Sunday, October 23, 2005

Fitzmas Eve

Everyone with an opinion and a computer is weighing in on the upcoming decision by Patrick Fitzgerald. The decision has even been given a name, Fitzmas, because of the anticipated positive outcome for Democrats. So, I guess it's my turn.

Let's start at the top. Bush. I believe the recent leaks by White House staffers about Bush being angry with Rove when told about his involvement in Plamegate was, indeed, a mistake by the White House. I think they were trying to make Bush look like he was on the right side of the issue. Instead they inadvertently implicated Bush in the cover-up. Prediction? Nothing comes of this.....for now.

Next up, Cheney. I think Cheney is in the Plame scandal up to his neck. However, I think Fitzgerald will have a tough time getting at him. I predict he'll be named as an unindicted co-conspirator, getting away from legal jeopardy....for now. Although recent reports of Cheney considering resignation are an attempt by the White House to increase expectations so the ultimate indictments seem like a let down, ultimately Cheney will resign.

Libby and Rove. The big question is will upcoming indictments be just for the cover-up, or for more serious charges such as revealing a covert intelligence officer's name and/or espionage. Prediction, both will be indicted for obstruction of justice and perjury. Libby will also be indicted for a charge related to leaking Plame's name. Libby and Rove will both cop pleas and there will not be a trial. I think this is about right:

I'm still leaning towards believing that Rove and Libby will fall on their swords and have plea agreements in place by next week, to spare their respective bosses, Bush and Cheney, the ugly fallout from a protracted criminal case and from being called as witnesses.

The question is, will Bush pardon them in return for their loyalty before or after they serve any jail time required by the deals?
Bush will not pardon anyone. If he does, there will be further revolt by Republicans because of the impact on the 2006 elections of headline charges of cronyism and corruption. I think this is the most dangerous course that a moron like Bush may take due to his personal stubborness and loyalty. If he does pardon, I think it would bring on a constitutional crisis that could lead to his resignation.

There will also be various indictments of lower level officials, i.e. Hannah and Wursmer and perhaps others. These counts will range from obstruction to revealing Plame name.

I further predict that Fitzgerald will seek to either extend his current grand jury or impanel a new grand jury with the goal of exploring the uranium/Niger forged documents spectacle. It is highly possible that these investigations may lead to Bush.

At the New York Times. Miller is toast and will not return. Miller will write a book, make a couple of million, and disappear for awhile. She will re-emerge as a Republican pundit/insider. Either Times publisher Sulzberger or Bill Keller will be resigned, possibly both, in an attempt to salvage the Times reputation.

Finally, Valerie Plame will file a civil suit that will have aspects of the case that ultimately end up in the Supreme Court. Bush and Cheney will have to testify and there will be further revelations. The entire Plamegate affair, while not taking down Bush as President, will continue to erode his power making the last three years of his Presidency irrelevent, other than the government being rudderless. Ultimately, Plame will prevail and win damages.

Fitzmas may be the gift that keeps on giving, and may stay in the news for a looong time.


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