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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Karl's Big Break

In Redd's absence, Jeralyn takes a look at the Viveca Novak rumor and speculates on how her testimony might affect Rover's defense. The answer? Not much:
This seems to be the Rove version: Rove testifies in February, 2004 and does not remember Cooper. Cooper gets subpoenaed about Libby in May, 2004, and Viveca Novak says something about Libby being Cooper's source that jogs Luskin's memory about Rove. In the fall of 2004, he finds the Hadley e-mail and on October 15, 2004, sends Rove back to testify and correct the record -- which just happens to be two days after Matt Cooper was held in contempt for refusing to testify against Rove.

Rove can say since he was the first one to come forward with the disclosure of the Cooper call, he gets to assert recantation to avoid being charged with perjury in the fall of 2004.
I personally think this probably came as news to Luskin ("Hey, Karl? Anything you forget to tell me? No, it's not my birthday...") but Jeralyn thinks that Rove is attempting to wiggle out of perjury and obstruction charges by virtue of "recanting" his testimony to the grand jury (her earlier posts point out that you can't "recant" testimony to the FBI, which would still leave him on the hook for making a false statement to investigators in the fall of 2003).

Jeralyn cites the conditions under which Rove can recant his testimony:
Where, in the same continuous court or grand jury proceeding in which a declaration is made, the person making the declaration admits such declaration to be false, such admission shall bar prosecution under this section if, at the time the admission is made, the declaration has not substantially affected the proceeding, or it has not become manifest that such falsity has been or will be exposed.
If Rove didn't clean up his lie memory lapse to the grand jury until he knew that a) Cooper considered him his first source, and b) Cooper lost his bid to quash the subpoena, wouldn't that sort of screw him up when it came to the part about "such falsity has been or will be exposed?"

Luskin's ability to spin the major media outlets aside, it looks like Rover may at the very least have a lot more free time to battle Britney for those fried Snickers bars and cocktail weenies.

Update: Swopa gives an excellent chronology of events, and says "if Viv said this in May 2004, I assume it would have been Rove's duty to come forward then rather than five months later." Ah, but the story all along has been that the email jogged Rover's memory back into place. The V. Novak blab to Luskin caused him to ask for a new document search with better "paramaters." Either that or the email Karl held back because he thought it would do him too much damage and he figured Fitzgerald didn't have the balls to start seizing White House computers suddenly seemed like it might help him and it was time to cough it up. My guess is the latter.

Update: Over at Jeralyn's, Grampa gives a clear picture of what I think is happening:
It looks like Luskin is trying to show Fitzgerald that Rove recanted because of a "recovered memory," not because the falsity of his testimony was about to be exposed. If Luskin can lay down a plausible sequence of events leading to that recovered memory, and if those events occurred before it was clear that Cooper would testify, the recantation defense might cause Fitzgerald to doubt the strength of his case. It's not a great strategy, but Luskin has very few arrows in his quiver.
Sounds right to me. Desperate, but right.

(graphic by Monk at Inflatable Dartboard)