As Washington waits for Fitzgerald, rumors fill the void

It's Rove! It's Libby! It's the leak! It's the cover-up! It's Wilson! It's . . nothing yet.

Published October 26, 2005 5:59PM (EDT)

Patrick Fitzgerald has left the federal courthouse in Washington, and nobody who wasn't inside the grand jury room can really be certain of what happened there. What we can be sure of is this: Until an official announcement is made, leaks and rumors about indictments -- or non-indictments -- will rush in to fill the void.

We've offered up some of our own speculation today, but we hope we've made it clear that it's exactly that: speculation. Here's what else we're seeing out there.

On CNN a few minutes ago, former Republican Rep. Bob Barr floated the idea that former CIA Director George Tenet might be in the mix of potential defendants.

At Red State, they're separating Plame reports into two categories: "credible" and "living room gossip." In the first category goes reports of increased White House "optimism" that Karl Rove won't be indicted. In the latter goes everything else.

At Raw Story, they're saying that lawyers close to the investigation believe that Fitzgerald has asked for indictments of Rove and Scooter Libby -- both men on perjury and obstruction charges and Libby for the leak itself -- and that two other officials outside the White House will also be indicted.

Counterterrorism expert Larry C. Johnson passes along a report suggesting that Libby and Rove will be indicted -- not on obstruction or perjury charges but on conspiring to violate Joseph Wilson's civil rights.

And over at the National Review Online, Jonah Goldberg and Byron York are tossing around this admittedly "far-fetched" idea: Could Wilson himself be indicted?

In the absence of real news, there's wishful thinking coming from every conceivable direction. Who's right and who's wrong? Who knows? For the moment, at least, it's Patrick Fitzgerald's world, and we just live in it.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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