Fitzgerald has zeroed in on Lewis Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove, President George W. Bush's top political adviser. Both spoke to reporters in June and July 2003 about the operative, Valerie Plame.Karl Rove should not be allowed to walk (in terms of from an indictment) after everything he's done such as organizing the smear campaign against the great Senator Max Cleland.
Libby appeared likely to face indictment on Friday on charges of making false statements to the grand jury, lawyers involved in the case said.
But The New York Times, citing people briefed officially about the case, said Rove would not be charged on Friday but would remain under investigation.
Other current and former administration officials may also be charged.
Indictments in the case could trigger an immediate shake-up at the White House, already on the defensive over plummeting poll figures, soaring gas prices, opposition to the Iraq war and the withdrawal of President George W. Bush's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Harriet Miers.
Attorneys representing some of the potential defendants have been making final appeals to Fitzgerald to try to avoid indictment, raising the prospect of last-minute plea agreements, according to one lawyer involved in the case.
When asked whether Fitzgerald has told Rove he will be indicted or whether Rove was trying to negotiate to a lesser charge, Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, responded: "False."[...]
Asked to describe Bush's mood, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said: "The president is continuing to focus on the work we've got to get done."
Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn, said no announcements were expected on Thursday, leaving any legal action for Friday, when the grand jury hearing the case is scheduled to meet for the last time. Court officials had said Fitzgerald was unlikely to seek an extension, but The Times reported that an extension was now likely to allow the panel to focus on Rove.
Fitzgerald spent the day in Washington with his deputies as he prepared to wrap up the two-year investigation.
The prosecutor, who has joked about not looking good in photos, took a short break to walk to a barber shop near the White House, where he got a shoe shine.
"He was very friendly and he looked happy. He was very relaxed," one of the shop's owners said, adding: "The shoe shine guy doesn't ask questions. Customers have a right to privacy."
A few blocks away, both Rove and Libby reported to work as usual, officials said.
Thursday, October 27, 2005