A timeline: Novak, Rove, Cooper

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Novak story that sparked the contoversy was written on July 14, 2003. The Star Telegram reported that Rove talked to Novak on Tuesday July 8, 2003. A perpetual calendar is useful to observe the date. Cooper called Rove 4 days after his talk with Novak. The date of the Rove-Cooper conversation must then have been July 12, 2003.

U.S. grand jury information "leaked" to the Associated Press revealed Karl Rove spoke to two reporters, rather than the previously thought one reporter Matthew Cooper. It was reported here by MSNBC with the help of MSNBC's "Today" show the reporter Robert Novak was also spoken to, but without a single date to serve as a reference point. Therefore, a reader who wanted to create a timeline of events to discover the publication date of the Novak story that blew Valerie Plames's cover is presented with the following puzzle (one date is provided by WN, the date of Wilson's Op-Ed piece):

  • Novak called Rove on a Tuesday, 6 days before he broke the story. During the Novak-Rove conversation, Novak asked whether Rove heard Plame was an agent. At that time, Rove said he believed that he might have heard the same... he wasn't sure if he did, and if he did, he couldn't remember who it was.
  • Novak's story containing the Plame "leak" breaks 6 days after the Rove conversation. Two anonymous White House officials are its sources.
  • Rove's conversation with Cooper took place 5 days after Wilson's Op-Ed piece in The New York Times ran on July 6, 2003. So Rove spoke with Cooper on July 11, 2003.
  • Rove's conversation with Cooper takes place 4 days after talking to Novak. So Rove spoke to Novak on July 7, 2003.
  • The Novak story broke 6 days after he spoke to Rove. So the Novak story broke on July 13, 2003.