Who Could It Be Now?

22 months and it comes down to this week: a week that could see the Bush White House–and thereby, the very Bush presidency itself–more roiled than any administration since Richard Nixon‘s … or not.

The Special Counsel (now online!) has already upended journalism in a major way:

  • Reporters being sent to jail…

  • The reputation of the nation’s (former?) newspaper of record is on thin ice…

  • A magnifying glass has been taken to one of the pillars of journalism: anonymous sources.

Anyone who says this isn’t an enormously important week isn’t paying attention … or just simply doesn’t live in Washington, D.C.

So where are things and what can we expect this week? If warnings letters are distributed before Fitzgerald issues any formal indictments, you can rest assured that charges are coming down the pipeline.

The weekend’s Miller round-up after the jump…


The must-reads:

  • Matt Cooper is “telling friends he intends to write a comedy” about Plame-gate.

  • We don’t know if any crimes have been committed in this case, but we will say this: It’s a crime that Maureen Dowd’s Saturday column is behind a firewall. MoDo, who readers either think of as WOW or WHA?, pulled a wowser this weekend, with a strong column (one of the first to appear on the NYT’s edit/op-ed pages, surprisingly) about Miller. Some snippets:

    • Once when I was covering the first Bush White House, I was in The Times’s seat in the crowded White House press room, listening to an administration official’s background briefing…At first [Judy] leaned against the wall near where I was sitting, but I noticed that she seemed agitated about something. Midway through the briefing, she came over and whispered to me, “I think I should be sitting in the Times seat.”

      It was such an outrageous move, I could only laugh. I got up and stood in the back of the room, while Judy claimed what she felt was her rightful power perch.

    • She never knew when to quit. That was her talent and her flaw. Sorely in need of a tight editorial leash, she was kept on no leash at all, and that has hurt this paper and its trust with readers. She more than earned her sobriquet “Miss Run Amok.”

    • Judy told The Times that she plans to write a book and intends to return to the newsroom, hoping to cover “the same thing I’ve always covered – threats to our country.” If that were to happen, the institution most in danger would be the newspaper in your hands.

  • NYT Public Editor Byron Calame’s Sunday column on his paper’s coverage of the Judith Miller fiasco.

  • Better still? Judith Miller’s response (money shot: “What did I do wrong?”)

  • Also worth reading: Bill Keller’s response to Calame and his comments to NYT staff (Miller “seems to have misled”…”)

  • Just who is this Patrick Fitzgerald guy? Two profiles.

      From the Times: “‘You’d open a drawer, looking for a pen or Post-it notes, and it would be full of dirty socks,’ recalled Karen Patton Seymour, a former assistant United States attorney who tried a major case with him. ‘He was a mess. Food here, clothes there, papers everywhere. But behind all that was a totally organized mind.

      From the Post: “Chuck Rosenberg, U.S. attorney in Houston, said Fitzgerald’s doggedness is legendary.

      ‘Pat takes the same approach to all his cases. He works them harder and knows them better than any soul on the planet,’ Rosenberg said. ‘I’ll sometimes ask Pat a question about something in my district. Not only will I get an e-mailed answer dated at 2 o’clock in the morning, but it will go on for three single-spaced pages.’

  • And how about Scooter Libby? What’s his story?

  • “Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, and I. Lewis Libby Jr., who is Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, have been advised that they are in serious legal jeopardy.”

  • Republican talking points begin. Said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison: “[I]f there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn’t indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.”

    (Hmmm…Sounds just like…Whitewater/Monicagate?)

  • Ahmad Chalabi will be in town soon…think Judy will stop by to say hi to her old pal?

  • Howard Dean weighs in.

    “This is not so much about Scooter Libby and Karl Rove. This is about the fact that the President didn’t tell us the truth when we went to Iraq, and all these guys involved in it, it’s a huge cover-up. That’s what they’re in trouble for. The deed that led to it is an attack on the President’s dishonesty over the Iraq question. This is all — came to pass because of Joseph Wilson…”

  • President Bush today: “I’m not going to comment on it.”