Back in April, I would have bet heavily on indictments in the Valerie Plame case before Election day. Now, I’d bet heavily against it. By the time Fitzgerald gets around to subpoenaing Novak, and Novak fights it in court, we’ll be into next year.
Even if Fitzgerald has, or soon gets, plenty of evidence to back up an indictment, he won’t file it until he’s talked to all the witnesses. That’s just elementary prudence. That’s why Congressional investigations should not be held up pending criminal trials: the systems don’t work to the same calendar.
The opportunity the American people have to pass judgment on the Bush Administration’s performance is ten weeks from now, and they’re entitled to do so with as much information as they can get. Shame on the tame Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have allowed partisan loyalty to overwhelm institutional responsibility.
Footnote: Has Fitzgerald subpoenaed Clifford May, the former RNC flack who has said in print that he was told of Plame’s CIA affiliation before Novak made it public?