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.
Note neither Larisa nor Clemons say this points directly at Dick yet. Which is just as well, because he's more of the "shoot someone who's standing behind you" type anyway.
Now the suggestion is that the missing emails incriminate OVP in some way. But we know from Fitzgerald that there were emails missing from both OVP and EOP:
"In an abundance of caution," Fitzgerald's January 23 letter to Libby's defense team states, "we advise you that we have learned that not all email of the Office of the Vice President and the Executive Office of the President for certain time periods in 2003 was preserved through the normal archiving process on the White House computer system."
So are we to believe that Dick and Libby skimmed off emails at both the OVP and EOP?
As I suggest in my post analyzing the costs and benefits of evidence tampering, I've always believed Rove was most closely connected with evidence tampering, not Libby. Rove, after all, is the guy who dug up an email to Hadley and an email to Adam Levine to bolster his case, after not finding them
when Gonzales was skimming evidence early in the case.
But perhaps I'm wrong. That would explain why Rove's team would willingly hand over an email, in Fall 2004, that basically clued Fitzgerald in to the news that a bunch of emails had been destroyed. And it would explain what Rove has been doing since the indictment, explaining away the mysterious disappearing and reappearing emails, and in the process getting Libby deeper and deeper in trouble.
There's just one thing that doesn't make sense with that scenario.
Deleted emails are hard to hide. To do it right (which doesn't appear to be what happened), you've got to delete them off your computer (in both OVP and EOP) and delete them off the server and from the backup files. Now perhaps these emails are so incriminating ("Hey, Turdblossom, let's out a spy and in the process roll up our best counter-proliferation network in Iran! Yeah, that sounds like fun!") that they had to delete them in spite of the risk. Or maybe they just figured Ashcroft would make sure the investigation never got close to the missing emails.
But altering handwritten notes is easy. At the very least, you can copy over an entire notebook if it matters enough.
And, from the look of things, Scooter Libby did not do these easy things to alter the very incriminating information in his notes. Already in Fall 2003, when Ashcroft was still in charge of the investigation, Scooter Libby had had to admit to the FBI that Dick Cheney first told him of Plame's identity, because that's what his notes said.
Why would Libby--or anyone else in OVP--go to the trouble of altering emails if they were already handing over evidence that directly implicated Dick?
Meanwhile, there is significant reason to believe that Rove altered other evidence, at least the phone logs coming into the White House, to hide the call he had with Cooper.
So I'm not sure Rove has necessarily flipped. At least not truthfully. Rather, I suspect he has invented a story about the missing emails that implicates OVP in an attempt to hide his own (or someone else's) evidence tampering. Just keep talking, Turdblossom. Patrick Fitzgerald may well have an entire closet to store your lies in, until the time he takes them out and uses them in an indictment.