suggests at The Huffington Post that conservatives are going through "the five stages of political grief". And so, as we await depression and acceptance: "In the meantime, we get to enjoy the hypocrisy of listening to Republicans run through the Clinton playbook. They are currently referring to the investigation as the 'criminalization of politics,' dismissing perjury as a 'technicality,' and smearing the Special Prosecutor. It is a veritable nostalgia-fest."

Indeed it is.

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Otherwise, it's all quiet, more or less, on the right-wing front. Conservative blogs like Captain's Quarters and RedState.org are still on the Miers story, while others like Power Line and Outside the Beltway are posting on this and that (the latest "Beltway Traffic Jam" is here), but they don't seem to have too much to say about these impending indictments.

Can you blame them?

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But the real news: Nothing today. Which means yet more waiting.

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