July 23, 2005

I hope no one minds if I indulge in some good ol'-fashioned conspiracy theorizin'

So I was reading another article about the Valerie Plame business this morning, and I was thinking: okay. So...Judith Miller is going to jail because she wouldn't reveal the name of her source. Matthew Cooper is avoiding jail because his source, Karl Rove, released him from his pledge of confidentiality.

Explain to me why exactly Karl Rove would do this?

I am honestly curious to hear some theories, because the only reason I keep coming up with is the one my internal Fox Mulder keeps suggesting -- that Karl Rove is the less important of two people responsible for the leak, and Rove's falling on the knife.

Posted by Francis at 01:18 AM

According to Rove's lawyer, the waiver was not specific to the Plame affair, and was signed over a year ago. Here's how the lawyer, Robert Luskin, describes the waiver to Byron York of National Review:

Luskin also shed light on the waiver that Rove signed releasing Cooper from any confidentiality agreement about the conversation. Luskin says Rove originally signed a waiver in December 2003 or in January 2004 (Luskin did not remember the exact date). The waiver, Luskin continues, was written by the office of special prosecutor Fitzgerald, and Rove signed it without making any changes — with the understanding that it applied to anyone with whom he had discussed the Wilson/Plame matter. "It was everyone's expectation that the waiver would be as broad as it could be," Luskin says.

Cooper and New York Times reporter Judith Miller have expressed concerns that such waivers (top Cheney aide Lewis Libby also signed one) might have been coerced and thus might not have represented Rove's true feelings. Yet from the end of 2003 or beginning of 2004, until last Wednesday, Luskin says, Rove had no idea that there might be any problem with the waiver.

It was not until that Wednesday, the day Cooper was to appear in court, that that changed. "Cooper's lawyer called us and said, "Can you confirm that the waiver encompasses Cooper?" Luskin recalls. "I was amazed. He's a lawyer. It's not rocket science. [The waiver] says 'any person.' It's that broad. So I said, 'Look, I understand that you want reassurances. If Fitzgerald would like Karl to provide you with some other assurances, we will.'" Luskin says he got in touch with the prosecutor — "Rule number one is cooperate with Fitzgerald, and there is no rule number two," Luskin says — and asked what to do. According to Luskin, Fitzgerald said to go ahead, and Luskin called Cooper's lawyer back. "I said that I can reaffirm that the waiver that Karl signed applied to any conversations that Karl and Cooper had," Luskin says. After that — which represented no change from the situation that had existed for 18 months — Cooper made a dramatic public announcement and agreed to testify.

Posted by: Eric Berlin at July 23, 2005 07:13 AM

Your theory falls apart on the idea that there's somebody out there more important than Karl Rove.

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