June 3, 2008 / by emptywheel


Did Condi Speak with Bush about Rove’s So-Called Innocence? Or about the NIE?

I wanted to add one detail to my earlier post about Waxman asking for more materials from Mukasey. They imply that Condi had a conversation with Bush or Cheney about Rove and/or Libby’s so-called innocence.

Waxman’s letter asks for the following:

I am writing now to renew the Committee’s request for the interview reports with President Bush and Vice President Cheney and to request unredacted versions of the interviews with Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Condoleezza Rice, Scott McClellan, and Cathie Martin. I also request that the Department provide all other responsive documents that were approved for release to the Committee by Mr. Fitzgerald.


I therefore urge you to follow Justice Department precedents and provide the records of the FBI interviews with President Bush and Vice President Cheney to the Committee by June 10. I also ask that you provide to the Committee, at the same time, the unredacted interviews with Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Condoleezza Rice, Scott McClellan, and Cathie Martin, as well as the other responsive records requested by the Committee.

In other words, his letter written specifically in response to Scottie McC’s revelations asks for unredacted copies of Scottie’s interview, but also Rove’s, Libby’s, Condi’s, and Cathie Martin’s interviews. Mind you, Waxman has seen redacted copies of these, but Scottie’s revelations lead him to demand unredacted interview reports.

Waxman tells us what is redacted in Scottie’s interview report.

In his FBI interview, Mr. McClellan told the FBI about discussions he had with the President and the Vice President. These passages, however, were redacted from the copies made available to the Committee.

And he implies that that’s what was redacted from the other interviews, as well.

Similar passages were also redacted from other interviews.

There are no sound reasons for you to withhold the interviews with the President and the Vice President from the Committee or to redact passages like Mr. McClellan’s discussions with the President and the Vice President.

From which we might conclude that those redacted passages in the Rove, Libby, Cathie Martin, and Condi interview reports are, at the very least, about conversations with Bush or Cheney, and possibly, discussions specifically about the exoneration of Rove and Libby.

We know Rove could have testified about this–Scottie McC’s book tells us that Rove told Bush directly that he was "innocent." Similarly, we know that Libby had such conversations with Cheney–in fact, passages describing those conversations appear, totally unredacted, in the grand jury testimony.

I’m not surprised that Cathie Martin had a conversation with (probably) Cheney about the leak. After all, the one email that had been destroyed and was subsequently turned over to prosecutors shows Martin and Jenny Mayfield closely watching for Scottie’s exoneration of Libby. So we know that Mayfield and Martin were following that exoneration.

But Condi? We know almost nothing about Condi’s testimony.

Now I’m just guessing from the context that that testimony might pertain to a conversation between Rice and Bush about which of Bush’s top aides had claimed to be innocent of the leak. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Bush went out of his way to tell Condi that Rove didn’t leak Plame’s name?

Though there is one more possibility.

In one of the pages of Libby’s notes, he records Stephen Hadley passing on Condi’s assurances that the President is comfortable.


The notation appears in a meeting in which Libby, Cheney, and Hadley were discussing their response to Joe Wilson. The meeting included discussions of "Wilson" being declassified, and the NIE not yet being declassified.

And then there’s that "CP" in the margin. Which Libby has been known to use as shorthand for Colin Powell. As well as shorthand for Counterproliferation Department, the part of the CIA in which Plame worked.

We know, from this note, that Condi had a conversation with Bush contemporaneously (well, before the Novak column, though not before the bulk of the leaking). That conversation pertained to precisely those documents that Bush authorized to be leak–or at least the NIE (though remember–supposedly Bush and Cheney and Libby kept their NIE leaking secret from everyone else in the Administration).

You think maybe Waxman wants to know what the content of that conversation between Rice and Bush was, right in the middle of leak week?

Copyright © 2008 emptywheel. All rights reserved.
Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/2008/06/03/did-condi-speak-with-bush-about-roves-so-called-innocence-or-about-the-nie/