While rumors are the theme of the week, here’s a hefty slice from the Beltway Insider Pie that comes to us via an e-mail from a Democratic House member’s staffer to Jan Frel at AlterNet.

Four items, viz.:

  • Fred Flights, an assistant to John Bolton, is a named name who could be indicted.
  • Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham have been suggested as replacements for Dick Cheney.
  • Colin Powell told John McCain he showed the infamous memo with Plame’s identity on it two just two people; Dick Cheney and George Bush.
  • Fitzgerald is looking at the precedent set from the indictment of Tricky Dick’s veep Spiro Agnew to pursue against Cheney.

Note, the e-mailing staffer eschews CAPS, a quirk that I’ve preserved.
Further disclaimer as to sourcing:

. . .the sources include two senior members of senate and key staffers; counsel for individuals that have been called before the grand jury; and two journalists taking a lead position in investigating the case. . . represent[ing] a composite of the information from those sources.

Details bullet item 1

. . .we are told that eight indictments have already prepared, with the possibility of another ten. these indictments include senior white house staff, most notably vice president cheney’s chief of staff scooter libby, fred flights (special assistant to john bolton), and–very surprisingly–national security adviser steve hadley.

Details bullet item 3

powell recounted to the senator that he had traveled on air force one with bush and cheney, and brought to their attention a classified memorandum about the issue of whether there was indeed a transaction inolving niger and yellow cake uranium. the document included ambassador joe wilson’s involvement and identified his wife, valerie plame, as a covert agent. the memorandum further stated that this information was secret. powell told mccain that he showed that memo only to two people–president and vice president. according to powell, cheney fixated on the wilson/plame connection, and plame’s status.

further. . .

powell testified about this exchange in great length to the grand jury investigating the plame case. according to sources close to the case, powell appeared convinced that the vice president played a focal role in disclosing plame’s undercover status.

Concluding details:

one interesting point though–it is worth noting that a parade of senior republican senators have evidently been privately pushing mccain to lobby to be cheney’s replacement. senator lindsey graham (R-SC) has also been mentioned. meanwhile, the white house has already been developing countermeasures–notably including senior white house officials privately voicing president bush’s disappointment in karl rove’s involvement in the case, calling it “misconduct.” an urgent search for a rove replacement is already underway.

Gossip just doesn’t get any juicier.  Have at it.

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