Thursday, July 14, 2005

Rove losing the Plame Game

Lex at Blog on the Run points to Mark Kleiman's explosive post on Rove that posits a theory of culpability I haven't heard before. He says it's not about the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
The elements of a crime under the IIPA are extremely demanding; one of its drafters has been quoted as saying that the law was written so as to be "hard to break." ...How likely is it that Rove could be proven to have known that the United States was still taking "affirmative measures" to conceal Plame's identity? Not very, I'd say.

But Rove's conduct certainly meets the far less demanding elements of the Espionage Act: (1) possession of (2) information (3) relating to the national defense (4) which the person possessing it has reason to believe could be used to damage the United States or aid a foreign nation and (5) wilful communication of that information to (6) a person not entitled to receive it.

Under the Espionage Act, the person doing the communicating need not actually believe that revelation could be damaging; he needs only "reason to believe." Classification is generally reason to believe, and a security-clearance holder is responsible for knowing what information is classified.

Nor is it necessary that the discloser intend public distribution; if Rove told Cooper -- which he did -- and Cooper didn't have a security clearance -- which he didn't -- the crime would have been complete.

And to be a crime the disclosure need not be intended to damage the national security; it is only the act of communication itself that must be wilful.

It's also a crime to "cause" such information to be communicated, for example by asking someone else to do so.
Kleiman reads the thrust of the investigation to mean Fitzgerald is going for alternate felony convictions and he thinks the prosecutor has the right stuff to obtain them. From his mouth to Judge Hogan's gavel. It could only do this country some good to get that treasonous thug Rove out of the White House - even if it's only symbolic.

I doubt anyone really believes he won't still be running the show, no matter where his office is located.
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Blogger Billy Jones said...

They could always replace Rove with Guilford County GOP Chairman, Marcus Kindley. ;-)

9:33:00 PM  
Blogger RJB said...

The NY Times just confirmed that Rove was Novak's second source for the story that outed Plame. If Bush doesn't act this will drag on for months. If Rove is really a genius, he will resign tomorrow and in tearful fairwell blame Joe Wilson, Valerie Wilson, the liberal media, liberal bloggers and, of course, the Clintons. He will then resume his duties, but now he will be forced to use the same radio control he and Bush tried out in the debates.

12:47:00 AM  
Blogger banana said...

the statute doesn't require that Rove know that the United States was taking affirmative measures to protect the person's identity.

only that Rove intentionally revealed the name of the person that the U.S. was affirmatively protecting.

if it required that Rove KNOW that the u.s. was taking affirmative measures to protect the victim's identity, then the statute would say that, but a plain reading of the statute doesn't say that.

i have posted a legal analysis of the issue on my blog. I would love it if you stopped by to take a gander and feel free to comment about it, i'm a law student and love to talk legal analysis! :-)

1:09:00 AM  
Anonymous The Impolitic said...

Billy, I think The Chairman is much too busy rewriting his posts to have time to screw up the whole country.

thanks for stopping by,

7:04:00 PM  

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