The Note: Friends Come and Go

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20

NEWS SUMMARY

With "assurances" from ABC News and the New York Times that no indictments are coming this week, all members of the Gang of 500 are invited to gather at noon today at Lauriol Plaza, on the top floor, to game out our theories of the case of Patrick Fitzgerald.

Based on early e-mail RSVP's, we expect at least 250 participants, and perhaps more.

ABC News is providing the easels, the color markers, the finger puppets, the law books, the tortilla chips and salsa, the timeline, the clips, and the seating chart. Matt Cooper is bringing the anecdotes.

Not expected to attend: Tim Russert, Mike Allen, and anyone going to California today with the President.

By the way, do you want to be an ABC News Political Unit intern next semester? Then scroll down to check out the details.

As for today:

President Bush will met with Palestinian Authority President Abbas in the Oval Office this morning. The two leaders are scheduled to appear in the Rose Garden for a press availability at 10:50 am ET.

The President will depart the White House at 3:20 pm ET to wing his way westward for a RNC (closed press) fundraiser in Los Angeles, CA at 9:35 pm ET. In the morning gaggle, Scott McClellan said the President is likely to talk about the war on terrorism, Iraq, and legislative priorities (Patriot Act, border security, immigration issues and Supreme Court), though no "formal remarks" are planned.

As of this writing, it is not yet clear if Karl Rove is manifested for the trip. What is clear is Mr. Rove's enjoyment in using his high beams while driving.

Gov. Schwarzenegger (R-CA) will not be appearing with the President.

Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) is expected to surrender himself in Fort Bend County, TX at 10:00 am ET for photographing and fingerprinting prior to his Friday 10:00 am ET court appearance in Austin, TX.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly 10:45 am ET press briefing.

David Keene of the American Conservative Union, Dr. Edward Feulner of the Heritage Foundation, Pat Toomey of the Club for Growth, and others will hold a 10:00 am ET press conference "to challenge Congress and the Bush Administration to rein in federal government spending."

The Transportation Treasury Appropriations bill is up for consideration on the Senate floor today.

Former President Bill Clinton appears with Democratic mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer in the Bronx at 1:30 pm ET.

Sen. Allen (R-VA) and Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore host a 3:45 pm ET conference call with reporters.

First Lady Laura Bush delivers remarks at a Junior Ranger event in Denver, CO

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) keynotes the Al Smith dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City tonight.

The Fitzgerald investigation:

The headline of John Solomon's must-read AP story on Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation is that Scooter Libby and Karl Rove allegedly spoke to each other about the conversations each had with journalists regarding the wife of Joe Wilson. Per a secret source, Rove told the grand jury that that discussion with Libby is where he may have first discovered the identity of Valerie Plame. LINK

"Rove 'has always clearly left open that he first heard this information from Libby,' said one person directly familiar with Rove's grand jury testimony."

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