Look, I’ve been hoping for a Karl Rove indictment since the summer of 2003. I have two bets out that he will in fact be indicted. No one would be happier than I if an indictment had been handed up.
But I can’t figure out plausible answers to any of four questions:
1. Who would have told Jason Leopold, but no reporter with a mass outlet, that Rove had been indicted?
2. If the rumors are flying around the White House, why does Leopold have a monopoly on hearing about them?
3. If Rove has been told that he has been indicted, why doesn’t he quit to spare Bush the embarrassment of having current, rather than a former, Assistant to the President mugged and booked? Even Clueless Claude Allen could figure out that much.
4. If Rove told Bolten that Rove has been indicted, why didn’t Bolten reply, “The President accepts your resignation to spend more time with your family with great regret and great admiration for your loyal service”?
So I’m not putting any champagne in the cooler right now.
Update Jason Leopold threatens to out his sources on the supposed Rove indictment if the story turns out to be false. He also says the story is “bulletproof.” Well, that puts it all on the line, though Leopold is now waffling on whether the announcement of the indictment will be this week. We’ll know soon enough.
Second update Rove’s flack tells the NY Sun Leopold is full of it. OK, that’s what I’d expect Rove’s guy to say, regardless of the truth of the matter.
But he adds a key detail: he claims that on Friday, when Leopold reports that Fitzgerald was in a marathon negotiating session with Rove’s lawyers, Fitzgerald was in fact in Chicago.
Of course Fitzgerald won’t comment on whether Rove has been indicted, or about anything else of substance. But nothing keeps him from answering the simple question, “Were you in Washington on Friday?” Some enterprising reporter will doubtless ask that question of Fitzgerald (or Fitzgerald’s spokesman) tomorrow morning.
Here are the possibilities as I see them:
1. Leopold is making things up, gambling that Rove will in fact be indicted and that Leopold will then look as if he scored a major newsbeat.
2. Leopold is fooling himself about what his sources told him.
3. He’s reporting his sources’ remarks accurately, and they’re playing him for a sucker. Perhaps his sources (“more than two,” he says), which by his account include people close to the White House, were hoping that the MSM would leap on the story and look silly when it was discredited. (Five will get you ten that’s what happened to Dan Rather, and that Rove was involved.) If and when Leopold carries out his threat to unmask them, they’ll just look around innocently and say “Jason Leopold? Who’s that?”
4. It’s all true, and Fitzmas comes in May.
As the croupier says, Mesdames et messieurs, faîtes vos jeux. But, as my father used to say, keep carfare home.
Third update Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft reports on a long conversation with Leopold. She’s convinced he’s sincere, but thinks it wildly unlikely that Fitzgerald talked about a sealed indictment, as opposed to threatening an indictment in the course of plea negotiations.