In a political atmosphere run amok with pundits in constant chatter mode, Samborn has become infamous for his pat phrase “no comment.” But as you will soon see, some “no comments” are much bigger than others, especially when the same question asked yesterday of Samborn in a CBS News report elicited a complete reversal by the Special Counsel’s Office.
This is rare history. Randall Samborn has issued a statement which tells us something we did not already know before he opened his unusually tight lips.
Before we address that Samborn comment, we’ll examine his other comment from yesterday:
“Mr. Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn, said he would not comment on Mr. Rove's status.”
That’s not the big one, but it does raise questions many bloggers and reporters have begun asking today. If Rove is no longer a “target” or “subject” in the Plame leak case, why doesn’t Samborn or Fitzgerald just tell the people the simple truth? It appears that the truth is not simple.
The lack of confirmation from the Special Counsel’s Office regarding Luskin and Corallo’s statements certainly keeps us all in the dark about what the hell is really going down here. But that analysis is not the main topic of this report.
Still, we all recall that quote from yesterday, yet tracking it down online has proven a difficult task. Here is the link I found through Google’s news search engine
When you click it, you will see the quote I highlighted above as a caption for the actual New York Times report by David Johnston and Jim Rutenberg, published:
RANDAL SAMBORN DOES AN ABOUT FACE
OK, here it is, and most of you have probably come across it, so please suspend judgment until we go back a few months for the punchline:
Fitzgerald met with chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan before he notified Rove. Hogan has been overseeing the grand juries in the CIA leak case. Fitzgerald's spokesman,
Randall Samborn, declined comment. Asked if the CIA leak investigation is still continuing, Samborn said, "I'm not commenting on that as well at this time."
This is a blockbuster quote. You would think that if Fitzgerald were still investigating the Plame leak, his press officer would tell the public this is an ongoing investigation. And if Fitz had completed his investigation, one would expect Samborn to say that the investigation is complete.
After all, the investigation must be open or closed, right? I’ve never heard of an investigation that’s neither open nor closed. Have you?
That quote by Samborn certainly seemed strange to me and I mentioned it in my speculative report yesterday (more on that below). But yesterday, I downplayed it in my mind because it’s Samborn’s standard pat response, “No comment.”
Today, Samborn’s refusal to confirm or deny whether the investigation remained open haunted me.
The question involves the status of a very public case where people in high Government positions are being accused of treasonous activity, espionage even. Recall that at Fitzgerald’s press conference after Libby’s indictment, Fitz indicated he was considering the Espionage Act to prosecute anybody found responsible for the Plame leak.
[Citizenspook was out in front of the MSM and the blogosphere in our detailed analysis of the Espionage Act -- not the Intelligence Identities Protection Act – as the controlling law for the Plame leak investigation.]
The standard Samborn “no comment” was not appropriate at all for the question asked. Do we have an investigation into who leaked Plame’s name or not? Even for Samborn, “no comment” seems far too elusive and incendiary. This is the kind of “no comment” which raises more questions and problems for the public than a simple answer to the question.
So I looked back in time to see if Samborn had ever been asked this question before to see what his response had been in the past. And what I found blew my mind.
Samborn was asked this question in the past, and his answer yesterday signifies a complete change, an about face has been documented. It now appears -- based upon a thorough review of Samborn’s prior statements -- that the Special Prosecutor’s Office does not know if the investigation will continue. The incredible questions this raises will be addressed below, but first we will examine Samborn’s prior official answers.
From a CBS News Report on
Rove’s lawyer said he was told by the prosecutor’s office that investigators had “made no decision about whether or not to bring charges” and would continue their probe into Rove’s conduct.
Fitzgerald’s spokesman, Randall Samborn, said the investigation will continue but with a new grand jury. The term of the current grand jury cannot be extended beyond today.
There you have it, back in October 2005, Samborn and Fitzgerald (at the Libby Indictment press conference) both unequivocally stated that the investigation was ongoing.
As of yesterday, the official word from Fitzgerald’s office – via Samborn -- is:
Asked if the CIA leak investigation is still continuing, Samborn said, "I'm not commenting on that as well at this time."
Samborn -- and by proxy Fitzgerald -- have made an official about face. The status of the investigation is now officially in limbo. And I submit to you that neither Samborn nor Fitzgerald are ignorant to the significance of this carefully worded reversal of stated policy pertaining to the status of the investigation.
It just gets stranger and stranger, doesn’t it. You have no idea.
Notice that the above quote taken from
The link provided for the original CBS New report by politicalforecast.net is
But when you click through to it, you come to a two part article about the Libby indictment which does not include the quote by Samborn stating that “the investigation will continue”. That quote has been edited out of the article. Click through and you’ll see that the link to the second part of the two part article, dated
Neither link includes the quote by Samborn, “the investigation will continue.”
It wasn’t just politicalforecast.net who quoted that Samborn statement. You can find reference to it at Think Progress…
as well as Democratic Underground.
The quote was also carried by WTKR, but the page has now been removed.
The full WTKR story with the Samborn quote can be found here…
Why have these quotes been edited out of these major media publications? It will be interesting to see how fast those quotes return to the stories quoted above.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
It means something very strange went down in May, 2006.
Let’s see what we know:
- We know Fitzgerald’s Office has done an about face with regards to the ongoing status of this investigation.
- We know that Fitzgerald has not confirmed or denied Luskin and Corallo’s statements concerning Rove being cleared.
- We know Fitzgerald cannot comment about any activity by the Grand Jury which has been sealed by the court.
- We know that within three business days of
Friday, May 12th 2006the “Sealed vs. Sealed” entry was added to the District Court’s Pacer system by Judge Reggie Walton who is presiding over the Libby indictment. According to some excellent detective work by Marie26 at the Democratic Underground discussion board, we know that Case No. 06-CR-128 was probably entered on May 16 or 17th. Since the 17th was a Wed. and the Grand Jury meets on Wed., that date is more likely than the 16th.
5. We know that Rove’s spokesperson, Mark Corallo, when he worked as a press officer for Ashcroft at DOJ, was no stranger to the use of “Sealed vs Sealed”. See
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
We don’t’ know if “Sealed vs. Sealed” is a charge against Rove.
Truthout.org claims to have a reliable source informing them that “Sealed vs. Sealed” was an indictment returned by the Fitzgerald Grand Jury. I have no way of verifying that because there is no official information available about that case. It is completely sealed.
Since it carries the “CR” designation, it must be a criminal case, not a civil case or a motion regarding news sources like Cooper and Miller. Those carry different designations than “CR”.
If Luskin and Corallo can quote the fax sent by Fitzgerald, than that document is not sealed and they are legally free to show it to the world. If that fax completely exonerated Rove with no legal implications against the story they have told the world, then one would expect them to print that important exculpatory document. The have refused to show the world and until they do, the entire scenario DESERVES to be examined.
We must examine it in light of Randal Samborn’s strange statements regarding the status of Rove and the entire investigation. If Rove’s people and Fitzgerald are on the same pages, we expect a communication from Fitzgerald to that effect. If Luskin has a document from Fitzgerald that he is legally allowed to quote from, then he is also allowed to show that document.
But he won’t. And Fitz won’t back up those statements.
And Samborn won’t even tell us if the investigation is ongoing. Adding this strange behavior to the existence of “Sealed vs Sealed”, we must assume there is something very unusual about the Plame investigation now that wasn’t strange before May 2006.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume now that Jason Leopold was not lying and was not being lied to. I am not saying I believe him. I have no way of knowing if his claims are true. But for the sake of argument, I want to assume Leopold, Samborn and Luskin are all telling the truth.
What scenario would allow them all to be telling the truth? There may be others, but the scenario I speculated upon yesterday -- a runaway Grand Jury may have returned charges without Fitzgerald having sought them or signed them -- allows all of the parties to be telling the truth.
If that were the case then charges may actually exist and may be the “pending case” Luskin referred to.
These might be the same charges Leopold became aware of. The investigation may have been put on hold due to the unique Constitutional issue such charges would cause. And that might also explain Samborn’s inability to confirm whether the investigation is ongoing.
If the Grand Jury returned charges which were not requested by Fitzgerald, such charges would not be signed by him. In fact, according to Constitutional law, the Grand Jury could eject Fitz from the Court and bring whatever charges they like without him. Such charges might read:
Grand Jury for the District of
And in that case, the charges may have been sealed until Judge Walton decides how to handle this unique Constitutional exercise of citizen authority.
I have seen various commentary about yesterday’s Citizenspook report alleging that the runaway Grand Jury scenario is not possible since lower courts have held that a prosecution cannot move forward without the signature of a U.S. Attorney. I submit that any lower court ruling which states that is in direct contradiction with the Constitution.
Neither the Supreme Court nor Congress has ever removed the right of Grand Jurors to return charges without a US Attorney’s acquiescence. Far from it.
Please read my previous report on the Constitutional independent authority of Grand Jurors:
TREASONGATE: The Federal Grand Jury, FOURTH BRANCH of the
Justice Scalia, delivering the opinion of the court, laid down the law of the land:
"'[R]ooted in long centuries of Anglo-American history," Hannah v. Larche, 363
Justice Powell, in United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 343 (1974), stated:
"The institution of the grand jury is deeply rooted in Anglo-American history. [n3] …The grand jury's historic functions survive to this day. Its responsibilities continue to include both the determination whether there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed and the protection of citizens against unfounded criminal prosecutions. Branzburg v. Hayes, 408
Is it possible that Fitzgerald had the patriotic audacity to educate the Grand Jury as to their power to return indictments without his approval?
Is it possible that Fitzgerald anticipated interference by forces in the DOJ loyal to the people he is investigating?
Is it possible that behind the scenes the very fabric of our citizen powers to investigate the Government as Grand Jurors is under the final assault of a Government hell bent on destroying the safeguards of our delicate system of checks and balances?
Is it possible that Fitzgerald has spoken to us through Randall Samborn by sending an S.O.S. hidden in the simple quotation, “No comment”?
There are other possibilities, but none of them allow for all of the players to be telling the truth. I don’t believe Luskin and Corallo would say anything to the public which Fitzgerald could slam them on. Not a chance. Corallo is ex DOJ and Luskin is too skilled to do anything that stupid or unethical. So we MUST assume that Luskin and Corallo have parsed their words within the law and facts.
We don’t have to assume that Leopold and Truthout.org are telling the truth, but all things considered, I believe they have real sources or else they had to know they were committing professional suicide. Their sources could be misleading them, but we have the unique confirmation from major media reporters like David Schuster, and Chris Matthews who also believed Rove had been or was going to be indicted at about the same time Leopold first said that they were.
So if the Grand Jury acted on their own, without the signature of Fitzgerald, then Luskin’s statement that Fitzgerald doesn’t anticipate seeking charges could be true even though charges are pending against Rove. And if the “pending case” Luskin referred to is actually a charge against Rove, then his statement in this regard is also true.
THE PROBLEM WITH MY ANALYSIS
The problem then is what to do with Corallo and Luskin’s insistence that Rove has not been indicted which is a totally different animal then whether or not Fitz “anticipates seeking charges.” If the Grand Jury returned charges against Rove on their own volition, how can team Rove’s direct, unqualified insistence that Rove was never indicted square with my theory? An excellent question. Good thing I have the perfect answer. It’s called
“The grand jury has the power to act independentlyof the court and the district attorney
Somebody with clout needs to ask Luskin if Rove is the subject of any PRESENTMENTS by the Fitzgerald Grand Jury. Because if the Grand Jury returned charges in the form of PRESENTMENTS, then Luskin and Corallo could steadfastly deny that any INDICTMENTS have been returned against Rove.
These people are professionals. If you give them wiggle room they will use it like a skilled Samba dancer.
PLEASE COPY LINK AND REPOST EVERYWHERE