Rove Indicted?

Jason Leopold, writing at both “Truthout” and “OpEd News,” reports that Karl Rove has already been indicted.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent more than half a day Friday at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm representing Karl Rove.

During the course of that meeting, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning.

Robert Luskin, Rove’s attorney, did not return a call for comment. Sources said Fitzgerald was in Washington, DC, Friday and met with Luskin for about 15 hours to go over the charges against Rove, which include perjury and lying to investigators about how and when Rove discovered that Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert CIA operative and whether he shared that information with reporters, sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said.

It was still unknown Saturday whether Fitzgerald charged Rove with a more serious obstruction of justice charge. Sources close to the case said Friday that it appeared very likely that an obstruction charge against Rove would be included with charges of perjury and lying to investigators.

Leopold, who last night reported that Rove’s indictment was imminent, is still so far the lone source on this. Several bloggers and other Internet sites have picked up on Leopold’s reports.

Update: Bill Jempty has done some digging and come up with a 2002 story on Leopold at something called the Guerilla News Network. Leopold, a former WSJ reporter, had broken a big story about Thomas White, Bush’s Secretary of the Army, and a link to Enron. It turns out that his reporting was quite “sloppy” and both Salon and the NYT repudiated him.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Fred says:

    I say what I said the other day, I still find it hard believe that no one else has heard about this unless they are waiting for more information or corroboration before going to print. This story is probably being covered more closely by every media organization than just about any other story and yet a reporter I have never heard about has multiple sources in the White House telling him, and only him, about this?

    Either Jason Leopold has the scoop of the year or he is going to look pretty foolish. I guess we will find out next week. If it turns out he is right about this news, then all the credit in the world should go to him.

  2. cirby says:

    On the other hand, it’s also possible that the prosecutor found some really damning evidence against someone else, and is trying to negotiate a graceful way out without looking like a complete tool.

  3. Fornl says:

    yet a reporter I have never heard about

    Leopold worked for Dow Jones for years and was their LA Bureau Chief before he got into the freelance game. Anyone who reads the business press regularly knows his name–he broke the story on Enron’s manipulation of California’s energy markets back in the early 2000s.

  4. Fornl says:

    I am inclined to think that something is up, as the American Enterprise Institue had been publicizing Rove’s scheduled speech there on Monday (I received two emails from AEI in the past couple of weeks about it) and it is now the web link they sent in the email is not working and the event is no longer featured on their website. [,filter.all/event_detail.asp ]

    If you look at the AP News calendar that circulated yesterday, the Monday event is listed. I bet they cancelled it due to the impending indictment.

  5. Bithead says:

    This is yet another story from the same source. None and I repeat none of the big said go on with this.

    So that raises the question, then, about where and a long time anti Bush propagandist would be picking up such information before any of the mainstream media did. After all, the mainstream media can hardly be considered to be favoring Bush.

    So, where is the verification?

  6. Rick Moran says:

    “Sloppy” reporting indeed. Leopold, according to Salon, fabricated an email used as a large part of the story.

    He’s also written some other off the wall stuff on the Plame kerfluffle. Tom McGuire thinks he’s a loon as does Murray Waas of the National Journal.

    That said, I think it’s been a given since last summer’s revelation that Rove had to go back to Fitzy and amend his testimony in light of some WH emails that were found that the Evil One was in Fitzgerald’s sights.

    He’s not going to spend all this time investigating and not indict just one person.

    Of course, no one is being indicted or will be indicted for what Fitzgerald was charged with finding out; whether any laws were broken by revealing Plame’s name.

  7. Tano says:

    Either Leopold is gonna earn cred big time, by scooping the rest of the world by 48 hours plus, or he will end up looking quite the fool.

    In the meantime – well, I find it odd, and rather sleazy, that so many people, rather than biding their time, waiting for conformation, decide to see if they can do some swiftboating of Leopold.

    Whats the point? Do you do this ad hominem stuff just out of habit? Boredom? Its not like there is some great need to figure out the exact level of existential credibility that Leopold should be entitled to. His story will be confirmed or debunked very soon. Lets see what happens….

  8. James Joyner says:


    There’s no ad hominem here. We have one person, unknown to most of us, reporting on a major story. NO OTHER SOURCE is confirming the story. The natural questions ares “Who is this guy? Why would have have the story and not the big papers? How credible is this guy?”

  9. Roger says:

    Tano, this is the typical neocon approach. Trash the messenger. It doesn’t matter to them at this point whether he’s absolutely correct here or whether he’ll take the fall in a few days because he’s into creative fiction writing. They want to be prepared either way. It’s never too early to lay the groundwork for political assassination just in case he becomes a bigger problem down the road now that he’s on the radar.

  10. Jon Hendry says:

    Rick Moran writes: “Of course, no one is being indicted or will be indicted for what Fitzgerald was charged with finding out; whether any laws were broken by revealing Plame�s name.”

    I suggest you go to Fitzgerald’s investigation website, where you will find the documents containing his “charge” for the investigation, which goes beyond what you describe.

  11. MediaSmart says:

    Patton Boggs is my law firm and I can confirm that some aspects of this story are true.

  12. RightAllAlong says:

    Inigo: I do not think it means what you think it means.

  13. RightAllAlong says:

    July 14, 2005â??In an interview with Wolf Blitzer of CNN, Wilson states that “My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity.”

    May 2006â??The sage continues as eager liberals await the arrest of Karl Rove. Some liberal web-sites have already posted fake pictures of Rove being dragged away in hand-cuffs. The only question that remains is: arrested for what?