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03-28-2006 08:31 AM

Rove Pointing Fitzgerald to Cheney
 
Rove said cooperating in CIA leak inquiry
Larisa Alexandrovna
Published: Monday March 27, 2006

Karl Rove, Deputy White House Chief of Staff and
special adviser to President George W. Bush, has
recently been providing information to special
prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the ongoing CIA leak
investigation, sources close to the investigation say.
According to several Pentagon sources close to Rove
and others familiar with the inquiry, Bush's senior
adviser tipped off Special Prosecutor Patrick
Fitzgerald to information that led to the recent
"discovery" of 250 pages of missing email from the
office of Vice President Dick Cheney.
Rove has been in the crosshairs of Fitzgerald's
investigation into the outing of covert CIA officer
Valerie Plame Wilson for what some believe to be
retaliation against her husband, former U.S.
Ambassador to Gabon, Joseph Wilson. Wilson had been an
ardent critic of pre-war Iraq intelligence.
While these sources did not provide any details
regarding what type of arrangements Rove's attorney
Robert Luskin may have made with the special
prosecutor's office, if any, they were able to provide
some information regarding what Rove imparted to
Fitzgerald's team. The individuals declined to go on
the record out of concern for their jobs.
According to one source close to the case, Rove is
providing information on deleted emails, erased hard
drives and other types of obstruction by staff and
other officials in the Vice President's office.
Pentagon sources close to Rove confirmed this account.

None would name the staffers and/or officials whom
Rove is providing information about. They did,
however, explain that the White House computer system
has "real time backup" servers and that while emails
were deleted from computers, they were still
retrievable from the backup system. By providing the
dates and recipient information of the deleted emails,
sources say, Rove was able to chart a path for
Fitzgerald directly into the office of the Vice
President.
In a comment to RAW STORY late Sunday evening, Robert
Luskin denied any deal between Rove and Fitzgerald's
office.
"Mr. Rove has cooperated fully with Mr. Fitzgerald's
investigation," Rove's attorney said. "We have not and
will not comment on the nature or substance of any
communications with the office of the special
counsel."
"That said, there is no basis whatsoever to the
matters you allege that Mr. Rove has related," Luskin
added.
One senior White House official is already under
indictment in the leak case. Cheney's former chief of
staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted on five
counts of obstruction and false statements to
investigators in October of last year.
Rove eluded indictment late last fall after his lawyer
said he recalled a conversation with Time reporter
Viveca Novak that he alleged would vindicate his
client. Sources say that while the defense was able to
parlay Luskin's revelation into postponing Rove's
indictment, ultimately a deal would likely have to be
cut.
The sources did not say a deal had been reached, but
did assert that Rove pointed Fitzgerald to Cheney's
office for the missing emails.
Asked about allegations that Rove is providing
Fitzgerald's office with key information and if his
status had changed as a result, Luskin provided a
vehement denial.
"Your story is false and utterly without foundation,"
he said. "There has never been any discussion of any
deal of any kind involving Mr. Rove. His cooperation
has at all times been voluntary and unconditional."
One of the sources close to the investigation said he
was not surprised by Luskin's response.
"That would be difficult for Rove to admit," the
source said. "I think Rove is now considered a special
cooperating witness."
The White House was ordered to turn over all emails by
then-White House Counsel and current Attorney General
Alberto Gonzales in 2003, after the Administration
received word the Justice Department had launched an
investigation into the CIA outing. According to
newspaper reports, Gonzales waited twelve hours to
inform White House staff after he had received an
order from the Justice Department to surrender
materials relating to the case.
In a January letter to Libby's defense team,
Fitzgerald expressed concern that some emails might be
missing.
"Some e-mails might be missing because the White
House's archiving system had failed," he said.
Sources say that the missing emails, which surfaced
only a month later were not really "missing." Rather,
they had been deleted by White House staff. Fitzgerald
may have been aware of this at the time of his January
letter when he cited the missing emails.
Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn, was
unavailable for comment Monday.
A White House divided
Sources say the rift between Rove and the Vice
President's office crystallized when Rove quietly
attempted to gauge the temperature for replacing
Cheney on the 2004 Presidential ballot last year.
"Rove was the source of 'feelers' put out before the
last presidential election in which he was suggesting
that Cheney could be replaced on the ticket with
someone who had better poll ratings," said one of the
former experts approached who wished to remain
anonymous.
"White House polls were showing that Cheney was a drag
on the reelection ticket and that the Iraq war issue
might be responsible for about a three percent drop,
with Cheney the principal object of voter hostility in
this percentage of anti-war sentiment among the
general public," the source added.
Cheney, the source said, got wind of "Rove's political
soundings" and the already tense relationship between
the Bush and Cheney camps became almost impossible.
Whether or not Rove's recent cooperation will spare
him an indictment and a Fitzgerald probe remains
unclear. But according to last week's New York Times,
associates say Rove is "increasingly certain" he will
not be indicted in the case.
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Roves_cooperation_seen_to_advance_inquiry_03

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