From the Karl Rove indictment watch? Silence, mostly

No Fitzgerald sightings, a busy schedule for his would-be target and new details from Jason Leopold.

Published May 17, 2006 5:43PM (EDT)

Is it still an indictment watch if there's nothing to see?

A federal grand jury is meeting at the federal courthouse in Washington today -- as it does most every Wednesday and Friday -- and we've been searching high and low for some sign that Patrick Fitzgerald is inside. So far: Nothing. The special prosecutor was in Washington Tuesday for a hearing in the Scooter Libby case. If he's still there now, he isn't exactly making himself visible to reporters on any stakeout. We asked Fitzgerald's spokesman where his boss is today -- and where he was Friday, for that matter -- and his answer was "no comment."

Karl Rove is in Washington today, but we're not aware of any frog-marching on his schedule. The Associated Press reports that Rove is on Capitol Hill today, pushing the president's immigration plan, and TPMmuckraker says Rove plans to be in New Hampshire next month. Rove is scheduled to be the "special guest" at a June 12 fundraiser for the state's Republican Party, which the Washington Post says is "virtually broke" after incurring substantial legal fees in the phone-jamming case against its executive director and other Republican officials.

Meanwhile, Truthout reporter Jason Leopold is standing by his story that Rove has already been indicted on charges of perjury and lying to federal investigators. Appearing on the Ed Schultz radio show Tuesday, Leopold said he was surprised that other reporters haven't confirmed the existence of a "marathon" plea-negotiation session between Fitzgerald and Rove's lawyers last week - one that he now says involved locking down an entire floor of Patton Boggs, the large D.C. law firm where Rove lawyer Robert Luskin practices.

When Schultz asked Leopold if bloggers or journalists who question his coverage are motivated by "jealousy," Leopold said: "I think there's some hatred. I wouldn't say 'jealousy.' I'd say 'hatred.'"

In the original version of his story posted Saturday, Leopold said that Fitzgerald told one of Rove's lawyers Friday that Rove had "24 hours" to get his affairs in order. Twenty-four hours would have passed over the weekend, but Leopold's story was subsequently changed so that it said "24 business hours" -- a phrase that doesn't exactly fall naturally from the tongue and a time period that will expire later this afternoon.

By Tim Grieve

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

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