07 October 2005

Did Rove lie to Bush too?

Another juicy bit of information from Mr. Waas:

In his own interview with prosecutors on June 24,
2004, Bush testified that Rove assured him he had not
disclosed Plame as a CIA employee and had said
nothing to the press to discredit Wilson, according to
sources familiar with the president's interview. Bush
said that Rove never mentioned the conversation with
Cooper. James E. Sharp, Bush's private attorney, who
was present at the president's interview with
prosecutors, declined to comment for this story.

Sources close to the leak investigation being run by
Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald say it was the
discovery of one of Rove's White House e-mails-in
which the senior Bush adviser referred to his July
2003 conversation with Cooper-that prompted Rove
to contact prosecutors and to revise his account to
include the Cooper conversation.

Lets assume Bush is telling the truth and Rove “assured
him he had not disclosed Plame as a CIA employee and
had said nothing to the press to discredit Wilson.” That
would mean the president’s top advisor lied to his boss
to protect his own job. Sure, he told Bush the answer he
wanted to hear, but it is now abundantly clear that his
statement was false and dishonest. The proof is in the
testimony of Time reporter Matthew Cooper.

Waas again:

Cooper's testimony to the federal grand jury
investigating the Plame leak has directly contradicted
Rove's assertions to the president. Cooper has
testified that Rove was the person who first told him
that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, although Rove
did not name her. Cooper has also testified that Rove
told him that Plame helped arrange for Wilson to
make a fact-finding trip for the CIA to the African
nation of Niger to investigate allegations that then-
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was trying to buy
uranium with which to build a nuclear bomb.

In his first interview with FBI agents working on the
leak probe, Rove similarly did not disclose that he had
spoken to Cooper, according to sources close to the

But in subsequent interviews with federal
investigators and in his testimony to the grand jury,
Rove changed his account, asserting that when the
FBI first questioned him, he had simply forgotten
about his phone conversation with Cooper. Rove also
told prosecutors that he had forgotten about the
Cooper conversation when he talked to the president
about the matter in the fall of 2003.

Ah yes, the old “I forgot” defense. That excuse may
work in the oval office, but I have a feeling the grand
jury (and the American public) will find it pretty hard to

And in case you forgot, here is what White House
spokesman Scott McClellan said back in October 2003:

No one wants to get to the bottom of this matter more
than the President of the United States. If someone
leaked classified information, the President wants to
know. If someone in this administration leaked
classified information, they will no longer be a part of
this administration, because that's not the way this
White House operates, that's not the way this
President expects people in his administration to
conduct their business.