WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal prosecutors have accepted an offer from presidential adviser Karl Rove to give 11th-hour testimony in the case of a CIA officer's leaked identity but have warned they cannot guarantee he won't be indicted, according to people directly familiar with the investigation.
The persons, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of grand jury secrecy, said Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has not made any decision yet on whether to file criminal charges against the longtime confidant of President Bush or others.
The U.S. attorney's manual requires prosecutors not to bring witnesses before a grand jury if there is a possibility of future criminal charges unless they are notified in advance that their grand jury testimony can be used against them in a later indictment.
Rove has already made at least three grand jury appearances and his return at this late stage in the investigation is unusual.
The prosecutor did not give Rove similar warnings before his earlier grand jury appearances...
Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, said Thursday he would not comment on any ongoing discussion he has had with Fitzgerald's office but that he has been assured no decisions on charges have been made. Rove would first have to receive what is known as a target letter if he is about to be indicted.
''I can say categorically that Karl has not received a target letter from the special counsel. The special counsel has confirmed that he has not made any charging decisions in respect to Karl,'' Luskin said.
Larry O'Donnell notes (HT: Pachacutec @ Kos)
Fitzgerald does not have to send Rove or anyone else a target letter before indicting him. The only reason to send target letters now is that Fitzgerald believes one or more of his targets will flip and become a prosecution witness at the pre-indictment stage. A veteran prosecutor told me, "If Fitzgerald is sending target letters at the end of his investigation, those are just invitations to come in and work out a deal."
Prosecutors prefer pre-indictment plea bargaining to post-indictment because they have more to offer you, like not being indicted at all or downgrading your status to unindicted co-conspirator. And pre-indictment plea bargaining can greatly enrich the indictments that the prosecutor then obtains. If, for example, Fitzgerald has a weak case against, say, Scooter Libby, imagine how much Rove's cooperation might strengthen that case.
There's going to be something; O'Donnell says 3 indictments. I don't know, but I do know there will be something...
Rove is evidenlty quaking...spendid...