Will Rove Cop A Plea?

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That’s what NY Daily News is speculating about today.

In the closing hours of the grand jury probe, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald paid a visit yesterday to Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin, prompting speculation that a plea bargain could be in the works for the deputy White House chief of staff.

It was the latest of several one-on-one meetings between Fitzgerald and Luskin, the Daily News has learned.

Investigators also turned up at the White House for yet another round of questions for Rove’s subordinates.

A secret meeting Fitzgerald held yesterday with Judge Thomas Hogan, who presides over the case, suggests a grand jury extension also could be under consideration, according to legal sources.

So how’s Rove taking all of this?

Two weeks ago, at a political event in Texas, Rove brushed aside concerns from anxious pals. “He said he was fine and he said it with gusto,” one of the well-wishers recalled.

A week later, however, Rove seemed down and distracted to some of his White House colleagues. More recently, however, he was in better spirits, dashing off business-as-usual handwritten notes to acquaintances that made no mention of his travails.

“He remains upbeat and optimistic,” according to an associate. “He’s convinced in his own mind that he’s done his best to assist the investigation at every stage.”

So what’s his defense?

The News learned that Rove’s lawyers hope to persuade Fitzgerald that inconsistencies in his grand jury testimony were because of poor recollections, not attempts at obstruction.

Rove with a bad memory? Yeah, right.

Elephants never forget.

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