Skip to content

Fitzbuzz

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was spotted Tuesday at the law offices of Patton Boggs paying a visit to Robert Luskin, the eccentric (for Washington, D.C.) lawyer who represents Karl Rove.

Though HOH heard about the visit from a well-placed source, Luskin refused, if politely, to confirm why or even whether Fitzgerald visited him.[IMGCAP(1)]

The rumor floating around Patton Boggs Tuesday was that there “may” be no indictments this week because Fitzgerald “may” need to seek an extension from the presiding judge to wrap up his investigation of Flamegate (or Plamegate for those of us who aren’t Judy Miller).

An extension would be little wonder, given The New York Times’ whopper revelation that I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby first heard about the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame not from journalists, as he initially claimed, but from his boss, Vice President Cheney. Of course, anything would be little wonder at this point.

Sources, by the way, report that Rove himself was spotted visiting his lawyer on Friday.

Libby and Libido. The serious potential for indictments in the CIA leak investigation is apparently turning Democrats on.

An e-mail with the subject line “In the event Rove and Libby are indicted …” is circulating throughout Democratic political circles. The body of the e-mail contains that infamously intriguing Viagra warning: “Contact your doctor … or seek emergency medical attention for any erection that lasts longer than 4 hours. A sustained erection can damage the penis.”

Well, it could be something for Rove and Libby to add to their résumés. Just imagine: Won the White House in 2000; Maintained a GOP Congressional majority in 2002; Engineered the war against Iraq; Won the White House in 2004; Caused long-lasting erections for Democrats in 2005.

Cheney Still Packin’ ’Em In. Despite the controversy, the Veep is still out there raising serious cash for his party’s candidates. He raised about $200,000 on Monday for Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nev.), according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The newspaper made it seem like the Porter folks were trying to keep mum about the Cheney fundraiser. But Porter’s political consultant, Mike Slanker, said they were grateful for the support. “The reality is, whenever you can get the president, the vice president, other national leaders to come to your town … that’s a good thing,” he said.

Asked whether the CIA leak investigation was making some GOP candidates nervous about having Cheney around, Carl Forti, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, told HOH, “Not at all. Right now, Cheney is one of the best fundraisers we have.”

Besides Porter, Cheney did a fundraiser for GOP candidate Rick O’Donnell in Colorado this week. And he’s scheduled to do two fundraisers in Georgia on Friday for a pair of GOP House candidates.

Barking Up the Wrong Tree. The NRCC has chosen an unlikely recipient for one of its “national leadership” awards. The lucky winner is … Iowa state Sen. Tom Rielly. And he’s … a Democrat.

Rielly was surprised to hear the voicemail message he received recently from a cheerful young chap at the NRCC. “We want to recognize you with a national leadership award,” the message said.

“I’m assuming it’s a glitch in their system,” Rielly told HOH. A lifelong Democrat, Rielly once got an autographed picture of President Bush in the mail, which he hung on the wall next to his John Kerry (D-Mass.) signs.

But an award, from the NRCC? Rielly called the NRCC and asked the young woman who answered what the criteria was for winning such an award. She didn’t know. And neither does Rielly.

“I still don’t know what the hell this is all about,” said the chuckling state Senator. “I won some sort of award? If I did, I’m deeply honored. I want to hear more about it.”

NRCC spokesman Forti proved game when confronted with the snafu and had a fine explanation: “With all the ethically challenged Democrats out there who hold office, when you find one you can give an award to, you jump all over it.”

Senate Sightings … Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) sleeping in his chair on the Senate floor at approximately 3:35 p.m. Tuesday, apparently not excited by whatever Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was talking about. Byrd’s nap ended when Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) began talking.

Please send your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments to hoh@rollcall.com.