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November 27, 2005

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» Second Reporter Asked to Testify on Leak from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
A second Time magazine reporter has been asked to testify in the CIA leak case, this time about her [Read More]

» Fitzgerald, TIME and Source Confidentiality from The Left Coaster
Regarding the latest news that Time magazine's Viveca Novak will be interrogated by Patrick Fitzgerald regarding her conversation(s) with Rove's lawyer Robert Luskin, in comments to a post by Emptywheel Tom Maguire asks: Does anyone know, or care, why ... [Read More]

Comments

"In other words, in the midst of a leak about the conversations Rove and Libby had about their attack on Wilson, Luskin says--makes sure he's quoted directly, in fact--that Rove may yet blame Libby.

"I guess he'd be more likely to do so after Fitzgerald got Rove on perjury charges to related to the Luskin leaks in May 2004."

Can you spell this out for my feeble little brain? When you say "he'd be more likely", you mean Rove would be more likely to blame Libby after Fitz got Rove on perjury? What question do you surmise Fitz asked about which Rove lied, and which would be exposed by V. Novak's testimony about Luskin?

EW,

The question that I think Fitzgerald is after is where Rove originally heard about Valerie Wilson and her CIA status. The Viveca Novak article you have is only one of many stories on Rove/Luskin that V. Novak reported on. Do a search on Time's website and you will find a few more articles written by other TIME reporters which mention Viveca Novak at the bottom of the article as one of the people who reported on the story. At least one, if not two, of the articles (sorry I lost the links when my browser crashed) mention that Luskin claimed Rove heard about Valerie Wilson either from a reporter or through an administration official who heard it from a reporter. I suspect this may be part of what Fitzgerald is interested in getting more details on.

obsessed

If kathyp is right about the timing, then Luskin was leaking about Rove's conversation with Cooper before they "found" Rove's email about Cooper--that is, at the time when Rove was claiming he didn't speak to any reporters except for Novak. Which would be a pretty open and shut case for perjury, if your lawyer was leaking about something you were pretending not to remember, right?

Luskin goes onto say, in that article, that Rove testified he had heard of Plame twice before. But it doesn't sound like Rove was very forthcoming with the details. But really, if Rove is going to flip, he's going to flip on Dick or Libby, not on Shrub. So maybe Fitz is trying to shore up his perjury case against Rove so he can get him to tell the truth about these earlier discussions.

Not sure if this info will be useful at some point (I mentioned it briefly on firedoglake too), but I want to make sure it's out there, because it's a pretty strong hunch I have. Here's why I think Dick Cheney is one of Tom DeFrank's main sources. I watched DeFrank and Mitchell being interviewed at the same time about a month or two ago (maybe it was "Hardball"). DeFrank had recently written an article about the mood in the West Wing. Andrea Mitchell, speaking about DeFrank's credibility, said he's a veteran reporter with White House ties that go back to when Dick Cheney was Ford's chief of staff. She was clearly baiting DeFrank (she didn't have to mention Cheney, plus her tone was more passive aggressive than usual). So either Cheney was his source or she was warning him: don't mess with your old friends. But then DeFrank was asked if his source thought Cheney had been overly involved in intelligence (part of the article was about Cheney having been very involved in intelligence). DeFrank said he couldn't say without revealing too much about his source. Which made me think of course Cheney thinks he was very involved but not overly involved. But then you have to remember he's the same guy who picked himself to run for Vice President.

speculation --

Remember how right before the libby indictment was handed down, FitzG reportedly talked to people about how calls to Rove got logged?

maybe Rove/Luskin found out about "Woodwards source" the week before indictments came down, and decided to tag Woodward as one of Rove's "other sources". Unfortunately, there is no record of meeting or phone call with Woodward, so Rove is saying it must have been another "unlogged call"....

Satlin and p luk

Great hunches on both counts.

The VNovak/Woodward connection is particularly interesting. You could argue her article was designed to make Woodward's source look good--so when it eventually came out (like, next week), it would reflect well on the source, as if he came forward of his own accord. So if you were really tight with VNovak, then you might point her to Woodward, or suggest her to him.

I was looking to find more stuff on V. Novak and came across the noted link. I has to do with her reporting on Whitewater for Time. I really doubt it sheds any light here but the quote in the article made me have deja vu

http://www.slate.com/id/28555/sidebar/28562

"It's those stories that are the real embarrassment for Time. The magazine--and Novak in particular--have consistently emphasized Steele's version of events...
But this natural, Darwinian journalistic instinct and the cozy source-reporter relationship it produced, resulted in Time presenting a warped account that led readers to think (wrongly, I believe) that Steele's Story No. 3 was the truth."

Anyone sensing a theme here...

My thoughts on this is that Luskin said something to V. Novak and now Fitzy wants to see if the leak broke the attorney client privledge and give him something admissable. THe theory about talking to her about Cooper before Rove admitted knowing about his is as good as any. I also am sure it cannot be a coincidence that this is coming on the heels of Woodward's testimony. What did Woodward say...?

Luskin was leaking about Rove's conversation with Cooper before they "found" Rove's email about Cooper--that is, at the time when Rove was claiming he didn't speak to any reporters except for Novak.

Well, what was he leaking? If he was saying in May that his client had no relevant conversation with Cooper, that hardly helps Fitzgerald make a case against Rove.

FWIW, and I am going from memory here, the second subpoena to Cooper was on a no-name basis - Fitzgerald did not seem to know who Cooper's source was (with the subpoena on Libby, Fitzgerald agreed to limit the subpoena to one named official, Libby).

Anyway, I am not sure I get the kathyp theory - she thinks that when Cooper was subpoenaed on a no-name basis, Luskin said to Viveca, in effect, "Oh, Fitzgerald wants to talk to Cooper about a chat with Rove that we have been concealing?"

What if Viveca asked Luskin whether Cooper and Rove had talked? I suppose his answer might be interesting. But why isn't it covered by source confidentiality?

Does anyone know, or care, why TIME is not arguing any source confidentiality issues?

Their story is silent on that point - are they just an arm of the Fitzgerald investigation now? Will that be true of TIME on all government cases going forward?

>>> Does anyone know, or care, why TIME is not arguing any source confidentiality issues? Their story is silent on that point - are they just an arm of the Fitzgerald investigation now? Will that be true of TIME on all government cases going forward?

Why should TIME argue source confidentiality when the name of the source has been published by TIME previously? Also, unless the conversations with the source were off the record, the content of those conversations is not subject to source confidentiality either. Luskin spoke to TIME because he wanted to get a load of BS off his chest and into print. So, everything he said that was not off the record is totally NOT subject to source confidentiality.

It amazes me that Luskin would talk so freely to the press and hand out as much information as he does.

I understand you want to manage public relations, but every time you speak, there is the potential of inconsitent testimony or trapping yourself into what subsequently turns out to be the wrong line of testimony.

Well, it looks like Phase 2 of Fitzkrieg has begun, and now Fitz is targeting not only the principals, but their attorneys as well. Just as Libby dragged his attorney Tate into the middle of this muck, it looks like Rover has done the same to Luskin.

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