Thursday, April 20, 2006

Is Rove Next?

Truthout's Jason Leopold reports that Special Prosectuor Patrick Fitzgerald is back at work in the CIA leak case this week, fresh from the conviction he won against former Illinois Gov. George Ryan (R) on all counts, presenting a federal grand jury with additional evidence against Karl Rove, the President's closest political advisor. According to Leopold, Fitzgerald plans to ask the grand jury to return a multi-count indictment against Rove. Leopold writes:

Just as the news broke Wednesday about Scott McClellan resigning as White House press secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove shedding some of his policy duties, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald met with the grand jury hearing evidence in the CIA leak case and introduced additional evidence against Rove, attorneys and other US officials close to the investigation said.

The grand jury session in federal court in Washington, DC, sources close to the case said, was the first time this year that Fitzgerald told the jurors that he would soon present them with a list of criminal charges he intends to file against Rove in hopes of having the grand jury return a multi-count indictment against Rove . . .

Fitzgerald is said to have introduced more evidence Wednesday alleging Rove lied to FBI investigators and the grand jury when he was questioned about how he found out that Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the CIA and whether he shared that information with the media, attorneys close to the case said.Fitzgerald told the grand jury that Rove lied to investigators and the prosecutor eight out of the nine times he was questioned about the leak and also tried to cover-up his role in disseminating Plame Wilson's CIA status to at least two reporters.

Additionally, an FBI investigator reread to jurors testimony from other witnesses in the case that purportedly implicates Rove in playing a role in the leak and the campaign to discredit Plame Wilson's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, whose criticism of the Bush administration's pre-war Iraq intelligence lead to his wife being unmasked as a covert CIA operative.

This cannot be good news for President Bush as a Fox News poll shows his approval rating at an all-time low of just 33%. No president since Richard M. Nixon has experienced approval ratings this low. With Nixon, it was a third rate burglary that ended his presidency. Will a third rate leak have the same consequences for Bush?

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