The upside is that Bush will most likely be out of office when the case wraps up... Goodbye pardons.
In the Illinois corruption case, Fitzgerald raised an investigation into a truck accident in 1998 into a progressively brutal exposure of government corruption. By December 2003, the investigation culminated in an indictment of George Ryan, the former governor.
The case continues — but its course is instructive of Fitzgerald's methods. Beginning with a few indictments, Fitzgerald progressively managed to get witness after witness to cough up more evidence. It took several years and 65 previous defendants before the path of corruption could be clearly traced all the way to the governor’s office. And then the former governor was indicted as well.
If you want to know why there was little relief in the Bush administration when only one official, Scooter Libby, was indicted for obstruction of justice, perjury and lying, this history is instructive. For years in Chicago, because Fitzgerald hadn't yet accumulated enough evidence, Ryan was referred to in the Illinois case as State Official A.
It’s clear to me that Fitzgerald believes that there was a bigger reason for those little lies, a rationale for the coverup, a larger premise that makes sense of all of this. Part of that premise has to involve the actions and motivations of Cheney. Fitzgerald and his team know this. They have not finished their inquiry and have an important potential source of new information facing a trial under a judge known for hefty sentences. Some kind of plea deal by Libby — a shorter sentence in return for naming names in the underlying case? — is not inconceivable.