New leads temporarily postpone indictments


October 10, 2005 -- Newly-discovered leads are postponing, at least temporarily, the issuance of indictments by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the CIA leak scandal. On October 9, even conservatives on the Sunday pundit programs were resigned to the fact that indictments of top White House officials are imminent.

Although the Grand Jury probe of the White House scandal has been unique by Washington standards for the relative lack of leaks to the media, there are several currents that are beginning to emerge:

1. Investigators are focusing on an email between Karl Rove and then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley that referenced a July 11, 2003 conversation between Rove and Time's Matt Cooper. In a case reminiscent of Oliver North and the shredding and deletion of e-mail in the White House PROFS office automation system during Iran-contra, there is speculation that some critical e-mails involving the CIA leak were illegally destroyed by the White House.

Then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales informed White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card at 8:00 pm on September 29, 2003 that the Justice Department was beginning a criminal investigation of the White House over the CIA leak. Gonzales did not order the White House staff to preserve all documents, email, and memos until the next day, giving the White House a full twelve hours to destroy any incriminating documents, including email. Gonzales later claimed he delayed his order because of the late hour on September 29 -- however, the White House and its operations staff works on a 24x7 basis.

There are rumors that critical email and other documents relating to the cover up of the CIA leak and the White House Iraq Group's "work up" on Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his CIA wife may have been destroyed during the twelve hour interval between notification that a criminal probe was underway and Gonzales' document "freeze" order. If the special prosecutor determines that evidence was destroyed, obstruction of justice indictments could be issued against Gonzales, Card, and Hadley.

2. Recently discovered notes of New York Times reporter Judith Miller concerning a June 2003 conversation she had with Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby before Wilson's OP ED on Niger uranium and Iraq appeared in The New York Times, may implicate Libby and Cheney in a conspiracy to go after Wilson and his wife. Previously it was reported that the White House retaliation against Wilson and his wife was in reaction to the OP ED piece. The discovery of Miller's notes points to a possible premeditated attack by the White House on the Wilsons.