Saturday, October 29, 2005
Did Rove Play the Pardon Card?
Much has been noted about the fact that Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, is known for his liberal politics. We also know that Luskin met with Fitzgerald at the last minute and that discussion caused Fitzgerald to refrain from indicting Rove along with Libby.
Why did the highly partisan Rove select an attorney who would seem to be his natural enemy, and what did Luskin say that stopped Fitzgerald from indicting his client?
Suppose Rove had a partisan conservative attorney who approached Fitzgerald and stated: "You know Bush is going to pardon anyone you indict, so I don't have to defend my client at all. All I have to do is run out the clock until 2008 and he's going to walk anyway. And here's how I'm going to do it . . . ." Fitzgerald would probably take it as as intimidation and perhaps alter his strategy to go after Rove immediately.
However, as a liberal, Luskin could make the same approach to Fitzgerald while mocking Bush, and even conveying the idea that he disagrees with Bush's tendency to be shameless, but the same situation still would apply. Indict Rove and he would be duty bound to run out the clock in the best interest of his client.
So Fitzgerald, knowing that all of his leverage comes from the threat of a speedy and politically damaging trial, decides that he is better off focusing only on Libby, whose case is probably more of a slam dunk than Rove's, since most of the activity and many of the suggested witnesses seemed to be out of Cheney's office where they worked more closely with Libby.
With a single-minded prosecution of Libby, Fitzgerald is probably in a better position to push the action and force the rest of the players to turn or incriminate themselves.