If you’re watching Countdown you already know this — Michael Isikoff reports for Newsweek:
White House anxiety is mounting over the prospect that top officialsâ€”including deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and counselor Dan Bartlett-may be forced to provide potentially awkward testimony in the perjury and obstruction trial of Lewis (Scooter) Libby.
Both Rove and Bartlett have already received trial subpoenas from Libbyâ€™s defense lawyers, according to lawyers close to the case who asked not to be identified talking about sensitive matters. While that is no guarantee they will be called, the odds increased this week after Libbyâ€™s lawyer, Ted Wells, laid out a defense resting on the idea that his client, Vice President Dick Cheneyâ€™s former chief of staff, had been made a â€œscapegoatâ€ to protect Rove. Cheney is expected to provide the most crucial testimony to back up Wellsâ€™s assertion, one of the lawyers close to the case said. The vice president personally penned an October 2003 note in which he wrote, â€œNot going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the other.â€ The note, read aloud in court by Wells, implied that Libby was the one being sacrificed in an effort to clear Rove of any role in leaking the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, wife of Iraq war critic Joe Wilson. â€œWow, for all the talk about this being a White House that prides itself on loyalty and discipline, youâ€™re not seeing much of it,â€ the lawyer said.
Michael Isikoff on Countdown says Karl and Dan received their subpoenas “in recent weeks.”