Yet another open thread as we await Judge Walton's ruling.
The day ended with an extraordinary argument by lawyers for both sides, as well as a lawyer for Ms. Miller, over whether Mr. Jeffress could ask her if she had other sources she spoke to about Ms. Wilson. The question, which was left unresolved by Judge Reggie M. Walton until Wednesday, threatened to derail the trial over the very constitutional issue that saw Ms. Miller go to jail in 2005.
Judge Walton seemed disinclined to allow questions about Ms. Miller’s other sources. “I appreciate that there is an interest the media has in not having questions asked that aren’t germane to this case,” he said. But if he does allow them, and she refuses to answer, she could be held in contempt once again and a mistrial could result.
Jeffress, being a skilled lawyer, began to test her credibility on her note-triggered memories. And that's what brought the trial to a standstill. She told him that she had no memory of discussing Valerie Plame Wilson before her June 23 meeting with Libby. He introduces a paragraph from an affidavit she signed, in which she mentions other sources for information related to Wilson's July 6 New York Times op-ed. Jeffress wants to know whether she can remember who those sources were and if so, he's going to ask her to identify them. Sidebar after sidebar results.
This isn't about the First Amendment, it's about Libby's right to impeach Miller's credibility, Wells argues. Fitz says asking her about sources related to the op-ed as opposed only to sources of information about Valerie Plame Wilson and her employment is too broad and not relevant to the case. Bennett weighs in. They go back and forth, and I'm nodding my head in agreement with each of them as they argue opposite sides. The Judge leans toward Fitz's position but is clearly concerned about not wanting to infringe on Libby's 6th Amendment right to confront and impeach Miller.
Judy by this time is clearly frustrated and anxious. She's repeatedly sorting her bangs, blowing her nose and taking sips of water. Finally, the Judge says he's going to sleep on it and he'll have an answer in the morning.
It's going to be a long night for Judy Miller. In the end, I think the Judge will split the baby, telling Jeffress he can ask about her other sources for information about Joseph and Valerie Wilson, but not other sources for the broader topic of everything in Wilson's July 6 oped.
What's the best that can happen for Libby? That the jury will conclude Miller's memory is so unreliable and selective they can't trust any of it. The worst? That some of the jurors will recognize themselves in Judy's account of her note-triggered memory. I know I do.
Well - if we do reach a mistrial, you heard it here first.
MORE: if David Shuster also foresaw a mistrial, please don't even tell me. And has anyone seen David Gregory, and has he commented on his alleged role as a leak recipient? I'm also wondering if he has any tips for removing duct tape from the mouth - did he yank it quickly, go for the slow pull, soak it in water, or what? Or is he still, uhh, tied up?