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October 30, 2005

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» Charting Robert Novak's Role in the Plame Case from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
A grand jury investigation into the leak of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame has generated mu [Read More]

» Has Tim Russert Said Enough? from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
NBCs Tim Russert, mentioned in the Lewis Libby Indictment as having provided a different version of his July 10, 2003 conversation with Libby than Libby gave to the grand jury, is attracting a lot of media attention of his own.... [Read More]

» Has Tim Russert Said Enough? from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
NBCs Tim Russert, mentioned in the Lewis Libby Indictment as having provided a different version of his July 10, 2003 conversation with Libby than Libby gave to the grand jury, is attracting a lot of media attention of his own.... [Read More]

» LITTLE RUSS, TINY TIM RUSSERT from The Heretik
NBC'S TIM RUSSERT will go under the microscope in any examination of the PlameOut prosecution and Scooter Libby’s role in it. The Fourth Estate, occasionally still referred to nostalgically as the free press, will face the fifth degree in [Read More]

» Round One from The WB42 5:30 Report With Doug Krile
Your first collection of blogs about the SUPCO nomination and more. [Read More]

» Prosecuting With Russert? from SEIXON
The indictment against Libby doesn't seem to add up, with apparently contradictory evidence against him to use for charges of perjury and making false statements. [Read More]

Comments

RedDan

Sometime, TM, a cigar is just a cigar.

And sometimes a lying sneak who reveals secrets as a part of an orchestrated political hit-job is just that.

Lesley

Red, are you referring to Joe Wilson?

Toby Petzold

TM:

Will Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory be deposed, just to see whether they knew about Wilson's wife? Why not? And if they did, can they be called to testify?

Hmmm. Well, Libby's defense sounds like it might put the whole Government-Big Media Leak Culture on trial.

Somebody strike up "Twilight of the Gods"!

These people are going to finally get what they wanted: a news story about themselves.

RedDan

Lesley,

Was Joe Wilson indicted?

Errrr....no...he wasn't. Was Libby indicted? Why yes!

Were a whole host of top Admin. Officials, State Dept. Officials, and etc also mentioned in somewhat, shall we say, ominous terms in that indictment? Why Yes!

Was a mysterious "Official A" also mentioned in similarly ominous terms? And does that official apparently remain under investigation and in legal jeopardy? Why ... YES!

Is there any hint that Wilson or Plame are under any kind of investigation or cloud? Errrr...no.

In short, Lesley, continuing to try and claim that a) Plame was not covert or did not qualify for the protections afforded by the extremely high classification attached to her identity and job description; b) that Wilson or the CIA or the tooth fairy, rather than Libby and the others revealed that covert status to reporters; and c) that the CIA is to blame and is conducting some kind of covert war with the administration in cahoots with the Democratic Party....well, I think trying to continue to push those lines is simple insanity.

vnjagvet

From the law.com law dictionary:

"negative pregnant"
n. a denial of an allegation in which a person actually admits more than he/she denies by denying only a part of the alleged fact. Example: Plaintiff alleges Defendant "misused more than a hundred thousand dollars placed in his trust in 1994." Defendant denies the amount was more than a hundred thousand, and denies it was given to him in 1994. Thus, he did not deny the misuse, just the amount and the date.

TM's description of Russert's denial is a classic negative pregnant. In addition, the Libby indictment's description of the falsity of the Libby statements and testimony are also classic illustrations of negative pregnants.

More signs of the indictment's weakness which will be thoroughly explored in the coming weeks.

When Clarice gets a load of this, she will make mincemeat out of this case.

Red Dan: A clever comment, but you are not meeting TM's arguments with any substance. You will have to do better or you will be laughed off the thread.

topsecretk9

Lesley

See vnjagvet last item before tiring your fingers.

BurbankErnie

Why shouldn't Andrea Mitchell be involved in questioning? I think she should be under investigation for leaking the CIA referal document to the DOJ. Stephen Hayes is all over this in this article.

Here is the gist:
[snip]
"On Friday, September 26, 2003, NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell and MSNBC's Alex Johnson broke a big story on the MSNBC website. "The CIA has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that the White House broke federal laws by revealing the identity of one of its undercover employees in retaliation against the woman's husband, a former ambassador who publicly criticized President Bush's since-discredited claim that Iraq had sought weapons-grade uranium from Africa, NBC News has learned."

Also:

"This report came after a lull in the narrative. Joseph Wilson, Plame's husband, had accused the Bush administration of disclosing his wife's identity to retaliate for his "truth-telling." He boasted in speeches that he would mount a campaign to get Karl Rove "frog-marched" out of the White House in handcuffs. And while many reporters in Washington may have been sympathetic to Wilson, few took his threat seriously.

That changed with the news from NBC that the CIA had referred the case to the Justice Department for investigation. Other news organizations scrambled to catch up. Over the next two weeks the New York Times would run nearly three dozen stories on the case, the Washington Post more than forty. News reports noted the close relationship between Attorney General John Ashcroft and the White House. Editorials called for Ashcroft to recuse himself. Prominent Democrats stepped up their calls for a special prosecutor."
[snip]

I suggest you read the whole thing.
Again I ask; why is Andrea Mitchell not being held for leaking classified information?
OK, I know it is rhetorical because it is used to assault a Republican Adminstration.
NBC is sure entwined with Wilson.

RedDan

vnjagvet,

My substance is based on hard documents and reams of testimony that is now public, including detailed timelines, names, dates, and subjects of discussion.

You refer to supposition, theory, and guesses about what Russert did or did not say in respect to a story that may or may not have been the reason for Libby's call to Russert.

So far, I got more than you.

And Russert has not been indicted...while Libby has, in fact, been indicted...apparently indicted even though he tried for a last-minute plea that was rejected by Fitzgerald.

My thought is that the "Russert Angle" is weak tea, and a desperate attempt to shift responsibility. My prediction is that anything Russert may have said, may have testified to, and may testify to in the future is going to be completely and totally overshadowed by 1) the executive privilege fight that is looming large, and 2) by the testimony of Fleischer, Martin, Matalin, Hannah, Hadley, and possibly Cheney...and if Cheneykah is really good this year, we get some Bolton/Wurmser/Fleitz surprises thrown into the mix.

clarice

Thanks for the compliment. I'm trying to figure the indictment out but to be honest, it is still a puzzlement..On one thing I agree with TM, it's down to Russert and I think that's a thin reed.I hope he hires DeGenova and Toensing not only because they are good but because as well they know the agency better than almost anyone not in it.

Anonymous Liberal

TM, I watched Meet the Press today and Russert's performance fully supported your theory. When discussing what he told Libby, Russert simply reread NBC's easily-parsed official statement from 2004. That was it. He went out of his way not to provide any more detail. Russert looked very uncomfortable. Why is he being so careful about what he says when both Miller and Cooper have been much more candid? It's all very strange.

Beto Ochoa

Wow. Just wow. Is this some sort of Rovian plot to pick apart the press and their CIA leaks in the courts? Just how many people will be deposed and how long will be the arm they use to investigate and subpoena everyone any of these reporters know?

Lesley

Hee hee, Top. Baiting someone to watch their head explode seems appropriate at Halloween - trick or treat, depending on one's point of view.

Apologies, Red. I shouldn't have done that.

Beto Ochoa

And the people those people know, and the people those people know and..........

topsecretk9

Can someone just tell me, upon watching tonight's broadcasts...could you smell the cologne through the TV?

Neo

Russert went to the grand jury under an agreement with Fitzgerald to limit the line of questioning.
Given that, in the event of a trial, Libby's lawyer won't be so accommodating, I can hear the chorus for a "shield law" beginning to warm-up.
With the potential motions for journalistic privilege and executive privilege, the pretrial in this case is going to be very long.

MJW

A question for Clarice and others with law degrees:

Now that Libby's been indicted, how much discovery power does he have? For example: Can he subpoena any emails between Russert and his boss at NBC regarding Libby's call to Russert? Can he subpoena Judith Miller's notes? Does he have access to the GJ testimony of Miller, Cooper, and Russert? Can he force them to to submit to depositions? I've heard criminal discovery isn't as broad as civil discovery, but I don't know how broad it is.

RedDan

Lesley,

You have low standards for head-explosion material.

topsecretk9

Man. It must be a sad day for David "Clairvoyant" Corn when he writes this in his blog headline...

"Fitz Offers Evidence He Had Reason To Believe Plame was Undercover"

earth to David...come in David.

owl

Resident TV watcher has been saying NBC/MSNBC. I think you are correct but also think he either has a tape and was baiting Libby or selective notes that support only his version. He's not ruffled. But the new campaign has shifted slightly....saw it today. The Coup are not a happy bunch w/Libby. It is full scale frontal Rove attack. Cooper is leading the charge.

MJW

Here's someething rather curious:

From an interview on July 24, 2005:
RUSSERT: There has to be an original source, somebody.
GREGORY: Yes.
TOTENBERG: Right.
RUSSERT: Even if it came from a reporter...
GREGORY: Right.
RUSSERT: ...the reporter got it from someplace.
TOTENBERG: Right. And...
RUSSERT: But I was asked what I said. I did not know.

From TM's Tivo'ed indictment coverage:
RUSSERT: Correct. And that was the extent of it. I immediately called the president of NBC News and shared the complaint, which is why it was memorable in my mind. But to the notion that I was somehow the recipient of the leak, which just wasn't the case, or that I had shared information, which I did not know.

The same mysterious floating "I did not know." What specifically didn't Russert know? I do not know.

jukeboxgrad

Burbank: "why is Andrea Mitchell not being held for leaking classified information"

It might have something to do with the fact that she is not a government employee who signed an SF-312 agreement where she promised to safeguard classified information. Incidentally, you could ask the same question about Novak. But now you know why you shouldn't.

You're obviously in need of some very basic education regarding the role of a free, independent press in safeguarding democracy. Then again, you might think the press should just be an offshoot of the government (a la Armstrong Williams and Jeff Gannon). I guess you miss the Soviet Union.

clarice: "it's down to Russert"

Perhaps, provided you ignore all the public servants (including the Vice President) who have essentially pegged Libby as a liar.

MJW: "What specifically didn't Russert know?"

Here's a guess: that Joe's wife worked for the CIA.

Cecil Turner

Perhaps, provided you ignore all the public servants (including the Vice President) who have essentially pegged Libby as a liar.

Only if you pretend Libby is claiming he first heard about Plame from Russert. Since he isn't . . .

Here's a guess: that Joe's wife worked for the CIA.

Seems to me it could just as easily be read as "I didn't know her name was 'Plame'"?

St. Fitz

Fitz is gonna get reamed in court. He has no idea that these reporters are going to be his worse nightmare. You are right that Miller and Cooper will do nothing but hurt the case with their testimony. Then it is down to Russert's word vs. Libby. Beyond a reasonable doubt? No, far from it.

The Justice Department will begin an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Joe's trip and Valarie's role. This is gonna be good!!!!

However, on the very slim chance Libby is found guilty on one of the counts (by the so-called "jury of his peers") or he cops a plea...no worry, pardon time!!! LOL!

Mary Jane

Who is this 'Scooter' character? Plus, who cares? We have a kick-ass hardcore conservative who will be nominated today for the SC and confirmed shortly. This new judge will make the Libs life hell for the next 35 years!!!! :)

dorf

IMO any e-mail, phone call, notes where Russert touched the Plame issue/Niger trip with ANYONE is discoverable. That will pull in alot of other reporters and other witnesses into the case.

Daddy

MJW, Great point: What did Tim Russert not know, and when did he not know it?

kim

What's in a name? A Plame by any other name can be discussed. But blame accrues to mention of Plame, so I will show the jury how BLAMELESS I am. That and my image will suffice to persuade.

What? That jury box is full of people who both stink and sense? Get that lens between me and them. More cologne, quick, I can smell them!
===========================================

JayDee

It's amusing to watch even an exacting mind like TM's leap to comfortable partisan conclusions. Matt Cooper's memory is weak...because his account differs from Rove's. Only in Partisan Pubby Land is it an assumption that the pigboy is the one telling the unvarnished truth.

What is Russert supposed to do? Libby decided to use him as a cover and he decided not to be a party to a crime. He still has a job to do, and is apparently trying to respect the due process of law by not blabbing about it too freely. One of the most useful things to come out of these proceedings is a window into the way this admin abused its press relationships in order to disseminate false information to the public. We've gotten other hints of this, as in their paid propagandizing of Armstrong Williams. But this is the first instance where it is all being revealed under oath.

What this story - and the reactions of the gooper faithful - reveals most of all is the sham of Republican "patriotism". It isn't the law they respect, it isn't our national security , it isn't the health and safety of our citizens - it's partisan political winning that matters to them - POWER. Let's be clear here. The goal of this group of bastards, when they ascended to one party power in our democracy, was to create a "permanent majority". Permanent. The very idea is antithetical to democracy. For all their phony blather about democracy, while they actively perverted it, their legacy may actually be to prove once again the power of democracy. Even with this crap press we've got today, even with all the rightwing partisan judicial activists they've stocked the court with, their crimes are being prosecuted, their lies are being unraveled. And their partisan sycophants are looking sillier and more foolishly hypocritical by the day.

kim

Yesterday you seemed to think a partisan CIA putsch was part of their patriotic duty. What gives?
==================================================

Syl

re official leak vs unofficial gossip. Do we have enough information to prove, without a doubt, that there couldn't have been unofficial gossip re wilson's wife without it having been seeded by an official leak somewhere?

What were Fitz's exact words on the matter of existing knowledge of mrs. wilson's employment by CIA? I can't find the exact wording, and damn, I saw the quote not an hour ago. But he essentially said the fact of her CIA employment was not known.

There was some question of a party attended by many reporters where the rumor was going around and Fitz wanted the guest list. We don't know what came of that. Perhaps nothing. The gossip of the gossip may not have born out.

That's one area, DC social circles. Also can anyone be found who would testify they heard Wilson himself talk about his CIA wife? Maybe that's just gossip too, and he may never have said such a thing. Or there's no way to prove it, so it can't be used.

Neighbors. Well they've been interviewed and we don't know who, how many, or what they all said.

Fitz may have come up empty on all of that (and be pretty pissed if he thought he was sent on a wild goose chase.)

But there is one area that Fitz could not check out. And Top is all over that. That's Kristof and Pincus.

Did either of them, through their conversations (and in one case dinner) with Wilson(s) learn that Valery was CIA?

And if so, did he/they tell anyone. And whom?

And here's where the name 'Valery Plame' becomes important. Has anyone seen anything to indicate that the actual name 'Valery Plame' was revealed in any of the discussions in the administration of mrs wilson being CIA? Did it indeed never appear? am I missing it? or is Fitz deliberately keeping that specific bit of information from us?

It shows up in Judy's notes. It shows up in Novak's article. Otherwise there is silence on that point.

Even Pincus/Kristoff may not have known 'Plame'.

As far as we know, only the CIA knew that fact and we haven't seen if/where they gave that info to anyone in the administration. Or anyone outside the administration either.

Remember the AP article with the 3 sneakies as sources? They brought up a good point when they spoke of WINPAC and how that could be a clue as to the origin of a leak that said she worked for WINPAC.

The same goes for 'Valery Plame' and the name may have no significance beyond that fact.

Fitz would have to trace the name through the conversations to find the source and track the spread.

But Fitz is not saying anything about that. Because it may be a name journalists could figure on their own, and Fitz can't ask them, or it could be a separate 'leak' and he either has discovered it and isn't saying...or he hasn't...or he isn't looking.

Russert may not have known 'Valery Plame' but if he didn't know about Wilson's wife at CIA at all that means he was out of the backchatter loop of reporters.

That would be embarrassing. Everyone knew but him. LOL

The restrictions on questioning of journalists by the DOJ looms so large in this case. Fitz, by law, is blind to conversations between journalists or between journalists and other sources concerning this matter. His knowledge is limited to certain journalists conversations with the administration officials he's specifically looking at.


Mary Jane

Sam "SCALITO" Alito it is for the SC!! Yes!!!!!!

kim

Always the fascism that is the fist within the feel good glove is revealed through the tatters in the logic.

Why don't you trust Iraqi emancipation and enfranchisement. Why don't you trust the enfanchisement of Muslim people in general in the democratic process. Why don't you convince real voters here?
=================================================

JayDee

Yesterday you seemed to think a partisan CIA putsch was part of their patriotic duty.

I didn't say that literally. I was trying to parse out the moral relativity of this whole situation, in which an unethical administration tries to create a false cassus belli. What is the role of patriots when a government is so false and dangerous to its own people? I don't endorse lawlessness ever. It would just be nice to ONCE see a conservative show some moral backbone and realize the can of worms that was opened by this war of choice doesn't lend itself to tidy judgments.

kim

Syl, I know my understanding is warped, but it seems obvious to me that Fitz is using this mechanism to get at the testimony of witnesses he can't reach.

MSM has a pituitary disorder. They are simply way too big for their britches. Bleaching by the blogosphere has weakened the seams and they are bursting, and Fitz is pulling their pants down around their knees. When they stumble all that bunched up material will protect their patellae.

But it won't keep them from being trampled by the pajama crowd.
===========================================

Syl

JayDee

Show that Cheney knew the name 'Valery Plame' and you all might be onto something. The name would be of no interest to him. That she was CIA, perhaps the division she worked in, and had a hand in sending Joe off on his glorious adventure, is what he would be interested in.

Would the CIA volunteer the name to him when it had no relevance?

kim

OK, I'll take back you so actively supporting a putsch. Why don't you understand that we have done a good thing in Afghanistan, Iraq, and even Indonesia(tsunami)? The terrorism in Iraq is becoming less popular as it is being increasingly revealed as nihilistic.

I will concede that we have risked alienating Islam. I think the advantages of self-determination for Muslim people will eventually overshadow that some of its origin was infidelic.

BTW, all three of the branches of the cult of Abraham have a long history of co-operation and sharing of culture in addition to the long history of conflict.
==============================================

Syl

Kim

"Syl, I know my understanding is warped, but it seems obvious to me that Fitz is using this mechanism to get at the testimony of witnesses he can't reach."

Whether on purpose or not, that will be the result.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Syl

Kim

JayDee is under the impression that a jihadi roach motel in the middle of the Arab world is a bad thing.

I say better there than in Cleveland.

kim

Liberals have this whole thing bass ackwards. They cannot support, either intellectually or electorally, continued solidarity with Islamic extremism. It's not only nihilistic, it's self-destructive.

And I really hate to see so many of my friends destroy themselves.
==========================================

stevesturm

Maybe this is something, maybe not, but did anyone else wonder about Russert claiming to call the head of NBC News after his call with Libby? Given the hostile attitude of the media towards this administration, I suspect there's a lot of complaining going on. Does every reporter and editor at NBC call the News President each time someone in the Admin complains, or was there something unique about this particular call?

kim

You dam betcha. And I'll betcha it was news that the point had tripped the wire.

Evidence of the wire will explain the intent of the victims here. Peers peer, you know.
============================================

JM Hanes

TM -- I don't know if transcripts of Tim Russert's show (his own show, not Meet the Press) are available or not, but last night, he did a sit down with Pete Williams, Andrea Mitchell & David Gregory. He reiterated the basic story about his own unimportance, but what intrigued me was that he said he had been interviewed by the Fitzfolk in a lawyer's office for around 20 minutes. I'll have to go back and check my TiVo'd version, if time allows, to be sure, but while he was apparently under oath, it sounded like he didn't actually testify in front of the grand jury itself.

Whether that's relevant to your assessment of future performance, I don't know, but it would mean that the grand jury never had the opportunity to query him directly about the conversations in question. I would assume that they were aware of the nature of Libby's complaint, but on the other hand, it does occur to me to wonder precisely how the Russert angle was presented to them.

TM

I feel some plagiarism coming on.

Matt Cooper's memory is weak...because his account differs from Rove's. Only in Partisan Pubby Land is it an assumption that the pigboy is the one telling the unvarnished truth.

Someone ought to check the meaning of word's like "assumption". The very limited contemporaneous documentation in the public domain supports Rove over Cooper on the question of welfare reform (or did you not trouble yourself to check the evidecne by clickign the link?)

It's only in JBG-land that "evidence" becomes an "assumption" when it conflicts with the prefferred story line.

Dwilkers

"It's amusing to watch even an exacting mind like TM's leap to comfortable partisan conclusions. Matt Cooper's memory is weak...because his account differs from Rove's."

Actually, Cooper's memory is weak because he admitted as much in his own magazine. His memory had to be reinforced by Rove's testimony and contemporaneous notes and e-mail. Based on what he has said and reported there is little doubt that TM's assumption arguendo - that Cooper isn't the strongest witness about these events - is a fair argument. It isn't a "leap" or a "comforting conclusion" but is based on the facts as reported and is objectively valid based on what we know.

Unless prosecutors like to go into he-said/she-said type perjury trials with a key witness that openly admits and has published that he doesn't remember what happened.

But don't let that stop you. Today's contest is afoot.

kim

Why do you think Cooper's boss got fed up with it?
===============================================

Average Joe

Who's 'Scooby Liddy'?

Syl

TM

I don't even see why we have to worry about Cooper's memory. Any meaning behind 'I heard that too' is basically the same as what it appears Libby testified. He just used fewer words than he remembered.

MeTooThen

Kim,

Yes, the real issue here for many Fitzmas celebrants is their tacit or explicit acceptance or approval of Baathist/Islamist mass murder as a tool to disenfranchise the the Iraqi people.

Herein lies what will become, I believe, the Mother of All Cognitive Dissonance. It certainly hasn't happened yet, witness poor and feeble Harry Reid. Sad, this.

But the illiberal and dangerous support of the opposition in Iraq and Islamists elsewhere (in its many forms) will create electoral failure and worse nightmares for said supporters.

L'affaire Double-O-Plame was, and is, an attack on the POTUS.

Period.

As news of French and Russian UN perfidy continues apace, the Iraqi and Afghan armies grow in power, the revelations during the discovery of USA v Libby should prove to be enlightening as to how Joseph Charles Wilson IV was used by his CIA and press handlers to undermine a sitting President during wartime.

Just sayin'.

creepy dude

"The indictment of Lewis Libby pits the word of Mr. Libby against that of three reporters"

TM, contra your suggestion,I have read the indictment. If the above is really your understanding , I'm sorry but it is who you doesn't understand the indictment (you're hardly alone on the right btw).

These three reporters could all come in and say they actually lied to the GJ-and it wouldn't help Libby here.

Don't take my word for it though-just watch facts unfold.

cathyf
Mr. Russert told the Special Prosecutor that, at the time of that conversation, he did not know Ms. Plame's name or that she was a CIA operative and that he did not provide that information to Mr. Libby. Mr. Russert said that he first learned Ms. Plame's name and her role at the CIA when he read a column written by Robert Novak later that month.
Ahh, but did he tell Mr. Libby that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA?
Or, more intriguingly, did Russert tell Libby something along the lines of "Everybody knows Wilson's wife works for INR"?

I'm intrigued by this possibility -- as Cecil Turner pointed out a couple of threads ago when I was making cracks about the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Mines, and Census Bureau, the INR is a Dept of State organization, and its formal name includes the word "Bureau." Also somewhere (Vanity Fair article maybe?) the Wilson's are quoted as saying that in the spring of 2003 the CIA was working of transferring Valerie to State Dept cover.

Is it possible that both Miller and Russert told Libby the reportorial gossip, which was that she was a WMD analyst for INR not CIA? And that in the "game of telephone" that was going on, Novak only got the "WMD analyst got CIA to send husband," and Novak just assumed that meant she was CIA, which Hawley confirmed?

Are we at reasonable doubt yet?

cathy :-)

JayDee

I've clicked on the links re: Cooper/Rove. Cooper says he called WH switchboard to discuss Wilson, got passed through to Rove, who volunteered "super double secret" info about Wilson before stopping himself for "saying too much". Rove - in his miraculously discovered email to Hadley - says Cooper called to discuss welfare reform, Wilson came up and Rove, oh so helpfully, told him to not get too far out in front on that. Are you actually saying that Rove's bs in an email is proof of anything whatsoever? Can one not lie in an email, or make up useful cover stories? Since we know that Rove, a/k/a Official A, was also out there disseminating his "super duper secret" info to other reporters, the evidence leans far more heavily to Cooper's story. Rove is an unethical lying political operative. Why any sane person would take anything this power grubbing freak has to say on face value is beyond me.

creepy dude

Never mind TM-I see you must be spinning. Some smart guy wrote this: "Finally, Libby's general story - he learned about Plame from reporters - was daft. Libby had multiple conversations with government officials (State, CIA, the VP, Ari Fleischer) involving Plame. Did he think they would *all* forget when they talked to investigators? If I weren't reading his testimony, I would not believe he had gone down this road."

That's why even if the reporters recant and say they did tell Libby-he still wouldn't be clear.

Unless you believe his "I forgot" defense.In which case, I have a bridge I'd lie to show you.

jawnybnsc

Yeah . . . a Time reporter calling to ask about Welfare Reform? Strains credibility, don't it?

Geek, Esq.

Libby still lied when he said that he thought he was hearing about Wilson's wife for the first time when he purportedly discussed the matter with Russert.

Bald-faced lie, and it has nothing to do with Timmay.

Geek, Esq.

Libby still lied when he said that he thought he was hearing about Wilson's wife for the first time when he purportedly discussed the matter with Russert.

Bald-faced lie, and it has nothing to do with Timmay.

Jay Rosen

Good work, Tom. I can't stress enough how important it is to re-cap as you knee-cap these guys-- with links, of course. (I think you're wrong about Cooper making a poor witness, though.) And congrats on the mention in the Times of Just One Minute.

JayDee

There's nothing unusual about Rove's story. There's also nothing unusual about Cooper's story. My original point was just my amusement at watching TM leap to the conclusion that it was surely Rove who was telling the truth. Given Rove's behavior with reporters during the time, and asking the common sense question of which party had a motive to fudge the truth, this is a rather unwarranted assumption.

Geek, Esq.

Count Five (Perjury)

In truth and in fact, as LIBBY well knew when he gave his testimony, it was false in that:

a. Russert did not ask LIBBY if LIBBY knew that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, nor did he tell LIBBY that all the reporters knew it; and

b. At the time of this conversation, LIBBY was well aware that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA.

It's dumbfounding that smart conservatives can see this as a mere credibility contest between Russert and LIBBY, given that LIBBY has already been busted in numerous lies.

Moreover, Russert hasn't even 1/100,000th of the incentive to lie that Libby does, nor is there ANY evidence that Russert lied to the GJ.

Victor

Geek, Esq., as far as the indictment is concerned it doesn't matter whether Libby lied in his conversations with reporters. The points at issue are whether he lied in the grand jury ABOUT those conversations.

This is why the testimony of the three journalists are absolutely critical.

Info. that Libby COULD have had an alternative source was needed for Fitzgerald to demonstrate that Libby's *testimony* about those conversations *could* have been a lie. But you could strip all that away and still the basic counts of perjury, etc., would remain because of the three witnesses.

Conversely, if they changed their testimony to match Libby's, it doesn't matter if Libby also had information from other sources that he didn't share with reporters, or whether he told the truth when he said it was the "first time" he'd heard about something. If they changed their testimony to match Libby's regarding those conversations, Fitzgerald would have no case.

TM's analysis is right on, as it usually is.

r m flanagan

To "CIA's BENIGN DAMAGE ASSESSMENT" and "JOE WILSON's LIES TO THE SENATE" we can now add "SCOOTER AND RUSSERT DISCUSSED HARDBALL" . Sure. And Christmas comes on Dec 25 but so what ? These claims , if true
are all equally irrelevant to Fitz's charge that Scooter committed perjury by telling the feds that the media , especially Russert , outed Valerie to him .

BTW it might not be a great strategy for
Libby's defenders to go after Russert.
If forced to choose between those
two Joe Lunchpail will vote for Tim.

Syl

JayDee

AFAIK Rove cannot be Official A. We already know he spoke with Novak and all he said was 'I heard that too'. No Valery Plame, no WMD analyst, no nuthink.

Geek, Esq.

Victor, you start out with the absolutely correct premise but then screw it up.

LIBBY lied about what HE himself knew when he had those conversations with reporters.

LIBBY told the GJ that he didn't know that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA when he talked to Timmay on 7/10/2003. That's a lie, and Timmay's testimony has nothing to do with that.

From where does the evidence that LIBBY knew that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA before he spoke with Russert come from? Other administration officials.

alexandra

Great reporting!!! It would seem there is a nice paper trail for the trial. The media parties involved will worry about what else or who else is out there that may bring different facts or opinions.
The one easy solution and I thought the WH would know to do: tape record any conversations with the press and other suspicious people. How hard could that be?

If I were the judge, i'd throw the case OUT. There was no crime. But, if he did, it would'nt be so much fun to see the leftist lies exposed and Fitzgerals will have the humiliation of a life time. I don't like the man, he seems better suited for the IRS.

Geek, Esq.

To make things clearer, we are talking about LIBBY's state of mind the second before he spoke on the phone with Russert.

Libby told the GJ that, at that moment, he didn't know that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA.

Russert's testimony is irrelevant to that claim, which is contradicted by around a dozen other sources inside the Bush administration.

Syl

Creepy

"That's why even if the reporters recant and say they did tell Libby-he still wouldn't be clear."

Let's pretend you know some secret information. Say it's the range of the new Rove Ballistic Missile. You know it (25 parsecs). That's a fact. And you know it's classified.

Now you talk to a reporter. He tells you 'I heard there's a new Rove Ballistic Missile and it has a range of 20 parsecs. What say you?

(1) That's not true, it's 25 parsecs.
(2) I heard that too.

Answer: 2

(Answer 1 is confirming classified info the same way Harlow did to Novak. Answer 2 is protecting the information.)

You testify to this conversation. 'I told the reporter I'd heard it from other reporters because I didn't [couldn't] know it [officially] and I didn't want him to think I was confirming it.'

I swear it's as if Libby has been so immersed in protecting all the classified information he holds in his head for so long, that he just assumes everyone else understands how to handle it too.


Gary Maxwell

the evidence leans far more heavily to Cooper's story.

Ok we have two men's competing and conflicting recollection fo the same conversation. For evidence we have a memo to the file or to the NSA on the converation which dated the day fo the conversation and we have what for evidence for Cooper.

So how do you the master of redicule that Pubbies are turning to partisan fatasy, see this as quote " evidence leaning far more heavily to Cooper."
end quote (and all credibilty)

Blowhard.

Average Joe

G. Gordon Libby was charged? With what?

Creepy Dude

It's not Libby vs. the reporters-it's Libby vs. the other administration officials.

The fact that the reporters are also at odds with his story is just icing on the yellowcake.

The admin witnesses are the ones he has to impeach. He can't. Thus his pathetic "I forgot I already knew that" defense. It's all he got. And it's nothing.

drjohn

If you read the Merritt and Crowley articles one thing becomes clear as day- when Joe Wilson pulls out his weenie, Chris Matthews takes it all in at once. Veracity has no place in the agenda of Matthews whatsoever.

Creepy Dude

Syl-you don't understand Libby's testimony. In your example, I've told both teh FBI and swore to a grand jury that I had no knowledge of the Rove Ballistic Missile prior to learning it of its existence from reporters.

There's then a parade of evidence to show I was fully versed on the RBM prior to speaking to reporters.

My defense is "I forgot I knew about the RBM."

Conclusion: I'm a sick pathetic liar who richly deserves jailtime.

Geek, Esq.

G. Gordon Libby was charged? With what?
Liddy is a convicted felon.

"For his role in Watergate, which he coordinated with Hunt, Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, burglary and illegal wiretapping, and received a 20-year sentence. He served four and a half years in prison before his sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter."

Creepy Dude

Are let me ask you this: why couldn't Libby expalin to the grand jury that's what he was doing? i.e. whatever the hell you think he was doing?

Syl

Gary Maxwell

"the evidence leans far more heavily to Cooper's story."

I assert that there's no difference in meaning between what Libby said about what he told Cooper and what Cooper said Libby said.

None.

Fitzgerald concluded that Libby confirmed the information. He did not.

cathyf
There's nothing unusual about Rove's story. There's also nothing unusual about Cooper's story. My original point was just my amusement at watching TM leap to the conclusion that it was surely Rove who was telling the truth.
My point is just my amusement at watching JD's inability to think logically. Cooper testified about what he remembered, and what he wrote in the email he wrote in the first few minutes after the conversation. Rove testified about what he remembered (nothing), and what he wrote in the email he wrote in the first few minutes after the conversation. Rove's email (but not his memory) included welfare reform. Neither Cooper's email nor his memory included welfare reform.

Does this mean that the only possibility is that one or the other lied? Well, no, and you have to be pretty stupid to think that. The most plausible explanation is that they are both telling the truth. Cooper did use a bait-and-switch ploy on Rove with welfare reform as his bait, both of them forgot this, and Rove happened to put it in his email while Cooper didn't put it in his.

cathy :-)

Geek, Esq.

Obviously, the evidence against Rove was much weaker. He wasn't indicted.

Syl

Creepy Dude

That's because you are interpreting Libby's words differently from how I read them. In the context of protecting classified information (which I posit you have absolutely no experience with) Libby is in effect showing how he protects said information.

I think an 'I just forgot' defense is stupid too.

Syl

Creepy Dude

I agree Libby didn't explain it. I guess he didn't think he had to. If I'm right, and his lawyers are smart, he will.

Creepy Dude

Hey Syl-I'll agree we're interpreting Libby words differently.

I happen to be interpreting them the same way Fitzgerald is, and based on the facts in the affidavit, I believe he can prove Libby guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

No matter what the reporters say at trial.

Geek, Esq.

In the context of protecting classified information (which I posit you have absolutely no experience with) Libby is in effect showing how he protects said information.

Libby was protecting classified information from the Grand Jury?

"Because at that point in time I did not recall that I had ever known, and I thought this is something that he was telling me that I was first learning."

Marcel

To cathyf's point.. even if the Rove/Cooper conversation had covered welfare reform as well as Wilson's wife, what do you think Cooper would remember and follow up on? A top White House official had just linked an Administration critic to the CIA, in the context of the week's most prominent Washington story. Welfare reform.. forget about it.

Geek, Esq.

Syl--

There's a very good chance Libby won't take the Witness stand. If he does, they can ask him any question related to the leak they want. Such as "when did you learn that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA? Who told you? Did you know this information was classified? What did the Vice-president tell you to do with this information?"

When a defendant takes the stand in his own defense, he waives his 5th Amendment protections.

Syl

creepy dude

"There's then a parade of evidence to show I was fully versed on the RBM [Rove Ballistic Missile] prior to speaking to reporters."

Okay, let's explore this:

Libby knew about the RBM and its range.
He testified he forgot he knew it.
He didn't tell reporters about the RBM.
When they mentioned it he said 'I heard that too'

He didn't give out, nor confirm, classified information.

So. Why did he lie?

owl

Syl...Cooper seemed to stick to his story on Libby yesterday, and said something to the effect of he didn't think it was important at the time.

The reason I know that Russert knew Wilson's wife was CIA? Andrea Mitchell nodded her head agreeing to Matthews. If SHE knew, and the way NBC/MSNBC foams, Russert knew.

cathyf

One other question -- in the quotations of Libby contained within the indictment, where's the goofy phrasing that Scooter "Haiku Boy" Libby is supposedly famous for? Did Fitzgerald and/or the FBI paraphrase Scooter and then put quotation marks around something not his words? Wouldn't that be an extraordinarily bad no-no? It appears that when the took Miller's your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine testimony and turned it into a simple declarative sentence they at least didn't pretend that they were direct quotes.

cathy :-)

Syl

Now, what I'd like to know is: who gave out the information that the RBM is atomic powered?

That's the revelation that Novak printed.

Geek, Esq.

"Libby knew about the RBM and its range.
He testified he forgot he knew it.
He didn't tell reporters about the RBM.
When they mentioned it he said 'I heard that too'"

Your supposition depends on the jury believing one lie but not the other.

Creepy Dude

Syl-why did he lie? Easy answer:

1. His lies are going to put him in jail.

2. One can only conclude that the truth would also put him in jail.

3. But the truth would take down Cheney as well (the plane! the plane!), whereas lies will only take down Libby.

4. He's a company man.

5. Iran-Contra was far worse than Plamegate and look what happened to all those felons.

6. easy call-stick with the lies.

kim

Carter commuted the sentence of Liddy? There was a little historical flourish I'd missed.

I've not had a lot of faith in Arianna, but she has certainly nosed out Russert.
==========================================

Syl

Geek

"Your supposition depends on the jury believing one lie but not the other."

????

OWL

I can't wait to get Andrea on the stand.

Cecil Turner

CD, I don't know which indictment you read, but the one I read had bits like this in it:

In truth and fact, as LIBBY well knew when he gave this testimony, it was false in that LIBBY did not advise Matthew Cooper or other reporters that LIBBY had heard other reporters were saying that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA, nor did LIBBY advise Cooper or other reporters that LIBBY did not know whether this assertion was true;
If Cooper were to say "yes he told me that he heard other reporters were saying it and that he didn't know it was true," that count disappears. The same is true (with slight variation) for the ones with Russert and Miller. There are three sub-specifications that claim "at the time of this conversation, LIBBY was well aware . . ." but they all refer to the same conversation with Russert. And I'm not sure how you can convict Libby of spacing the fact that Plame worked for CIA during that conversation, when it appears Russert spaced the entire conversation.

Tollhouse

The fact that the case turns on Valerie Wilson=good, and Valerie Plame=bad shows the absurdity here.

Geek, Esq.

And I'm not sure how you can convict Libby of spacing the fact that Plame worked for CIA during that conversation, when it appears Russert spaced the entire conversation.

Because it wasn't spacing. He damn well knew it, and just lied about it.

Syl

Creepy

How, logically, does Libby 'forgetting' he knew about ms wilson protect Cheney?

Cheney wasn't the first person to give him that information. According to Fitz, at least one person had told him the day before Cheney did.

kim

MSM is slowly realizing as the berg slices through plated and riveted steel, that they no longer have the stomach to pursue this story. Let's just see who does.

I don't see that either Fitz or Libby have blinked. I see, but don't understand why, that Fitz blinked instead of Rove. Or did he?

Watch now, for the winking.

Who is twinkling, now?
==============================================

Syl

CT

The Cooper bit doesn't matter.

Fitz is mistaken:

In truth and fact, as LIBBY well knew when he gave this testimony, it was false in that LIBBY did not advise Matthew Cooper or other reporters that LIBBY had heard other reporters were saying that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA, nor did LIBBY advise Cooper or other reporters that LIBBY did not know whether this assertion was true;

'I heard that too' does not give any sourcing. If Cooper thought Libby heard it in the whitehouse, he would have no way of knowing if it were true, if he thought Libby heard it from reporters, ditto.

Also, 'I heard that too' IS advising Cooper that he doesn't know whether the information is true or not.

One count of perjury and one count of making false statements thrown out right here.


kim

Or is it the inquisitorial knife slicing through layers of fat, not muscle, seeking the malignancy at the guts of this morbid affair.
=================================================

Geek, Esq.

For those clinging to the absurd fantasy that LIBBY 'forgot' that Wilson's wife as a CIA employee, a quick reality check:

1. On or about 6/11/2003, an Under Secretary of State orally advised LIBBY in the White House that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and that she allegedly was involved in the planning of the trip.

2. On or about 6/11/2003, LIBBYdiscussed Wilson's trip with a senior CIA officer, who advised him that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and that she allegedly was involved in the planning of his trip.

3. On or about 6/12/2003, LIBBY was advised by Dick Cheney that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA in the Counterproliferation Division (IIPA, anyone?). LIBBY understood that the VP had learned this information from the CIA.

4. On or about 6/14/2003, LIBBY met with a CIA briefer and discussed Wilson's wife in connection with the Niger trip.

5. On or about 6/20/2003, LIBBY spoke with his principal deputy about rebutting charged that the VP's office had sent Wilson, and stated that there would be complications at the CIA in disclosing that information publicly, and that he couldn't discuss the matter on a non-secure line.

6. On or about 6/23/2003, LIBBY told Judy Miller that Wilson's wife might work at a bureau of the CIA.

7. On or about 7/7/2003, LIBBY had lunch with Ari Fleischer and told him that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA.

8. On or about 7/8/2003, LIBBY told Miller that he believed that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA.

9. On or about 7/8/2003, LIBBY met with the VP's counsel, and asked the counsel for the VP what paperwork there would be at the CIA if an employee's spouse undertook an overseas trip.

10. Between June 2003 and 7/8/2003 , an administration official learned from another government official that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, and told LIBBY this information.
********************************

And Libby forgot this tidbit, which directly contradicted the claim that his office sent Wilson on the Niger trip, TWO DAYS LATER?

Puh-leaze. No one here is that damn stupid, and I really hope no one on the jury is either.

Creepy Dude

CT-there's no doubt that if reporters recanted, Fitz would have to rewrite portions of the indictment.

But it doesn't matter in the end-because the essence here is Libby lying about what HE knew, e.g. just with the Obstruction charge you quote, the following charges will stick no matter what the reporters said- because they refer to Libby lying about the state of his own knowledge:

See Indictment paragraphs 32 a. ii (Libby swore he was surprised to hear Plame works at the CIA). ; 32 b. second clause (Libby swore he told Cooper Libby did not know whether Plame worked at the CIA); 32 C -Libby also denies he knows this to Miller.

Now the key is Libby never told the GJ-hey I was lying to those reporters. Rather, he repeated those claims as true in and of themselves to the GJ. He wanted the GJ to believe what he said about his own knowledge to those reporters was true. It wasn't.

See paragraph 33 a. ii. for all the reasons those statements by Libby- that he swore were true to the GJ-were bullshit (unless you believe his "I forgot" defense).

And that's just the Obstruction charge!

I'd go through the rest, but you (don't) get the point.

Gary Maxwell

Gary Maxwell

"the evidence leans far more heavily to Cooper's story."

I assert that there's no difference in meaning between what Libby said about what he told Cooper and what Cooper said Libby said.

None.

Fitzgerald concluded that Libby confirmed the information. He did not.

Syl

I was quoting the absurdness that is JayDee. I do not subscribe to this reality based nonsense.

Rove would have to be extremely precognicient to forecast the need to make up something in an internal memo two years prior to the inquiry.

Syl

Gary

Yer, right.

Oops.

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