Time: Rove, Libby Will Resign If Indicted

Will President Bush keep his word to fire any administration official involved in outing Valerie Plame?

Thanks to Karl Rove, he likely won’t be forced to make that choice:

Even before testifying last week for the fourth time before a grand jury probing the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity, Bush senior adviser Rove and others at the White House had concluded that if indicted he would immediately resign or possibly go on unpaid leave, several legal and Administration sources familiar with the thinking told TIME.

Resignation is the much more likely scenario, they say. The same would apply to I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the Vice President’s chief of staff, who also faces a possible indictment. A former White House official says Rove’s break with Bush would have to be clean””no “giving advice from the sidelines”””for the sake of the Administration.

Make no mistake, the Time report is an attempt by Rove allies to spin his first post-indictment move. A “source close to Rove” claims the reason for the resignation is to allow him “to fight aggressively ‘any bull– charges.'”