Just a couple of thoughts on the Viveca Novak development.
First, some following up on kathyp's observation that Fitzgerald is interested in Luskin's conversations with V Novak going back to the time when Matt Cooper was first subpoenaed.
In May 2004, Cooper was subpoenaed at the same time as Tim Russert. Obviously, he was subpoenaed to validate or refute Libby's operative story--that Libby had heard of Plame's identity from journalists. (Incidentally, this suggests Libby may have left Judy out of the story at first.) Anonymous Liberal's post on the timing of Rove's involvement with Cooper is handy here. Basically the scenario went something like:
- Cooper is subpoenaed in May about his conversation with Libby
- Luskin starts leaking to V Novak
- Cooper makes a deal that limits his testimony to Libby--and then testifies in August
- Once Fitzgerald figures out that someone else has told Cooper of Plame's identity, he subpoenas Cooper more generally
- Rove "finds" the email indicating he had a conversation with Cooper
- Rove testifies October 2004
This makes the May timing all the more interesting. Luskin was leaking about Rove's conversations at a time when Fitzgerald didn't know that Cooper had talked to Rove. Working on the theory that Luskin may have been trying to obstruct, he may have been trying to feel out whether Cooper was going to negotiate the subpoena and in what way. Heck, Luskin may have been trying to make sure that Cooper knew that a waiver to talk about his conversation with Libby did not constitute a waiver to talk about his conversation with Rove--that if Cooper were going to testify, he had to be sure not to testify about Rove.
Now consider something else. V Novak's reporting on Plame has been relatively non-descript. But she did get a bit of a scoop week before last, on Why Woodward's Source Came Forward. Prompting, of course, the question of whether there is a connection between that scoop and V Novak's subpoena. Now, I know Rove isn't a leading candidate to be Woodward's source (and if Rove was the source that spin that Mr. X hadn't testified before the grand jury would be bunk). But if he was, then you might imagine that Luskin would call someone he has a relationship with--V Novak--to try to put a better spin on the source coming forward (which is about all V Novak's story does). And it might explain how Fitzgerald came to realize that V Novak might have something interesting to talk about.
One more consideration. There have been two big surprises about sourcing in this case. Fitzgerald was apparently surprised to discover that Libby hadn't been Cooper's first source on the Plame leak.
Lawyers involved in the case said there are now indications that Fitzgerald did not initially know or suspect that Rove was Cooper's primary source for the reporter's information about Plame. That raises questions about how much Rove disclosed when first questioned in the inquiry or how closely he was initially queried about his contacts with reporters. Rove has testified before a grand jury and been questioned by FBI agents on at least five occasions over the past two years.
And the surprise that Woodward received this leak back in mid-June.
Could it be that Rove covered up all his tracks of leaking to reporters? Could it be there are several other journalists (Mrs. Alan Greenspan might come to mind) that got a Rove leak along the way? If so, why would Luskin reveal those contacts to Viveca Novak?