Responding to news that Karl Rove's lawyers say they've been notified the Bush adviser won't get charged in the Plame leak investigation, Reader AB
asks, "is it reasonable for them to publish the letter from Fitzgerald to prove that their statement says is, in fact, true[?]"
We thought it was a good question -- noting, however, that news reports conflict on whether Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, received a letter from Fitzgerald. Luskin himself stated he was "formally advised," but does not state how.
I called Luskin at his office and told him I was interested to know precisely how Fitzgerald had notified him of his decision. "I'm really not going to add anything to what's in the statement," Luskin told me.
Why not? I asked. "The reason is, that's what we've decided to do." (There's a $500-an-hour answer for you.)
Luskin's office sent me a copy of his earlier statement. It reads -- in its entirety -- as follows:
Washington, DC-Robert Luskin, Attorney for Karl Rove today released the following statement:
"On June 12, 2006, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove.
"In deference to the pending case, we will not make any further public statements about the subject matter of the investigation. We believe that the Special Counsel's decision should put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove's conduct."
So what's the deal? Is Luskin bluffing? If he got a letter, why won't he say so, and release it?
We don't know. It's extremely unlikely Luskin would fake something like this -- it would demand a wrathful retaliation from the prosecutor, something no defense lawyer in his right mind would do. Perhaps Fitzgerald sent a letter that, while letting Rove off the hook, catalogs a number of sins Luskin would rather not publicize. Perhaps Rove got the assurance as part of a cooperation deal. Who knows.
All we can say for sure is that for the moment, Rove's apparently in the clear. And Luskin's not talking.Update
: An earlier version of this post said that no news outlets had reported that Fitzgerald notified Luskin in writing; in fact, the New York Times
reported Luskin received a letter from Fitzgerald, while others reported it was in a phone call.Late Update
: Rove's not cooperating with anybody or anything, spokesman tells