"ROVE RETURNS to spotlight with RNC speech," the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire blares Friday.
"Bush's top strategist makes rare public remarks Friday at party's winter meeting," the paper's John Harwood adds. "But he isn't yet clear of exposure in CIA leak case, while Democrats demand to know if he met with Abramoff. WMAL radio in Washington, where Rove is scheduled to appear today, asks on its Web site: 'Has Karl Rove become a liability to the White House?'"
RAW STORY has learned that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald -- who is investigating the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame -- has met with his new grand jury at least once since the year began. The special prosecutor remains U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois, and is juggling other cases as he deals with Rove.
"I think it's fair to say that there is no change in [Rove's] status," Rove's attorney Robert Luskin told Jason Leopold for Truthout last week. "He is not a target of the investigation, but there remains an open investigation."
Adds Harwood: "The Judge in Libby's CIA-leak case sets Feb. 3 status hearing and asks both sides for joint filing by Friday on discovery process. Fitzgerald hasn't been seen much in Washington lately, and Rove camp remains frustrated by uncertainty over his status. Libby joins Hudson Institute as senior adviser on Asia and antiterror war."
Jason Leopold is on leave from Raw Story this month. He is scheduled to return in February.