KARL ROVE’S CALL LOG….Mark Kleiman suggests that last Friday’s testimony by two of Karl Rove’s aides contained a buried smoking gun. It turns out that not only did Karl Rove speak to Time reporter Matt Cooper about Valerie Plame back in 2003, but he mysteriously didn’t log the call. Says Mark:

Obviously, call logs aren’t of any value unless all calls are logged: the whole point is to allow someone to say, months later, “No, I know I didn’t talk to X on that date; I’ve checked my call logs.” This reads to me like strong evidence that Rove and his crew knew at the time they were doing something they didn’t want to get caught doing.

In prosecutorese, that’s called “evidence of consciousness of guilt,” and it’s extremely helpful in proving intent. We already know that Rove disclosed classified information to Cooper. The only remaining legally relevant question is whether he did so with the requisite criminal intent. The omission of the call from the log ? if the “transferred call” explanation can be shown to be false ? would be a powerful help to a prosecutor.

Mark may have a point. After all, we know that in his initial testimony Rove lied and said he hadn’t spoken to Cooper at all. We know that when he later recanted that testimony, he continued to lie by claiming the call was actually about welfare reform and that Plame only came up incidentally. And now we know that he failed to log his call with Cooper. Since call logging is standard procedure, this could only happen if Rove specifically asked one of his aides not to log the call.

“Evidence of consciousness of guilt”? Sounds like a reasonable proposition to me.

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