The Note: From This Podium



The place: the White House briefing room.

The time: the future.

"I have a statement to make before taking your questions."

"Now that the special counsel has informed me that I will not be charged in his investigation, I thought I should come to this podium and tell you the straight Texas truth about my role in this case."

"In short, my counsel advises me that there is no controlling legal authority that says that any of my activities violated any law."

"Just kidding. Lighten up, Plante."

"When news reports began regarding allegations that Valerie Wilson's name was improperly released to the media, I was asked by several colleagues here at the White House if I had played a role in illegally releasing the name of Mrs. Wilson. I said at the time that I had not. That was my best recollection at the time I was asked."

"Subsequently, three things occurred. One, the special counsel's investigation began, and both he and the President -- as well as the White House counsel -- asked those of us working in the government not to speak publicly about the case in any way."

"Two, my colleague and friend Scott McClellan on several occasions repeated what I had in good faith told him -- that I had not played any part in breaking the law and disclosing her name. As a result, he mislead you more often than my lawyer, Luskin, which is really something when you think about it."

"Third, after an e-mail was belatedly discovered through the normal search process at the White House, my recollection was refreshed and I recalled that I did have one brief conversation with one reporter in which I mentioned Mrs. Wilson's role in her husband's trip to Niger."

"Because of the first development -- the absolute barrier to speaking about the case -- I was unable to deal in a timely manner with the second two developments in a public way. This had the unfortunate effect of bringing into question the credibility of the White House and my own public credibility. For that, I am sorry."

"But let's be clear. I never was knowingly untruthful with my colleagues, the grand jury, the President, the FBI, or the special counsel. And I did not break any laws. And I think that Mr. Fitzgerald will agree that I broke no laws. In other words, I can now go from being 'Official A,' back to being just plain ol' 'Karl.'"

"But, hey, I would not have hesitated to be honest about it if HAD remembered any discussions about Mr. and Mrs. 'I-figured-it-all-out-in-Niger-over-some-green-tea.' Let's not forget that Mr. Wilson made a series of statements about his fact-finding that a Senate Committee has since found to be false -- and that he repeated, and repeats more or less still today, in an effort to suggest wilful deception of the American people by this government."

"His wife's position in the CIA was only interesting to anyone because it answered the question of how he came to be sent to Niger. He described his trip in a different way, because he was puffing his role and attacking the credibility of the President and the Vice President. So why shouldn't this White House have set the record straight?"

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