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December 11, 2005

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» Viveca Novak Takes Leave of Absence From Time from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
Viveca Novaks first person account of what transpired between her and Karl Roves lawyer is up (free link) at Time. Its a biggie. Shorter version (my interpretation): If Karl Rove doesnt get indicted for perjury, it will be because o... [Read More]

» Viveca Novak Takes Leave of Absence From Time from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
Viveca Novaks first person account of what transpired between her and Karl Roves lawyer is up (free link) at Time. Its a biggie. Shorter version (my interpretation): If Karl Rove doesnt get indicted for perjury, it will be because o... [Read More]

» Viveca Novak Takes Leave of Absence From Time from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
Viveca Novaks first person account of what transpired between her and Karl Roves lawyer is up (free link) at Time. Its a biggie. Shorter version (my interpretation): If Karl Rove doesnt get indicted for perjury, it will be because o... [Read More]

» Viveca Novak Takes Leave of Absence From Time from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
Viveca Novaks first person account of what transpired between her and Karl Roves lawyer is up (free link) at Time. Its a biggie. Shorter version (my interpretation): If Karl Rove doesnt get indicted for perjury, it will be because o... [Read More]

» Viveca Novak Takes Leave of Absence From Time from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
Viveca Novaks first person account of what transpired between her and Karl Roves lawyer is up (free link) at Time. Its a biggie. Shorter version (my interpretation): If Karl Rove doesnt get indicted for perjury, it will be because o... [Read More]

» Mainstream Media Needs To Look In The Mirror from The Left Coaster
There have been a fair number of bash-the-blogger pieces by members of the mainstream media of late. Normally I would disregard these stories as evidence of a hyper-sensitive Beltway class feeling a little put-upon by the new pamphleteers, and let... [Read More]

» Time: Rove's Lawyer Told of Conversation from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
Months before Karl Rove corrected his statements in the Valerie Plame investigation, his lawyer was [Read More]

Comments

thanks for such timely effort in finding a way thru this particular thicket.

i still can't make even a little sense of this novak matter.

your comments on luskin's specifying cooper's name in a comment to navak does raise questions about the accuracy of navak's recollections.

in general, the only thing that occurs to me is that luskin's comment to fitzgerald in oct had little to do with keeping rove from getting indicted and everything to do with creating "beyond a reasonable doubt" in the minds of jurors if there was a trial.

having heard this from luskin, fitsgeralz did not indict until he had checked it out because he is an extremely scrupulous prosecutor, not the "indict them and let the jury sort them out" type of prosecutor.

but this is a thoroughly uninformed guess.


What do you make of V. Novak's leave of absence from TIME?

I'm still intrigued with Woodward's choice of VNovak to get his story out, protecting himself, the Post, Novak, all three, 2 out of 3?

I find it odd that Luskin said flat out that Rove "doesn't have a Cooper problem". This implies that Roves emails had already been searched for the word "Cooper" and nothing relevant was found. But then another search turn up an email that includes the words "Matt Cooper" in it?

not bloody likely, if you ask me.

I wonder, if Viveca didn't think she was giving up any pertinent information, then why does she feel Luskin violated their confidentiality? Who was being confidential to whom? It sounds like this a tit for tat situation? Did she say "Luskin, you give me something, and I'll tell you what I know about the inside of Time?"

Is it possible that Luskin is the one who gave Fitzgerald the March 1, 2004, date, and that he wants his conversation with Novak about Cooper to have taken place before May, 2004? Remember, one of the news reports originally said that Fitzgerald was interested in the May, 2004, Luskin-Novak conversation. Why would Novak spilling the beans to Luskin incriminate Rove if it took place in May, 2004, but not be damaging if before May, 2004?

van

I think my supposition that Vivnovka not only told who Cooper's source was, but that Cooper was the leakee, would make Time want to give her some time to think about journalistic ethics.

kim

I'm still trying to figure that out myself. Maybe Fitz SHOULD have asked Vivnovka who her other "sources" are.

p luk

The implication is that Luskin relied on phone logs, without looking at email. Which says that, if Rove tampered with evidence, he gave it to Luskin selectively as well.

Oooh, good spot, emptywheel. If Cooper wasn't subpoenaed until May, why would Luskin say that in March?

Fitzgerald isn't going to have Luskin testify to help Rove's case.

Isn't it possible that Fitzgerald would want to get even exculpatory testimony on the record, not least because the added weight of being under oath will weigh on those testifying, especially when it is Rove's lawyer?

My guess would be that Fitzgerald got the March 1 date from Luskin.

And my suspicion is that that bit about Luskin not wanting her to talk is just Novak covering her ass; the only thing I can imagine is that, as you suggest, some journalists out there will realize fairly precisely where Luskin has been lying to them. If he has been, that makes it somehwat more difficult to read back from Novak's account to figure out who are the various sources the journalists have been using for this small story within the story. But it might be possible.

emptywheel--thanks so much for the timely and as always riveting analysis.
Ditto what Jane said about May March contradiction, great catch.
Does it make sense for Fitz to audit Luskin's billing records in order to learn when they say Booby was reading Rover's emails at $900/hr? It seems to me that when Booby received copies of the emails and the total number of emails are both known or at least knowable facts. Whatever date upon which Booby claims he found the Hadley email ought to be immediately followed by a lot of very billable and therefore well documented conversations with Rover.
IMO Luskin and his ilk are much more radioactive now with respect to any casual leaking to journalists. I think this is progress.
John Casper

how did "am" or "pm" stop novak from finding an entry for "Luskin" in her calendar?
is it a PDA? it's not paper, I'm sure.
that excuse is just stupid

just in terms of the way some of the sentences sound in my head, there is something about the way that novak writes that is eerily similar to the way miller wrote her ex post facto explantion in the nytimes.

Why would it take six months (from the possible March meeting) or four months (from the possible May meeting) to do a search of email?

It might take that long if Luskin only had hard copy, with no access to do an electronic search, and if he did it personally. The story is that he did do it personally, so that going through thousands of printed emails in the course of a busy lawyer's life might take months.

It seems to me that the full set of WH emails from the time period in question is likely to be huge, and include a lot of secret and sensitive stuff Luskin would not be allowed to see for national security or political reasons. That means that the set of emails that were given Luskin was probably a subset of all WH emails, filtered via those "faulty" searches. If it's true that Luskin was given boxes of email printouts produced by a faulty search, how is it that he "found" one that had been missed by the faulty search? Either he was given a complete set of WH emails with no filtering out of sensitive or top secret material, or he was given a set in which the "missed" email couldn't possibly be included.

Is it possible that the emails provided to Fitz were all hard copy as well, with no electronic versions? Wasn't there a story about boxes of emails delivered to Fitz? Is it possible that Fitz has not been allowed access to WH servers and archives to check for alterations? If an electronic search has not been available to anyone outside the WH circle, the likelihood of alterations of the emails, as you have suggested earlier, is that much higher.

To interpret Luskin's comment that "Karl doesn't have a Cooper problem" we would need to know the topic of conversation. Was it about Rove having a [some other reporter] problem or it was about [some other conspirator] having a Cooper problem? I would guess that the comment came in response to a discussion of Libby and his "Cooper problem". V. Novak, knowing that Libby and Rove both have a "Cooper problem", might have initiated a discussion about Libby and Cooper to get Luskin to say something about Rove and Cooper. That would explain her response and why she didn't describe the prelude to Luskin's comment.

I do not grant any credibility to statements made by V Novak, or any other reporters involved in this affair. The reasons are:

1) The reporters are not just witnesses, they are willing participants in the game of exposing Valerie Plame;

2) They have had two years to go over the documents, to develop alibis and alternate explanations and to get their collective stories straight; and

3) The reporters and the government employees both knew, at the time they were doing it, that what they were doing was immoral and possibly illegal. Thus they did not create or maintain any documents that would implicate them. On the contrary, they took steps to make sure that they all had 'deniability' for every significant event or conversation.

No reporters involved in this affair have, at any time in the last two years, done anything that would convince me that they were interested in telling the truth to the public. Instead, they have stalled, dissembled and 'forgotten' enough to drown the story in muddy waters.

Bush, Cheney, Rove & Co. are going to get away with this because no one with the facts is the least bit interested in having those facts revealed to the public.

William

Why would Vivnovka know that Libby had a Cooper problem, before the May Cooper subpoena (or, for that matter, why would Luskin know)? Here's how much information was publicly available when:

July 17, 2003-January subpoena: between Calabresi, Dickerson, and Cooper, received at least two leaks about Plame's identity.

January subpoena-May subpoena: Those three, plus a few other Time reporters may have received the leak

May subpoena: Cooper received at least one leak

Unless Libby's testimony specifying Cooper was public (or unless Rove told Luskin about the cover up he planned), there'd be no legal way for LUskin to know about Libby and Cooper.

Fits is a Porter Unionist and does'nt mind his reporting to theirs.

please help me - what does "I clung to Rove's word might." mean? I can't decipher this sentence. Is it a typo? is Time that sloppy? Help me, please. Thanks...


"Viveca Novak, who covered the investigation into the leak of Plame's identity by 'government officials for Time'"

Government officials for time might remind us of:

moveon.org

kitty:

"Luskin's" word "might," not Rove's.

Yes, you are right - sorry. And there is a comma, not a period (time to see an eye doctor for real), but I still think there is an error there. "I cling to Luskin's word might, but the next week..." What is Luskin's "word might"? Sloppy editing. In fact, that whole paragraph is truly awful - but that sentence stands out.

I clung, not I cling...

I think I need an editor for my posts. ha.

kitty

The whole thing is poorly written. But maybe Time didn't feell all that obliged to clean up her prose, seeing as how she had stiffed them on this story.

hmm...hadn't considered that! :-)

I love your blog, by the way. I have been reading it awhile but never noted your posting name -just the name of the blog itself. Thank you for the sharp perspectives.

I've floated this comment over at needlenose and firedoglake as well.

What if Luskin told Fitz he heard in the fall of 2004?

I'm thinking there may be something to a comment by p.lukasiak over at firedoglake.

1. Let's say that Luskin told Fitz, in the week of October 24, 2005, that the Viveca conversation (where she told about Cooper) may have occured in the fall of 2004.

Remember the NYT had the version that the important conversation occured in the summer or early fall. Sure reads to me that Luskin is the one putting that out.

Mr. Rove's lawyer, Robert D. Luskin, spoke in the summer or early fall of 2004 with Viveca Novak
NYT 12/02/05

2. Fitz brings Viveca in for an interview on 11/10/05 and she arrives knowing from Luskin that Fitz wants to know about the Luskin/Viveca meeting where she told about Cooper. Viveca has 2 dates when she thinks the conversation occured, 1/04 or 5/04.

3. We know Fitz asked her about meetings with Luskin through the fall of 2004 in her first interview.

He asked how often Luskin and I met during the period from fall 2003 to fall 2004
TIME 12/11/05

4. We know Fitz asked Viveca to look for other specific dates (pural) before her second interview, he had to have these dates from Luskin.

Fitzgerald had asked that I check a couple of dates in my calendar for meetings with Luskin
12/11/05 TIME

5. Viveca says only one of the dates Fitz asked for checked out, 3/04.

One of them, March 1, 2004, checked out.
12/11/05 Time

This may explain why Fitz "paused" if Luskin convinced him that he looked right away after he heard from Viveca. It also may explain why Fitz decided he needed Luskin's testimony and Viveca under oath a week after her 1st interview.

Kitty,
Two paragraphs earlier Novak writes that Luskin told her that "Fitzgerald might want to talk to me." She thus clung to the word "might" in her hope that she would not be called to testify. If Time had competent copy editors, they would have put quotation marks around the word "might." -:)

in novak's TIME story (accessable from ThinkProgress)she quotes fitzgerald as saying in her presence that he wanted to "remove the chicken bone without disturbing the body".

what does that mean?

who knows.

but one guess would be that the luskin claim just prior to the issuing of indictments in oct, 2005 actually did cause fitzgerald some concern -- a bone in the throat of his team's plan for indictment and prosecution.

so now he is going about surgically removing that bone by going right to the source, vivaca novak, for specific info -- dates and content of conversations.

seems like a reasonable way to proceed.

tedb,

Thanks for the help. I found it really hard to follow so I missed the connection. Yes, a "might" would have been clearer. If one wished to appear sincerely confused, this article would fit the bill.

There has been a lot of speculation as to why Fitz held off indicting Rove when Luskin told Fitz that he had learned about Cooper from Viveca Novak.

Viveca's information doesn't really matter much. It even seems to hurt Rove, that he didn't cough up the email until he knew they were onto him.

So why delay the indictment. Originally, I thought that Fitz was just being thorough. That he wanted to get Viveca's testimony before issuing any indictment, and this may still be the case.

But, there may be another reason too.

When Luskin showed up in Fitz' office and told him that he (Luskin) had been the one that Viveca talked to, Fitz may have immediately seen how this STRENGTHENED his case, or at least his ability to prosecute it.

Luskin in effect told Fitz that he was not just a lawyer in the case, but an active participant.

To a tactical prosecutor like Fitz, who wants to win the case, the opportunity to get your opponent (Luskin) implicated in the cover-up of the crime, yields many benefits.

It may require Rove to get a new attorney. If Luskin stays on, Fitz can always decide to further investigate Luskin's role.

Maybe Fitz delayed the indictment to get Luskin in a compromised position.

In any case, it seems to have had this effect.

Or maybe this is Rove's gambit, to get Luskin replaced and starting over. Buying time.

From this account it appears to me that Vivnovka got played. It has been pointed out that there were many Time reporters facing subpoena at this time, so there was no particular reason for Luskin to mention Cooper specifically. Unless. If Rove had told Luskin, "I might have said something to Cooper," then Luskin would want to find out if the word around the office was that Rove was Cooper's source. Since Rove had already unwisely lied to the grand jury, Luskin would want to find out if his client might be on the hook for perjury, in which case he better come clean with an "I forgot" excuse, or if the lie was not known and unlikely to be found by the prosecutor, in which case Rove could continue to lie.

He can't just come out and ask, as Vivnovka probably would (we at least hope) have the integrity to not tell. But doing what he did, positing the negative, "Karl doesn't have a Cooper problem," would be likely to inspire the revelation. Most people, I think, when confronted with an untruth, will reflexively respond as Viv did, by refuting it. In this way Luskin gets the information he wants about the degree of jeopardy faced by his client.

mediafreeze:

very interesting comment.

i say this not because i am in a position to evaluate that comment, but because it is a new perspective on the novak "problem".

one of the implicit assumptions in much of the writing about the plame case has been that the white house, rove, cheney, libby, and lawyer luskin, et al are "in charge" of what happens. "they" are infinitely resourecful agents who can deceive anyone and everyone (but us (or me)).

i think that attitude is wrong in the first place, and, in the second place, is an indication of how well the republican radicals have made themselves seem more capable and more competent (at advocacy and trickery) than they really are.

those of us who oppose bush, cheney , rove , et al are somewhat like those who react to a voodooo judgement. you have to believe before you can be affected or harmed !!!

you can't be harmed by what you don't believe.

but, media freeze, suppose you are right (in implication). suppose the power in this case rests not with the vicous, shape-changing little ferret rove (and his lawyer) but with fitzgerald.

if we took this view, we might wait less anxiously for what will be revealed in due time.

my confidence is with fitzgerald.


mediafreeze and orionATL - I do not think Fitzgerald would take pleasure in pulling down Luskin as you seem to imply. I don't read him that way. I look at it this way - he had Libby cold so he charged him. He had reason to delay indicting Rove until he could look into whatever Luskin was pumping. He only postponed by a few days which was at the tail end of the first GJ. Might as well wait till he has a new GJ and starts fresh.

Also, the indictment of Libby but not Rove ,as well as a new GJ, gets all the little perps agitated which brings Fitzgerald more benies long run than indicting Rove first time around would. And it costs him nada cause he has Libby.

I have total faith that Fitzgerald is a straight shooter doing everything methodically and by the books.
Whatever charges he brings will stick. If he can;t make it stick he won't do it.

Rolling Recollections

Fitz is building his case on Rove's rolling recollections. He is gathering evidence that there is a pattern of just remembering key facts as it becomes obvious that the information is going to come out.

There are two major "recollections" that are very timely.

On July 11, 2003 Rove talks to Cooper mentions Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. Rove writes an email to Hadley that says "I didn't take the bait." Everyone thinks the email is exculpatory. It is generally held that this is Rove saying he didn't out Wilson's wife, but it doesn't. It means that Rove didn't go for Cooper's line of questioning about "hasn't the President been hurt." Rove is saying to Hadley that he protected the president. Everyone has the wrong interpretation and that is why the email is consistent with Cooper's testimony.

The first failure to recall something is in February 2004, when Rove testifies and fails to recollect that he talked to Cooper.

The first convenient recollection is sometime before October 2004, where they "find" the email which says, "I didn't take the bait." Rove testifies in October 2004, that this jogged his memory to recall that he had a conversation with Cooper.

The second failure to recall something is probably at this same testimony in October 2004. Rove testifies that he did talk to Cooper, but he doesn't admit that he talked about Wilson's wife working at the CIA. He probably fails to recall that part. He relys on the commonly held interpretation of the email, but it is a false interpretation that appears to be exculpatory.

The second timely recollection would then be in July 2005, when Luskin releases information to the press that Rove talked to the grand jury in October and also that Rove did talk with Cooper about "the CIA officer." However, he does not ever say that he discussed Wilson's wife at the October 2004 testimony. He very conveniently refuses to discuss what Rove said about Wilson's wife at the October 2004 testimony.

I think we are looking at two major memory failures on Rove's part, not just one.

orionATL and Kitty

I agree. I may have overstated the Bronx streetfighter bit a little. What I think we can agree on is that Fitz decided he had enough reason to gather more evidence to strengthen his case before seeking indictments and that is what he did.

It does seem like he has a stronger case now than he did at the end of October, so it looks like it worked.

mediafreeze - maybe geography was your mistake - the guy is from Queens, no?
:-)

Clarification on the Rolling Recollections post.

I write:

The second timely recollection would then be in July 2005, when Luskin releases information to the press that Rove talked to the grand jury in October and also that Rove did talk with Cooper about "the CIA officer." However, he does not ever say that he discussed Wilson's wife at the October 2004 testimony. He very conveniently refuses to discuss what Rove said about Wilson's wife at the October 2004 testimony.

it should say:

The second timely recollection would then be in July 2005, when Luskin releases information to the press that Rove talked to the grand jury in October and also that Rove did talk with Cooper about "the CIA officer," back in July 2003. However, he does not ever say that he discussed a CIA officer or Wilson's wife at the October 2004 testimony. In fact he very conveniently refuses to discuss what Rove said about Wilson's wife at the October 2004 testimony.

The point (which I am have a terrible time making...) is that Rove DOES testify that he talked to Cooper in October 2004, but he DOESN'T come clean about talking with Cooper about Wilson's wife at that testimony.

"On July 11, 2003 Rove talks to Cooper mentions Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. Rove writes an email to Hadley that says "I didn't take the bait." Everyone thinks the email is exculpatory. It is generally held that this is Rove saying he didn't out Wilson's wife, but it doesn't. It means that Rove didn't go for Cooper's line of questioning about "hasn't the President been hurt." Rove is saying to Hadley that he protected the president. Everyone has the wrong interpretation and that is why the email is consistent with Cooper's testimony."
Also at some point Luskin reads this email and decides it can be misinterpeted like this to help Rove. So Luskin says that taking the bait refers to talking about Plame. Fitz can counter this by saying it could equally be talking about other bait.
For example Cooper was writing an article on welfare reform. This can be good for Bush and so writing a favorable welfare reform article can be the bait for telling Cooper if Bush was hurt by the Wilson story.
For Fitz this has the advantage of not requiring any speculation. The welfare reform article is implied by Cooper's call. The bait is not defined anywhere else but the welfare reform article is mentioned. Therefore Cooper was offering a favorable story as bait and the email is not exculpatory.
The email admits Rove discusses Niger and presumably Rove denied this with the GJ. So this is the perjury Luskin must avoid.

carot!

Another great point. I love the welfare reform as bait idea.

BTW...I have been generally crediting you with this dual email interpretation revelation...see Did Rove lie at his SECOND GJ testimony too?

I've been struggling with summarizing it and not getting people lost, so I stopped making the attribution, but it should be noted that carot originally came up with this dual interpretation idea on a post here several days ago. Here's carot's post from this Tuesday Dec 6:

"Matt Cooper called to give me a heads-up that he's got a welfare-reform story coming. When he finished his brief heads-up, he immediately launched into Niger. Isn't this damaging? Hasn't the president been hurt? I didn't take the bait, but I said if I were him, I wouldn't get Time far out in front on this."

This is ambiguous. Is Rove saying to Rove that it might be damaging and the president has been hurt? Or is he relaying that Cooper asked Rove if it is damaging and has the president been hurt? So Cooper may have been wanting Rove to admit Bush was hurt so he could quote that in a story. Rove then might have told Cooper not to get out in front, that is not to try to scoop other reporters on Bush being hurt. The bait may have been trying to bait Rove into defending Bush so Cooper has an SAO to quote in the story.

Posted by: carot | December 06, 2005 at 20:50

located in this post: Tampering with Evidence: A Cost-Benefit Analysis
by emptywheel

I think this is the key to making sense of the entire Rove timeline. Congratulations to carot.


As I've been saying for some time, the "didn't take the bait" part was obviously a reference to Rove not letting Cooper know how upset the White House was about the Wilson op-ed charge that the intelligence that led to the claim for WMDs was cooked. Cooper was fishing for the White House reaction to the Wilson op-ed piece. Rove didn't take the bait. The "don't get too far out" warning by Rove is an obvious reference to Wilson's op-ed charge about fixed inteligence and Wilson's credibility to make such a charge, especially in light of Cooper's testimony that Rove also told him about Wilson's wife and her connection with CIA, plus the indication from Rove that more information would soon be declassified, with the implication that the declassified information would undermine Wilson's credibility and the credibility of his op-ed charges. I don't see any other way to interpret those two phrases by Rove. As for the welfare angle, Cooper has testified that he made an earlier call about that subject, but that it never came up with Rove during the conversation on July 11, 2003 in which Rove made the statements we are discussing.

Hi Mediafreeze thanks for the credit. Soory, this is a long reply. There seems to be a discrepency between what Cooper and Rove are saying here. Rove says in the email Cooper dangled the prospect of a good story on welfare reform in front of Rove in exchange for information about Niger and Wilson's story hurting the president. Now we know the Libby and Cheney story was that Wilson got the job from nepotism which is supposed to smear Wilson and which entails outing Plame as getting him the job. So Rove probably used the same story as Libby, saying Wilson is no good because he would never have gotten the job honestly. At this point Rove and Libby might not have realised this was a crime.
So Rove is saying he didn't take the bait of the welfare reform story which at the time was a big carrot to dangle, Bush wanted to succeed in this. But he didn't take it in admitting Bush was hurt. Cooper probably wanted to write a story saying an SAO admits Bush is hurt by Wilson but gets this other story instead about nepotism. The story is so similar to Libby's that it implies they got together to say the same story. Also Mr X tells the same story to Woodward about Nepotism. Probably none of the three realised outing Plame was a crime. Alternatively they may have checked with someone in the CIA and determined Plame was not covert for the purposes of prosecution. They didn't think of the espionage angle.
Cooper doesn't recall the welfare reform angle because Rove didn't take the bait on it. He gets the nepotism story which is offered to him. He didn't get the story of an SAO admitting Bush is hurt.
Now Novak writes his column and Rove realises criminal charges are possible. He testifies to the GJ he didn't mention Niger or Plame to Cooper in this phone call. He might have forgotten about the email himself at this point. He might have believed he could offer up the email at any time, plead a memory lapse if it looked like Cooper would testify. He might have even had a pile of emails ready to be searched and the email found.
Luskin then finds out from V Novak that people seem to know Rove talked to Cooper and thus Fitz is likely to find out. He sees no need to "find" the email yet though. Rove is still refusing to give a waiver to Cooper so there is no need to remember the email yet.
But then Luskin blunders and gives Cooper a waiver by mistake. Fitz deposes him quickly and now Rove has lost his chance to find the email and recant his GJ testimony. Fitz is about to indict Rove and Luskin decides to use the conversation with V Novak to justify a search for the email. In fact Luskin may have had this planned all along. For example he might have baited V Novak by mentioning Rove and Cooper assuming she has probably heard rumours. Then he has her testimony to justify finding the email anytime he wants, by pleading he took a long time to search through them. So V Novak may have been set up as a fallback position.
Now Luskin saves Rove by his slow search of the emails. What happens though if Hadley reminded Rove about the email at some point? Unless Hadley is willing to lie Rove is toast. So if Fitz found this email earlier from Hadley, Hadley might well have already testified he reminded Rove about it. If Hadley is X then he might have had to testify to Fitz about Woodward and then since the email had been found already then Fitz would have likely deposed Hadley about the email too. So how far would Hadley perjure himself to save Rove in this scenario?
So if Rove and Luskin are lying then likely Hadley knows. One may flip against the other. If not then Rove probably is ok and has had this covered all along.

emptywheel,

V. Novak admits to knowing about Rove's "Cooper problem". Surely, she also knew about Libby's "Cooper problem". As for Luskin, he was familiar with Rove's testimony to the investigators and, depending on when the conversation took place, one or more grand jury appearances. The "knowledge" that Libby and Rove were leaking about Plame was well-known in Washington almost immediately after R. Novak's column. Somebody asked S. McClellan about it in October, 2003, as I recall. In the context of the Luskin-V. Novak conversation, "Cooper" may have been shorthand for the three Time reporters known to have recieved the leak.

One of the most infuriating things about this whole sordid story is the willingness of the Washington press to completely decieve their readers about what is "public knowledge".

My take on the "taking the bait" portion, from Oct 31st, was this & it seems to jive with what others have said above, although I find it interesting that Libby and Cooper had their conversation the very next day:

"Now Rove & company have tried to prove that this email to Hadley shows that Rove was not leaking, he was doing damage control on the upcoming Novak article and trying to minimize how many reporters were going to cover the issue. Poor Rove, he just wants to talk about welfare reform and the mean journalist starts bringing up Niger...

Well, that's one way to look at it of course.

But you could also read it this way ~ Hey Hadley... Cooper called and started hammering me on our illegal case for war... I didn't take the bait and stuck to our talking points about Wilson instead... have Scooter call him tomorrow to confirm that Wilson sucks. (Libby did indeed call Cooper the next day)

...

This also makes sense considering what else happened on July 11, 2003 in relation to Niger... Tenet fell on his sword, probably because of the leaks coming out of the CIA which were putting the blame right back at Bush's door... so much so that both Rice & Powell had to do damage control."

Dear EW:
your observations on the Cooper dates are fascinating.
I take a differing view on Luskin's attempt to use Novak's testimony. It is not about the email search, imho.

Luskin is lobbying for the January date, and I believe he is trying to establish an innocent mens rea for Rove's February testimony. I think Luskin is saying to Fitz: "even though reminded, before he ever testified, by Novak's comments to Luskin, Rove could still not recall any contact with Cooper." I don't think it has anything to do with the email search. As you point out, it took too long after March/May for them to find the email; trying to suggest that Novak had anything to do with that has no cred. See my comments HERE.

Response?

It seems strange that out of all this there is only one email as evidence. I suppose Rove was going on vacation and thought he might not get Hadley before he left unless he emailed. Otherwise they probably only used the phone.

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