[[F O L L O W - U P]] * Tagging on yesterday’s rumors about indictments soon to be handed down in the CIA leak scandal, it might well be an ominous sign that White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove has been called to “give 11th-hour testimony” before the grand jury investigating the “outing” of agent Valerie Plame. (He’s already been interviewed by the grand jury three times before.) Salon’s War Room blog quotes a former federal prosecutor as saying that this development is “stunning.” That prosecutor adds: “There is no reason for Rove to make this appearance unless he and his counsel believe he is at serious risk of indictment. None.”
The Associated Press quotes sources as saying that Independent Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald hasn’t yet decided to file criminal charges against Rove or other White House personnel involved in this scandal. However, Stephen Gilliers, a New York University law professor, concurs with Salon’s unnamed prosecutor. He tells the AP that Rove being called by the grand jury for an unusual fourth time “suggests Fitzgerald has learned new information that is tightening the noose. It shows Fitzgerald now, perhaps after [New York Times reporter Judith] Miller’s testimony, suspects Rove may be in some way implicated in the revelation of Plame’s identity or that Fitzgerald is investigating various people for obstruction of justice, false statements or perjury. That is the menu of risk for Rove.”
Lawrence O’Donnell, a political analyst and executive producer of The West Wing, doesn’t give Rove much hope of escaping legal charges in the Plamegate scandal. He writes in The Huffington Post that Rove’s 11th-hour testimony means “Rove’s lawyer, Bob Luskin, believes his client is defintely going to be indicted.” Furthermore, O’Donnell goes on record with his prediction of the results of Fitzgerald’s investigation: “at least three high level Bush Administration personnel indicted and possibly one or more very high level unindicted co-conspirators.”
READ MORE: “Rove’s Nightmare,” by Joe Conason (Salon); “Fall of the Rovean Empire,” by Sidney Blumenthal (Salon); “Rove in (Deeper) Trouble,” by David Corn (David Corn.com); “Is Fitzgerald Trying to ‘Flip’ Rove?” (The Anonymous Liberal); “New Complaint Filed Against Karl Rove With Kerr County, Texas, District Attorney to Investigate Illegal Voter Registration” (CREW).