President George W. Bush's nomination of a new Supreme Court justice may give White House adviser Karl Rove a temporary reprieve from public scrutiny of his role in the disclosure of an intelligence operative's identity.
Bush accelerated his search for a Supreme Court nominee in part because of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name, according to Republicans familiar with administration strategy.
Bush originally had planned to announce a replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on July 26 or 27, just before his planned July 28 departure for a month-long vacation at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, said two administration officials, who spoke on the condition they not be named.
The officials said those plans changed because Rove has become a focus of Fitzgerald's interest and of news accounts about the matter.
Because it is hard work avoiding any conversation with Karl Rove that might lead to actual knowledge about his skullduggery.