With election day getting closer the President's top advisor, Karl Rove, took time away from his duties to testify before a federal grand jury this morning. Rove appeared before the federal grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA officer's name and testified for almost 2 and a half hours.
Rove declined to answer reporters' questions as he departed the federal courthouse and set off in a-non descript bronze colored midsize car. Rove was escorted out of the courthouse by two US Marshals and an unidentified man. Rove sat in the back seat of the car and immediately began making using his cell phone.
Special prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald has been steadily focusing his attention on the White House having interviewed several of President Bush's senior staff members. Other senior White House officials who have appeared before the grand jury to give testimony include White House Counsel Al Gonzalez, White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett, Press Secretary Scott McClellan and former Cheney aide Mary Matalin.
Rove's testimony follows recent efforts by Fitzgerald to compel several reporters to testify before the grand jury. On Wednesday Time Magazine reporter Matt Cooper was held in contempt of court and ordered jailed by federal judge Thomas Hogan. Last week Judge Hogan also held New York Times reporter Judith Miller in contempt of court for refusing to testify before the grand jury hearing the case. Both Cooper and Miller's confinement have been stayed pending appeal. Earlier this year Cooper agreed to provide limited testimony about his conversations with Vice President Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby. Libby had agreed to waive his confidentiality with Cooper by signing a waiver.