By Joseph Cannon on 10/8/2005, 12:08pm PT  

Guest blogged by Joseph Cannon

Did Rove lie to Bush?

The AP has just reported that, back in the fall of 2003, Rove denied to Bush that he (Rove) had any connection to outing Joseph Wilson's wife. So far, we don't know just who gave the Grand Jury that piece of information.

We now know, of course, that Rove discussed the matter with Matt Cooper. So Rove's report to Bush was fraudulent. Unless...unless someone has lied to the Grand Jury in order to cover W's farthole.

Or was W covering his own farthole?

From an under-appreciated piece by Murray Waas, which the AP story has now largely confirmed:

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove personally assured President Bush in the early fall of 2003 that he had not disclosed to anyone in the press that Valerie Plame, the wife of an administration critic, was a CIA employee, according to legal sources with firsthand knowledge of the accounts that both Rove and Bush independently provided to federal prosecutors.

I suspect this means Waas got word from Bush's counsel. (Prosecution lawyers aren't allowed to talk to the press about Grand Jury proceedings, but witnesses --- and their lawyers --- may do so if they wish.)

Did Rove lie to the FBI?

More from Murray Waas:

Rove also did not disclose the Cooper chat to FBI agents in his first interview with them. He subsequently changed his account.

"Sources close to the leak investigation being run by Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald say it was the discovery of one of Rove's White House e-mails --- in which the senior Bush adviser referred to his July 2003 conversation with Cooper --- that prompted Rove to contact prosecutors and to revise his account to include the Cooper conversation," Waas writes.

Lying to the FBI...? Isn't that how Martha Stewart ended up in the slammer?

The Great Judy:

Judith Miller just now discovered notes of a June, 2003 meeting she had with Libby. We should presume that these notes are relevant to the outing of Valerie Plame/Wilson.

The chronology has suddenly become very strange --- June, 2003 was before Wilson publicly criticized the administration.

My take on this won't be popular.

I've hinted at it in previous posts: I think the neocon cabal had reason to expect Wilson to "confirm" the Niger forgeries. For some reason, they trusted him to go along with their plans --- and they felt double-crossed when he did not. So they cobbled together a "get Wilson" strategy even before he published his piece.

I admire Wilson, but I suspect that he has not told all.

What did the President know and when did he know it?

In light of all of the above, the following grab from Jason Leopold's latest column on The Huffington Post has profound implications:

Moreover, evidence suggests that President Bush was aware as early as October 2003 that Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, were the sources who leaked Plame's undercover CIA status to reporters. After the president was briefed about the issue, he said publicly the source of the leak will never be found.

Presuming that this evidence holds up: Does this mean that the "Rove-denied-it-to-Bush" testimony (discussed above) was fraudulent? Lying to a Grand Jury can get one impeached --- and imprisoned.