In the only story to semi-advance the Times exclusive, Bloomberg's Richard Keil and Holly Rosenkrantz look at the "opening fissure" between Cheney and Libby, and have "one lawyer intimately involved in the case" saying that "one reason Fitzgerald was willing to send Miller to jail to compel testimony was because he was pursuing evidence the Vice President may have been aware of the specifics of the anti-Wilson strategy." LINK
The Los Angeles Times rewrites the New York Times Cheney story with full, agonizing credit, but doesn't advance it. Unless this sentence about Fitzgerald was buried breaking news, as opposed to just sloppily written: "He is expected to announce indictments this week." LINK
Oh, the agony in the Washington Post newsroom last night must have been excruciating.
The Wall Street Journal's John McKinnon curtain raises the Democratic and Republican PR blitzes that are sure to come if and when Fitzgerald hands down indictments. ". . . A draft set of talking points for Senate Democrats shows that some members of the party plan to use the charges as the basis for a broader assault on how the Bush Administration mishandled the run-up to the Iraq war. Republicans, meanwhile, have started complaining about prosecutorial overreach."
Per Roll Call, House Democratic leaders have spent recent days devising a plan to highlight GOP ethical missteps and national security compromises should indictments happen this week.
The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler takes critiques recently offered by Brent Scowcroft, Larry Wilkerson, and Robin Raphel to put the CIA leak controversy into the context of a larger dispute over the wisdom of President Bush's Iraq policy. LINK
New York Times Select-men Kristof and Tierney both question the validity of indictments in the Fitzgerald investigation.
The New York Daily News reports that "President Bush's damage-control handlers are plotting a sophisticated war room offensive to fight back against possible indictments in the CIA leak probe" as they work on "finalizing its campaign to discredit and undermine special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's conclusion." LINK
In a profile of the husband at the center of the leak controversy, the Washington Post's Milbank and Pincus write that "nobody disputes" that Amb. Joseph Wilson has been successful in turning an "arcane matter involving the Intelligence Identities Protection Act into a proxy fight over the Administration's credibility and its case for war in Iraq." LINK
James Carville and Laura Ingraham did the left/right thing on NBC's "Today" show this morning and agreed on two things. First, the CIA leak investigation is not currently on the radar of the American people, but should someone get indicted the story will land squarely on their kitchen tables. Second, neither Carville nor Ingraham believes Harriet Miers will become the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. In fact, they both are placing their rhetorical wagers that she will withdraw her nomination.
The New York Sun's Josh Gerstein has Paul Rosenzweig, a former federal prosecutor, saying of Fitzgerald, "If it's going to be a perjury case, he's got a hard case because his key witness is Judy Miller. She has some issues as a witness." LINK
The New York Post's editorial board says "Judith Miller deserves better than what she's gotten to date from The New York Times." LINK
Harriet Miers for Associate Justice: