An angry President Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair, sources told the [New York] Daily News.
“He made his displeasure known to Karl,” a presidential counselor told The News. “He made his life miserable about this.”
Bush has nevertheless remained doggedly loyal to Rove, who friends and even political adversaries acknowledge is the architect of the President’s rise from baseball owner to leader of the free world.
As special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald nears a decision, perhaps as early as today, on whether to issue indictments in his two-year probe, Bush has already circled the wagons around Rove, whose departure would be a grievous blow to an already shell-shocked White House staff and a President in deep political trouble.
Asked if he believed indictments were forthcoming, a key Bush official said he did not know, then added: “I’m very concerned it could go very, very badly.”
“Karl is fighting for his life,” the official added, “but anything he did was done to help George W. Bush. The President knows that and appreciates that.”
If I recall correctly, the Shrub said in 2004 that as soon as he found out the name of the leak — the person who violated federal law and put CIA employees and operations in jeopardy — that person would be fired. He softened the threat in July of this year, when asked about the Plame investigation during a news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “[I]f someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration,” Bush said.
White House flack Scott McClellan told reporters today that he “would challenge the overall accuracy of” the Daily News article, according to Reuters. Naturally, the Bushite spokesperson wouldn’t specify what he found to be inaccurate, which, in my book, renders his statement worthless. And remember that McClellan flatly denied that Rove and Dick bin Cheney’s chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby were involved in the scandal — of course, that was before Rove and Libby were fingered as journalistic sources in the Plamegate grand jury hearings.
So, if the News piece is true, Georgie knew the leaker’s identity two years ago. And if that story is true, Shrubbie is a liar and has lied to the American people.
The results of federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation could come down as early as Thursday. Arch-conservative Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol predicted that we will see indictments. We shall see: Perhaps there finally will be justice for Valerie Plame.