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My Advice Before Tuesday…


It’s the night before Fitzmas, and all through the house…okay, seriously, no counting chickens and all, I keep telling myself. And then, this hits the wires.

Reuters and the AP have competing stories on the Traitorgate investigation today.

And according to Adam Entous at Reuters, the notifications on prosecutorial intention will be going out to defense counsel tomorrow, with indictments to be presented as early as Tuesday.

(Cue the completely early celebratory toddler dancing.)

Okay, back to the serious online persona. Ahem.

According to Reuters:

Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald appears to be laying the groundwork for indictments this week over the outing of a covert CIA operative, including possible charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, lawyers involved in case said on Sunday.

Top administration officials are expected to learn from Fitzgerald as early as Monday whether they will face charges as the prosecutor winds up his nearly two-year investigation, the lawyers said.

Fitzgerald could convene the grand jury as early as Tuesday to lay out a final summary of the case and ask for approval of possible indictments, legal sources said. The grand jury hearing the CIA leak case normally meets on Wednesdays and is scheduled to expire on Friday unless Fitzgerald extends it.

Well, we knew that something was likely to happen this week, due to the end date on the Special Grand Jury (absent a request for extension) and all. But to see it in print in the MSM just makes it seem…well, it sure is less ethereal somehow, isn’t it?

The AP story contains some good background information on the case — a good catch-up piece, if you will, for folks who haven’t been paying attention all along to this case.

It began with a clumsy forgery, led the president to backtrack on his own State of the Union address, already has sent one person to jail and has ruined another’s career as a covert operative.

The cast of characters in this latest tale of Washington intrigue – the CIA leak investigation – keeps growing as a federal prosecutor tries to sort out who told what to whom and whether any of it was a crime.

Those caught up in the maelstrom include a power couple with a big secret, a duo of no-longer-anonymous Bush administration officials and a constellation of media heavyweights with secrets, too. It runs the spectrum from the biggest of big fish, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, to the merest of minnows, White House functionaries.

And that’s just the first bit. Definitely worth a read — and a useful forward to relatives who ask you “What’s all this about, anyway?”

The AP story describes our boy Fitz as follows:

When Fitzgerald was tapped in December 2003 to lead the leak investigation, he was introduced at the Justice Department as “Eliot Ness with a Harvard law degree and a sense of humor.” All humor aside, Fitzgerald, 45, is known as an aggressive prosecutor used to making people nervous. He also is known to be scrupulously fair.

You gotta love it as a prosecutor when you’re described as “scrupulously fair.” Just brings a tear to my eye, that does. (Stop counting chickens. Stop counting chickens. Ahem.)

And what of our intrepid pal, Luskin, who has been baring his legal soul to all and sundry throughout this matter on behalf of Karl Rove:

Asked whether he was taking part in a final round of discussions with the prosecutor’s office, Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, said: “I’m just not going to comment on any possible interactions with Fitzgerald.”

Hmmmm…sounds like someone might be playing a little “Let’s Make a Deal” to me.

Former independent counsel Robert Ray said on Fox News Sunday that Fitzgerald appeared to be “shoring up his mandate,” and to focus on whether or not there were attempts to obstruct the investigation.

“People better be ready for charges,” said Abbe Lowell, a prominent criminal defense lawyer.

If he’s not, maybe he ought to think about making a deal. Ahem.

UPDATE: Ouch. Andrew Sullivan piles on.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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