Note the parallels between Nixon's cronies trying to silence or discredit Daniel Ellsberg's criticism of the Vietnam war, and Bushco's attack on Joe and Valerie Wilson.
From the discussion of this blog post, analyzing how Judith Miller was caught in a perjury trap by Fitzgerald (resolving the mystery of how she "found" her lost notebook and why she had to testify twice). Apparently, Secret Service records showed her meeting Libby at the White House on June 23.
While I cannot know which of the convicted felons involved in the Watergate crimes was Buchanan's "good friend," it is certainly true that some people went to prison for telling a grand jury, "I can't recall" when that was false.
For example, White House domestic policy assistant John Erlichman was indicted on September 4, 1973. Count 4 of the indictments issued by the a grand jury against John Erlichman and others (CR 74-116, United States District Court for the District of Columbia) charged that Erlichman violated Title 18, United States Code, Section 1623, which makes "False declarations before grand jury or court" . His crime occurred in this exchange:
Q. Just so that the Grand Jury and we are clear on this, prior to receiving information about the break-in, you had no information, direct or indirect, that a psychological profile of Dr. Ellsberg was being drawn up?
A. I can't recall hearing of a psychological profile until after I had heard or the break-in.
5. The underscored [boldfaced] portions of the material Declarations quoted in paragraph 4, made by JOHN D. EHRLICHMAN, the DEFENDANT, were material to the said investigation and, as he then
and there well knew, were false. (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1623.)
http://www.watergate.info/judici...ciary/ APPII.PDF at pages 19-21 (indictment starts at page 12).
Erlichman was found guilty of this count and 2 other counts. http://www.watergate.info judici...ciary/ APPII.PDF at page 9. He was sentenced to serve a prison term of 20 months to 5 years for conviction on 3 counts.
Egil Krogh avoided conviction on a similar count of falsely declaring when he said that he was not aware of certain travel. He avoided that conviction because instead he entered a guilty plea on another matter in a plea agreement with the prosecution. Pages 29-31 of same.
Krogh made a statement to the court upon entering his guilty plea, to the effect that the actions of retaliation against a critique of the war in Vietnam were an invasion of the rights of Dr. Ellsberg. He stated:
"But however national security is defined, I now see that none of the potential uses of the sought information could justify the invasion of the rights of the individuals that the break-in necessitated. The understanding I have come to is that these rights are the definition of our nation. To invade them unlawfully in the name of national security is to work a destructive force upon the nation, not to take a protective measure." (http://www.watergate.info/judiciary/APPII.PDF at page 61)
Of course, it's not only Judith Miller who "could not recall" some things, but some of the principals in the White House. Those supposed lapses in memory could be the basis for indictments if Fitzgerald has evidence that a claim of lapsed memory is bogus.
From that well-known liberal newspaper, the WSJ:
Yesterday, one former administration official said Karl Rove, the deputy White House chief of staff, had discussed former diplomat Joseph Wilson and the role of his wife, Ms. Plame, with White House staffers in 2003. That buttresses the possibility that Mr. Fitzgerald is investigating charges related to leaking classified information.
The former official said Mr. Rove had these discussions after Mr. Wilson went public with claims that the Bush administration had twisted intelligence to build support for the Iraq war. Mr. Rove discussed discrediting Mr. Wilson, the former official said, adding that Mr. Rove didn't necessarily name Ms. Plame or make her a key talking point in conversations with other White House officials.