It has been widely reported that Rove’s legal troubles center around his initial failure to tell prosecutors about his conversation with TIME Magazine’s Matt Cooper regarding Joe Wilson’s wife. In a new story, Murray Waas reports that Rove could also be in legal jeopardy based on the substance of what he said about his conversation with Cooper once he acknowledged it occurred. Here’s the critical point:
Rove testified to the grand jury that when he told Cooper that Plame worked at the agency, he was only passing along unverified gossip, according to people familiar with his testimony.
In contrast, Cooper has testified that Rove told him in a phone conversation on July 11, 2003, that Plame worked for the CIA and played a role in having the agency select her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, to make a fact-finding trip to Niger in 2002.
Cooper has also testified that Rove, as well as a second source — I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, then-chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney — portrayed the information about Plame as accurate and authoritative.
So there is a big difference between Rove’s version of the story and Cooper’s version of the story. If Fitzgerald establishes that Rove is the one not telling the truth, it could potentially form the basis of perjury or obstruction of justice charges against Rove.
In short: Rove’s in even more trouble than we thought.