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Will Fitzgerald Indict A Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy?

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With Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald concluding his investigation of the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, there is growing speculation that as many as 22 Bush Administration officials are being investigated, apparently including Vice President Cheney.

Indictments are expected to be handed down in the next few days.

Larry Johnson, a former CIA agent who trained with Plame and has aggressively criticized the Bush Administration via his blog, posted yesterday that a source with ties to someone facing indictment, Fitzgerald is investigating 22 people, including Cheney, his senior advisor Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Seniior Bush Advisor Karl Rove, and National Secuirty Advisor Stephen Hadley.

“Hadley has told friends he expects to be indicted. No wonder folks are nervous at the White House,” he wrote.

Johnson’s words agree with a story in yesterday’s New York Daily News, that said Cheney’s name has come up amid indications Fitzgerald may be edging closer to a blockbuster conspiracy charge — with help from “a secret snitch.”

“They have got a senior cooperating witness — someone who is giving them all of that,” a source who has been questioned in the leak probe told the Daily News.

Cheney and Libby spend hours together in the course of a day, which causes sources who know both men “to assert that any attempts to discredit Wilson would almost certainly have been known to the vice president.”

“Scooter wouldn’t be freelancing on this without Cheney’s knowledge,” a source told the Daily News. “It was probably some off-the-cuff thing: ‘This guy [Wilson] could be a problem.'”

(U.S. News & World Report offered yesterday a rumor making the rounds that the Plame-gate investigation may lead to a Cheney resignation, although it quoted a “Bush insider” as saying such a scenario was “highly doubtful.”)

***

With 22 people being investigated, will Fitzgerald claim that a “vast right-wing conspiracy” helped reveal Plame’s identity?

Earlier this month, the Washington Post wrote that Fitzgerald was mulling charges of a criminal conspiracy. Under this legal tactic, Fitzgerald would attempt to establish that at least two officials agreed to take affirmative steps to discredit and retaliate against Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, and leak sensitive government information about his wife. To prove a criminal conspiracy, the actions need not have been criminal, but conspirators must have had a criminal purpose.

***

This item first appeared at Journalists Against Bush’s B.S.

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About David R. Mark

  • http://www.DowningStreetmemo.com harpo1973

    Time to IMPEACH AND IMPRISION – for criminal conspiracy and TREASON.

  • evil-doer

    The story you link to says 22 files, not 22 people. There could be a file for each count rather than for each person.

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    Could be 1 file = 1 count. I’m sure it’s more like 1 file = 1 person, but I’ve read Fitzgerald is a thorough guy and wants to cover all his bases. Surely there’s one for Bush that won’t get touched.

  • http://www.tomchristianonline.com Tom Christian

    The real question for me is whether
    Valerie Plame and her associates will
    be punished for spying inside the US
    on Americans. For details see:
    http://www.tomchristianonline.com/

  • Matt

    Conspiracy to do what? Expose the fact that Joseph Wilson lied about every detail of his trip and about what he found? There might have been an agreement to discredit Wilson, but that is not a crime. Nor is it a crime to provide his wife’s name unless KNOWINGLY outing a COVERT agent. There is no crime here.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    In 2003, the New York Times reported, “[W]ithin the C.I.A., the exposure of Ms. Plame is now considered an even greater instance of treachery. Ms. Plame, a specialist in nonconventional weapons who worked overseas, had ‘nonofficial cover,’ and was what in C.I.A. parlance is called a Noc, the most difficult kind of false identity for the agency to create.”

    If no crime was committed, then Fitzgerald would have concluded as much two years ago. If no crime was committed, then you wouldn’t have people like Rove, Libby and Hadley expecting to be indicted.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    This is a list of people in the administration questioned by Fitzgerald.

    This would explain the 22 files question:

    Karl Rove
    I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby
    Condoleezza Rice
    Stephen Hadley
    Andrew Card
    Alberto Gonzales
    Mary Matalin
    Ari Fleischer
    Susan Ralston
    Israel Hernandez
    John Hannah
    Scott McClellan
    Dan Bartlett
    Claire Buchan
    Catherine Martin
    Jennifer Millerwise
    Jim Wilkinson
    Colin Powell
    Karen Hughes
    Adam Levine
    Bob Joseph
    Dick Cheney
    George W. Bush

  • Nancy

    I sure do wish Fitzgerald would get on with it, then. The MSM either ignores it or drives me crazy with their obsessing babble; I wish they’d strike a happy medium somewhere in the middle. It would be highly amusing & gratifying if Cheney & his chimp puppet were indicted, but I can’t see how Fitz could have gotten anything out of either of them: they won’t testify alone or without prior, “blind” immunity from prosecution, & I can’t see an honest prosecutor doing that, either.

    Still and all, I think at this point the crime will be not having outed Plame, but having lied to the grand jury about it.

    Excuse me: I believe the political term for it is, “mis-spoke”.

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    The buzz is that Hannah cut a deal with Fitzgerald, and spilled the beans on Libby, Rove, Hadley, etc.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>In 2003, the New York Times reported, “[W]ithin the C.I.A., the exposure of Ms. Plame is now considered an even greater instance of treachery. Ms. Plame, a specialist in nonconventional weapons who worked overseas, had ‘nonofficial cover,’ and was what in C.I.A. parlance is called a Noc, the most difficult kind of false identity for the agency to create.”<<

    If this is true – which more recent sources indicate it likely is not – then the CIA should be facing hearings for their utter incompetence, since if she was in some sort of deep cover, the fact that she was known to be an agent by victually everyone in the DC cocktail party circuit would suggest that the CIA is totally inept.

    dave

  • http://jabbs.blogspot.com David R. Mark

    Dave, that’s a question for another special prosecutor.

    The point is, Fitzgerald is not expected to come back and says everything is A-OK. By default, that should tell you that exposing Plame’s identity was illegal.

    The exception to that is if Fitzgerald comes back with perjury charges, but nothing specifically regarding the outing of Plame. Then you have a Martha Stewart situation. That’s not great, but it’s a lot better than the administration facing 10 or 20 indictments on various charges.

  • Bill B

    Then you have a Martha Stewart situation.

    Or maybe a Clinton/Lewinsky situation. I can’t help but wonder if the repubs will be screaming from on high about lying under oath when it has to do with something you righty’s would have to at least admit is a tad more important than lying about a BJ.

    Of course it remains to be seen if GW lied about anything.

    There’s a report out about how Bush cleaned Rove’s clock over this 2 years ago. If true, then he knew long ago. I wonder if he was asked directly about his knowledge of this at Grand Jury? And if so, what he said. Hmm.

    No matter what I can see it now… there will be those minimizing purjury changes here as much ado about nothing, while they were freakin’ out about Bill’s BJ fib.

    Rule of law my ass.

  • Bill B

    perjury changes = perjury charges of course