13 July 2005


Scotty is starting to sweat.

from War Room:

Salon's David Paul Kuhn was at the White House
[yesterday], and he reports that the press once
again grilled McClellan about Karl Rove's
involvement in the Plame case -- and that
McClellan, once again, refused to say anything
of substance about it. When Rove's name came
up, McClellan "retreated immediately to the
defensive, to his talking points, wiggling his
back foot nervously behind the podium," Kuhn
tells War Room. At one point, Kuhn says, Helen
Thomas mumbled loudly, "He doesn't even
express confidence in a top senior adviser."
Kuhn says that McClellan was "visibly bothered"
by the comment but didn't respond to it.

and Dana Millbank online:

I asked McClellan at [monday's] briefing
whether he was concerned that this would
ruin his entire credibility. He said he hoped
people would know he's a decent guy. It's true
that he's a decent guy, but this episode has
badly discredited him by making him look
either dishonest or duped.

But remember cheese lovers, Scotty is
just the appetizer in this tasty scandal.

from Wonkette:

All this proves is that no one tells
Scotty anything. It's not really his job to
know anything. His job is to say what he's
told to say, or, in some extraordinary cases,
what he intuitsthey might say with the
power of his mind.

and Joshua Zeitz:

It’s encouraging to see the White House
press corps hold Scott McClellan accountable
for his past statements about the Valerie
Plame case.

But in the emerging controversy over
Karl Rove’s alleged exposure of Plame’s
identity, media outlets have been slow to
ask what may yet prove the most explosive
and historically important question of all:

“What did the president know,
and when did he know it?”

This question, famously posed by former
Sen. Howard Baker (R-TN) during the Senate’s
Watergate hearings (and drafted by then-
committee counsel Fred Thompson), bears
as much relevance on the Rove scandal as
it did in the early 1970s, when the Nixon White
House was embroiled in a sordid cover-up
of the Watergate break-in.

Speaking of Watergate (and who isn’t?)
Did you read this?

Political pressure didn't force Mr. Ashcroft
to relinquish control of the Wilson
investigation to a special prosecutor,
Patrick Fitzgerald, until Dec. 30, 2003, more
than five months after Mr. Novak's column
ran. Now 18 more months have passed, and
no one knows what crime Mr. Fitzgerald is
investigating. Is it the tricky-to-prosecute
outing of Mr. Wilson's wife, the story
Judy Miller never even wrote about? Or has
Mr. Fitzgerald moved on to perjury and
obstruction of justice possibly committed
by those who tried to hide their roles in
that outing? If so, it would mean the Bush
administration was too arrogant to heed
the most basic lesson of Watergate:
the cover-up is worse than the crime.

Murray Wass has the latest scoop:

Also of interest to investigators have
been a series of telephone contacts between
Novak and Rove, and other White House
officials, in the days just after press reports
first disclosed the existence of a federal
criminal investigation as to who leaked
Plame's identity. Investigators have been
concerned that Novak and his sources might
have conceived or co-ordinated a cover story
to disguise the nature of their conversations.
That concern was a reason--although only
one of many-- that led prosecutors to press
for the testimony of Cooper and Miller,
sources said.