Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The case against Karl

Amid all the ongoing bluster concerning Fitzgerald and Rove, including the newest extreme delusion that the confusion instigated by Truthout relates somehow to the fact that Fitzgerald has forced Rove to turn on Cheney – keep dreaming! – we seem to have lost sight of the fact that Rove isn’t under threat of indictment because Fitzgerald had no chance of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Rove committed a crime.  Rove’s problem appears to relate to his failure to mention Cooper in his appearances before the Grand Jury.  Rove could be indicted for obstruction of justice or perjury, but Fitzgerald would have a hell-of-a-time proving it.  All Rove has to say is that he forgot.  It happened months before; Rove is a terribly busy guy (saving Americans from the terrorists!); Rove speaks to hundreds of people a week; Cooper was new to the Washington beat, not one of Rove’s regular journalist pals, and not a forceful or memorable personality; and Rove mentioned other names equally or more embarrassing to the White House case.  Rove has probably demonstrated to Fitzgerald in his Grand Jury appearances that he will be an excellent and engaging witness in his own defense.  How does Fitzgerald prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Rove didn’t just forget?  Given the importance of Rove in American politics, and the fact that an indictment would remove Rove from the upcoming election cycles, it would be an abuse of Fitzgerald’s power as a prosecutor to go after Rove if Fitzgerald feels he doesn’t have a reasonable prospect of winning.

I first wrote (also here) about this issue because it appeared to me that Democrat delusions about the Grand Jury – and an unhealthy obsession with Rove – were actually playing into the hands of the White House.  The way this story refuses to die – largely if not entirely the fault of Truthout, which should be ashamed of its actions in this matter, starting with the fact that it decided, for no obvious reason, to make itself a large part of the story - proves that things have become even worse.  At the end of the day on November 7, there will still be no indictments against either Rove or Cheney, and no Democrat control of either the House or the Senate.  Will that be enough to force Democrat supporters to stop counting on Fitzgerald to bail them out of their political woes?  I doubt it.