The story of the email is weird. I could never understand it, it just didn't seem that incriminating in its content. What did he mean by "I didn't take the bait" ?? And why did he misrepresent the conversation with Cooper in his communication with Hadley? Was he trying to mislead Hadley?
Then tonite it became obvious: the email was a plant, to mislead investigators. Follow me below with the rationale...
* Cooper talks to Libby. Libby "casually" supports the Plame info, "I heard that too"
* Rove talks to Cooper. Cooper says that he immediately launched into the Niger issue in this talk, and that Rove explicitly leaked the Plame info in this talk.
* Rove (supposedly) emails Hadley immediately afterwards. Misrepresents the conversation with Cooper as about welfare reform, with a touch of Niger. Says he "didn't take the bait."
* Months later, the investigation gets underway. Rove tells investigators nothing about Cooper.
* Eventually Cooper gets subpoened, but for a while it looks like he won't have to talk.
* Rove learns, via Vivica Novak, that Cooper's source is common knowledge at Time. The cat is out of the bag. But still it doesn't look like Cooper will have to testify.
* Then the judge threatens Cooper with jail. It's clear that Cooper will talk soon.
* Rove then approaches Fitzgerald with the email to Stephen Hadley. One has to ask -- where did this email come from?
* Many months later, Rove will divulge the Vivica Novak tip to Fitzgerald, to stave off an indictment. Rove claims that the Novak tip prompted them to do a renewed search for emails. But this raises as many questions as it answers -- why did it take him months before he gave the email to Fitz?
Now let's get back to the email itself. What is it SAYING?
1. It misrepresents Cooper and Rove's conversation, replacing an explicit Niger talk with an innocuous welfare reform conversation (a story which Matt Cooper HAD BEEN pursuing a few weeks prior).
2. It says Rove "didn't take the bait." What does this mean? It seems to me this means, "Cooper wanted me to leak Plame's identity, but I didn't fall for it."
3. Then it says Rove warned Coop "Time shouldn't get too out front on this story." this general message is the one thing that jives between Rove's and Cooper's stories.
It would seem that all these points help bolster Rove's defense that he DIDN'T leak Plame's name, and that he was cautious in his communications with a reporter. Exactly the message Rove would want to send to the prosecutor.
But it would seem all 3 of these points are untrue, according to Matt Cooper. Simply put, this email contains falsehoods that conveniently came in handy while Rove' defense played out. And if that's the case, one has to ask: then where the hell did this email come from, and why did Rove write it?
I propose three possibilities for where the email came from:
1. It's a plant, written immediately following the Rove/Cooper talk, to throw off investigators down the line. It was then kept in a secret stash of defensive material, and divulged at the right time to help Rove's case. If this is true, this is clearly Obstruction of Justice.
2. It's a plant, written after the Vivica Novak tip. Rove realized he'd have to fess up about Cooper, but he needed a plausible REASON to fess up - he couldn't cite Novak as the motivation (yet). So maybe they cooked up this email, then magicly "found" it and gave it to Fitz? In addition to giving Rove a reason to remember the Cooper talk, the email (as noted above) supports Rove's general defensive stance.
3. It's a genuine communication between Rove and Hadley. But why the errors in content???
4. it's a genuine communication between Rove and Hadley, but using codewords to convey a 2nd meaning. This could go alongside #1 above.
5. It's a genuine communication between Rove and Hadley, but Rove was misrepresenting things in order mislead Hadley (or others)
Increasingly, options #1 and #2 above seem very plausible. But if it WAS a plant, Rove must have been hoping Cooper wouldn't give too many details; for instance, with the welfare reform details. Perhaps Rove was betting that Cooper's story and the planted email story would be "close enough" that Rove would slide through Fitz's fingers.
Instead, the two stories are strikingly different. Sand in the umpire's eyes, as Fitz would call it maybe.
And one final thing: WHERE did this email come from? If it was actually written immediately following the Cooper/Rove talk, did this email come from the same stash of emails that produced the 250 emails from Cheney's office?
By producing this one little email (and trying to save his own skin), did Rove have to divulge the rest of the stash of emails (thus incriminating the VP's office)??? Perhaps under threat of Obstruction of Justice?
And if this email IS a plant, are there other emails that are fakes in that stash too? That could be the smoking fun for an Obstruction of Justice conspiracy...
It WAS reported that Rove spent time the other day answering unexpected questions regarding evidence discovered since his last grand jury appearance......