What Did Rove Know And When Did He Know It?
(Image of the "Rove View Mirror" in the NYTimes, via Bag News Notes. Fantastic analysis of the shot.)
Asked by one of Libby's lawyers if he had talked about Plame with anybody else before outing her in his column, Novak said he'd discussed her with a lobbyist named Richard Hohlt. Who, the lawyer pressed, is Hohlt? "He's a very good source of mine" whom I talk to "every day," Novak replied. Indeed, Hohlt is such a good source that after Novak finished his column naming Plame, he testified, he did something most journalists rarely do: he gave the lobbyist an advance copy of his column. What Novak didn't tell the jury is what the lobbyist then did with it: Hohlt confirmed to NEWSWEEK that he faxed the forthcoming column to their mutual friend Karl Rove (one of Novak's sources for the Plame leak), thereby giving the White House a heads up on the bombshell to come.…
After Novak first told Hohlt that he was working on a hot story about ex-ambassador Joe Wilson, Hohlt says he e-mailed Rove to expect a phone call from Novak. Then Hohlt began pressing Novak to learn the juicy details. On July 11, 2003, three days before the column was published, Novak gave him a preview copy. (Unknown to Hohlt, Rove had already confirmed to Novak that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA.) That same day, Hohlt e-mailed details about the column to Rove, and later faxed him the entire unpublished article. (Rove's lawyer confirms this account.) "I was just trying to be helpful," Hohlt says. His role as a go-between later earned him a visit from the FBI, but it stayed secret until now. And that was just fine with Hohlt, who says that his greatest accomplishment as a lobbyist has been "staying out of the press." Thanks to last week's testimony, his cover—like Valerie Plame's—is now blown.
Wonder if Karl was forthcoming with the Special Prosecutor, the FBI and the grand jury about this? If Luskin is confirming it to the press, one would hope so. I'll ask this question again: why does Karl Rove still have a high level security clearance?
(H/T to reader "DL" for the link to the Newsweek piece.)