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Monday, November 28, 2005

No Church Bingo For Kobe Tonight

I heard Jim VandeHei was on Countdown pimping a barn burner of a story in the WaPo tonight that was going to rip the lid of this pig and exonerate Karl Rove from the legal miasma of TraitorGate. So I cancelled my plans for the evening, bullied the dogs into a hasty poop and settled down with some popcorn and my "refresh" button:
Viveca Novak, who has written intermittently about the leak case for Time, has been asked to provide sworn testimony to Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald in the next few weeks after Rove attorney Robert Luskin told Fitzgerald about a conversation he had with her, the two sources said.
Oh this is getting good. I feel a heat rash coming on from all the excitement.
[A] person familiar with the matter said Luskin cited his conversations with Novak in persuading Fitzgerald not to indict Rove in late October, when the prosecutor brought perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges against Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

"This is what caused [Fitzgerald] to hold off on charging" Rove, the source said.
B...b...but...(lip quivering, eyes watering)...I thought that was Adam Levine?
Luskin presented evidence, including details of his own conversations with Novak, to Fitzgerald at a secret meeting at a downtown law office shortly before Libby was indicted on Oct. 28, according to a source familiar with the case.
So...Fitzgerald's been what, waiting in line for Stones tickets for the past month?
It also shows that Rove, who, like Libby, was dragged into the case for talking to reporters, is now hoping that a reporter will help pull him out.
Excuse me, did he just use the word "dragged?" Kinda like John Gotti got "dragged" into court because Sammy the Bull got chatty.
Luskin has worked behind the scenes to convince Fitzgerald that Rove is guilty of nothing more than a faulty memory.
Again, funny choice of words -- "behind the scenes" -- for someone who has to be pulled off the stage with a hook.
Time has not disclosed what information Viveca Novak might have that is relevant to the case and Rove's defense. In a brief article Sunday, the magazine reported that she has been asked to discuss conversations with Luskin starting in May 2004, when she first began to report on the leak case.
What, were "sources familiar with the case" not familiar with the fact that Viveca Novak wrote articles on the case on January 2, January 12 and January 22, 2004? I guess not.
Time has not objected to Fitzgerald's questioning Novak. The magazine waged a lengthy legal battle to keep Fitzgerald's grand jury from questioning Cooper before acquiescing earlier this year. Unlike Cooper, Viveca Novak is not seeking to protect a confidential source and was not subpoenaed to testify.
Well it does make a certain kind of sense that Luskin is sending Fitzgerald on another goat rope of the Adam Levine variety and providing Viveca Novak with a waiver to testify. It would explain why Time isn't getting all hinky over it. It does not, however, explain the timing. VandeHei's spinners sources seem desperate to prove that there is "nothing new" here, we're in "loose ends" territory.

Kind of amusing, really. The "sources" lie freely knowing that Fitz is leak-proof, and reporters keep printing the lies only to have their asses handed to them days later when another camp leaks and spins back. The reporters never bust their "sources" in order to preserve the privilege of being lied to. Fitzgerald finds new ammunition with every leak and the reporters just wind up looking like prize chumps.

(In VandeHei's defense, he does quote "another person familiar with the conversations" who said that all this does "not appear to significantly alter the case." It keeps safely him out of Deborah Orrin territory anyway.)

If Luskin is dragging in Viveca Novak to substantiate something he said, then it seems likely Fitzgerald has some piece of evidence her testimony is intended to counter. Something within the timeframe must indicate that Rover wasn't being completely honest with either the FBI or the grand jury, and they hope to prove that if Luskin was out there selling his own client's special brand of bs then Fitzgerald should buy it, too.

Lord, if only Fitz were a red state fundie with an 8th grade education whose heartfelt desire was to nuke Syria and have sex with farm animals Rover's job experience would be ever so much more applicable.

Update: Jeralyn says "I'm just waiting now for Bob Woodward to pop back up in the story." Agreed.

And Arianna is now calling Woodward the "dumb blonde of American Journalism." You have to feel for VandeHei a bit. It must be rough when your biggest story to date is about how your paper's own superstar fucked you over and wouldn't talk to you about it.

(graphic courtesy The Heretik)