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My latest thinking...

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UPDATE: This just in from the Wall Street Journal:

Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser and deputy White House chief of staff, was informed yesterday evening that he may not be charged today but remains in legal jeopardy, according to a person briefed on the matter. Mr. Fitzgerald, who meets with jurors this morning, has zeroed in on potential wrongdoing by I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, and is likely to charge Mr. Libby at least with making false statements. The testimony of reporters who have been witnesses in the case has contradicted Mr. Libby's public statements.
So, in response to points below, if this is true, then Rove is NOT exonerated tomorrow - on the contrary, they notified him that he's in the same legal position he was yesterday and last week and last year. The jury is still out, quite literally, on whether he is guilty or innocent of a crime, and they're going to keep looking at him. As I note in the end of my analysis, below, that ongoing uncertainty is NOT good news for the White House.

I agree that at first blush, if Rove isn't indicted on Friday, it could appear a victory for Rove to the public, and I'd be lying if I said I'm not disappointed.

But, and it's a big but...

Rove wins tomorrow ONLY if Fitzgerald says Rove is NOT getting indicted AND the investigation of Rove is over, not if Fitzgerald says he hasn't decided yet and needs another grand jury to continue investigating.

Now, Fitzgerald may not indicate either way if he's still looking at Rove, but of course that puts the White House in a spot because they said they were waiting for the investigation to end before answering questions about Rove. If the WH surrogates crow tomorrow that Rove won, then it's now okay for Rove and Scottie to answer the media's questions, isn't it? After all Scottie said they had to wait till the special prosecutor is done, and if the GOP claims Rove "won" then he's out of jeopardy and can take our questions.

Also, I keep thinking of the Kay Bailey Hutchison fiasco earlier this week, her defense of treason comments - 80% of the public thinks the WH lied or broke the law here, I'm not sure they want anybody crowing.

Then there's the issue of the ongoing trial of Scooter. I was told you'll need another grand jury to keep preparing for trial. So the investigation continues.

And finally, I'm very suspicious as to why there have been practically no leaks for 2 years and now in the final 2 weeks they're non-stop. That's odd to me, and raises some red flags about what we're hearing. I'm still wondering if Fitzgerald isn't playing some fascinating end-game, and whether he might not seek some indictments tomorrow against Rove, and/or whether all of the leaks are just wrong.

Finally, the White House wanted this to be over. If Rove is not 100% exonerated tomorrow, then this isn't going away for the White House. Not unless Rove resigns. If he doesn't get a clean bill of health tomorrow, I really believe Rove may still resign. Think Harriet: This White House needs to move on.

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