Potential witnesses in the upcoming criminal trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, as referenced in court papers by Libby's lawyers. The trial is scheduled for January:
_Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of state.
_Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary.
_Marc Grossman, former undersecretary of state for political affairs.
_Colin Powell, the former secretary of state.
_Karl Rove, the deputy White House chief of staff.
_George Tenet, the former CIA director.
_Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador.
_Valerie Plame Wilson.
_Stephen Hadley, the president's national security adviser. Libby's lawyers said Hadley may offer important testimony about discussions within the administration concerning the need to rebut Wilson's statements about his trip to Africa and its conclusions. In addition, said the defense, Hadley was active in discussions about the need to declassify and disseminate the prewar national intelligence on Iraq and had numerous conversations with Tenet. Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has said he plans to focus on Libby's disclosure of certain portions of the NIE to New York Times reporter Judith Miller, disclosures Libby told the grand jury he was authorized to make by his superiors.
_A CIA briefer referred to in the indictment, though not by name. The court papers identify the person as "Craig Schmall, Peter Clement or Matt Barrett." The indictment says that on June 14, 2003, Libby expressed displeasure to the briefer that CIA officials were making comments to reporters that were critical of the vice president's office and discussed with the briefer Wilson and Plame in the context of Wilson's trip in 2002 to the African nation of Niger.
_A senior CIA official referred to in the indictment, "who may be either Robert Grenier or John McLaughlin." Grenier at one time was the CIA's top counterterrorism officer. McLaughlin was deputy director of the CIA. The indictment says Libby spoke to the official on June 11, 2003 about the circumstances of Wilson's trip to Africa and was told that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was believed responsible for sending him on the trip.
_Former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow. Libby's court filing says the defense team believes that Harlow is the unidentified government official in the indictment who told Catherine Martin, assistant to the vice president for public affairs, that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and advised Libby of it.
While on Bill Harlow, the filing also says that:
At trial, the defense may question Mr. Harlow about whether the CIA made any serious efforts to prevent the disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s employment status, which the government alleges was sensitive and classified.
Oh my, how covert was Valerie Plame and why didn't the CIA press office exert itself a bit more to protect her secrets - why didn't they call Novak's publisher, for example?
I don't know if Joe and Valerie Wilson can be called "surprise witnesses", but their story may be interesting. And where are those court papers? Developing...
Here we go:
I have no doubt that the argumentation is fascinating, but folks in a hurry might just skip to the proposed order, which includes little jaw-droppers like this demand for:
(7) Any notes from the September 2003 meeting in the Situation Room at which Colin Powell is reported to have said that (a) everyone knows that Mr. Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA and that (b) it was Mr. Wilson’s wife who suggested that the CIA send her husband on a mission to Niger.
[NOTE: in the filing, the defense notes the reporting that Colin Powell had access to the INR memo on Air Force One on the President's trip to Africa, and wants to ask him about that.]
Well, let's just copy the whole thing - apparently the defense is going to attempt to document the entire genesis and result of the Wilson trip to Niger:
1. All documents and information generated or received by the State Department, the CIA, the Executive Office of the President and/or the National Security Council (“NSC”), concerning Mr. Wilson’s trip to Niger, including
a. the origins of Mr. Wilson’s trip to Niger, including any role played by Ms. Wilson in connection with the trip;
b. reports about the trip; and
c. subsequent discussion, comment or analysis concerning the trip, including government documents concerning the trip and/or Ms. Wilson’s role in it, that were generated after May 6, 2003.
2. All documents or communications reflecting any possible attempt or plan by any government official to punish or seek revenge against Mr. Wilson or Ms. Wilson.
3. All documents reflecting Mr. Wilson’s communications with officials at the State Department or other government agencies concerning his trip to Niger or the “sixteen words.”
4. All documents relating to the possible declassification of the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (“NIE”) (in whole or in part).
5. All documents relating to or reflecting public comments by government officials about the NIE or its contents prior to July 18, 2003.
6. All documents reflecting discussions within the government of whether to release a public statement during the week of July 7, 2003 regarding the inclusion of the “sixteen words” in the 2003 State of the Union Address, including all drafts of the July 11, 2003 statement issued by Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet.
7. Any notes from the September 2003 meeting in the Situation Room at which Colin Powell is reported to have said that (a) everyone knows that Mr. Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA and that (b) it was Mr. Wilson’s wife who suggested that the CIA send her husband on a mission to Niger.
8. The CIA’s criminal referral to the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) concerning the disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s affiliation with the CIA, and all documents referenced or relied upon in the preparation of the referral.
9. All documents or information concerning the identity of any government official outside the CIA who was aware prior to July 14, 2003 that Ms. Wilson worked for the CIA.
As used in this Order, the term “documents” includes all written or recorded materials of any kind, all e-mails and electronically stored information, and all video or audio recordings. In addition, as used in this Order, the term “government” includes the Department of Justice, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the White House and the State Department.
Can't fault them for shyness.
And we can't fault them for lacking a sense of humor either:
At present, the government has produced less than 12,000 pages of documents to the defense. This is a very small document production for a case that involves such complex issues.
The witness list is in the first filing; the AP story should be supplemented by this footnote:
In addition, numerous witnesses from the OVP may testify at trial. We do not include witnesses from the OVP on this list because in light of the government’s representation that it has produced all responsive documents from the OVP, we assume that the government has already produced documents from those witnesses that are responsive to the requests in this motion.
Well, I am still sorting through this, but point (2) is fascinating:
2. All documents or communications reflecting any possible attempt or plan
by any government official to punish or seek revenge against Mr. Wilson or Ms. Wilson.
having glanced through the motion, I can state the obvious - the rationale for this request is to discover whether Fitzgerald has any evidence to support the notion that Libby's motive to lie was his desire to conceal a larger plot. Is that a reasonable object of discovery? One might think so.
And it will be fun to see Fitzgerald's response; whether Fitzgerald has any relevant documents or not, I assume he will *not* answer with, "Sorry, we have no responsive documents". Keep hope alive.
John Dickerson gets a mention for his "Where's My Subpoena" column. The defense cites his point that the White House and the CIA were 'at war" over the sixteen words, and ruminates about possible anti-Libby bias on the part of thr CIA witnesses. No!
(And is this a "Back at ya, Pat" cite? Plenty of reporters have noted a White House/CIA war in 2003, but IIRC Dickerson was recently cited by Fitzgerald in some filing or other, so it will be harder for the prosecution to scoff at this).
The text on Marc Grossman is incendiary:
Documents pertaining to Mr. Wilson’s trip from Mr. Grossman’s files must also be examined carefully by the defense because Mr. Grossman may not be a disinterested witness. This week, Vanity Fair, the Washington Post and The New York Times, as well as other media outlets, reported that Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State, told Bob Woodward of the Washington Post that Ms. Wilson worked for the CIA. There has been media speculation that Mr. Woodward’s source and Mr. Novak’s source are the same person. If the facts ultimately show that Mr. Armitage or someone else from the State Department was also Mr. Novak’s primary source, then the State Department (and certainly not Mr. Libby) bears responsibility for the “leak” that led to the public disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s CIA identity. Mr. Grossman worked closely with Mr. Armitage, who was then the second-highest ranking official in the State Department. If Mr. Armitage or another State Department official was in fact the primary source for Mr. Novak’s article, Mr. Grossman’s testimony may be colored by either his personal relationship with Mr. Armitage or his concern for the institutional interests of the State Department.
So, State and the CIA - all liars! Ok, it's not that bad, and they are right - axes are grinding all over this case.
Re Colin Powell, the defense wants to grill him about the Sept 2003 meeting mentioned above as well as the INR memo on Air Force One. They also cite press reports that Ari Fleischer read the INR memo on AF One, so they want to chat with him about that and other things:
On cross-examination at trial, the defense will be entitled to question Mr. Fleischer on issues such as: (1) when and how he learned about Ms. Wilson’s identity; (2) the nature of his conversations with reporters; and (3) any efforts he undertook to criticize Mr. Wilson. If the press reports are correct, and Mr. Fleischer disclosed information concerning Ms. Wilson to reporters, he himself may have been a subject of Mr. Fitzgerald’s investigation. Mr. Fleischer may thus have a motive to shade his testimony.
As to recreating the background to the Wilson trip as well as the ensuing debate:
We expect that documents from the White House, the State Department and the CIA will corroborate Mr. Libby’s account that Ms. Wilson’s affiliation with the CIA was regarded throughout the government as a minor issue prior to Mr. Novak’s article. Such documents will show that the overwhelming focus of the government’s response to Mr. Wilson’s charges included making the following types of counterarguments (among others) to reporters:
- Mr. Wilson was not sent to Niger at the Vice President’s behest.
- The report of Mr. Wilson’s debriefing after his trip was not shared with the Vice President, or any senior officials in the White House or CIA, before the State of the Union Address.
- Contrary to Mr. Wilson’s claims, he did not debunk as forgeries documents suggesting that Iraq was attempting to purchase uranium from Africa.
- Mr. Wilson’s report was not conclusive.
Documents that substantiate these themes are material to the preparation of the defense because they contain what the Supreme Court calls the “persuasive power of the concrete and particular.” Old Chief v. United States, 519 U.S. 172, 187 (1997); see id. at 189 (“A syllogism is not a story, and a naked proposition in a courtroom may be no match for the robust evidence that would be used to prove it.”). In other words, a jury is not likely to be convinced that Mr. Libby was not focused on Ms. Wilson’s identity during June and July 2003 based only on his unsupported denials. The defense will need to demonstrate, in part through the documents sought by this motion, a more complete account of the government’s response to Mr. Wilson’s criticism, and the defense will also need to corroborate Mr. Libby’s version of events.
We are tantalized by this:
The documents we have requested may further corroborate expected witness testimony that within the government Ms. Wilson’s employment status was not regarded as classified, sensitive or secret, contrary to the allegations in the indictment.
Which witnesses are expected to say that? And how does the defense know that?
A lot is packed into this paragraph:
3. Mr. Libby Is Entitled To Demonstrate that He Had No Motive to
Lie to the FBI or the Grand Jury
The third independent reason why Mr. Libby is entitled to the documents requested in this motion is because they are relevant to issues of motive. First, Mr. Libby had no intent to lie because he did not believe that Ms. Wilson’s employment status was classified. Second, Mr. Libby was not part of a conspiracy to harm Mr. Wilson by disclosing his wife’s CIA affiliation and thus had no reason to cover up such involvement. Third, Mr. Libby did not believe anyone who worked closely with him had done anything wrong and thus had no motive to lie to protect anyone else.
That is a pretty strong statement - "he did not believe that Ms. Wilson’s employment status was classified".
And they are going to beat the Armitage drum:
Such a showing is critical because for over two and a half years, the “leak” of Ms. Wilson’s identity has been widely regarded as part of a White House plot to punish Mr. Wilson. In fact, a key government witness has made this allegation publicly. [the footnote refers to both MAtthew Cooper and Joe Wilson] Mr. Libby has been repeatedly and falsely accused of participating in such a conspiracy. It is now clear that such statements have no basis in fact. The primary source for Mr. Novak’s article is an official from outside the White House.
More on motive:
Mr. Libby intends to show at trial that because he knew that he was not a source for Mr. Novak’s article, he had no motive to obstruct justice or mislead the FBI or grand jury. The defense further intends to demonstrate that Mr. Libby did not participate in any supposed plot to punish Mr. Wilson by leaking his wife’s identity. Such facts will help to explain that Mr. Libby had no conceivable reason to lie, because he did not think that he or anyone with whom he worked closely had done anything wrong.
More CIA bashing on the criminal referral, in a footnote:
It bears mentioning here that the entire criminal referral by the CIA to DOJ may be infected by bias on the part of the CIA. News reports have indicated that Mr. Tenet, a potential witness in the case, sent a memo to DOJ “raising a series of questions about whether a leaker had broken federal law” while DOJ officials were mulling over whether a formal investigation into the disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s identity was even warranted.