A Day Of Mourning For Kossacks Everywhere

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has told Karl Rove he will not be charged in the Plame affair, ending constant speculation that a Rove indictment was just around the corner:

In a statement this morning, Robert Luskin, Rove’s attorney, said that Fitzgerald “has formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges” against Rove.

“In deference to the pending case, we will not make any further public statements about the subject matter of the investigation,” Luskin said in the statement. “We believe that the Special Counsel’s decision should put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove’s conduct.”

It’s been fairly clear for a while that Fitzgerald was unlikely to prosecute Rove – there is simple little evidence of any wrongdoing. Even the case against L. Scooter Libby seems highly circumstantial. Fitzgerald has so far declined to prosecute anyone under the Espionage Act or any related statutes because there seems to be no strong case that Plame was deliberately outed. Fitzgerald has claimed that Plame was a covert agent, but so far the Libby team has been unable to determine on what basis Fitzgerald makes that claim. When the Libby case goes to court, it’s quite likely that Fitzgerald will have sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Libby lied to his investigation and didn’t simply remember things differently than the other reporters who testified.

Ambassador Wilson’s arguments have already been thoroughly discredited, he was all but called a liar by the Senate Intelligence Report, and now the bloody shirt he’s been waving around for ages is soon to slip from his fingers. Wilson’s left with little more than the adulation of the lunatic fringe, and now he and his wife will be consigned to little more than a historical footnote – another failed anti-Bush crusader who sold his credibility for a chance at partisan gain.

UPDATE: Tom Maguire is all over this development, just as he’s been all over every twist in this case. He was speculating on a Rove indictment himself, but it looks like Fitzgerald wisely decided that indicting Rove on the basis of a two-minute conversation with a reporter would be the end of his career. Meanwhile, John Podhoretz calls Fitzgerald’s performance “disgraceful” for leaving Rove on the hook for so long. My guess is that Fitzgerald was compelling Rove and others to spill the beans on any possible leaks – only finding there were no beans to spill.

My guess is that the Libby defense team is quite happy today.

5 thoughts on “A Day Of Mourning For Kossacks Everywhere

  1. How does not indicting turdblossom equal letting Scoots McCann off the hook. My guess is that you’re an idiot.

  2. My guess is that you weren’t burdened with an overabundance of schooling….

    The Libby charges relate to perjury, which is difficult to prove. Fitzgerald would have to argue that Libby deliberately lied to the grand jury – and the Libby team can argue that Fitzgerald simply doesn’t have the evidence to prove that, and that like Rove, Libby simply misremembered his conversations with reporters. Furthermore, it’s clear that Armitage’s testimony was as shaky as Libby’s, yet he has not been indicted. The Libby team can suggest that Libby was a patsy, and that Fitzgerald was using his indictment to try and scare some big fish – a feint that failed.

  3. Ultimately, this whole thing is probably a Rovian ploy, with Rove seeking to prolong the cloud over his head by giving Fitzgerald just enough misinformation to create this long-awaited moment where the “persecuted” Rove is finally cleared at a time when it’s the most politically beneficial. I’m sure Rove would have preferred his exoneration come in September or October, but maybe the arrangement consists of Rove getting off in June, with Libby getting off in September or October. It’s no coincidence, we can be sure of that.

  4. Markos Moulitsas-endorsed underdog Senate candidate Jim Webb just upset establishment candidate Harris Miller in the Virginia primary….just like netroots-endorsed Senate candidate Jon Tester beat establishment Dem John Morrison in Montana. Looks like 2006 is gonna be “The Year of Kos”!

    Also hitching his wagon to Kos’ boat is Larry Sabato who just commented that Webb’s victory represents the worst nightmare of incumbent Republican and Presidential candidate George Allen. All of the sudden, with Virginia in the mix on top of the five most vulnerable Senate seats in the country held by the GOP (MO, MT, OH, PA, and RI), the prospect of a Democratic Senate takeover is no longer out of the question.

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