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The Minute Waltz: Senators Cornyn and Schumer Zip through PlameGate in Record Time

Reported by Marie Therese - July 3, 2005

If you walked into your kitchen for a coffee refill, you'd have missed it - the most truncated discussion of a hot topic that I've ever seen on any news broadcast ever. Who said the 24 hour news cycle leads to information overload? Certainly not on ABC's This Week with George Stephanolopous. Stephanopolous and his guests - Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) - speed-dialed their way through a topic that may bring down the Bush administration, the possibility that the President's senior advisor, Karl Rove, may be indicted.

Now I understand why it is that the Republicans have to rush to get one or two of Rove's good buddies approved as Justices of the Supreme Court. Looks like Karl-baby may need a little help from the highest court as he appeals his way through a variety of convictions from perjury to treason.

I suppose I should be grateful that This Week covered it at all. Meet the Press wasn't shown here on the west coast (Wimbledon coverage) and neither Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, FOX News Sunday or Face the Nation covered the topic at all. It was all-SCOTUS-all-the-time.

Prior to the Rove segment, Stephanopolous offered up a teaser that featured the following Presidential quote from a video clip taken 9/30/03:

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS, HOST OF THIS WEEK: And we're back now with two key members of the Senate Judiciary Committee - John Cornyn of Texas, Chuck Schumer of New York. And I want to get to more on the O'Connor replacement, but first there is this story in Newsweek Magazine this morning. In the Valerie Plame leak investigation, Time Magazine reporter Matt Cooper - Time, Inc. turned over his e-mails on Friday and Newsweek is reporting this morning, Senator Schumer, that those e-mails show that Karl Rove, one of the President's advisors, was one of the sources of four Matt Cooper story - I should say that Mr. Rove's attorney says, does confirm that Mr. Rove spoke to Cooper but he says he did not reveal any classified information and that Rove is not a target of the investigation.


STEPHANOPOLOUS: But I wonder, what is your reaction to this story?

SCHUMER: Well, look, we don't have any evidence to the contrary so I think you've got to take Rove's lawyer's claim at face value and nothing right now should happen to Karl Rove. But I'll tell you this, George. I think the American people would feel a whole lot better if Karl Rove himself got up and made a statement that he did not leak nor did he order anyone else to leak the information. That would totally clear his name and we could move forward.

STEPHANOPOLOUS: Is that a good idea?

SENATOR JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): Well, I wish it would be that simple. I thought Senator Schumer and I were gonna agree that, since Mr. Rove has cooperated with the investigation, he's done what he should do and there's nothing that, that I've seen or that anyone has pointed out that indicates he did anything other than conduct himself appropriately.

STEPHANOPOLOUS: OK. Let's then turn to the replacement of Justice O'Connor.

Total elapsed time: 1 minute 22 seconds (not including teaser and commercials)

You can watch a video of this at Crooks and Liars.

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