After the indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on perjury charges, rumors have circulated that President Bush’s top political adviser Karl Rove would soon be indicted as well. Today, we found out that would not be the case.
On April 27, when Karl Rove was set to testify before the grand jury for the fifth time, CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante, appearing on "The Early Show" noted:
"Sources close to the case say they think that it’s almost at an end. If it is cleared up in Rove’s favor, that will be a big lift to this White House."
A big lift for the White House? You wouldn’t have known that watching "The Early Show" this morning. All that was said on the subject amounted to about 25 seconds and came from 2 anchor reads from co-host Julie Chen. In fact, the story wasn't big enough news to earn a tease or a mention at the top of the show, but at about 7:06 Chen mentioned:
"Breaking news out of Washington this morning. Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political advisor, will not be indicted by a federal prosecutor in the CIA leak case. Rove had been under investigation for nearly three years."
And in the 8:00 half hour:
"Also in the news this morning, presidential adviser Karl Rove, his lawyer says Rove will not be charged in the CIA leak case. Rove has testified before a grand jury five times about the leak of a CIA officer's identity"
Compare this to some of the coverage when Rove’s fate was still uncertain, and the possibility for indictment still remained.
On October 28, the day of the Libby indictment, John Roberts reported on the CBS "Evening News":
"And the investigation is not over. Karl Rove escaped indictment today, but according to sources, still faces a possible perjury charge."
Roberts’ report was followed up by Bob Schieffer opening a segment with CBS News Political Correspondent Gloria Borger:
"When the fate of a powerful official like Karl Rove is still to be decided, today's developments will make it even harder for a White House that was already having trouble getting anything done. "
And Gloria Borger, spoke of Rove's uncertain future:
Rove's future remains a major unanswered question. While not indicted today, a grand jury investigation into his role in the CIA leak will continue, and the longer that takes, the longer it will take the White House to rebound."
Then on November 7, on CBS’s "The Early Show, CBS correspondent, Thalia Assuras noted Rove’s potential legal problems in regards to the Bush administrations attempts to turn around low poll numbers:
"The biggest fix, say critics, should happen now, with the President doing some housecleaning, perhaps even firing his top adviser, Karl Rove, who’s under a cloud of suspicion over the CIA leak."
Granted, this morning the news of Rove’s non indictment was just breaking, so it will be interesting to see how CBS covers the story tonight on "The Evening News" and again on tomorrow’s "Early Show." Will they give it the coverage it warrants, or will it continue to be cursory?