Vice President Cheney Rumored Mulling Resignation

U.S. News is reporting rumors that Vice President Dick Cheney may resign over the Valerie Plame CIA leak case and be replaced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Cheney resignation rumors fly

Sparked by today’s Washington Post story that suggests Vice President Cheney’s office is involved in the Plame-CIA spy link investigation, government officials and advisers passed around rumors that the vice president might step aside and that President Bush would elevate Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

“It’s certainly an interesting but I still think highly doubtful scenario,” said a Bush insider. “And if that should happen,” added the official, “there will undoubtedly be those who believe the whole thing was orchestrated — another brilliant Machiavellian move by the VP.”

Said another Bush associate of the rumor, “Yes. This is not good.” The rumor spread so fast that some Republicans by late morning were already drawing up reasons why Rice couldn’t get the job or run for president in 2008.

“Isn’t she pro-choice?” asked a key Senate Republican aide. Many White House insiders, however, said the Post story and reports that the investigation was coming to a close had officials instead more focused on who would be dragged into the affair and if top aides would be indicted and forced to resign.

“Folks on the inside and near inside are holding their breath and wondering what’s next,” said a Bush adviser. But, he added, they aren’t focused on the future of the vice president. “Not that, at least not seriously,” he said.

Well, gee whiz. So, we have the vice president resigning so that the president (with Karl Rove gleefully cackling behind a curtain, no doubt) can appoint the first non-white and first female veep, positioning her as the odds-on favorite for the 2008 GOP nomination?

Meanwhile, we have a NYT report that the special counsel isn’t even going to issue a report.

No Final Report Seen in Inquiry on C.I.A. Leak

The special counsel in the C.I.A. leak case has told associates he has no plans to issue a final report about the results of the investigation, heightening the expectation that he intends to bring indictments, lawyers in the case and law enforcement officials said yesterday. The prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, is not expected to take any action in the case this week, government officials said. A spokesman for Mr. Fitzgerald, Randall Samborn, declined to comment. A final report had long been considered an option for Mr. Fitzgerald if he decided not to accuse anyone of wrongdoing, although Justice Department officials have been dubious about his legal authority to issue such a report.

By signaling that he had no plans to issue the grand jury’s findings in such detail, Mr. Fitzgerald appeared to narrow his options either to indictments or closing his investigation with no public disclosure of his findings, a choice that would set off a political firestorm. With the term of the grand jury expiring Oct. 28, lawyers in the case said they assumed Mr. Fitzgerald was in the final stages of his inquiry.

The focus of Mr. Fitzgerald’s inquiry has remained fixed on two senior White House aides, Karl Rove, who is President Bush’s senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, and I. Lewis Libby Jr., who is Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff. Both had conversations with reporters about a C.I.A. officer whose name was later publicly disclosed.

It is not clear whether Mr. Fitzgerald has learned who first identified the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, to the syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak in July 2003.

This thing has dragged on for years now and it seems that all we have is two senior White House advisors telling reporters that Joe Wilson got the job because his wife, a CIA officer, suggested he be hired. And for that we’ll have a political shakeup of a level not seen since Watergate?

I don’t think so.

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , ,
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. jimbo says:

    Wow! Would that this were true. If Rice got the GOP nomination, I would likely cast my first ever vote for a Republican. Cannot imagine how the Dems could top her.

  2. ICallMasICM says:

    The term media circle jerk comes to mind.

  3. DL says:

    Any pro-choice candidate will not bring joy to me, regardless of how much I agree with their other views-Condi included. (sometimes one-issue IS what matters.(A man that falls overboard needs a life jacket, not a tax-cut!)

    Pro-choice is a diabolical (Satanic) word-combine that represents one of the most sugar-coated evils approved by civilization. 40 million is the score so-far. Like addicts, we will do anything to continue and defend our moral illness! Placing it low on our list is inexcusable!

    God save us from ourselves!

  4. David says:

    Rice as VP would have satisfied me in the 2004 election. Now? Ambivalent. Yeh, she’s a “soft” pro-choice, which in the current state of pro-choice synonymity with pro-abortion isn’t something I like. But it is a “soft” pro-choice that isn’t consonant with the pro-abortion crowd in general.

    In point of fact, I recognize that all women have that choice, I’d just rather than those who choose so face some sort of homicide charges…

    (Slipping off to oil my rope and pound a couple more pegs in my gallows. That’s humor, folks. gallows humor, true, but humor nonetheless.)

  5. McGehee says:

    The silly season used to last a few weeks while Congress was in recess. Now it’s 24/7/365.

    Are the media to blame? Is Congress?


  6. Anderson says:

    This thing has dragged on for years now and it seems that all we have is two senior White House advisors telling reporters that Joe Wilson got the job because his wife, a CIA officer, suggested he be hired.

    Hey, JJ, you’re right, that makes no sense at all.

    So obviously Fitzgerald, and the 3 judges of the D.C. Circuit who refused Miller’s appeal, are all clueless, since they all seem to think that the underlying offense is a serious crime.

    Or possibly your concept of the case is deficient? Just wanted to raise that possibility.

  7. Don Surber says:

    Why are we prosecuting press leaks?

  8. Anderson says:

    Why are we prosecuting press leaks?

    Put it another way: why is Aldrich Ames in prison?

  9. Terry says:

    “Why are we prosecuting press leaks?

    Put it another way: why is Aldrich Ames in prison?

    Wow, the Kremlin was a press organization?


    Of course, that would go a long way to explaining the New York Times editorial board!

  10. Don says:

    I can only imagine what the Right would have said had high-ranking officials from the Clinton administration outed a CIA operative.

  11. Inten net says:

    Put Rice in charge, have her assume the Presidency; and she is paying Bush off for those mansion years, the original WMD leak is solved, and; like the ICA running DOJ and the Pentagon, it is poetic

  12. James Joyner says:


    Don’t disagree. There was plenty of outrage in conservative circles, including OTB, when the story first broke.

    Now, though, there is serious question as to whether she was actually “outed” or even an “operative.” Most indications point to her being a DC desk jockey after marrying Wilson and her affiliation being rather well known. We shall see, I guess.