News and events revolving around the ousting of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

And Now, Back to Karl Rove… -- 07/27/2005

By Susan Jones Senior Editor
July 27, 2005

( - Before news events overtook them, Democrats were on a roll about Karl Rove, the Bush adviser they've targeted for job termination -- even before a federal grand jury concludes its investigation into who leaked the name of a covert CIA agent to the press.

On Tuesday, various Democrats returned to the subject.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it has compiled a timeline of events involving the leak -- "to set the record straight in a way that no amount of Republican spin can overcome."

And Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday sent a letter to White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card asking for an explanation of the so called "12 hour gap." That refers to the length of time it took then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales to inform White House staffers that the federal investigation was about to begin -- and that all documents pertaining to the leak of Valerie Plame's name should be retained.

The night he learned about the impending investigation, Gonzales told only Chief of Staff Andrew Card. Gonzales says he waited until morning to let other White House officials know, since most of them had gone home.

Democrats are suggesting that Gonzales' 12-hour delay in informing Bush administration officials was calculated to give them time to destroy documents.

"The time has come for the White House to shed some light on what happened at the very beginning of the [federal] investigation," Schumer said on Tuesday. "At every recent twist and turn in this investigation there seems to be another evasion from the White House.

"Andy Card ought to simply tell the American people whether or not he gave Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, or anyone else advance warning about the document request from the Department of Justice."

Schumer's letter asks Card to "immediately disclose whether, at any time between when you were informed that evening and when the official document request was communicated to all White House staff, you informed Mr. Rove, Mr. Libby, or anyone else that an official order to preserve any possible evidence related to the investigation was coming."

For its part, the DCCC is thanking its supporters for signing a petition that "demands accountability" from the White House.

"Nearly 20,000 of you have signed our petition insisting that President Bush keep his word and fire those involved in the betrayal of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. With each passing day, the implications and evidence mount, and the White House wall of denial crumbles," the message said.

The DCCC's timeline begins in February 2002, with Ambassador Joe Wilson's trip to Niger. It ends on Oct. 28, 2005 -- the day the federal grand jury investigating the leak of Valerie Plame's name is scheduled to expire.

In between, the timeline details how the White House "circled the wagons"; how Plame was outed in the press; how the investigation began and the "floodgates" opened; and how the Bush administration has refused to comment on the ongoing investigation.

"The Republicans are digging in for potentially months of disinformation, knowing that those at the heart of their party are in a hopelessly indefensible position," the DCCC message said.

It notes that no Democrat has had a hand in the federal investigation, something that makes the entire process suspect in Democrats' eyes; and it mentions that "speculation about perjury and conspiracy charges" is growing every day.

President Bush has urged everyone to avoid speculation and wait for the facts.

The DCCC message tells Democrats that "Karl Rove and other senior White House officials put an intelligence officer and those in contact with her at risk for partisan political reasons; they must be held accountable -- and must be removed from power."

"Read the timeline, forward this email on, and keep it as a resource so you can go straight back to the facts during the next Republican propaganda blitz.

"And stay tuned, we'll have much more to come." The DCCC warns Democrats that Republicans will try to "distract" them -- "but we here at the DCCC will make sure they are held accountable -- and that you have the facts."

There's no word when the federal grand jury will release the facts of the case it has been investigating for months.


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