Update: Bloomberg: "Rove testified Wednesday he still doesn’t recall having spoken with Cooper, the people familiar said." I guess Rover’s "senior moment" is a bit more protracted than we thought.
Update II: NYT says Fitzgerald will decide in the next 2 or 3 weeks whether to charge Rove. "On Wednesday Mr. Fitzgerald questioned Mr. Rove about how he came to remember his conversation with Mr. Cooper." Looks like there is some confusion regarding Rove’s memory.
It’s so hard to stop once I get started.
And this is probably only for the serious addicts, but there is a discussion going on over at The Next Hurrah as to what Libby originally testified to relative to his initial conversation with Matt Cooper. As Tom MaGuire noted earlier — was Libby initially covering for Rove? I bring this up because it’s entirely possible that one of the many discrepancies Fitzgerald is going after in Rove’s testimony may be the fact that Rove didn’t tell Fitz that he, Rove, was Cooper’s initial source — he may have coordinated with Scooter to keep himself out of it such that Scooter said he was the source.
Jeff, from the comments:
Fitzgerald’s 8-27-04 affidavit makes it perfectly explicit that Libby testified that he brought up Wilson’s wife on July 12 not just with Cooper but also with Miller and, I think, Kessler (who testified that their conversation didn’t touch on Plame at all). So I think it’s exactly right that one of the things that makes Fitzgerald suspicious about Rove is that it looks like Rove and Libby could have coordinated their stories in order to hide Rove’s contact with Cooper, and Rove only started coming around once it was clear that Fitzgerald was going to not only go after Cooper but succeed at getting him to testify about his original source on Wilson’s wife.
Remember, from the Washington Post, Fitzgerald was quite surprised at the tale Cooper had to tell him:
Cooper and his attorneys were surprised that Fitzgerald agreed to ask Cooper questions only about his conversations with Libby, sources familiar with the investigation said.
The sources said Fitzgerald looked surprised in the August 2004 deposition when Cooper said it was he who brought up Wilson’s wife with Libby, and that Libby responded, "Yeah, I heard that, too."
The prosecutor pressed Cooper to then explain how he knew about Wilson’s wife in the first place, and Cooper said he would not answer the question because it did not involve Libby, the sources said.
Which brings me back to one of my favorite Murray Waas articles from July of 2005 :
Columnist Robert Novak, who first disclosed Plame’s identity in a July 14, 2003, newspaper column, has also been cooperating with investigators for some time, according to the same sources, as I first reported in my blog earlier in the week. But federal investigators have been highly skeptical of Novak’s account — as they have been of Rove’s — and were concerned that the key participants might have devised a cover story in the days shortly after it became known that a criminal investigation had been commenced.
Fitzgerald has quite a bit on Rover. Some think this is an indication Rove has flipped; I’m with Digby who thinks it’s more likely due to this :
Rove was no lawyer but he carried a kind of preturnatural confidence in court cases. Like in his high school debates, he always felt better than anybody in the room. He could beat anybody with the strength of his argument or the weight of his will. When a team of blue-chip lawyers in a tobacco case grilled Rove for a deposition some years earlier, he was not just confident, but arrogant, fending off their questions with playful insults. On the stand in the Kay Bailey Hutchison trial, he was masterful in frustrating the prosecution. Now he had a former U.S. Attorney General in his cross hairs, and as Rove sat at the table in the federal courthouse, he turned his head slowly and looked over at the defense table with the thin sliver of a smile. It was a dark smile, determined, and there was not mistaking the message: You are my enemy and you will pay.(Bush’s Brain p. 190)
Of course, as many others have noted, as far as the rats are concerned, it’s all about the 2006 election. They will do anything, say anything, sell anybody out and devote all their energies to stalling shamelessly to make sure Democrats never get subpoena power and start investigating their sorry asses.
I better stop now or the next thing you know I’ll be picking indictment shreds out of the carpet.