Over the weekend, McLaughlin Group panelist Lawrence O’Donnell revealed that one of the PlameGate sources being protected by Time reporter Matt Cooper is none other than Karl Rove. Below, a few questions for the Mayberry Machiavelli:
What Explains the Suspicious Wording of Your Lawyer’s Statement?
In interviews with Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times, Rove’s lawyer Robert Luskin repeated two points: that 1) Rove “never knowingly disclosed classified information” and 2) that “he did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA.” The wording of this explanation itself raises questions. If point #2 is the whole truth, and Rove never did tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA, Luskin would have no need to state point #1, that Rove had not “knowingly disclosed classified information.” So why have Luskin’s statements — which were crafted with the utmost sensitivity, one can be sure — worded the way that they are?
When Did You First Speak to Journalists about Plame?
Though Rove’s involvement in the smear campaign against Wilson and Plame is well known, the timeline is still uncertain. The new statements from Rove’s lawyer only muddy the picture. In October 2003, Rove reportedly admitted to the grand jury “that he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding [Plame] with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists,” part of an “aggressive campaign to discredit Wilson through the leaking and disseminating of derogatory information regarding him and his wife.” According to investigative journalist Murray Waas, Rove told the grand jury that “he had only circulated information about Plame after it had appeared in [Robert] Novak’s column.” But according to Rove’s attorney Robert Luskin, “Rove spoke to Cooper three or four days before Novak’s column appeared.” What, then, did Rove share with Cooper?
UPDATE: More in today’s Progress Report.