Novak’s Unfinished Business

Despite his tell-all column, Robert Novak still has some unanswered questions to address.

Muckraker.com questions Novak’s calls to Karl Rove, made just three days after he discovered the Justice Department was investigating the CIA leak case. Muckraker cited attorney Stanley Brand’s advice in a recent interview where he advised his clients not to talk to other witnesses in federal criminal investigations, he said, because there is a “thin line between refreshing each other’s recollections … and suborning someone to lie under oath.”

As we noted yesterday, Novak denied Murray Waas’ reporting, calling it “totally wrong and a total lie.” However, as Muckraker notes, the story was confirmed the same day it was published. “The story is particularly damaging to Novak because it raised concerns that Novak and Rove coordinated their grand jury testimony, even possibly developing a ‘cover story’ for themselves. At the very least, the conversation was inadvisable and unethical — and, if a false story was concocted, against the law.”

Media Matters for America points out that Novak has contradicted his quote in the Newsday article, in which he was quoted as saying: “I didn’t dig [Plame’s identify] out, it was given to me. … They [Novak’s sources] thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it.” Novak is now saying that Newsday misquoted him and that the disclosure had been “off-hand.”

Public Eye’s Vaughn Ververs notes how anticlimactic the whole Novak ending was.

>UPDATE: Howard Mortman — he of the Extreme-ness — makes an interesting point about Plame/Wilson’s claim of a “gross invasion of privacy.”