Last night on the McLaughlin Group, MSNBC political analyst Lawrence O’Donnell said that information handed over to the grand jury by Time Magazine would show that Bush-brain Karl Rove was reporter Matt Cooper’s source in the Valerie Plame case:
“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.
“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.”
If true, we’re looking at a possible perjury charge for a high-ranking White House official. The special prosecutor in the case has interviewed Rove, Bush, Cheney and others to testify before the grand jury.
Of course, this does not necessarily tell us that Rove was the original source for conservative columnist Robert Novak’s outing of Plame, a CIA official… or if it was, who gave Rove the information. Novak claimed it was a “high-ranking White House official” and all indications so far point towards Cheney’s office, or even the Vice President himself.
It may be that Cheney’s chief of state, “Scooter” Libby takes the fall, but depending on how this all plays out, perhaps Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s replacement won’t be the only controversial confirmation hearing the Senate faces over the coming year.
(Thanks to reader Christine G for tipping me off in the open thread.)
It looks like the finger is pointing at Rove, and the story is about to be blown wide open. Writing on the Huffington Post, Lawrence O’Donnell elaborates:
I revealed in yesterday’s taping of the McLaughlin Group that Time magazine’s emails will reveal that Karl Rove was Matt Cooper’s source. I have known this for months but didn’t want to say it at a time that would risk me getting dragged into the grand jury.
McLaughlin is seen in some markets on Friday night, so some websites have picked it up, including Drudge, but I don’t expect it to have much impact because McLaughlin is not considered a news show and it will be pre-empted in the big markets on Sunday because of tennis.
Since I revealed the big scoop, I have had it reconfirmed by yet another highly authoritative source. Too many people know this. It should break wide open this week. I know Newsweek is working on an ‘It’s Rove!’ story and will probably break it tomorrow.
And as Jeralyn Merritt points out on TalkLeft, the issue is no longer just about who the Plame leaker was… Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald has previously stated that he already knows the identity of Miller and Cooper’s source.
The investigation has moved from one involving the identity of the White House official to one involving perjury — i.e., a cover-up. The source may have been questioned in front of the grand jury and lied.
Knowing the identity of the source is not enough for a perjury conviction. There must be two witnesses to the perjurious statement. Telephone records would not be enough, because they only provide the number dialed, not the identity of the person speaking. Matthew Cooper’s and Judith Miller’s e-mails and notes may provide that corroboration.
The plot thickens.