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Rove Won't Be Charged in CIA Leak Case

Not the news Chris Matthews and Joe Wilson wanted to wake up to this morning.

NRO's Byron York reports Rove's attorney Robert Luskin released a brief statement this morning:

On June 12, 2006, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove.

In deference to the pending case, we will not make any further public statements about the subject matter of the investigation. We believe that the Special Counsel's decision should put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove's conduct.

York goes on to say:

A decision by Fitzgerald -- one way or the other -- had been anticipated for months. There was widespread speculation that Rove might face charges for lying to Fitzgerald's grand jury much like those filed by Fitzgerald last October against Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff. Now, it appears that will not happen. And so far, at least, no one has been charged with violating any of the underlying laws in the case -- either the Intelligence Identities Protection Act or the Espionage Act.

Rove's fate has been the subject of intense discussion among critics of the Bush administration. Perhaps foremost among them is former ambassador Joseph Wilson, whose wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, was the CIA employee at the center of the affair. In August 2003, Wilson vowed to pursue Rove vigorously, saying, "At the end of the day it's of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs."

This removes the specter of what would have been another damaging round of extremely bad PR for the White House had Bush's longtime political consigliere been indicted and it also gives Rove the peace of mind to pour all of his focus on November's elections.