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July 17, 2005
Cooper: Rove Didn't Call Me, Didn't Mention Name Or Status Of Plame

Matthew Cooper has decided to write about his testimony to the grand jury investigating the leak of Valerie Plame's name and status to Robert Novak. In the new edition of Time Magazine, Cooper confirms that the New York Times version of events published late last week which had him calling Rove, not the other way around, was accurate:

In his 2 1/2 hour testimony last Wednesday before the grand jury investigating the CIA leak case, TIME White House correspondent Matthew Cooper testified that when he called White House political advisor Karl Rove the week of July 6, 2003, Rove did not reveal Joe Wilsons wifes name and did not reveal her covert status to Cooper. But he did say that Wilsons wife works at the Agency on WMD. This was the first time Cooper had ever heard of Wilsons wife. ...

Cooper writes that special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald asked me several different ways if Rove indicated how he had heard that (Valerie) Plame worked at the CIA. Cooper says he testified that Rove did not.

Cooper also writes about his August 2004 testimony before the grand jury relating to his conversation with Vice President Cheneys Chief of Staff I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby. Cooper writes that, like Rove, Libby never used Plames name or indicated that her status was covert and he never told Cooper that he had heard about Plame from other reporters, as some press accounts have indicated. On background, Cooper had asked Libby if he had heard anything about Wilsons wife sending him to Niger. Libby answered with words to the effect of Yeah, Ive heard that too.

What an embarrassing denouement for the mainstream media and the Democrats in their zeal to target Karl Rove. No one except the darkest paranoid conspiracy theorists could believe that Rove or Libby deliberately sat around, knowing Cooper would call and eventually get around to asking about Wilson, and then use that opportunity to wreak revenge for Wilson's serial lies in his by-lined NYT piece as well as his leaks to Walter Pincus at the Post. Rove and Libby both performed the traditional background role (for which the media insists it needs anonymous sources) to warn Cooper that Wilson's version had seriously distorted the record.

Will this finally put this non-story to rest? Doubtful.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 17, 2005 6:06 PM

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