Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The most significant news of the day: indictments

Maybe, of course, the pro-war Washington Post has been beguiled by Michael Moore,, and Cindy Sheehan.

Then again, maybe they've admitted what 90% of Americans polled say: we're dealing with criminality here. Although, at this point if there aren't indictments, we can can the anonymous sources forever, OK?

The prosecutor in the CIA leak case was preparing to outline possible charges before the federal grand jury as early as today, even as the FBI conducted last-minute interviews in the high-profile investigation, according to people familiar with the case.

With Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald in Washington yesterday, lawyers in the case and some White House officials braced for at least one indictment when the grand jury meets today. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, is said by several people in the case to be a main focus, but not the only one.

n a possible sign that Fitzgerald may seek to charge one or more officials with illegally disclosing Valerie Plame's CIA affiliation, FBI agents as recently as Monday night interviewed at least two people in her D.C. neighborhood. The agents were attempting to determine whether the neighbors knew that Plame worked for the CIA before she was unmasked with the help of senior Bush administration officials. Two neighbors said they told the FBI they had been surprised to learn she was a CIA operative.

The FBI interviews suggested the prosecutor wanted to show that Plame's status was covert, and that there was damage from the revelation that she worked at the CIA.

Underscoring the uncertainty surrounding the probe, two Republican officials said Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove, the president's top strategist, is not sure whether he will face indictment as the case winds down. Rove was said to be awaiting word from Fitzgerald, even as prosecutors questioned at least one former Rove associate about Rove's contacts with reporters before Plame's name was disclosed. The White House expects indictments to come today, according to a senior administration official.

And the tentative approval of an Islamic Republic in Iraq has done squat to quell the violence there or nock Treasongate off the front pages.

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