John Dean, former counsel to President Nixon, wrote a column for CNN online entitled "It Doesn’t Look Good for Karl Rove" July 15th. In it, he outlines the case against Rove and examines closely a precedent prosecution of DEA Analyst Jonathan Randel by the Bush II administration in 2002. I have to admit I got a little excited at the possibility Karl Rove might go to jail for even a year. Dean writes:
United States District Court Judge Richard Story’s statement to Jonathan Randel, at the time of sentencing, might have an unpleasant ring for Rove.
Judge Story told Randel that he surely must have appreciated the risks in leaking DEA information. "Anything that would affect the security of officers and of the operations of the agency would be of tremendous concern, I think, to any law-abiding citizen in this country," the judge observed. Judge Story concluded this leak of sensitive information was "a very serious crime."
"In my view," he explained, "it is a very serious offense because of the risk that comes with it, and part of that risk is because of the position" that Randel held in DEA. But the risk posed by the information Rove leaked is multiplied many times over; it occurred at a time when the nation was considering going to war over weapons of mass destruction. And Rove was risking the identity of, in attempting to discredit, a WMD proliferation expert, Valerie Plame Wilson.
Randel was sentanced to a year in prison on a plea bargin for his role in leaking the identity of British Lord Michael Ascroft who he thought was being overlooked by the DEA for money laundering because of his strong ties to U.K.’s Conservative Party and USA’s Republican Party conservatives. W. Bush’s prosecutors claimed to make an example out of Randel, for leakers everywhere.