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April 05, 2006

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clarice

Rick has it in html format on Yargb.

A quick look suggests to me that the judge was fair in resolving the motion on ex parte filings..

Rick Ballard

Tom,

Feel free to copy to your archives from the HTML version.

Her Serenity has been satisfied and the CEO of TAC may do as he wishes.

clarice

Don't you think he was fair, Rick? I do. No slipping in there with legal arguments the other side can't hear? No modifications or redactions without someone in the agency putting his John Hancock on an affidavit saying it's necessary.

Libby's lawyers are great--with a lot of other lawyer (and judges) the CIFA provisions would have been rejiggered into a piepeline to the judge's ear.

topsecretk9

I think he isn't buying it's not relevant on the one hand - but soo super sensitive we can't let them see it - Judge be a babysitter-- on the other.

It's funny actually with David Corns cluck clucking "greymail, greymail...the sky is falling" ruse, since it appears Fitz would like to turn anything that might help the defendant all sorts of top secret shades of grey...it's kind of like greymail in reverse.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

I think he laid a minefield for Fitz. I've read and edited the order and now I have to dig into it but there appeared to me to be a couple of logical traps designed to bring Fitzy to heel. Particularly on the 'OK, suckah, haul your expert in to tell me why TeamLibby can't take a peek at this."

I think that Judege Walton should offer to give Judge Tatel remedial lessons in judging.

Justice Roberts could give him a lesson on concision, though.

JM Hanes

Assuming Team Libby never really expected Judge Walton to preemptively tie his own hands behind his back, on a first reading, I'd say this ruling gives them about as much as they have any right to expect. Where the interests of Justice are concerned -- without regard to LIbby's particular circumstances -- I'd say Bravo Judge Walton.

Three bits in particularly fairly lept off the page. First:

Accordingly, the Disttrict of Columbia Circuit adheres to the "the firmly held main rule that a court may not dispose of the merits of a case on the basis of ex parte, in camera submissions"

The Special Prosecutor won't be making any Tate-style sealed arguments in Walton's court! Walton makes it clear (we're looking at you, Fitz) that the government has no explicit authority to make ex parte submissions except as specified by Congress in the case of classified documents, after the materiality of those documents has been established and/or litigated in standard fashion.

It is important to note at the outset that Section 4 of the CIPA is only implicated if the government seeks to "delete specified items of classified information form documents to be made avalable to the defendant through discovery...." By its terms, SEctio 4 applies only after it has been determined that documents are discoverable.....Accordingly, Secion 4 only applies after the threshold qestion of materialityis is made in favor of disclosure or the government agrees to disclosure without making a materiality challenge.

This third gem, however, positively blew my socks off:

Thus, this Court will require the government to justify, as part of any ex parte filing pursuant Section 4, that an ex parte filing is necessary. This submission must necessarily include a declaration or affidavit, executed by an intellligence community official with the requisite classification reveiw authority, which (1) describes the reasons for the classification of the information at isue, (2) sets forth the potential harm to national security that could result from its disclosure, and (3) explains why the defense, based upon approriate classification guidelines, does not have a "need-to-know the information" in its unaltered form.

Judge Walton has no intention of taking Fitzgerald's word as to what does or does not have national security implications. Whether or not we, the public, are made privy to any such affidavits, the government will finally be forced to put its money where (both sides of) its mouth has been. Key pieces of the puzzle which Fitzgerald has been strategically withholding up till now will either go into the official record of this case or be excised from the proceedings. This is an important ruling, both because it holds the Prosecutor to account and because it implicitly recognizes the importance of the trial record itself to the proper administration of justice (including potential appeals).

JM Hanes

Make that "Tatel-style sealed arguments." Even the PontiFFicatrix has to pay the piper (when was the BooksKeeper appointed CEO, btw?) for a missing letter now and then. OTOH, I did add an extra "ly" to "particular" in paragraph 2, so I'm really up by one, not down, aren't I?

Rick Ballard

Reread - Tom's the CEO. I remain the humble KGB.

It will be interesting to see where Fitz heads to pick up his security expert. There have been a few changes at the CIA since he was handed this most important assignment. I wonder if any of the numbers in his Rolodex still connect to people he might recognize.

clarice

That last graph was the most important thing, i think, too.

clarice

Yeah, Rick, there's that, too. No Foley. No Pavitt. Someone else will have to look at this with a fresh eye.

MayBee

ts- you HAVE been in Walton's head, haven't you?

Rick Ballard

And a fresh DCi with a nice fresh pen and the authority to declassify as he sees fit.

Javani

Rick:


Can Fitzgerald be appointed as the Special Intelligence Community Official?

Can he appoint himself as the SICO?

Can an ICO identify the UGO?

Jim E.

I thought Fitz already was providing affadavits and such when doing these ex parte filings. He wasn't?

Is it unusual for the judge to learn what the defendant's defense or defenses might be so early in the process without the prosecutors knowing?

clarice

"an intelligence community official" has to sign the affidavit..Unless Fitz has in his pocket a super secret order from Tenet making him Acting Super Agent for the purpose of this case.

Javani

"I thought Fitz already was providing affadavits and such when doing these ex parte filings. He wasn't?"

Maybe he, Fitzgerald, signed them.

"Is it unusual for the judge to learn what the defendant's defense or defenses might be so early in the process without the prosecutors knowing?"

Maybe Judge needed to be tipped off who the UGO was? Judge was impressed, ruled he wouldn't "sully the reputation" of the UGO.

Rick Ballard

Javani,

Not unless he can grant himself classification review authority. I am sure that I will have to retract my statement concerning Judge Walton's lack of concision. His order appears to be a fitting for a Fitz straightjacket.


"This submission must necessarily include a declaration or affidavit, executed by an intelligence community official with the requisite classification review authority, which (1) describes the reasons for the classification of the information at issue, (2) sets forth the potential harm to national security that could result from its disclosure, and (3) explains why the defense, based upon appropriate classification guidelines, does not have a "need-to-know me information" in its unaltered form."

topsecretk9

Accordingly, the District of Columbia Circuit adheres to the "the firmly held main rule that a court may not dispose of the merits of a case on the basis of ex parte, in camera submissions"
The Special Prosecutor won't be making any Tate-style sealed arguments in Walton's court! Walton makes it clear (we're looking at you, Fitz) that the government has no explicit authority to make ex parte submissions except as specified by Congress in the case of classified documents, after the materiality of those documents has been established and/or litigated in standard fashion.

KMH

I read it much as the same as you (particularly the Judge --hinted to in the transcript-- said it was up to the Gov't to defend the justification), but your comment made me think of something...

I could be totally off my rocker, but was this not essentially the same argument the defense made in a discovery request. -- something to the effect DC system requires you turn it all over Mr. Fitz and Fitz arguing that DC was not ( I am obviously not saying this very artfully)

But If so, wouldn't this be a bit if a slam to Fitzy's snooty response to the defense and feather in the defenses cap...as in, we sort of told you so Mr. Fitz.

Rick Ballard

OK, now I'll completely retract my statement concerning lack of concision and put on a dunce cap.

Judge Kennedy is saying "this is new ground and as such I must lay out my reasoning". The cites cluttered my mind.

Not that it takes much to do that.

topsecretk9

Ooops, make that JMH

Jim E.

I guess my question is: do we know whether Fitz *hasn't* already been using affadivits from intelligence officials in the past? I can't find it, but I have a memory of a CIA agent's affadavit in support of a Fitz motion being recently declassified.

We do know that Fitz asked for specific permission to pursue perjury and obstruction charges, and I've never read anyone suggest that such permission was necessary. So it seems there is some history of Fitz being extra diligent on such matters. For all we know, this won't change his life in the least. Or do we know for a fact that this amounts to anything?

clarice

Yeah, He's definitely Mr. Punctilious, Jim E. *Rolling on the floor laughing*

There are only 2 Fitz affidavits in the case I know about:The slippery eel misleading one to the Miller Ct on appeal and the one in support of the response to Libby's Motion to Dimiss where he says he had an unwritten understanding of Comey's unexpressed :intent" to limit his own powers.

Very meticulous, and in both cases risible.

JM Hanes

*Rick

Alas, we are hoist on our own reading comprehension petard yet again. Or maybe it's because I think of Tom as more Big Kahuna than CEO, or maybe I've just already exceeded my daily thinking quotient...

"I wonder if any of the numbers in his Rolodex still connect to people he might recognize."

Great question!

*tops

"it's kind of like greymail in reverse"

Great concept!

This place really rocks.

clarice

Maybe, he'll find out that Larry Johnson really isn't with the agency any more and the VIPS are not a branch of WINPAC.

Sue

Top,

They were talking about an open file policy. Fitz said DC was not an open file district. Our county DA has an open file policy. The defense attorney is invited to his office and handed the file. No secrets, no surprises. Of course, they aren't dealing with classified material so I understand the no open file policy in DC, but that is what Libby is asking for, to see the evidence. Fitz is saying no. And he is using every excuse he can find. No open file district. Classified material. Ongoing investigation. I'm sure I'm missing one or two excuses.

Sue

Mr. E.,

I'm with you. I don't think this changes much with the exception that Libby won in part and lost in part. That is always a plus for the defense team. And a minus for the prosecution. Even if it means turning over the stapler, the prosecution never wants the judge to dictate to them how to prosecute the case, even the mamby pamby things.

Sue

Clarice,

I'm still waiting on people to figure out Larry Johnson is certifiable. I still see him being cited as an 'expert'. Please. The man is off his rocker.

Sue

Mr. E.,

Oh, it also tells me the judge is trying to be fair. That is the biggest plus for the defense team.

vnjagvet

Another example of the Judge's keeping the playing field even for the defense.

It looks to me like he is (properly in my view) allowing the defense to steadily cut off Fitz's prime areas of prosecutorial wiggle room by reducing the "national security" issues only to those that are real.

I also like the part of the order dealing with "materiality". This allows the defense to focus on the triviality of the Libby statements alleged to be perjurious in the context of the facts of which Fitz was aware at the time Libby testified.

I think when all is said and done, the evidence will show that Fitz essentially sandbagged Libby (and perhaps his former counsel).

clarice

Thanks to AJ Strate, I have this from The Guardian
"WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge barred prosecutors in the CIA leak case Wednesday from making arguments that would be kept secret from the defendant, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff.

Lawyers for I. Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby are seeking a substantial amount of highly classified documents from the government so that the former White House aide can defend himself against five counts of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI. "http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,,-5736611,00.html

Short and sweet.

Sue

The judge has already hinted to the defense team he is going to limit Fitzgerald in what he can say during the trial. The defense team objected saying they couldn't prepare their case on the judge's possible limitations, but the judge definitely threw them a bone. Fitzgerald won't get in his funny little baseball analogies and who's on first scenarios.

Sue

Speaking of David Corn, wouldn't he be better off flying under the radar? The defense team could still be looking at him, whether Fitzgerald is or not. What did he know and when did he know it. I noticed The Nation was reporting on the 'envoy' story before Corn came out with his I didn't talk to anyone but I know lots of facts about her article.

topsecretk9

Sue

Corn has had this annoying habit of throwing a bunch of you know what on this story, just to see what sticks and then when he's called out on it he flames and crybabies.

So Sue, on the open file thing, then I was wrong...or did the Judge just make it an open-er file for them (as in, I told you so Mr. Fitz)

clarice

Opener--and very hard to cut and paste, ts..and very very hard to keep Libby from knowing what they are whispering in the judge's ear or doing with the docs..

Sue

No, he didn't create an open file in the sense that Libby was asking for everything Fitz has and the Judge ordered him to turn it over. Libby still has to argue, and win the argument, that what he is requesting is material to his defense. Bottom line, the Judge didn't create an open file scenario, but he offered Libby a key to slip inside, with the Judge's permission.

topsecretk9

Clarice
So in a sense, the defense said "give us your entire file" which is supposed to be open, Fitz said -"no, no, no...DC does not do open file" and so then the Judge said, well yes actually it is Mr. fitz (in a nutshell)

topsecretk9

Ah, OK Sue..thanks.

Here is an opportunity to take a few keys

and if you argue well, the keys you get will open the doors you want open

Sue

Top,

No, the Judge did not say he was going to open the file. What he said was if Fitz had something that was responsive to a request and was going to withhold it, he better have a damn good reason to do so. And there would be no secret (ex parte) arguments from Fitz or Libby or materiality. If the document requested is deemed material to Libby's defense by the Judge, then Fitz can still have an in camera (only the Judge will see the evidence) hearing and the Judge will decide if it is too classified for Libby's team to see it. That is why he asked for affidavits from intelligence officials on any document Fitz is going to claim is too sensitive.

Sue

"or materiality" should have read "on materiality".

Sue

In the past, Fitzgerald has been able to argue, ex parte (without defense present). Hence the Tatel ruling. That is why I said this is in one sense a good ruling for Libby and in another sense doesn't do much. Fitzgerald would have expected this ruling. The bar has stepped up for Fitzgerald. He is facing a defense team that wasn't present during grand jury testimony. He is no longer arguing probable cause, much tougher to argue beyond reasonable doubt. And the jury sitting this time won't be Fitzgerald's jury. And this isn't Fitzgerald's first rodeo. He has had feelers out on this judge, if he hasn't practiced in front of him before. I would bet you money he expected the ruling he got.

topsecretk9

Sue

I'm glad you keep telling me more.

What you wrote at 7:58 was my initial understanding, but I just had that nag memory of what the defense said and wondered if it related.

topsecretk9

if he hasn't practiced in front of him before.

He hasn't, but a member of his team has.

Sue

Top,

The motions to compel will be where the keys are either handed out or taken away.

Sue

I should have said hearings on motions to compel.

clarice

ts--This is only about classified material..But you can see that the Judge expects a lost of cooperation in turning over stuff that isn't classified. He wasn't born yesterday and can read..CIPA is not an open pathway to a secret trial in the absence of the defense.

Sue

Clarice,

I was just about to say this was a ruling on CIPA. Not ordinary discovery. Thanks. ::grin::

Sue

I'm typing faster than I'm thinking. I'm not sure I'm clear on this point. In the past, Fitz has been able to argue, ex parte, whether a classified document is material, before they even get to whether Libby should have it or not. The Judge shut that down. Materiality will no longer be argued ex parte.

topsecretk9

Well that's what I thought it was...I think I should have read what I thought the defense said before I David Corn'd the whole thing.

I felt from reading the transcript that the Judge was ever so slightly telling Fitz he was not buying the secret everything - and oh Judge you be the arbitrator.

Walton said as much..not my job to decide every piece of paper -- absent your showing -- Fitz's job.

topsecretk9

I shouldn't say Judges job, not appropriate for the Judge -- is what he was saying

Sue

That's it. The Judge doesn't like secret court. Realizing he is dealing with classified material, he expects some of it to be secret, but come on man, the guy on trial holds more secrets than the grassy knoll does. Come up with a better argument, basically, on why Libby can't be part of the trial.

topsecretk9

Sue

No doubt, because everything else they ask for he argues is not relevant so?

Sue

I'm not surprised he is arguing not relevant. I've thought his case was thin from the beginning. Even more so after filings and transcripts were released. I've wondered all along if the journalists hyping this story realized there would come a day when a defense attorney stepped into the arena. And man, what a team of defense attorneys. (I work for defense attorneys. I'm partial to them, but we do civil defense, not criminal.)

topsecretk9

This a total-recall comment (pasted here cuz the is a bounce going on)

I remember about 6 months ago, we unearthed a story in which the Dems were wanting to release a bunch of crud (this is sometime in 04) from Congress and Fitz stepped in a made a request they not, which put the Repubs in an awkward position of deny the request -- looking like they were covering, but they were honoring Fitz's request

I remember Fitz saying it was imperative and crucial to the case it not be released since the investigation was still ongoing.

Anyways...I'll look for it (I know CNN had the story) but, I can't possibly fathom today what could be so relevant (since nothing apparently is) and it just has so many shades on how he presented to Tatel...(an possibly more insightful nuggets)

Does anyone else recall?

anon

George Will mentions Fitz in his latest column ...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/05/AR2006040501955.html

topsecretk9

Not the exact article I was talking about, but getting warmer I think...( I was certain it was summer 2004, but appears I was wrong...2005?)

Time


"With the Senate making noises about possibly investigating the Valerie Plame case, some in the House are getting into the act. The Senior House Intelligence Committee Democrat has asked the State Department to hand over copies of a memo that has become a hot potato in the criminal investigation into who leaked the identity of a CIA officer said to have been operating under cover. The panel's top Democrat, Rep. Jane Harman of California, noted in her request that the Senate Intelligence committee already had copies of the memo, prepared by the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR).

The panel is seeking two similar versions of the memo, ordered up by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell and, before him, another senior official, in 2003. The documents reportedly detailed former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's 2002 CIA-sponsored trip to Niger to investigate a report that Saddam Hussein was trying to procure nuclear material from Niger. The memo noted Plame, Wilson's wife had a role in suggesting to other CIA officials that her husband would be a good person to send to Niger because of his experience on the continent as a career foreign service officer.

Beyond Fitzgerald's position on the matter, it was not immediately clear why Harman made the request alone, without the formal endorsement of panel chairman Peter Hoekstra of Michigan. "We have no comment at this time," Harman's communications director, Tom Reynolds, said by email. A Hokestra spokesman signaled that any request solely by the minority Democrats would not be given the panel's full weight. "No official committee request has been made," said Jamal Ware. It was unclear whether this would influence the State response."

topsecretk9

opps, for got the ellipsis's -- throw a few ... in between those paragraphs.

topsecretk9

Bit more, ( the WAPO link no longer exists)

"FITZGERALD: DOCUMENT RELEASE WOULD INTERFERE WITH INVESTIGATION. Patrick Fitzgerald, special counsel investigating the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity, warned the Justice Department that producing documents and holding hearings would impede his investigation, according to a September 14 letter the Justice Department sent to House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan. The letter, according to Reuters, advised the Comittee to block legislation to compel the administration to turn over documents relating to the case. Last week, House Republicans on the House Intelligene Committee rejected the proposed legislation, following party-line rejections of similiar bills in the House Judiciary and International Relations Committees. "

(typos preserved)

willem

OT.. This was interesting..

http://www.insightmag.com/Media/MediaManager/libby2.htm

topsecretk9

Date on last one is -Sep. 22, 2005

topsecretk9

Willem

The link isn't working, I'm cool with a link paste

clarice

Thanks, anon--earlier today when I listed all the cases Fitz was supervising, I forgot all those cases in Chicago.


Yes, ts-I vaguely remember there was talk of a hearing on the Hill and Fitz scotched it.

willem

Should have worked. Here's the link in plain text for copy/paste:

http://www.insightmag.com/Media/MediaManager/libby2.htm

topsecretk9

Clarice

I amy be wrong, but if you read the last two comments I left above (and I'll look for more)...this is fascinating. It was at a time when many were assuming the investigation would turn up nothing really (Woodward) but yet the memo was on UGO's watch...The proposal by Harman put the Repub.'s in a difficult situation of denying something they hadn't in the past (to my reading -- I could be wrong) AND appearing as if they were covering --- this is to remember...Dems thought the Fitz investigation would amount to nothing and were demanding a "report" in the event of no indictments.

clarice

That's a likely take.

Rockefeller was close to Wilson, too..From the infamous memo from his staffer to him (the Vice Chairman is Rockefeller to whom the memo is addressed):
"In the meantime, even without a specifically authorized independent investigation, we continue to act independently when we encounter footdragging on the part of the majority. For example, the FBI Niger investigation was done solely at the request of the vice chairman. We have independently submitted written requests to the DOD and we are preparing further independent requests for information. "http://www.hillnews.com/news/110603/memo.aspx

Not that calling Wilson to testify was their smartest move as it turns out.

topsecretk9

Thanks Willem for the link...because as odd as it is, it helps my little obsession tonight...which is Democrats wanting to release the State Dept. Memo.

Which (to me) perpetuates the notion that even Dems knew there was no "leak" and fully expected nothing from the Fitz investigation -- that the memo they were seeking to release demonstrates.


if the 'memo" was so damning, why on earth would they want it released before --the great Fitz--- was finished doing what they consider today to be the most thorough investigation ever.

Also, this shows Fitz was on a "First" known "White Hose" official crusade

topsecretk9

maybe a big, fat "oops" on Harman;s part?

topsecretk9

"White House"

topsecretk9

Beyond Fitzgerald's position on the matter, it was not immediately clear why Harman made the request alone, without the formal endorsement of panel chairman Peter Hoekstra of Michigan. "We have no comment at this time," Harman's communications director, Tom Reynolds, said by email.

The letter, according to Reuters, advised the Comittee to block legislation to compel the administration to turn over documents relating to the case.

MJW

Jim E.: "We do know that Fitz asked for specific permission to pursue perjury and obstruction charges, and I've never read anyone suggest that such permission was necessary."
We don't know that, in fact we doubt that very much (or at least the royal we doubts it). What we know is that Fitzgerald requested a letter from Comey to "clarify" that he had that authority. If Fitz had asked for permission to expand his investigation, that request would have no doubt been front and center in his response to Libby's dismissal motion. Instead, he's refused to reveal what his request was, and instead relied of newly-prepared afffidavits attesting to his psychic arrangement with Comey.

kim

Are all these things Fitz is saying about Comey subject to testimony from Comey?
=============================

Specter

Sue,

Not sure if anyone commented on this, but I wanted to get it in before I lost it in the black hole spots in my brain.

Open-file policies are not all they are cracked up to be. I know this for a fact. Many times prosecutors say, "This is it.", and still have tons of stuff in the wings that they plan to use at trial. In most criminal cases they show what they think will give the defense reason to take a plea following the precept of the court, "It's not about justice - it's about clearing the docket...."

Dwilkers

Guys, Libby's argument that the prosecution should not be allowed to make ex-parte submissions was wholey denied, the judges 'denied and granted' language notwithstanding.

That Walton said Fitz must demonstrate a need is paper thin. Fitz will always have an argument ready addressing why he needs to act secretly in this case, and saying Fitz has to have a signed excuse from mommy is a laughable qualifier. Fitz already has his buddy Comey dancing like a puppet, and I'm quite sure he can find someone to say some bit of document here or there contains national security info. Those guys make their living saying everything is a vital secret.

Fitz gets to make his ex-parte submissions and arguments. That's the bottom line of what this ruling says.

The defense cannot attend - its up to the judge to make sure Libby isn't getting screwed in these meetings, independent of any representative of Libby's interest being present. That's what they asked for, that's what they didn't get.

Sue

Specter,

The only thing I can attest to is our DA in the county where I live. He has a truly open file policy. At least in the limited experience we have had dealing with him. No surprises at trial. However, if he is withholding something that would exonerate a defendant, I don't guess I would be aware of that. I can see some DA's would claim to have an open file policy and withhold evidence. But, defense attorneys would be on to that after a time or two and not trust them and realize that open file didn't mean open file.

clarice

I don't agree, Dwikers. I think the judge gave Libby everything possible.I think whoever signs these affidavits has to really put his rear on the line. (And those left reportedly do not like Plame at all.I've seen reports no one spoke to her there after all this happened.)

Kim:Are all these things Fitz is saying about Comey subject to testimony from Comey?

Libby's lawyers have argues that if the judge decides these uncommunicated understandings are to be given any weight, he wants a hearing to examine Comey and Fitz and others at DoJ about them.

Sue

Dwilkers,

But Fitz will no longer be able to argue materiality ex parte. Which he was doing in the past. That is the big win.

anon1

I can't keep up with the legal tangle, but maybe ... just maybe .... Fitz isn't hiding stuff that would help Libby's defense. Maybe Fitzgerald is trying to keep under wraps things that may be politically damaging but not illegal w/r/t to certain members of the administration. And the more Libby pushes, the more Fitzgerald is going to have to release.

boris
Some documents produced to defendant could be characterized as reflecting a plan to discredit, punish, or seek revenge

Well, speaking truth to lies could be called discrediting, but it seems that is now characterized as punishment and revenge.

Like the commenter yesterday who wanted proof that Val was part of Joe's decision to blow his whistle publicly, but need's no evidence, much less proof, to assert that administration motives were malicious rather than defensive.

Specter

Sue,

I guess it depends on where you live. I have seen prosecutors called "on the carpet" with regards to open file policies. In one recent case the open file was a police report, and affidavits to go with the warrants. When motions to compel were filed for discovery purposes there were boxes and boxes of other stuff the prosecutor had. In this particular jurisdiction it happens a lot and so the "open file" policy is a complete joke and the defense attorneys know it.

Specter

anon1,

Let's release it then and see where the chips fall.

boris

Of course BJ did punish and take revenge on opponents and whistleblowers. (see Kathleen Willey's Cat)

I suspect projection.

clarice

Dang, Specter you startled me out of my revelry..I just had a vision of Comey on the stand explaining how he sent his intentions over the ether to Fitz ...

MayBee

Releasing information to the defense doesn't necessarily equal putting information into the public realm, right?
So anon1, I don't think you need to fear that the defense would turn around and leak the info that was damaging to the administration if the prosecution turns it over to them. Once its at trial, then it would be known to the public.
Although I don't think there's much to fear in that scenario. I don't think that's most likely the case.

kim

And Fitz responded through WaPo.
=====================

Sue

I read the NY Sun article. The headline is deceiving. I expected, from the headline, to read where Bush authorized Libby to leak Plame's role. That wasn't what the article said. Don't you love misleading headlines? Anyway, Fitz's response is interesting. If he really had all that he lays out, why didn't he indict on IIPA? The only thing I can figure, at this point and time, is she (Plame) didn't fit the requirements.

kim

You know, Boris, when you watch and listen to the public and private acts and speech of the fringe left you really sense that projection is a large part of the intellecatual malaise ailing them.
========================

noah

Powerline is requesting commentary from TM on a New York Sun article revealing that the President personally approved Libby's disclosure of NIE info to reporters.

SteveMG

Libby, testified to a grand jury that he gave information from a closely-guarded "National Intelligence Estimate" on Iraq to a New York Times reporter in 2003 with the specific permission of President Bush,

It's going to be interesting watching how Shuster and Matthews - not to mention Olbermann - report on this bit of news.

Interesting as in watching what horror has recently been performed on Joan Rivers' face.

SMG

kim

Fitz is out in the little scrabbly branches now, and the pack of vicious press hounds gather below. They've gone silent, each hoping for the advantage over their packmate which will allow them the prize.
=============================

kim

My comment? Why shouldn't he have? Now I'll read the article if it's free and not behind registration.
===============================

kim

I'm tellin' a CAT you all.
===============

Rick Ballard

From Fitz's latest filing:

"and the testimony of the government’s sole White House witness, Ari Fleischer, will focus on conversations with defendant regarding Ms. Wilson which took place in June and early July 2003."

Is he being cute about the WH and not including any VP staff? Or is he saying that no VP staff membes are on TeamFitz?

Since I now regard him as a cross between an eel and a weasel, it's hard to tell.

Jeff

Wow. That is a rather extraordinary filing from Fitzgerald. Cheney wanted Libby to disclose parts of the classified NIE to MIller at the July 8 meeting, Libby had concerns about classification, Cheney went to Bush - yup, that Bush - and got approval for Libby to disclose parts of the NIE to Miller. Libby went to Addington and got his opinion that presidential approval to disclose material constituted effective declassification - evidently it wasn't crystal clear to Libby that Bush had gone through the conventional steps for declassification, to say the least. It appears that only Bush, Cheney and Libby knew about this deal (Addington's knowledge is unclear), and they didn't even tell the key officials, including Cabinet level officials, seemingly including at least Hadley, that this declassification or whatever had taken place when, during the same week, there were discussions about declassifying that same NIE, along with the report from Wilson's trip and another document. Libby decided not to tell Hadley that he'd already disseminated the NIE that they were discussing whether to formally declassify. Pretty weird, huh? Why not just say, we don't need to waste time about declassifying that thing, it's already been done!

The account also raises the question of whether Cheney and/or Bush was in on Libby's alleged actions and intentions to disclose Plame's CIA affiliation to Miller as well at that same critical July 8 meeting.

It certainly shows new information about Cheney's rather active role in strategizing the response to Wilson, including discussion of Wilson's wife, in July 2003.

It's quite a gold mine, there's too much rich stuff to quote in one post, but the best bits might be around p. 23 and following.

Jeff

Rick - 33n12 might be relevant to your question.

anon

This bit is interesting ....
"While defendant may prefer to put the conduct of others on trial, he is not entitled to do so. Nor is defendant entitled to discovery so that he may examine witnesses at trial regarding their conduct and the conduct of others that is not germane to the issue of whether defendant lied and obstructed justice."

Libby's not exactly falling on his sword here, is he?

Chants

From the Sun's recent story cited above:

"Prosecutors argued that Mr. Libby covered up his role in the disclosures because "he knew the White House had publicly staked its credibility on there being no White House involvement in the leaking of information about Ms. Wilson." They also noted that Mr. Bush publicly declared he would fire anyone found to have leaked classified information."

It seems like the prosecution has articulated a theory as to Libby's motive in allegedly lying: he didn't want to get the president mad and he didn't want to get fired.

But there was a lot of debate over whether the president actually said he would fire the leaker. As I recall, the president's words were, "if somebody committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration." Then some reporter converted the statement into a pledge when he asked the president: "Do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?" The president, savvy communicator that he is, answered in the affirmative.

The president made the original statement in September of 2003, which is certainly before Libby's testimony before the grand jury.

The reporter rephrased the statement into an affirmative pledge to fire the leaker in June of 2004.

I think that the latest date that Libby testified was in March of 2004, about three months before the "fire the leaker" line started getting play in the press. So it is unlikely that Libby's relevant state of mind was shaped by it.

It could have been shaped by the president's statement in September of 2003, but that statement and the one cited by the prosecution as influencing Libby do not exactly match.

Also, to be fair, we don't know what statements were made in private that could have provided Libby with a motive.

But it looks like Fitz's theory of the case is based primarily on press clippings.

kim

Ari? Is this the one I think should be Tenet? I think Ari may be a witness for the accused as well as the people.
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Sue

Jeff,

You already knew that Cheney discussed Wilson's wife. It is in the indictment. Are you reading it again as if for the very first time? And you are as bad as the NY Sun. Libby, according to Libby, was given permission to discuss the key judgments of the NIE. Is there any indication that the NIE contains information about Plame?

kim

Chants, he's already claimed that Comey was aware of his proceedings through 'public accounts'. Perhaps he believed the press clippping were the method of his supervision from Comey. Logically, that should be his next argument.
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Sid

Excuse me, but have we seen the NIE being discussed. I lay odds that that no such document that references Val or even Joe this early in the game.

Whatever tidbits Libby was allowed to disclose from the NIE, I doubt seriously that the the document "named names".

Until the text of the estimate is identified, this is much ado about WHAT?

Sue

Fitzgerald was indeed looking into a conspiracy to discredit a whistleblower. He as much as tells us that in plain English with every document he files.

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Wilson/Plame