Having interviewed Dick Cheney some time ago, yesterday Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor working on the Valerie Plame affair, spent an hour and ten minutes with the President and the private counsel the President has retained. The President wasn’t under oath, but lying to a prosecutor would still be a crime (ask Martha Stewart).
I’d be stunned if the President himself were a target, but if the prosecutors think that he and Cheney can help them build a case, it seems unlikely either that they’ve come up dry as far as criminal charges are involved or that they’re going to settle for a couple of foot-soldiers.
I have thought from the beginning that this case was a ticking time bomb for the Administration, and I still think so. Fitzgerald’s success in keeping the lid on the grand jury testimony has generated a drought of stories on the case, which in turn has created the impression that it’s gone away.
Don’t bet on it. I’d give odds on indictments this month or next. Given the Speedy Trial rules that apply to Federal criminal cases, we could even see trials sometime in the fall.