Rove Redux

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 7, 2005; 10:48 AM

The AP scoop by John Solomon that rattled the Washington landscape at 3:15 p.m. yesterday carried this headline:

"Rove to give additional testimony without guarantee he won't be indicted."

Is that true? Yes. Is the headline a bit loaded? I'd say so. Almost everyone who testifies before a grand jury, except for the relatively few granted immunity, has no guarantee he or she won't face charges.

Now this is by no stretch of the imagination good news for Rove. To be called back after you've already testified, as a grand jury is winding up its probe, suggests there were discrepancies in your testimony that a prosecutor wants to clear up. Still, the only thing we know for sure, thanks to Matt Cooper's account, is that Rove discussed Valerie Plame with the Time reporter.

But judging by the way this is played on TV, you can almost hear the reporters salivating for indictment. Not because they don't like Rove--a lot of them have probably dealt with him on background--but because it would be such a juicy story. Plus, it could be added to the litany of woes facing Bush (down to 37 percent in the latest CBS poll ): Katrina, Iraq, DeLay, Miers, the Safavian indictment.

If Karl Rove were to be charged, given his central role in Bush's rise and in this White House, the story would be huge. Massive. Titanic. But I think journalists ought to be careful about getting too far out in front on this.

That doesn't stop liberal Lawrence O'Donnell at the Huffington Post: "Prediction: at least three high level Bush Administration personnel indicted and possibly one or more very high level unindicted co-conspirators."

Here's the New York Times account: "The special prosecutor in the C.I.A. leak case has summoned Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, to return next week to testify to a federal grand jury in a step that could mean charges will be filed in the case, lawyers in the case said on Thursday.

"The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, has held discussions in recent days with lawyers for several administration officials suggesting that he is considering whether to charge them with a crime over the disclosure of an intelligence operative's identity in a 2003 newspaper column."

L.A. Times : "Presidential adviser Karl Rove has agreed to give last-minute testimony to a grand jury in the ongoing investigation into the leak of a covert CIA agent's identity." It is unclear why Rove has been asked to make another trip -- his fourth -- to the grand jury investigating who leaked the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame."

On the Supreme front, a fascinating rebuttal to all the conservative criticism of Miers is beginning to emerge. It's that she's the victim of snooty intellectuals.

Roger Simon frames it bluntly: "She is no genius. But so what? What have the 'genius' choices that Bush has made for his administration gotten us besides enormous deficits and a quagmire in Iraq?

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