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Rove Said To Inform White House He Will Be Indicted

Rove Said To Inform White House He Will Be Indicted

Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t

Within the last week, Karl Rove told President Bush and Chief of Staff
Joshua Bolten, as well as a few other high level administration
officials, that he will be indicted in the CIA leak case and will
immediately resign his White House job when the special counsel publicly
announces the charges against him, according to sources.

Details of Rove's discussions with the president and Bolten have spread
through the corridors of the White House where low-level staffers and
senior officials were trying to determine how the indictment would
impact an administration that has been mired in a number of high-
profile political scandals for nearly a year, said a half-dozen White
House aides and two senior officials who work at the Republican National

Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources confirmed Rove's indictment
is imminent. These individuals requested anonymity saying they were not
authorized to speak publicly about Rove's situation. A spokesman in the
White House press office said they would not comment on "wildly
speculative rumors."
Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, did not return a call for comment

Rove's announcement to President Bush and Bolten comes more than a month
after he alerted the new chief of staff to a meeting his attorney had
with Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in which Fitzgerald told
Luskin that his case against Rove would soon be coming to a close and
that he was leaning toward charging Rove with perjury, obstruction of
justice and lying to investigators, according to sources close to the

A few weeks after he spoke with Fitzgerald, Luskin arranged for Rove to
return to the grand jury for a fifth time to testify in hopes of fending
off an indictment related to Rove's role in the CIA leak, sources said.

That meeting was followed almost immediately by an announcement by
newly-appointed White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten of changes in
the responsibilities of some White House officials, including Rove, who
was stripped of his policy duties and would no longer hold the title of
deputy White House chief of staff.

The White House said Rove would focus on the November elections and his
change in status in no way reflected his fifth appearance before the
grand jury or the possibility of an indictment.

But since Rove testified two weeks ago, the White House has been
coordinating a response to what is sure to be the biggest political
scandal it has faced thus far: the loss of a key political operative who
has been instrumental in shaping White House policy on a wide range of
domestic issues.

Late Thursday afternoon and early Friday morning, several White House
officials were bracing for the possibility that Fitzgerald would call a
news conference and announce a Rove indictment today following the
prosecutor's meeting with the grand jury this morning. However, sources
close to the probe said that is unlikely to happen, despite the fact
that Fitzgerald has already presented the grand jury with a list of
charges against Rove. If an indictment is returned by the grand jury, it
will be filed under seal.

Rove is said to have told Bolten that he will be charged with perjury
regarding when he was asked how and when he discovered that covert CIA
operative Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the agency, and whether he
discussed her job with reporters.

Rove testified that he first found out about Plame Wilson from reading a
newspaper report in July 2003 and only after the story was published did
he share damaging information about her CIA status with other reporters.

However, evidence has surfaced during the course of the two-year-old
investigation that shows Rove spoke with at least two reporters about
Plame Wilson prior to the publication of the column.

The explanation Rove provided to the grand jury - that he was dealing
with more urgent White House matters and therefore forgot - has not
convinced Fitzgerald that Rove has been entirely truthful in his

Sources close to the case said there is a strong chance Rove will also
face an additional charge of obstruction of justice, adding that
Fitzgerald has been working meticulously over the past few months to
build an obstruction case against Rove because it "carries more weight"
in a jury trial and is considered a more serious crime.

Some White House staffers said it's the uncertainty of Rove's status in
the leak case that has made it difficult for the administration's
domestic policy agenda and the announcement of an indictment and Rove's
subsequent resignation, while serious, would allow the administration to
move forward on a wide range of issues.

"We need to start fresh and we can't do that with the uncertainty of
Karl's case hanging over our heads," said one White House aide. "There's
no doubt that it will be front page news if and when (an indictment)
happens. But eventually it will become old news quickly. The key issue
here is that the president or Mr. Bolten respond to the charges
immediately, make a statement and then move on to other important policy
issues and keep that as the main focus going forward."

[Jason Leopold spent two years covering California's electricity crisis
as Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires. Jason has spent the
last year cultivating sources close to the CIA leak investigation, and
is a regular contributor to t r u t h o u t. He is the author of the new
book NEWS JUNKIE. Visit here for a preview.]