Here in the Pedant's Corner we are lodging objections to the opening statements.
First, Fitzgerald, in an effort to establish Libby's motive to lie, claims that Libby committed felony perjury and obstruction in order to save his job (and we applaud the liveblogging effort of Marcy Wheeler, the Empty Wheel):
Talks about WH [White House] telling everyone anyone would be involved would be fired.
But hold on! Here is what Bush actually said on Sept 30, 2003:
And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.
If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action.
Libby was an experienced lawyer. As best he should have been able to judge, he had not broken any law by leaking Plame's identity, which was Bush's original criteria. Although the press has had fun twisting Bush's statement to something broader, Fitzgerald may have a hard time making "involved" stick once the defense pushes back.
Over at the defense side of the aisle, Ted Wells made a conveniently mis-factual assertion as well:
Libby got the understanding that the investigation was about how leaked to Novak because DOJ wrote a letter to BushCo telling the investigation was focused on Novak.
Here is the letter from Gonzalez to the White House employees.
Pursuant to a request from the Department of Justice, I am
instructing you to preserve and maintain the following:
“[F]or the time period February 1, 2002 to the present, all documents, including without limitation all electronic records, telephone records of any kind (including but not limited to any records that memorialize telephone calls having been made), correspondence, computer records, storage devices, notes, memoranda, and diary and calendar entries, that relate in any way to:
1. Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, his trip to Niger in February 2002, and/or his wife’s purported relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency;
2. Contacts with any member or representative of the news media about Joseph C. Wilson, his trip to Niger in February 2002, and/or his wife’s purported relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency; and
3. Contacts with reporters Knut Royce, Timothy M. Phelps, or Robert D. Novak, or any individual(s) acting directly or indirectly, on behalf of these reporters.”
Point (2) seems clear enough - "any member or representative of the news media" certainly extends beyond Novak. Darn - it would have been a good defense point if true.
Oh, well - maybe Libby was too busy to read the memo.