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June 14, 2006

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topsecretk9

¿Qué? ¿Vaga ningún flipolio también? ¿Ningún Fitz un mayo? ¿Ninguna BANDERA DAYLIO de Fitz o? ...

JM Hanes

I'll go out on a limb here and predict that Fitzgerald will never ever put Cheney on the witness stand. He can't have any idea of exactly what kind of doors he'd be swinging open for the defense -- even if he were willing to risk having Cheney dispute his key interpretation of the VP's annotations on the Wilson editorial. There's no way Cheney can help Fitz's case, and every reason to believe he could be a one man shredder.

richard mcenroe

I'd LOVE to see Wilson sue Rove or Cheney. Right after Wilson's lawyer explains the word 'discovery' to him...

joe

or how about "no fitz, no mas?"

I'm sure you saw this link already
http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2006_06_11-2006_06_17.shtml#1150204225

I think you're the only person who has all this information to compare what Rove and Libby have said versus what Plame and wilson have lied, I mean said. I try and keep track, but my head wants to pop.

keep up the good work.

Jeff

I will just note:

Cheney was not considered a target or primary subject of the investigation and is not likely to become one.

is totally lame, or rather it tells us that Cheney was a subject of the investigation, just not a primary one, whatever that is supposed to mean. I bet Bush was not a subject of the investigation at all, primary or otherwise. As for not being a target - well, obviously. Didn't Libby become a target only once his indictment was certain?

This is not surprising, since we know from Judith Miller that Fitzgerald was asking questions about Cheney's involvement in a matter that, depending on the answers, could have been big trouble for him - though her answers were good for him, in the event.

Boy, Armitage didn't seem comfortable or even prepared. I took the whole thing to be a non-denial non-denial.

topsecretk9

--Cheney was not considered a target or primary subject of the investigation and is not likely to become one.--

or rather it tells us that Cheney was a subject of the investigation, just not a primary one,


Come on Jeff...really.

davod

If Armitage was the person who originally started the ball rolling, what was his motive.

If he let Libbey swing in the wind what does that say about Armitage.
With this talent he could get a job as a reptile in one of the more fashionable TV advertisements.

Then again, maybe he was shilling for his boss, Colin Powell.

Chants

Investigation of precisely what, Jeff? The outing a vital undercover agent who drove to the CIA ever single day?

Jeff

Chants - I can't believe after all this time your ideology clouds your ability to look at a simple question of fact. Your evidently offering rhetorical questions about a matter of evaluation. I was addressing the WaPo being spun on a matter of fact. Do you seriously think Fitzgerald was not conducting an investigation - regardless of whether you like it or not?

topsecretk9

Chants-- don't you see? It's your inherent cultism that prohibits you from seeing the real true thrust of this investigation, a thrust to heavily spun and secret, that even the mere mortal of any other persuasion than yearly Kos panel worthy are able to see? Geez, didn't you know? If it is denied it's proof it's spin...really...get with the program.


(that and Larry - stating Leopold like Cheney was in Fitz's "crosshairs" just prior to Leopold and source lecturing at YKos and you know Fitz is holding 22 folders marked indictment Larry said Oct. 05-- AND Larry raised his hand in a scientific Kos Panel poll on Rove flipping)

Patton

The Libby prosecution does not incolve any crimes re;ated to the bigger case...that is what Fitz tells us. How would Libby's trial have anything to do with the larger investigation when the judge and Fitz say they won't go there.

Fitz will not call Cheney.

And please leftists, stop making predictions...you are sooo bad at it!

Bob

I've always thought that this was just an election year story cooked up to hurt Bush. They were hoping that Bush would be damaged by this... he would loose, and the story would die. They never thought that it would have gotten this far. They simply overplayed their hand. This is why IMHO, that Fitz has been hell bent on finding something for the Democrats. I think Fitz has done everything he could and there just isn't any "there" there. By the end of the summer this will all go away, along with the Duke Rape case, and the Times Haditha story.

Keep in mind these types of stories at one time could be controlled by the MSM, but thanks to Al Gore, we have the internet. And the small voices can finally expose these stories for what they are... hatchet jobs!

ordi

Mr Luskin speaks about TruthOut's actions. Let's just say he was not pleased.

Rove Case Lawyer Blackberries Karl: ‘Fitzgerald Called’

http://www.observer.com/20060619/20060619_Anna_Schneider-Mayerson_pageone_newsstory2.asp

ordi

Shoot the link got screw up

http://www.observer.com/20060619/20060619_Anna_Schneider-
Mayerson_pageone_newsstory2.asp


Pofarmer

Now this'll be interesting. One of the primary theories was that Fitz indicted Libby to get him to "flip" on somebody. Well, now that there's nobody left to flip on????? Does his case just evaporate? More than it already has, I mean.

Dwilkers

OK here's the thing though, the idea that the investigation is over springs from the idea that Rove was the target. It is based on the preconception that all Fitz was doing was trying to get the dastardly WH plotters.

That's the left's meme, that's the MSM's meme.

Is it wrong to think that Fitz may still be trying to pursue what really happened, IE Armitage or whomever?

Yesterday I posited that the reason Fitz finally cleared (so to speak) Rove was that Walton allowed the Cooper drafts and he (Fitz) figured out Cooper wasn't going to be a credible witness. Last night I realized that Fitz may have never seen the drafts prior to Walton's ruling. IIRC Libby's guys subpoenaed the docs from Time - it wasn't a discovery demand of Fitz.

Am I off on this?

I think the Cooper draft thing combined with the Leopold firestorm combined to pressure Fitz into clearing Rove. But that doesn't mean Fitz has nothing to pursue if he chooses to do so, nor does it indicate what Fitz was doing in the first place.

Er....I think...

Tom Maguire

There's no way Cheney can help Fitz's case, and every reason to believe he could be a one man shredder.

IIRC, Maureen Dowd said that when you meet live with Cheney, you nod non-stop in agreement and walk away in awe. (Or words to that effect, with possible hyperbole on my part).

Besides, there is no way he comes off as the Darth Vader caricature, so the jury will be bound to be impressed.

Tom Maguire

From Jeff:

Cheney was not considered a target or primary subject of the investigation and is not likely to become one.

is totally lame

I agree - it seems pretty obvious to me that Fitzgerald had his sights set on Cheney. Maybe the Libby-Tenet cover-up held (Cheney says he heard about Plame from Tenet, but Tenet does not recall that chat), or maybe there was no cover-up (my guess, natch), but Cheney was only "not a target" in a technical sense.

Of course, after-the-fact Fitzgerald would welcome that spin as well - why highlight your misses?

jwest

I made a point of watching every cable news/opinion show last night to gage the reaction to the Rove announcement.

Oh. My. God.

With the exception of a brief moment of lucidity provided by Byron York on Hannity & Colmes, not one host or “expert” had even the basics of the case right. I’m not speaking of differences in speculative theories or interpretation of nuances, but clear, proven, court documented facts easily available to anyone capable of reading.

It is definitely time to put TM and Clarice on the talk show circuit.

Rick Ballard

Fitz might have had just a teeny, tiny problem with Cheney's explicit authority to declassify had he truly pursued that avenue.

I believe that he might have had guilt by association on his febrile mind but I don't believe there is a criminal statute covering "failure to follow procedure in the exercise of authority". If Cheney said "she's declassified as of this moment" or if he said anything like that then what would Fitz be investigating?

"Lying to a fool" perhaps, if Fitz felt that Cheney had actually lied to him in his face to face with Cheney.

Gary Maxwell

Jwest

You are starting with the presumption that the Networks and their chosen "experts" are working to find the truth and inform their audience. If that presumption is, lets say faulty, then you might see more logic in the performances.

boris

your ideology clouds your ability

Quack!

jwest

Dwilkers,

I believe you have it right.

Fitz didn’t appear to have known the content of the drafts prior to Walton’s ruling, so the judge’s comments on Cooper’s viability as a witness must have come as a shock. Without Cooper, there was no case against Rove.

The good news is that Walton’s comments about the drafts were made in the evaluation of Libby’s case, so look for Fitz to drop the 2 indictments that pertain to Cooper.

I would bet that Fitz was not a happy puppy after reading Cooper’s other versions of the “truth”.

(On the subject of unhappy people, check out FDL. After purging all dissenting views at her blog, Hamsher is turning her cosmic-level PMS on her supporters. Ouch!)

jerry

IMO, this triumphalism is as premature and unjustified as the KOSsies at their recent convention.

Dwilkers

Come on TM.

I'll buy that Fitz would have gone after Cheney if he had something, but only if it was something BIG.

Since Fitz gave up on the outing part of it almost a year ago what would he be going after Cheney on? Cheney didn't appear before the GJ. IIRC he didn't even testify under oath.

So what would he be pursuing Cheney over? Witness tampering or obstruction? There's never been any evidence of that as far as I can recall.

I seriously doubt he "had his sights set on Cheney". Going after a sitting nationally elected executive would be carzy unless he had an ironclad case on a serious crime. That Cheney hoopla is fever swamp stuff.

Unless Fitz really IS from the fever swamp, the case for which is seriously undermined by the Rove announcement.

Sue

From over at firedog...

I have never understood how the “junket”/nepotism smear had traction. Wilson was a highly regarded ambassador to Irag, and also to Niger. His wife worked in Irag; she was an expert on WMD proliferation. What more appropriate person to send to niger!!?? The word “junket” on the clipped artical is a marching (smear)order to Libby.

The mentality needed to get from A (never understood smear) to B (marching (smear) order) in the above paragraph boggles the mind.

topsecretk9

ast night I realized that Fitz may have never seen the drafts prior to Walton's ruling. IIRC Libby's guys subpoenaed the docs from Time - it wasn't a discovery demand of Fitz.

Am I off on this?

Dwilk and Jwest...yes this material was over and beyond what Fitz had and the "drafts" in question are from Coopers AFTER GJ accounts (so Fitz would especially not have those...)

(On the subject of unhappy people, check out FDL. After purging all dissenting views at her blog, Hamsher is turning her cosmic-level PMS on her supporters. Ouch!)

Yes I noticed the purge too...there are all these responses to comments that have been deleted. Weird.

topsecretk9

is wife worked in Irag; she was an expert on WMD proliferation.

OK, that was funny Sue...but Valerie worked in Irag? IN? I didn't know that ::grin::

Sue

What they find humor in over there is so childish. And they want to be taken seriously...

Sue

Top,

Hey, I just report 'em...I don't write 'em. ::grin::

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Chants - I can't believe after all this time your ideology clouds your ability to look at a simple question of fact.'

Stones...glass houses.

Wilson's a liar

Dwilkers - great catch.

I think Fitz has just been outgunned by two extremely great attorneys in Bob Luskin and Ted Wells. Luskin should go down in the annals of legal history. Even David Shuster gave him props this AM on MSNBC. He said Luskin was consistently able to keep a "foot in the door" to keep Fitz from slamming the door of indictment, and kept finding new bits of info to shove through that crack in the door. Finally Fitz just gave up and decided he was never going to have enough material to let him close that door. For once I think Shuster was right. (BTW, he also admitted that most of his info and conclusions were coming from lawyers whose clients had testified in the case and they all thought Rove would be indicted.)

I also believe that after the Leopold incident, Luskin really put the hammer down on Fitz to clear Rove now and move on. I think he convinced Fitz that the longer he went on without doing anything with Rove, the worse HE looked, and that he wasn't going to find anything else at this point to make his case against Rove any stronger. Fitz did the right thing, but I conclude that he did so only because of masterful and unrelenting pressure from Bob Luskin to do so, and masterful managing by Luskin of his client and his five GJ appearances. Luskin pretty much painted Fitz into a corner IMO. He may have gotten an unexpected assist from Wells with the Cooper drafts, but we'll never know about that.

maryrose

Unfortunately people are still trying to defend Joe's trip but nowhere do they admit that he was not sent by Cheney. That behested meme still crops up. I also was astounded by the amount of misinformation stated as fact with no correction. thank God they put Schuster out of his misery.
Jeff:
Four words: Give it a Rest. Also admit you were wrong about Rove please!

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Wilson was a highly regarded ambassador to Irag'

As Ann Coulter points out in her new book, Wilson hadn't risen above being a gopher for the diplomats. He was an administrative officer. His job was to see that the embassy had enough soap and toilet paper.

His big break was being the highest ranking State guy in Baghdad when Saddam invaded Kuwait. That meant he was the only person available to relay messages between Saddam and James Baker.

Other Tom

Would somebody provide a summary of what was in Cooper's notes? Somehow I missed it, and am not sufficiently adept to find them now.

Gary Maxwell

FDL

I got a big chuckle yesterday or the day before on the Hamster going off on the Wonkette. Repeated references to what she put in her anus, sometimes in graphic detail and sailor lingo.

Now is it just me or is it quite telling that she uses the term "highly regarded" to modify the diplomatic corps? Who holds the State Dept or the UN in high regard? Not to mention one Joseph Wilson IV.

Dwilkers

We don't know Other Tom, we only know Walton said there were "slight" variations in his draft that could be used to impeach Cooper's credibility. He (Walton) said something close to 'his testimony at trial cannot agree with both versions'.

Dwilkers

TSK9-

yes this material was over and beyond what Fitz had

OK I didn't realize it at the time, or the full import of that event.

Can you imagine how that much that had to suck for Fitz and how tickled Libby's lawyers were?

Wow Fitz must have been SPITTING mad when he left that day. Not only did he get blindsided by impeachment material in Cooper's own hand on the Libby thing but his whole hoped for action against Rove blew up in his face.

I am more convinced than ever that this is the seed that led to the announcement on Rove. If Fitz was teetering before then this shoved him off the fence.

jwest

I don’t know why I feel the need to go against the flow.

Just….can’t…help…it.

On the point that Rove’s indictment was dropped due to Luskin’s skill as opposed to some seismic shift, even Luskin agrees. He basically stated that there was no one factor that led Fitz to end the threat of indictment, but a simple review of all the evidence.

I just don’t buy that.

Fitz was not under any undue pressure to take the sword away from Rove’s head. As the Libby trial preparation progressed, something may have popped up to strengthen whatever case he thought he had. But, nearly 3 years into this, Fitz drops the Rove investigation. Why now? And if it was due to the Cooper drafts, why would Luskin try to lead people away from that conclusion?

There are a number of scenarios I can think of explaining it, but for now it would be interesting to know if anyone other than dwilkers and I think the drafts were the key to the Rove dismissal.

clarice

I think it was the icing on the cake. But I think he realized he hadn't much of a case by then..there was Armitage after all, the reason for forgetting a 2 minute conversation was plausible, Cooper was already a bad witness, having forgotten the welfare reform bit, and the judge was signalling he expected the gj excuse for not turning over evidence would end soon.

topsecretk9

--anyone other than dwilkers and I think the drafts were the key to the Rove dismissal.--

--Can you imagine how that much that had to suck for Fitz and how tickled Libby's lawyers were?--

Well considering that Libby's team threw the proverbial kitchen sink subpoena out there just to see what stuck..yes (which I think is a point Dwilk made before)

I mean, Libby's team had no way of knowing if Coopers after GJ "drafts" contained anything relevant to them and to think they not only were relevant so relevant the Judge revealed Cooper's testimony is in big trouble!

I do think it was a great big nail in the coffin.

topsecretk9

--I am more convinced than ever that this is the seed that led to the announcement on Rove. If Fitz was teetering before then this shoved him off the fence.--

Imagine...he has a big fat Grossman problem in regards to UGO and Rove and Libby (mostly Libby though) and now a big fat Cooper problem in regards to Rove and Libby...what would you do if you were he?

Be mad at Cooper, but really, really mad at Grossman and Wilson -- is what I think, but then that is what I think he ought to be...

jwest

Clarice,

You’re probably right (as always).

My obsession with the drafts is mainly due to the timing, clearing Rove so soon after they were given to Fitz.

jwest

TS,

Fitz had to be steaming mad after reviewing the drafts, just on the Cooper credibility issue.

Since Walton reviewed the documents in relation to the Libby case, his comments must have been geared toward Libby’s situation. That this affected Rove (in my estimation) was the icing on the cake.

The key question is what were the actual differences in drafts to the article? Did the drafts just put Cooper’s credibility into question or was there something that might have opened Fitz’s eyes to possibility that he had be “played” by Wilson et al.

Sure would be fun to read them.

Dwilkers

OK then, assuming that the Cooper thing was at least a significant contribution, I think there's a chance Fitz will bail on the Cooper counts against Libby.

My guess is that the reason Fitz found the case against Libby compelling is the number of people he had saying Libby lied. It wasn't just, say, Russert, it was a cumulative thing. I think he thought the weight of all the disagreement with Libby's statements made each count stronger - each count might not be provable, but all together they indicated a pattern of behavior that he could demonstrate to the jury.

If both of those guesses are true then he took a big hit with the Cooper thing. If Cooper isn't credible then it weakens the rest of his case - assuming he pursues the Cooper counts in front of the jury.

If a good defense attorney can induce doubt about Cooper's testimony he can also use it to produce doubt about all the other reporters. They are in the same profession after all. I think it would be relatively easy to make that tie.

So Fitz has to decide whether it serves him to have the Cooper counts (and Cooper as a witness) or not. Based on that admittedly long line of speculation I bet you Fitz drops the Cooper counts.

Dwilkers

Be mad at Cooper, but really, really mad at Grossman and Wilson -- is what I think

This is why I have always thought Armitage was in serious trouble. Fitz has to be pissed at Armitage. For Fitz Armitage will be the one that made a fool of him at his presser when he said all the 'first known' stuff. Fitz is human after all.

cathyf
I believe that he might have had guilt by association on his febrile mind but I don't believe there is a criminal statute covering "failure to follow procedure in the exercise of authority".
If Fitzgerald was (is?) really after Cheney, it's for the "crime" of attempting to exercise authority over the CIA. If that's what Fitzgerald was really up to, it is something that the founding fathers would have understood quite well. When the FF set up "checks and balances" they did not create the phenomenom of a branch of government jockeying to grab power from another branch of government. Instead they harnessed what was already there naturally. They created three branches of government, set up so that there are clear lines of authority that lead back to the top. In all cases the top are people who are either elected, or appointed/confirmed by people who are elected, or are appointed by the people who are elected or are appointed/confirmed.

Until December, 2004, that is. Fitzgerald's position is extra-constitutional in that he is not supervised by anyone. And if our lefty friends are right that Fitzgerald was after Cheney from pretty much the beginning, it is a fascinating confirmation of the founding fathers' wisdom. Here we have the first appointment of someone outside of the supervision of any of the 3 branches of government, and within his first 2 months in office he is already attacking one of those branches for exercising their responsibilities. The responsibilities that the Constitution expressly assigns to them and holds them accountable for.

Gee, even the Star Chamber took decades to degenerate into utter depravity.

cathy :-)

Jeff

Tom - I don't know if you saw it, but emptywheel had sort of an interesting speculative hypothesis in this connection about Libby's testimony, apparently not true, that he leaked about Plame to Glenn Kessler. The basic idea was that perhaps it paralleled (your thought on) the point of Libby's testimony that he brought up Plame with Cooper, and was covering for Pincus's source, presumably in OVP and, on this speculation, Cheney. I have no idea whether that's the case, but it is coherent: it was public knowledge that a Post reporter had been leaked to on July 12, but it was unknown - and apparently took Fitzgerald a while to figure out - which reporter it was. So, on this speculation, Libby covers Cheney's tracks as Pincus' source by testifying that he told Kessler about Plame, just as, on your thought, Libby covered for Rove's conversation with Cooper with his testimony about bringing up Plame with Cooper himself.

Also admit you were wrong about Rove please!

maryrose - I don't mean to single you out, since you are far from alone in this habit, but you recurrently demand that I admit I was wrong about some claim that I have never made. What was I wrong about about Rove? I do not believe I predicted that he would be indicted, in fact I repeatedly said that I either had no idea whether he would be or not or was skeptical that he would be indicted. Do I still think he lied? Yes. Is that wrong? Hard to tell, but it's a good faith best judgment.

topsecretk9

---If both of those guesses are true then he took a big hit with the Cooper thing. If Cooper isn't credible then it weakens the rest of his case - assuming he pursues the Cooper counts in front of the jury.---

And well Judy says she never felt Libby was on a "smear" campaign and Russert doesn't even recall talking about it with Libby (and originally all Libby said to Cooper is "I heard that too")...so if any one of the 3 weakened in a bad way all 3 fall down in the grand prosecutorial scheme, don't they?

topsecretk9

Dwilk...forgot to add, since none of the 3, alone, all that strong to begin with...as a stay together 3, you have a better chance

topsecretk9

--This is why I have always thought Armitage was in serious trouble. Fitz has to be pissed at Armitage. --

I tend to think he is more irritated at Grossman, for it is he that prevents him from doing anything about Armitage because it will hurt his Libby case...indict Armitgae, who is Army going to say gave him all of his classified Plame info? Grossman. And Army, of course, was Mr. Boondoggle -- I.e. discouraging reporters from writing -- which indicates Grossman did not WARN Army in the same fashion (much earlier in June mind you) that Grossman told Fitz he did Libby.

IOW's if he indicts Army than Grossman weakens in US vs. Libby.

Sort of what you might call a "cluster F***"

JM Hanes

I do think Fitz was targeting Cheney (& Rove). On rereading what we've got of Libby's grand jury testimony, I was recently struck by how many of the questions Fitz was asking related, not to Plame, but to the NIE and its classification status.

When the press "reported" that Fitz was "fingering Cheney" in the uproar over "key judgments" in the NIE, they may have been more right than wrong about Fitzgerald's intentions. Seems to me an annotated newspaper clipping would almost have to be the tip of an iceberg of documents he must have been combing through from the VP's own files, not just Libby's. What Libby was supposedly obstructing was not the investigation into his own culpability. Fitz was trying to get to Cheney & Rove, and Libby was standing in the way.

Libby's guilt or innocence on the underlying crime was never important, but his position on the ladder in an investigation targeting the VP/Rove was. Libby was already on record by the time the Special Counsel was appointed, and I suspect that Fitz had identified him as a potentially vulnerable key to moving higher up, when he asked for clarification of his authority. Whether to get around the obstacle Libby presented or to "flip" him into usefulness, Fitz had to charge him with something. That's really the only way the deliberate narrowness of Fitz' focus on Libby related testimony makes sense. He couldn't afford to come across exculpatory evidence which would constrain his ability to launch a Libby indictment. I believe he never actually expected this case to get to trial.

Wilson's a liar

Getting Karl Rove was the whole POINT of this entire charade, which was nothing but a Kerry campaign dirty trick writ large. I sure hope Woodward or Novak or somebody really does spill all the beans someday. It's going to be verrrry interesting, and the careers of some political consultants and journalists will be ruined.

JM Hanes

I might add that the supposition that Fitz didn't think the Libby case would go to trial suggests yet another compelling reason to keep out as much of the "big case" as is humanly possible. He has got to be looking to get this unanticipated exercise out of the way as quickly as possible.

This is a bigtime rock & hard place for a high profile prosecutor, because the one thing he can't do is drop any of the charges without deep sixing his own credibility -- and diminishing the effectiveness of threatening such prosecutions in future cases. Better to take the hit that a dismissal might entail and then spin it, or let your defenders spin it, in the political arena

JM Hanes

Make that a dismissal or a not guilty verdict above.

Rick Ballard

JMH,

What statute do you think that Fitz had in mind for Cheney?

As Cathy notes, exercising control over the CIA would be a long reach.

Given Cheney's authority to declassify, I don't see a statute that fits.

Jane

Fitz was not under any undue pressure to take the sword away from Rove’s head.

My conjecture is that some pressure was applied during the status hearing on Monday. The Judge pressured Fitz on something and that revalation made the Rove indictment untenable. I suspect it involved Cooper.

I don't know the facts well enough to fill in the blanks, but it's the only thing that makes the timing work.

Rick Ballard

maryrose

Jeff:
Thank you for your answer. I guess we have to agree to disagree. I don't think Rove lied, you do. It's a stalemate.

Jeff

maryrose - So am I to take that as a backhanded acknowledgment that the premise of your question was inaccurate?

verner

Does anybody remember when General Paul Vallely came forward and said that Joe Wilson had outed Val to him in the Fox greenroom, and Joe sent an e-mail to Wolf asking him if he could sue?

Remember when Wolf sent the threatening e-mail after he had inadvertantly sent the e-mail from Joe to a news outlet that went on to publish it?

As I recall, the General did not back down, and the e-mail was not retracted. Did any high profile law suit come from all of that? No, I didn't think so.

cathyf
Getting Karl Rove was the whole POINT of this entire charade, which was nothing but a Kerry campaign dirty trick writ large.
I have to agree with Seixon -- it looks to me like the point was Cheney first and Rove second. But the means chosen -- setting up an extra-constitutional one-man fourth branch of government accountable to no electorate or elected official -- basically guaranteed that what started as a war on Dick Cheney would quickly convert into a war on the office of the vice president. And indeed the constitution's whole notion that the executive branch is accountable to the people specifically elected to be in charge of it. Since Fitzgerald is acting outside of the constitution, the constitution is very threatening to him personally.

cathy :-)

Jane

it looks to me like the point was Cheney first and Rove second.

I disagree, based on the "frog-march" quote that started this whole thing off. I think the goal was always to get "Bush's brain" in another attempt to disable the presidency. Don't forget, those guys actually believe that stuff.

JM Hanes

Rick

"What statute do you think that Fitz had in mind for Cheney?
As Cathy notes, exercising control over the CIA would be a long reach.
Given Cheney's authority to declassify, I don't see a statute that fits."

Ay, there's the rub, eh? I can't really even hazard a guess as what statutes Fitz might have had in mind; I think it would depend a great deal on what he was expecting to find. He had certainly spent time examining the relevant statutes old & new, and I suspect, if necessary he'd have proved willing to dispute Cheney's authority (recalling how Libby's request for confrmation was characterized). That said, however, I think he'd also have been willing to use statutes of any sort whether related to the original referral or not (think Al Capone).

BTW, I've also begun to suspect that Fitzgerald's highly unusual press conference bafflegab about the consequences of outing an agent wasn't primarily aimed at informing the public, but at applying pressure on Libby himself. He certainly tried to make it sound like Libby, among others, remained at risk of prosecution for the underlying crime -- a useful card to have in your hand if you're contemplating a negotiation.

cathyf
I disagree, based on the "frog-march" quote that started this whole thing off.
Oh, I agree that Rove was Wilson's target, but I think that the larger cabal of the CIA mutineers and VIPSers were targeting Cheney. He is the guy busting their chops over their incompetence.

cathy :-)

Other Tom

Concerning Fitz's press conference, recall that Fitz expressly disavowed any claim that actual damage occurred to the CIA. I doubt he'd have done that if he wanted Libby to fear prosecution for an "underlying crime," which would have faced a host of additional hurdles as well. By the time of that presser, Libby had to know very well that Fitz could never make out an IIPA or Espionage Act count.

More important to me, however, is the question of just how Libby could "flip," even if he wanted to. So far as we know he answered every question asked by the investigators, and every question before the grand jury. If he had any goods on Rove or Cheney, one would expect that to have been surfaced and explored in the course of his testimony. What more could he offer?

Jane

Oh, I agree that Rove was Wilson's target, but I think that the larger cabal of the CIA mutineers and VIPSers were targeting Cheney. He is the guy busting their chops over their incompetence

What was Cheney doing?

Tom Maguire

Come on TM.

I'll buy that Fitz would have gone after Cheney if he had something, but only if it was something BIG.

Since Fitz gave up on the outing part of it almost a year ago what would he be going after Cheney on? Cheney didn't appear before the GJ. IIRC he didn't even testify under oath.

So what would he be pursuing Cheney over? Witness tampering or obstruction? There's never been any evidence of that as far as I can recall.

I seriously doubt he "had his sights set on Cheney". Going after a sitting nationally elected executive would be carzy unless he had an ironclad case on a serious crime.

Well, I am not saying he had a case against Cheney, and I am not sure what statute he had in mind (witness tampering/obstruction might work).

But I can't believe he really brought these charges against Libby with the idea that it was the end of the road - as per Fitzgerald's MO, it screams of the roll-up, with the idea that a cooperative Libby helps him move up the chain.

Dwilkers

test

Dwilkers


again

Dwilkers

Bah I can't fix it.

I had no idea so many people thought Fitz was actually after Cheney. I never seriously thought that myself - this just has never come close to rising to the level of something you'd go after a sitting executive over in my mind.

If that IS what Fitz was doing that's really stupid and destructive beyond anything I thought he was capable of.

Dwilkers

HAH! I FIXED IT!

/chicken dance

JM Hanes

Other Tom

"If he had any goods on Rove or Cheney, one would expect that to have been surfaced and explored in the course of his testimony."

Not if Libby was lying, and especially if Libby was lying in such a way as to protect Cheney. Fitzgerald would not necessarily be probing Libby directly about Cheney either, if he was concerned about telegraphing his suspicions & intentions. Of course, aside from the bits in the indictment we actually know almost nothing about nature & scope of Libby's examination in the grand jury.

Pls. note, I'm not saying I think there was anything on Cheney to get, or that Libby was or wasn't lying in whole or part. I'm just explaining why I tend to believe that Cheney was (unofficially of course) if not a target, certainly a subject, of Fitzgerald's investigation.

cathyf
What was Cheney doing?
Threatening to fire people. Actually firing people. Demanding raw intel rather than analysis because (as he told them) he thought that the CIA analysis was incompetent. Using the Dept of Defense military intelligence in disgust as a substitute for CIA intel.

They missed 9/11. They didn't know anything about Saddam's WMD programs. Cheney was (is) the enforcer who fires people who screw up national security things.

cathy :-)

MayBee

I had no idea so many people thought Fitz was actually after Cheney. I never seriously thought that myself - this just has never come close to rising to the level of something you'd go after a sitting executive over in my mind.

I agree.
I'll agree that Fitzgerald looked at Cheney, but only to see if he had led Libby to do something other than what Libby was saying he did. You know, the argument he is trying to make even now.

This case and Fitzgerald's investigation was never about The Big Case, much as people even now seem to want it to be.
Rove didn't roll. Libby isn't going to roll. There is nothing to roll about.

windansea

it screams of the roll-up, with the idea that a cooperative Libby helps him move up the chain.

yup...and he blew it cuz his premise was wrong

MJW

My hunch is that Cheney was the target and Libby's indictment was part of an attempted roll-up. As to the question, "what statute do you think that Fitz had in mind for Cheney?", keep in mind that Fitz has expressed the opinion that first you do the investigation, then you determine what if any laws may have been violated.

kate

I agree. I don't think Fitzgerald was ever after Cheney. I think Fitzgerald focused on Rove and Libby very early for what he perceived to be dishonesty in front of investigators and grand jurors.

What struck me was how bad the reporting on this entire case was. Not just the leftist blogs but the main stream media.

I remember the cable channels on Oct 28 predicting right up until the indictment was announced that there would be multiple indictments of Administration officials.

ABC had an article last month that seemed to be predicting a Rove indictment.

We need to keep this in mind as we look at other stories, like Haditha.

The best coverage on this story went to:

1) the conservative blogs and on line publications;
2) right-center news folks with sources right in Rove's office of Rove himself: Byron York, Brit Hume
3) the New York Times

The rest were just bad, even the WAPO was not that good with the biased reporting of Pincus and Matthews friend Jim VandeiHei.

What will be the most underreported angle in the Libby trial, the low credibility of the media witnesses, the heirs to Uncle Walter.

Dwilkers

There is nothing to roll about.

That's what I've thought from the start. I've always thought this was really criminalizing nothing much more than water cooler gossip.

It kinda plays into the new meme of desperation on the left: Rove is cooperating!!!

Jumpin' jeebus he's been cooperating for years. Bush ordered their cooperation in 2003. He's testified before the grand jury FIVE TIMES! Of course he's cooperating.

As far as Cheney is concerned people need to remember that Cheney has been in Washington since before Watergate. He was Ford's Chief of Staff. Whatever he may have done or not done he been through the whole evolution of our political culture into one of criminalizing routine politics. I find it very doubtful that - even were he inclined to engage in some sort of criminal behavior, which I do not believe to be true - he would expose himself to legal vulnerability. Since Nixon executives know how to isolate themselves from this stuff .

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