Rove/Plame: Indictments as soon as today?



Updated 5:00 pm Thursday:

The buzz issuing from Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury investigation of the Plame/CIA leak is particularly loud this morning. Editor & Publisher is


that indictments could be handed down today. Last night Reuters


that Fitzgerald was expected to announce the disposition of his inquiry "within days," and added this piquant note:

As a first step, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was expected to notify officials by letter if they have become targets, said the lawyers, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter....

Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, declined to say whether his client had been contacted by Fitzgerald. In the past, Luskin has said that Rove was assured that he was not a target. Libby's lawyer was not immediately available to comment.

And the recently launched Radar Magazine claims in an "exclusive" at its news blog that "The D.C. rumor mill is thrumming with whispers that 22 indictments are about to be handed down on the outed-CIA agent Valerie Plame case. The last time the wires buzzed this loud--that Tom DeLay would be indicted and would step down from his leadership post in the House--the scuttlebutters got it right."

Regarding all the buzz about grand jury "target letters" supposedly making the rounds now, attorney and TalkLeft proprietor Jeralyn Merritt files this note of clarification. She concludes:

[I]t sounds like this grand jury is complete, and notifications are going out to various lawyers that their clients are being or have been indicted, and as a courtesy, they can bring their clients in rather than face the humiliation of an arrest at home or work.

Afternoon update: According to AP, Karl Rove will testify before Fitzgerald's grand jury again, and Rove attorney Robert Luskin says Fitzgerald told him "no decisions on charges have been made." If that's so, we won't be hearing about the resolution of the investigation this week.

Tim Grieve, writing at Salon's War Room blog, calls Rove's return to the grand jury "stunning" and highlights law prof Stephen Gillers's comments to the Associated Press:

New York University law professor Stephen Gillers offers a similar assessment to the Associated Press. He calls Rove's return trip to the grand jury room an "ominous sign" that suggests Fitzgerald "has learned new information that is tightening the noose" around Rove's neck. "It shows Fitzgerald now, perhaps after [Judith] Miller's testimony, suspects Rove may be in some way implicated in the revelation of Plame's identity or that Fitzgerald is investigating various people for obstruction of justice, false statements or perjury. That is the menu of risk for Rove."

Read the AP story; read the War Room post.

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