The Plot Thickens
It's amazing what a difference a day makes. On Friday morning, Republicans proclaimed Karl Rove's exhonoration in the PlameGate affair, after a source close to investigation claimed that it was columnist Robert Novak who informed Karl Rove of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity, and not visa versa.
But RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman's gloating notwithstanding, the mountain of evidence continues to build against Rove and the Bush White House. By Friday afternoon, a New York Times article revealed the existence of a June 10, 2003 State Department memo on the Wilson trip to Niger. Coming almost a full month before the publication of Ambassador Joseph Wilson's NYT op-ed piece, this memo was prepared for Secretary of State Colin Powell and may well have been read by others in the White House.
Then on Sunday morning, Matt Cooper of Time published "What I Told The Grand Jury", which detailed his conversations with both Rove and Dick Cheney's chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby prior to the July 13, 2003 publication of Novak's column. Cooper's revelations conclusively show that White House press secretary Scott McClellan on October 7, 2003 was either fatally out of the loop or blatantly lying:
Q: Scott, you have said that you, personally, went to Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and Elliot Abrams to ask them if they were the leakers. Is that what happened? Why did you do that, and can you describe the conversations you had with them? What was the question you asked?
MR. McCLELLAN: Unfortunately, in Washington, D.C., at a time like this, there are a lot of rumors and innuendo. There are unsubstantiated accusations that are made. And that's exactly what happened in the case of these three individuals. They're good individuals, they're important members of our White House team, and that's why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt of that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it's accurate before I report back to you, and that's exactly what I did.
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UPDATE: As expected, President Bush flip-flopped on his standards for acceptable behavior by White House staff. Turns out for he was for firing leakers before he was against it.