'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for Oct. 10th - Hardball with Chris Matthews - MSNBC.com

uests: Tony Blankley, Tom Oliphant, Ed Rogers, Michael Wolff, James Moore

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Tonight, is special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald building a case against Karl Rove, the architect of the Bush administration? And is the CIA leak case shaking the very political foundations of the White House?

Let‘s play HARDBALL.
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Good evening. I‘m Chris Matthews.

Karl Rove, the president‘s political ramrod, has been called back to the grand jury probing the CIA leak case. If you don‘t think this leak case matters, ask yourself, what was the most frightening case you heard for going to war with Iraq? Probably it was that Saddam Hussein was buying uranium yellow cake in Africa to build nuclear weapons. The president said it in his 2003 State of the Union address. The vice president repeated it with military precision, almost like a Gatling gun, Saddam Hussein, nuclear weapons, Saddam Hussein, nuclear weapons, again and again.

But it wasn‘t true. There‘s no evidence even now that Saddam tried to by nuclear materials in Africa. We know that now because the man the CIA sent down there to Niger to check it out, sent there after Vice President Cheney asked the CIA to check it out, wrote a “New York Times” article a few months after the war started that there was no deal. Worse yet, the former ambassador, Joseph Wilson, wrote that the people around the president must have known there was no deal, even when the president and his people kept telling the country there was.

How did the Bush people react to this unwelcome news? This is what the CIA leak case, which could produce indictments any day now, is all about. Did the people around the president actively try to discredit that man who came back from Africa, to say the yellow cake story was a phony? Did they try and kill the messenger? Did they use to enormous media power of the White House to discredit the ambassador, his mission and his wife at the CIA, who suggested him for the mission?

And, in doing so, did they abuse the office and the power to which the president was elected? Did they break the law? Did they conspire to punish a critic of the war, even if their weapon was the destruction of his wife‘s undercover career by identifying her to the public? Did they lie about their actions to government investigators to a grand jury or even to the president himself?

We could get the answers any day now. And you can bet you‘re going to hear them all right here on HARDBALL.

Washington has been buzzing with rumors and speculation about possible criminal indictments, all this as the president‘s top adviser, Karl Rove, is summoned back yet again to the grand jury. Only, this time, prosecutors say they can‘t promise he won‘t be indicted...

HOWARD FINEMAN, NBC CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That‘s the point of the lance of this whole thing.

Right now, my sense, in reporting this, Chris, is that the Bush family, political family, is at war with itself inside the White House. My sense is, it‘s—it‘s—it‘s—it‘s Andy Card, the chief of staff, and his people against Karl Rove, the brain.


FINEMAN: And that runs through a whole lot of things, whether it‘s Harriet Miers or Katrina. But it all starts with Iraq.

And some submerged, but now emerging divisions within the administration over why we went into that war, how we went into that war and what was done to sell it. There are people are out for Karl Rove inside that White House, which makes his situation even more perilous.

My understanding, from talking to somebody quite close to this investigation, is that they think there are going to be indictments and possibly Karl Rove could be among them, if not for the act of the leaking information about Valerie Plame, then perhaps for perjury, because he‘s now testified four times.

And there are conflicts between what Matt Cooper told the grand jury and what Rove evidently told the jury himself. And Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, is an absolute stickler for detail who has no political axe to grind here, other than keeping his own credibility. Having put Judy Miller in jail, having gone to the lengths he had, my understand is, he has got some people here, not only Rove, but perhaps Scooter Libby, the vice president‘s chief of staff.

MATTHEWS: I also get the sense he reads the law book. He doesn‘t care about the politics.


FINEMAN: That‘s what I meant. That‘s what I meant. He doesn‘t care about the politics.

'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for Oct. 10th - Hardball with Chris Matthews - MSNBC.com


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