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Shepard Smith - This Is The Last Time We'll Talk About This (Rove/PlameGate) Here Until We Know Something More

Reported by Donna - October 12, 2005

That's what Shepard Smith had to say to Judge Andrew Napolitano today after a carefully scripted segment on the Rove/Plamegate Scandal.

Yesterday Smith told us we were going to talk about how the Rove/Plamegate story might affect the presidency and the banner read 'Political Fallout If Karl Rove Is Indicted'. Well, as I reported, that story never materialized. Today a safer banner 'NYT Reporter Testifies Again In CIA Leak Investigation' and a well scripted question and answer segment between Smith and Napolitano followed. Napolitano even brought up excuses for why Rove's story has changed several times in the public arena.

The following is my transcript of the Smith/Napolitano segment (paraphrased, but pretty much verbatim):

Shepard Smith: Judith Miller reportedly giving details about a conversation she had with the Vice-President's Chief of Staff. Later this week, Karl Rove, the President's Deputy Chief of Staff and principle political advisor is expected, according to many, to testify for a fourth time before that very grand jury. Joining us now on Studio B, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano.

So, what do we make of this?

Andrew Napolitano: It is extremely unusual and highly dangerous for anyone to go back to a grand jury more than once. Four times is almost unheard of. For one to do that, voluntarily, we can only conclude it would be to correct, to modify or to explain away testimony previously given.

So, you know, this is all secret. We do not know what goes on before a grand jury. Only the witness can reveal. The grand jurors can't reveal, the stenographer can't reveal, the prosecutors can't reveal. From the little that we've been able to piece together, we know that Karl Rove wants to go back before this grand jury.

SS: Volunteered to.

AN: Yes, because he believes he has something to explain to them. Now, why would you explain something to a grand jury? Most people want to run from a grand jury.

(Cut to videotape of Karl Rove pleasantly greeting George Bush I and Barbara Bush. Then a videotape of Rove laughing and talking into a cell phone appearing very casual-like)

SS: Now look, if I'm a witness in a trial, say a criminal trial or a civil trial, what I said is recorded and my lawyers can usually go back and look at what I said.

AN: Right.

SS: Is that the case in a grand, in this proceeding?

AN: The first part of it is the case, that what you say, it's recorded. The second part that your lawyers can get a copy of it is not the case for a grand jury. (Comment: I'm not a lawyer, but isn't it true that when you testify you cannot have your attorney present? That you can go into another room and consult with your lawyer before answering a question, but your lawyer is not allowed to be present?) Karl Rove and his lawyers do not have a transcript of what he testified to the questions and answers the first three times. All they have is his memory. (Comment: This is the beginning of 'excuses' for Karl time)

SS: Now, do we have anything that leads us to believe, Judge Napolitano, that along the way, stories changed?

AN: Stories change because people's memories change. Stories change because their interest in the outcome of the proceedings changes (Comment: huh?) and stories change because questions are different. (Comment: Note the setup for excuses for Rove so that he can tell different stories)

SS: Do we have any way of knowing whether any stories changed here along the way?

AN: We don't know.

SS: But we know whether they changed in the , in the, in the course of public discussion. We don't know what happened inside that room because we can't know cause it's a secret.

AN: Right. We know that Mr. Rove has given several different public versions of, to whom he spoke and what he told those people. (Comment: Does giving several different public versions = lies?) (Replay video of Rove laughing and talking on a cell phone, appearing very casual)

SS: But we don't know what he told the grand jury?

AN: That's correct. That's correct. We also know that a skilled prosecutor could get someone to say something significantly, differently the fourth time than he said it the first time. And, there's the trap. (Comment: Aha! That bad, bad prosecutor, trying to trap poor Rove.)

SS: You're pretty good with this court stuff Judge.

AN: Oh, lot of experience.

SS: That's what I'm saying.

AN: Look at my grey hair. (laughing)

SS: Careful now on the grey hair. What do you think (i)s going on here?

AN: I think the prosecutors are trying to get some testimony out of Mr. Rove he's not happy about giving. (Comment: And this matters, why? Shouldn't he just be giving the truth in his testimony?) And, it may not be about him, it may be about someone else in the administration.

SS: Potentially Scooter Libby or potentially anyone?

AN: Absolutely.

SS: But, if you're the target of a grand jury investigation they're supposed to send out a notice that you're a target, aren't they?

AN: Right. (Comment: He corrects himself shortly) We don't know to whom they sent a notice, if at all.

SS: Oh, we don't?

AN: We know that lawyers for Mr. Libby and Mr. Rove have said that they did not get target notices. The rule that you have to send the target notice is simply a rule of conduct for prosecutors. It's not a requirement for there to be an indictment. So, a lot of people have gone before grand juries believing they weren't the target, when, in reality, they were.

SS: I think we've talked about this here (for) the last time until we have something more. I think that's the safe way. (Comment: Or the Fox way?)

AN: And I think we're going to know something more very soon, Shep.

SS: Well, when we know something more then we'll talk about it.

AN: You got it.

SS: Thank you judge.

Comments: First of all, thanks for reading such a long transcript. Did this segment seem scripted to you? I like how they excused the different stories that Rove has been telling publicly by saying that you might answer something different the first time you are asked a question as opposed to the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th. And those tricky prosecutors, they are going to try and trap Rove! I also like the casual way they mentioned that Rove had told several
different stories publicly. If a Democrat had told several different stories to different people, I think they'd not dismiss it casually.

I'm even more suspicious of my posting yesterday when Smith said they were going to talk about political fallout for the president and the story never materialized, yet they had a nice packaged one today which included Judith Miller's testimony, a happy, laughing, relaxed Karl Rove and no mention of political fallout, or the president. I found it amusing that they felt a necessity to state that they didn't need to talk about it anymore, unless something new happened.

Move along, folks, nothing to see here.

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