07/17/2005: Rovian spin contradicted by Matt Cooper.
dKos quotes the relevant passages, because Time's put the story up behind their "paid subscriber" wall:
I told the grand jurors that I was curious about Wilson when I called Karl Rove on Friday, July 11...... But then, I recall, she said something like, "Hang on," and I was transferred to him. I recall saying something like, "I'm writing about Wilson," before he interjected. "Don't get too far out on Wilson," he told me. I started taking notes on my computer, and while an e-mail I sent moments after the call has been leaked, my notes have not been [...]That's good news. And reading this over at Billmon makes my disposition even brighter:
As for Wilson's wife, I told the grand jury I was certain that Rove never used her name and that, indeed, I did not learn her name until the following week, when I either saw it in Robert Novak's column or Googled her, I can't recall which. Rove did, however, clearly indicate that she worked at the "agency"--by that, I told the grand jury, I inferred that he obviously meant the CIA and not, say, the Environmental Protection Agency. Rove added that she worked on "WMD" (the abbreviation for weapons of mass destruction) issues and that she was responsible for sending Wilson. This was the first time I had heard anything about Wilson's wife.
Rove never once indicated to me that she had any kind of covert status. I told the grand jury something else about my conversation with Rove. Although it's not reflected in my notes or subsequent e-mails, I have a distinct memory of Rove ending the call by saying, "I've already said too much." This could have meant he was worried about being indiscreet, or it could have meant he was late for a meeting or something else. I don't know, but that sign-off has been in my memory for two years.
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.
I just got off the phone with a friend of mine, a veteran investigative reporter, who in turn said he recently talked to one of his old editors, who covered Patrick Fitzgerald when he was an assistant U.S. attorney going after mob guys in New York. So my friend asked him what he thought of the guy.Add to that this assessment by Frank Rich in the New York Times:
This is from my friend's memory, but given that he's got 20+ years in the business, and I've known him longer than that, I trust his quotes:"Fitzgerald is a prosecution machine," the old editor said. "When he wants somebody, he goes after them with whatever he's got. If he can't make the case he started with, he'll figure out what you did do and hit you with that. He's relentless, and he doesn't give a flying fuck about the press or the First Amendment. He'd throw us all in jail if it would help him make his case."...
Be afraid, Karl. Be very afraid.
Mr. Fitzgerald, both young (44) and ambitious, has no record of Starr- or Ashcroft-style partisanship (his contempt for the press notwithstanding) or known proclivity for committing career suicide... That the investigation has dragged on so long anyway is another indication of the expanded reach of the prosecutorial web.The odds of Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove being frogmarched and doing some time certainly looks better and better.
And that would really make my day.
Len on 07.17.05 @ 12:03 PM CST