Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Rove, Luskin and Cooper

There is an excellent analysis here by Josh Marshall on the legal niceties which kept Matt Cooper out of jail, based on an article in the New York Times. Cooper was all ready to go to jail, but didn't want to. However, all he had from Rove was one of those blanket waivers on which journalists have not wanted to rely, based on the assumption that they were obtained based on coercion (I'm not sure why the specific waivers are considered to be less problematic, but that's the position taken by journalists). As a matter of principle, Cooper was prepared to go to jail rather than rely on Rove's blanket waiver, until his lawyer pointed out a statement by Rove's lawyer Robert Luskin published in the Wall Street Journal:

"If Matt Cooper is going to jail to protect a source it's not Karl he's protecting."

The New York Times continues:

"That provided an opening, Mr. Cooper said. 'I was not looking for a waiver,' he said, 'but on Wednesday morning my lawyer called and said, 'Look at The Wall Street Journal. I think we should take a shot.' And I said, 'Yes, it's an invitation.'

In court shortly after 2, he told Judge Thomas F. Hogan of the Federal District Court in Washington that he had received 'an express personal release from my source.'

That statement surprised Mr. Luskin, Mr. Rove's lawyer. Mr. Luskin said he had only reaffirmed the blanket waiver, in response to a request from Mr. Fitzgerald."

The 'express personal release from my source' appears to be Luskin's unnecessary bloviation to the Wall Street Journal. Cooper seems to have decided that he wouldn't allow Rove's attorney to gloat in the protection provided by Cooper's silence, particularly if that silence resulted in the personal cost to Cooper of going to jail. It would be funny if Karl Rove has to resign due to a malfunction in his lawyer's testosterone patch.