Friday, October 07, 2005


Plamegate reporter extraordinaire Murray Waas reports the "Rove lied to Bush" story as if he believes it. I was skeptical, but he puts a spin on it I hadn't thought of:

"The president is the top law enforcement official of the executive branch," said Rory Little, a professor of law at the University of California and a former federal prosecutor and associate attorney general in the Clinton administration. "It is a crime to make a false statement to a federal agent. If the president was asking in that capacity, and the statement was purposely false, then you might have a violation of law."

But Little pointed out another possibility. If Bush had asked Rove about Plame in an informal manner-speaking to his adviser as a longtime friend rather than in his official capacity as president-the obstacles to bringing a criminal case under false-statement statutes would be higher, making such a case unlikely.

But Randall Eliason, a former chief of the public corruption section for the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and currently an adjunct law professor at American University, said that if Rove purposely misled the president, the FBI, or the White House press secretary, a reasonable prosecutor might construe such acts as "overt acts in furtherance of a criminal plan."

Added Gillers: "Misleading the president, other officials of the executive branch, or even the FBI might not, in and of themselves, constitute criminal acts. But a prosecutor investigating other crimes-such as obstruction of justice or perjury-might use evidence of any such deception to establish criminal intent. And a lack of candor might also negate a claim of good faith or inadvertent error in providing misleading information to prosecutors."

Hmmmm. So if Rove told Bush the truth, Bush is a co-conspirator. If he lied to Bush, he digs himself in deeper.

I haven't had this much fun following politics in a very long time.


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