The Fruits of Fitzgerald

A Wall Street Journal editorial holds forth on the fruits of the Fitzgerald prosecution: when it comes down to testifying under oath about who said what to whom and when, you’re better off just taking “the Fifth.”

As Tom Maguire writes:

Monica Goodling, an aide to embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, has taken the Fifth rather than testify before Senator Leahy’s Judiciary Committee in its probe into the firing of eight US attorneys.

… let me just pass on my guess as to where Leahy is headed.

His goal is to gather testimony from a number of Administration officials in order to create a case of perjury. Is there any serious prospect that he will uncover a plot to fire specific US Attorneys in order to obstruct their investigations of corrupt Republicans? Of course not.

However, somewhere in the morass of testimony will be conflicting stories. In Washington today, as Libby discovered, …Republicans don’t have poor memories – they lie, or at least that is what aggressive prosecutors and compliant juries believe.

So Leahy’s goal is to take some conflicting testimony and have his committee refer a case to the Department of Justice for possible perjury.

Common sense (or more vocally, Chuck Schumer) will then demand the appointment of a Special Counsel, since the DoJ cannot credibly investigate itself.

And the new Special Counsel, Fitzgerald II, will put everyone in the White House under oath and indict the people with the least plausible stories, plus Karl Rove (basically, for being Rove).

Well, that is Leahy’s plan as I see it; we await developments. The beauty part of this plan is that, unlike the Plame investigation, there is no reason to think that reporters will be subpoenaed. Consequently, the usual suspects in the press will be reliable cheerleaders throughout the process.

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