Rove's 5th trip to the prosecutor's office

Rove's fifth trip to Prosecutor's office has got the Plame wheels spinning and everyone's hopes against hope that Rove will learn what freedom really means: from behind bars.

The Rove legal team is, of course, saying: nothing to see here, folks -- which is good enough for the folks at the National Review who dutifully speculate: "The Rove side apparently believed the [Time's Viveca] Novak conversation would be exculpatory for Rove, and it led to still more investigation by the grand jury -- which may be the topic of today's testimony."

The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin sees that for what it is: "everything we're hearing this morning about what happened inside the courthouse yesterday is coming from Rove's camp, and is therefore presumptively spin."

Tim Grieve doesn't buy the National Review's "fifth times an exculpatory charm" theory, noting that: "People testify before grand juries because they have to or because they think doing so will get them out of whatever jam they’re in. Which description describes Rove?"

According to Christy Hardin Smith, the spin appears to be finding traction in the press as everyone keeps repeating Rove attorney Robert Luskin's mantra that Fitzgerald hasn't made a decision on whether to bring charges against Rove.

Few if any mention that that's not his job:

The thing about being a prosecutor working with a grand jury is this: as a prosecutor, you present information to the grand jury, you recommend particular charges for particular people — but you are not the person who indicts. The members of the grand jury do that — and it would be incredibly presumptuous, not to mention potentially rude and irritating to the grand jury, for a prosecutor to just step out and say he was going to indict someone when that is the job of the jurors themselves.
And then there's the linguistic hair-splitting going on regarding Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's intentions. Rove's lawyer Luskin continues to specify that Rove isn't the "target" of the investigation, that he's the "subject." Back to Tim Grieve:
"Target" is a term of legal significance here. The U.S. Attorneys’ Manual defines a "target" as someone "to whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is a putative defendant." If Rove isn’t a "target," what is he? Scooter Libby’s lawyers have said that Rove is a "subject," and Luskin has all but confirmed as much in the past. A "subject," the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual says, is a person "whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury’s investigation."
Or: the jury's still out. But Rove is FAR from out of the woods yet... (War Room, Firedoglake, The Corner, White House Briefing)

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