Lawrence O’Donnell Says Karl Rove Source in Plame Case

MSNBC Analyst Says Cooper Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case (Editor and Publisher)

Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to federal court, presumably revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant on the name of that source, and what might happen to him or her. Tonight, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group political talk show, Lawrence O’Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, claimed to know that name–and it is, according to him, top White House mastermind Karl Rove.

Here is the transcript of O’Donnell’s remarks:

“What we’re going to go to now in the next stage, when Matt Cooper’s e-mails, within Time Magazine, are handed over to the grand jury, the ultimate revelation, probably within the week of who his source is.

“And I know I’m going to get pulled into the grand jury for saying this but the source of…for Matt Cooper was Karl Rove, and that will be revealed in this document dump that Time magazine’s going to do with the grand jury.”

As Radley Balko says, “If true…holy crap. The summer just got a whole lot more interesting.”

Considering that O’Donnell, a rabid partisan, is the source of this, I’m more skeptical than I would be were Cooper or someone else with more credibility making these charges. Still, while I’m not sure a crime has technically been committed in this matter, I’m not sure how Rove would survive if he’s found to be the leaker here–let alone after having hidden that fact for two years.

Indeed, if Rove is revealed to be the source in the Time memos, only three possibilities present themselves.

    1. Cooper or others at Time doctored the documents to implicate Rove. (Incredibly unlikely.)
    2. Rove lied to the president on this matter.
    3. Rove told the president the truth and the president has kept him on, despite the implications.

Any one of these would be quite scandalous. Plus, it’s ruining Steven Taylor‘s vacation.

Update: Jeralyn Merritt says Rove told the FBI that he wasn’t the leaker, meaning he would have committed a federal crime for sure if he is proven to in fact be the leaker.

FILED UNDER: General,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Ed says:

    Novak, the original writer of the Plame story, wrote that his source was “no partisan gunslinger.” And if Rove, a partisan gunslinger, wasn’t the original leaker, it’s hard to say what he could have told Time that would get him in trouble.

  2. bill says:

    Does anyone care?

  3. […] agree completely with Radley Balko: “If true…holy crap. The summer just got a whole lot more interesting.” (via Outside the Beltway)      […]

  4. Lt bell says:

    bush at his best
    they will “spin” it tell it looks good

  5. Could it be Rove?

    Lawrence O’Donell on the McLaughlin Group today: What we’re going to go to now in the next stage, when Matt Cooper’s emails-within Time Magazine, uh, are handed over to the grand jury is the ultimate revelation, probably within the week…

  6. That’s a lie! It’s another lie! That’s a lie! Abso

    Lawrence O’Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, October 22, 2004 in interview on MSNBC’s “Scarborough Country,” attacking John O’Neill. Pardon me if I take this one with just a teeny grain of salt.

  7. Sgt Fluffy says:

    “bush at his best
    they will “spin” it tell it looks good”

    Clinton never did that did he?

    First, If it was truly Rove, why didn’t they use it in 2004?

    It is a proven non story only kept alive by Bush hating liberals

    The media has outwitted itself by taking away another free speech protection.

    Need I mention Sandy Scissorhands or Patrick Leahey…

  8. Sally says:

    Let’s not forget what this does to the argument that Dear Leader lied us into an war to enrich his murderous buddies. Rove did this at direction of Dear Leader because Amb. Wilson had the stones to tell the truth about the Yellowcake nonesense being passed off as the prelude to mushroom clouds in the midwest. Just another nail in the coffin, I guess.

    Clearly the implication for Rove are not too great. He will certainly face accusations of treason and perjury, and possibly even indictments, but Dear Leader will pardon him and we can get on with the creation of the Great American Empire. I am sure that the Congress is already drafting legilation making Rove’s actions legal.

    Don’t hang your heads. It is unlikely that any of you will pay for your crimes any time soon.

  9. Sgt Fluffy says:

    Courage Sally, Courage

  10. Wow, the seeting hate…

  11. QandO says:

    Lawrence O’Donnell: Rove leaked Plame’s name

    Lawrence O’Donnell reveals a bit more at Huffington Post:

  12. Sally says:

    Is the house of cards that Rove built going to tumble? Not over this one, but eventually. It is merely a minor set back in the creation of an alternate universe where the lies of thieves go unquestioned.

    Pompous Pilot will make it all OK. Perhaps another terrorist attack would help all the little children forget about this little detail. Just because Turd Blossom put the lives of countless military and intelligence agents at risk over petty politics, does not mean that he is not your friend. I am sure that he would never turn on the likes of you loyal followers. It is not as if this is a ruthless bastard who would do anything for a little more power. Surely he is human, with a heart and a conscience. All of those comparisons to Goebbels aside, he certainly could not end up being just an evil little man…

    He was supposed to be the smart one, right? Must be a bitch to look stupid standing next to our Dear Pretend Leader.

    I am sure Rush has a perfectly plausible explanation…

  13. Lawrence O’Donnell getting carried away

    There is one tidbit in O’Donnell’s writing that may be the basis for my take that this is all a O’Donnell fantasy. He wrote- “McLaughlin is not considered a news show and it will be pre-empted in the big markets on Sunday because of tennis.”

    Th…

  14. Kerfuffles says:

    Karl Rove Plamed … Again

    Where did O’Donnell get his information, which he says has been confirmed by two sources? Why would either of the two reporters who are about to go to jail for refusing to name the sources of the leak to the justice system, reveal the sources to O’Do…

  15. Shana Barrow says:

    You do satire for a living, right?

  16. Paul says:

    Clinton never did that did he?

    First, If it was truly Rove, why didn’t they use it in 2004?

    It is a proven non story only kept alive by Bush hating liberals

    The media has outwitted itself by taking away another free speech protection.

    Need I mention Sandy Scissorhands or Patrick Leahey…

    Man, I don’t know when I’ve seen such partisan excuses! Since you had the audacity to mention Clinton, it’s clear that if allegations this serious were made against him, you would not be nearly so forthcoming with defenses.

    Fact is, it looks like your man Rove committed treason by revealing the identity of a secret operative, thus endangering both her and all her contacts and investigations in which she was involved. Don’t brush this off like it’s no big deal when it would be a massive deal if you had a democrat to pin it on. Cut the hypocrisy!

  17. sgt fluffy says:

    Courage Paul, Courage

  18. jwb says:

    Why the skepticism? G. H. W. Bush dumped Rove for leaking a story to Novak in ’92. We know Rove does these kinds of things, and we also know that the investigation would have ended long ago unless there was a strong probability of prosecution of a major crime.

    My theory: Rove was the source or was otherwise highly involved in the incident, which did not constitute a crime, but during the course of the investigation either perjured himself, induced someone else to perjure themselves, or otherwise obstructed justice. Hello White House? It’s Nixon calling. He wants his M.O. back.

  19. Xavier K says:

    We are told that the reporters cannot protect their sources in this case because the leak was criminal, so there is no doubt that the leaker has committed a crime. If it was Rove, the buck has to stop at the President’s desk. He is responsible for Rove’ s actions regardless of the level of information he received on this; you can delegate authority, you cannot delegate responsibility. I find it hard to believe that it was Rove, but if it was, it IS a big deal, and a President could fall over it.

  20. McGehee says:

    I find it hard to believe that it was Rove, but if it was, it IS a big deal, and a President could fall over it.

    Could, but won’t. One of the big underlying factors in how Watergate went down was the fact Richard Nixon just wasn’t very likable, and people were much less skeptical of the news media having an agenda of their own in 1974, than they are today. Thanks to Dan Rather, the news media have a much harder task in trying to convince mainstream people that George W. Bush is a crook.

    Besides, I agree that it’s extremely unlikely Rove really was the leaker. O’Donnell is indulging in wishful thinking not at all unlike that of people who wanted the Downing Street memo to be a smoking gun.

    In fact, a lot of people commenting here have long since identified themselves as being predisposed to see anything and everything as a smoking gun to destroy Bush — even when there is neither smoke nor gun anywhere in the picture.

  21. Sally says:

    Alert the media! Liberal Bias everywhere! Don’t believe me, just ask McGeheeheeheeheehee.

    I guess we all knew it was Rove all along. I mean he is the man with the plan, right? He is not going to go down for a little thing like this. The only thing that surprises me is that the trail leads back to him so obviously. Must be a smokescreen, part of the plan all along: Lead them and the accusations to Karl who will no doubt have an airtight alibi. The when the whole thing blows it can all be chalked up to a bunch of over-zealous and incompetent and for good measure liberally biased reporters to be sacrificed for the good of the nation.

    If it were not for the good little soldiers who post here, I would not know what to think. Thank goodness I am free to let someone else think for me.

    God Bless Americorp!

  22. Sgt Fluffy says:

    Could, but won’t. One of the big underlying factors in how Watergate went down was the fact Richard Nixon just wasn’t very likable, and people were much less skeptical of the news media having an agenda of their own in 1974, than they are today.

    Well said McGehee

  23. Around the Blogosphere yet some more

    O’Donnell claims it was Rove …No, not Rosie O’Donnell, some guy named Lawrence, who apparently thinks he’s psychic. WizBang (also…

  24. James says:

    Treason is ok if you are republican.

    BTW where are those pesky weapons of mass destruction?

    Cheers to the must corrupt administration in U.S. history.

  25. Biggs says:

    Would someone kindly explain why reichwing pinheads always seem to have a problem spelling correctly?

    Could it be they are misundereducated?

  26. J Sherwood says:

    Why hasn’t Novak been hauled in and forced to name his sources? He’s the most culpable in this drama.

    What deal did Novak work with whom to avoid prosecution?

  27. The only report I have seen stated that it mentions Karl Rove, it did not mention him as the source. But I have not had the privilege of reading the documents.

    I don’t like speculation in the news. Be patient and the information will come out.

  28. Independant Voter says:

    Rove should go down for this but the slime that he is, based on his previous behavior, may be able to slither away. All the while the faithful will gather their talking points from Fox News and ditto land and miss the obvious question. If dubyah was such an honorable man, why would he associate himself with a guy like Rove is the first place? Even Bush 41 dumped this guy for his corrupt tactics and moral bankruptcy. It appears that this president is of the mind that the ends justify the means. Remember how the conservatives found that to be so morally reprehensible but have amnesia on this character flaw now? You have to laugh at the hypocrisy.

    If Rove gets what he deserves I will break out my 30 year old single malt and watch the right wing spin this until it crashes with Karl being lead off in hand cuffs. I am hoping that the right wing’s love for mandatory sentencing guidelines take full measure and it is 2016 before slime boy Rove slithers to the light of day. Where is my smoking jacket, I think this may even call for a nice cigar to celebrate.

  29. J Sherwood says:

    So, today, Scott McClellan (who previously bent himself into a pretzel denying that Rove leaked Plame’s name) suddenly has nothing to say about the same subject.

    And, oh my gosh golly, Bush previously asserted that he’d fire anyone in his administration who was involved in this affair. Oopsies . . Think he’ll follow through on that?

  30. Independant Voter says:

    Looks like I’ll be sipping my 30 year old Scotch soon. If you want up to date info on Rove the traitor scoundrel, don’t go to Fox News they aren’t covering this, though I’m not surprised.

    The end is near for Karl and all that’s left is for dubyah to dump him on the curb like last nights trash.

    My question to the right wing ideologues still goes without an answer. If dubyah was such an honorable man, why would he associate himself with a guy like Rove is the first place? I am left to assume that despite all the rhetoric, you actually like amoral behavior if it suites your politics.

    Right wing ideologues better tune into your two favorite shill-boys Rush & Hannity for your talking points, it’s going to get rough at the water cooler 😉

  31. J Sherwood says:

    CNN.com finally started covering this story on the home page of their web site Monday.

    Here’s a question: why is Novak still on CNN’s payroll? He’s been smelling like a skunk since this story broke two years ago. He knew exactly what he was doing when he named Plame in his column – compromising national security to grind his political ax.

    Why would any news organization lend him credibility by employing him?