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May 22, 2006

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Comments

windansea

that's not a question...it's a couple of paragraphs...we need a shorter version

clarice

At the time you spoke to Libby, did you know Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA? Yes or no please.

Sue

I would ask him why he was the only journalist in Washington who didn't know about Plame at the time Libby called him.

Sue

Or you could ask him what exactly he had heard about Wilson prior to the phone call.

Sue

"Look, Little Russ, you have danced all around the question. Tell us, Little Russ, were you aware before Novak printed that Wilson was married to anyone, regardless of name, and were you aware she worked at some capacity for the government?"

maryrose

Mr Russert, As someone who attended the same college as my husband and has been jesuit educated as a good catholic tell us if you were covering for Andrea Mitchell and say it ain't so that you knew Wilson's wife worked for the CIA.

Neo

With all due respect Tom, by the time you got that question out Tim could have gone to the "little boy's room" and come back.

Cecil Turner

Doesn't matter. He ain't gonna answer it anyway.

Patton

"""will you tell us that, prior to reading Robert Novak's column on July 14, 2003, you had not heard rumors, heard allegations or asked questions about the possibility that Joe Wilson's wife worked at the CIA in some capacity? """

Or did you here the 'Wilsons wife' was involved in him 'being sent to Niger'...even if they didn't mentioned she was employed by the CIA by name.

kim

Truth does out, right, Tim?
================

owl

On June 13? you pushed Condi over Wilson's article. What background and GOSSIP did you receive to prepare for this interview?

maryrose

Owl;
I like your question because of the date attached to it and if he answered in the affirmative Libby would be cleared.

topsecretk9

--I would ask him why he was the only journalist in Washington who didn't know about Plame at the time Libby called him.--

HEH

PeterUK

Just why haven't th Plame Wilsons Sued?

topsecretk9

--Just why haven't th Plame Wilsons Sued?--

lots of cats and lots of bags.

Patton

Hey Timmy, Regarding Andrea Mitchells comment when she admitted valerie Plame was well known to reporters in her circles..

Is Andrea a ditzy blonde who doesn't understand simple and direct questions and tends to make fanciful false comments to her audience?

Did you reprimand Andrea for making the false statements or did NBC News in any way
tell the viewers on air that Andrea just had a giant brain fart and had actually never heard of Plame until the Novak article??

Do you believe she is fit to be a reporter since you apparently believe she just makes stuff up??

Or does that just put her on par with the jounalistic integrity of Shuster and Mathews.

Patton

And hey Tim when Chris Mathews tells his audience for the one thousand time that Bush and Cheney should have listened to Wilson....shouldn't he also concede that Bush and Cheney DID listen to Wilson, because Wilson said repeatedly not only did Saddam possess WMDs, but that he would use them against us.

richard mcenroe

Tom -- Whereupon Tim Russert will leap to his feet, pull off his lavalier mike, and snarl, "You're doing the work of the Republican National Committee!" before stalking off in a huff...

Wait, I seem to have heard of something like this before...

PeterUK

Mr Russert,have you ever been waterboarded by dozens of irate blog commenters?

Sara (Squiggler)

Mr Russert,have you ever been waterboarded by dozens of irate blog commenters?

Okay, I'm on my way to Office Depot to buy keyboard shrinkwrap and a screen protector.

PeterUK

Sara,
Pick up some board whilst you are there please.

Tom Maguire

With all due respect Tom, by the time you got that question out Tim could have gone to the "little boy's room" and come back.

I know, I know - Tim would have left, viewers would have passed out, and the questioner would still be going on. And on.

I need to separate the factual background from the question and just bash on.

JM Hanes

Tom

When everybody is parsing (and we are!), I'm not sure you can get the info you're looking for with a single question.

I'd use short specific questions. "Rumors or allegations" sound like free wiggle room to me. For example, if we're being technical (and we are!), speculation is neither rumor nor allegation.

Before asking about the kind of thing he might have heard, I'd want to establish that he had, indeed, heard of/about Wilson's wife (or even met her), regardless of context (which may, in fact, have been social). Something along the lines of:

Prior to your conversation with Libby, was Mrs. Wilson, whether by name or other designation ever mentioned by you or in your presence by colleagues/acquaintances/family?

I'd certainly ask if he and/or his wife had ever met/knew Mrs. Wilson before the Libby conversation.

First, and foremost though, I'd want to establish that the subject of the Ambassador actually did come up with Libby:

When you spoke to Libby (on or about...) did either of you refer to Joe Wilson or his wife in any fashion?

If you get that nailed down, you've got something to work with.

Syl

Russert does not remember. There's no point in asking him whether he told Libby or not, he doesn't remember. He also will not admit that he doesn't remember. He is just assuming he didn't know Wilson's wife worked at CIA because he would have told someone else if he new that. He doesn't remember THAT either.

------

Mr. Russert, is it true that you neither remember your conversation with Libby nor remember whether you knew Wilson's wife worked at CIA at that time?

And is it true that you assume you didn't know about Wilson's wife because you assume you would have acted on that information?

Therefore is it true that you assume you did not tell Libby that fact?

JM Hanes

Syl, that about sums up the state of the evidence! On the plus side for Team Libby, the defense really only has to get Russert to say "I don't remember" once. His memory, not his character, is precisely what they'll be trying to impeach.

Kate

A more upbeat assessment of Rove's status.
http://www.americanprowler.com/dsp_article.asp?art_id=9855

fletcher hudson

Tell us all you remember of your conversation with Libby?(he has never been asked that Q)

At that time:

You knew Joe

You knew he had a wife

you did not know she was know as V. Plame

You did not know she worked as a covert agent for the CIA

Tell us what you remember you knew at tht timr about Ms wilson

(from pretrial investigation refresh russert's memory as to anything he has ommitted)

You knew she worked for the US govt

you knew she worked for the CIA

You had conversation about wilsons wife with people employed in the media

You had conversations with her with mitchell

Do you remember discussing C Matthews with Libby

Do remember discussing R Armitrage with Libby

Do you remember discussing Wilson's wife with Libby

If yes stop

Jeff

It's worth noting that Fitzgerald has taken into account the possibility that Russert said something about Wilson's wife to Libby. His case does not depend on it. Indeed, his response to Libby's third motion to compel discovery says on p.11:

The central issue at trial wil be whether defendant lied when he testified that he was not aware that Mr. Wilson's wife worked at the CIA prior to his purported conversation with Tim Russert about Mr. Wilson's wife on or about July 10, 2003.

This swings free of whether or not Russert told him something about Plame. Maybe there will be a twofer: Russert will be shown to be a deep misleader, to his everlasting shame, and Libby will still shown to have been lying.

maryrose

Jeff:
hang on to your notion that Libby lied because quite frankly I think that's all you've got. You can't see this case any other way. Even I am reluctant to blame Russert but just how fast he testified without any fanfare or hoopla gives me pause. I agree with Syl ;I think he really can't remember all of it but was he aware of the Wilsons and did he travel in their social circles-OH Yeah!

boris

when he testified that he was not aware that Mr. Wilson's wife worked at the CIA prior to his purported conversation with Tim Russert

Perhaps you have a more complete version of the transcript than I've seen because that's only one of several intepretations of Libby's comments. If there isn't something clearer than "as if for the first time", Libby will likely be able to explain that away.

To paraphrase Clarice, Fitz should have asked: "At the time you spoke to Russert, did you know Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA? Yes or no please."

If Fitz didn't clarify the point it looks a lot like he thought he got something prosecutable and stopped because it was too good to check.

Cecil Turner

It's worth noting that Fitzgerald has taken into account the possibility that Russert said something about Wilson's wife to Libby. His case does not depend on it.

It's a good thing Fitz's case doesn't rely on it.

    Or on other things like:
  1. who had carried out covert work overseas within the last 5 years
  2. Not only was it classified, but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community.
  3. LIBBY confirmed to Cooper, without qualification, that LIBBY had heard that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA;
  4. the first official to disclose this information outside the government to a reporter
  5. Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other things, that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was “vigorously trying to procure” uranium.
  6. he knew or should have known it was classified
  7. Those annotations support the proposition
  8. The June 2003 New Republic article is relevant
Further, several of these are misleading or misstate the applicable law as well. For example: "covert work" is meaningless; "not widely known" is irrelevant, as is "should have known" and Libby's reluctance to speak of Wilson's (then-classified) trip in June, '03. Fitz's reliance on red herrings and flat falsehoods makes one wonder why, if his case is so good, he can't tell it straight. (A concept you'd think those on the left would embrace.)

Cecil Turner

I can't figure out what your point is.

The point is that those are all things that either aren't true, or Fitz can't prove, or that he claims he doesn't have to prove.

The "so?" is: why does he keep saying stuff like that?

Lew Clark

Well,
I contend that Russert "Knew, or should have known, Plame worked for the CIA". Can we indict him now?

Jeff

Cecil - I can't figure out what your point is. Some of those things you enumerate will be part of the case, some will be unless the judge rules them out, others won't be, and then there is a mistake and an error, neither of which will play a role in the case. So?

Cecil Turner

Ooh, I time-warped. (Again.)

clarice

It's like the errors in the NYT's reports. Whistle when they print a factually false report which inures to the Administration's benefit--In other words all thes misstatements are anti-Libby and the Administration. And many like the Cheney annotations lack probative value at all and will not be admitted into the trial, but so seem to be misrepresentations designed to smear Libby and the Vice President,

Jeff

Cecil -
1 was made in the context of the ongoing investigation, so I don't see what it has to do with the context of the prosecution of Libby. 2 I'm a little unclear on, but it will be a part of the prosecution of Libby, barring an adverse ruling from the judge. 3 Fitzgerald will attempt to prove at the trial. 4 was a double mistake, Fitzgerald failed to qualify the point the second time around, and it has turned out that Libby was not the first. 5 was an error which Fitzgerald corrected quickly (which I agree was not quickly enough - it never should have happened). 6 will, I take it, play a role in the trial, and be subject to proof. 7 i don't see the problem; you may disagree but that's what we have a trial for, and this will be a part of it, no - unless Walton rules that article inadmissable or whatever. Same goes with 8.

Syl

Jeff

His case does not depend on it.

Big whooopie yawn.

Pisistratus

If the case is so very weak, why does Bush allow it to continue? Certainly, Bush has the ultimate prosecutorial authority here.
Forget a pardon; Bush could just end it today by ordering the prosecution dropped.

He can't be worried about taking a hit in the polls. Dems will scream? please.

And if they're so ready to give up Libby on such a non-case, does that mean Libby was a dispensable chief of staff or is Bush/Cheney too intimidated to shut the thing down and grab him back. If the latter why?

cathyf

I have a problem with "proof" that Libby "lied" about not knowing about Plame while talking to Russert. Fitzgerald can prove that people talked about her in Libby's presence, or that he saw a report that discussed her, but that doesn't mean that he was paying attention. Even if he was paying attention it doesn't mean that he thought it was important enough to forget other vital national security information in order to make room to remember this piece of gossip. People ignore things all the time. People listen/read and pay attention while the discussion is happening but then discard the information all the time. We spend vast amounts of time, money, attention, and angst on education of all kinds at all levels and we know that even when people desperately want to learn and retain knowledge they have to work very hard to do so successfully.

What Libby's statements seem to say is that while he may have heard about the wifey gossip beforehand from government employees, he only learned and retained the wifey gossip when a reporter told it to him. I have seen no sign at all that Fitzgerald has any evidence at all that could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that what Libby claims happened could not have happened. Fitzgerald's "evidence" is that he didn't come up with any confirmation of what Libby says. But not coming up with confirmation is way different than coming up with proof of the opposite -- especially when your "investigation" didn't look very hard one way or the other.

cathy :-)

Cecil Turner

1 was made in the context of the ongoing investigation,

And was nonsensical: "covert" has a particular meaning in this context, and that isn't it. It appeared to be part of his argument as to why this was important enough to hold Miller in contempt . . . and Tatel, at least, bought it.

6 will, I take it, play a role in the trial, and be subject to proof.

It seems to me Fitz claims it needn't be. "If she turned out to be a postal driver mistaken for a CIA employee, it's not a defense if you lie . . ." But besides that, the standard for leaking classified information is "known."

7 i don't see the problem; you may disagree but that's what we have a trial for, and this will be a part of it, no - unless Walton rules that article inadmissable or whatever. Same goes with 8.

7 How annotations Libby never saw can possibly affect his state of mind is a bit of a mystery to me. 8 Likewise, a conversation about Wilson's trip being classified proves nothing about whether Libby thought his wife's status was likewise sensitive.

MJW

Jeff, quoting Fitz: The central issue at trial will be whether defendant lied when he testified that he was not aware that Mr. Wilson's wife worked at the CIA prior to his purported conversation with Tim Russert about Mr. Wilson's wife on or about July 10, 2003.

If prior has its usual meaning, then this is claiming that Libby testified that the conversation with Russert was the first time he'd heard Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. That seems to be contradicted by Libby's "as if for the first time" statement:

And I said, no, I don't know that. And I said, no, I don't know that intentionally because I didn't want him to take anything I was saying as in any way confirming what he said, 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.

The phrase "at that point in time I did not recall that I had ever known" is inconsistant with the notion that Libby was saying he actually had never known.

Perhaps Jeff will claim Fitzgerald has some more definitive statement by Libby that he's holding back. However, if I correctly recall the law, as a matter of due process in a perjury charge the allegedly perjurious statements must be set forth in the indictment, so that seems unlikely.

Patrick R. Sullivan

The question I would put to Russert would be about this from his conversation with Andrea Mitchell Oct 29, 05:

"I came back after that interview, after The New York Times piece, and there was a discussion about Joe Wilson and I didn't know very much. And then when I read Novak's column the following Monday, I said, `Oh, my God, that's it. Now I see. It's his wife, Valerie Plame, CIA, sent him on the trip. Now I understand what everybody was trying to figure out.'"

I'd ask him, if, a few days earlier, when he talked by phone with Libby, did he mention anything about 'everyone [is] trying to figure out' what's up with Wilson's wife being at the CIA?

Snarkley

You often praise the common sense of "Big Russ". What does he think about George?

kim

I don't think Fitz understands the subjunctive, certainly not the way Libby uses it. I think the jury will.
====================================

Pete

Doesn't this answer the "TM blurt-out questions"?

Colmes: You had no idea – was it known in Washington she was a CIA agent?

Russert: If it was, I missed it, I’ll tell you. ..... And I wish I had known.

Colmes: Was it your sense that he found that out from you before anybody else?

Russert: How could he? I didn’t know.

http://www.newshounds.us/2006/05/24/
tim_russerts_not_quite_complete_denial_
about_role_in_cia_leak_case.php

JM Hanes

That sounds pretty straightforward to me.

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