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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

TruthOut has the entire (I believe) Matt Cooper Time Magazine article, and after reading it I have to say I'm feeling pretty good about Fitzgerald's chances of bagging a rare Turd Blossom this season.

Cooper says:
A surprising line of questioning had to do with, of all things, welfare reform. The prosecutor asked if I had ever called Mr. Rove about the topic of welfare reform. Just the day before my grand jury testimony Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, had told journalists that when I telephoned Rove that July, it was about welfare reform and that I suddenly switched topics to the Wilson matter. After my grand jury appearance, I did go back and review my e-mails from that week, and it seems as if I was, at the beginning of the week, hoping to publish an article in TIME on lessons of the 1996 welfare-reform law, but the article got put aside, as often happens when news overtakes story plans. My welfare-reform story ran as a short item two months later, and I was asked about it extensively. To me this suggested that Rove may have testified that we had talked about welfare reform, and indeed earlier in the week, I may have left a message with his office asking if I could talk to him about welfare reform. But I can't find any record of talking about it with him on July 11, and I don't recall doing so. (my emphasis)
Now, Luskin was obviously peddling whatever story he felt he could sell depending on what day of the week it was, and it sure ain't tough to make Byron York your bitch. But according to the memo "released" to the Associated Press yesterday, which ostensibly went to show that Karl was being a good boy and reporting in on his conversation with Cooper to the appropriate authorities (then-deputy national security adviser Stephen Hadley on July 11, 2003), Rove himself said :
"Matt Cooper called to give me a heads-up that he's got a welfare reform story coming," Rove wrote Hadley, who has since risen to the top job of national security adviser.

"When he finished his brief heads-up he immediately launched into Niger. Isn't this damaging? Hasn't the president been hurt? I didn't take the bait, but I said if I were him I wouldn't get Time far out in front on this."
Which means that Rove was peddling the "welfare reform" lie from the start. That Luskin was also disseminating it as of last week means that Rove probably stuck to the story during his grand jury testimony. And although it boils down to Cooper's version vs. Rove's, it's a good indication Rove was probably playing fast and furious with the truth when he testified, and that the grand jury isn't too happy about it.

Ain't life grand.

(BTW, hat tip to Virginia at for graciously allowing me to use her photoshopped images of Rove.)