There were rumors flying around all day today that Plame prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was about to indict one or more White House officials, perhaps as early as today. The 'today' part obviously didn't pan out. But an article from Reuters, which hit the wires little more than an hour ago, seems to have nailed down some outlines of those rumors. At a minimum they seemed to grab on to the tail of the same animal.
Reuters makes clear that what Fitzgerald is going to do (indict, strike plea bargains, do nothing) isn't clear. But he's expected to do whatever it is he intends to do "within days."
Another tale zipping around email boxes was that Karl Rove had received a "target letter" a standard precursor to an indictment, but one I thought you got more than like a day in advance of the big day.
Here's what Reuters came up with, it seems trying to nail down that part of the story ...
As a first step, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was expected to notify officials by letter if they have become targets, said the lawyers, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The inquiry has ensnared President George W. Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby. The White House had long maintained that Rove and Libby had nothing to do with the leak but reporters have since named them as sources.
Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, declined to say whether his client had been contacted by Fitzgerald. In the past, Luskin has said that Rove was assured that he was not a target.
Libby's lawyer was not immediately available to comment.
As a friend of mine said today, sagely: we'll know soon enough.
Late Update: The fact that the president has decided to schedule a "major speech" on Iraq and terrorism, apropos of more or less nothing, would seem to suggest some bad coming down the pike. On the other hand, he seems to schedule these speeches about twice a month nowadays.