According to the New York Times, Republican sources say that Karl Rove did not have an “extensive” role in the commutation deliberations “because his participation would have been awkward“:
Karl Rove, the chief White House strategist and one of Mr. Bush’s closest and longest-serving aides, had been implicated in the leak investigation, and it was unclear how extensive a role he played in the deliberations.
The special prosecutor in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, ultimately decided not to pursue charges against Mr. Rove. Some Republicans said they believed that Mr. Rove steered clear of the pardon discussions, perhaps because his participation would have been awkward.
“I talk to Karl a lot, and I just never got any sense that he was involved in that at all,” said Vin Weber, a Republican former congressman who said he believed that Mr. Libby should be pardoned.