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January 24, 2007

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clarice

For reference:
[quote]BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS: I'm not getting answers here, Scott. And I'm trying to be forthright with you, but don't tell me that you're giving us complete answers when you're not actually answering the question, because everybody knows what is an answer and what is not the answer.

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: David, now you want to make it about you, and it's not about you, it's about what happened, and I'm trying to -- I'm trying to provide answers to the questions.

GREGORY: I have one final question, since that one wasn't answered. Is it appropriate for the vice president to have waited 14 hours after the incident before he spoke with local law enforcement officials and do you think an average citizen would have been accorded that same amount of time before having to answer questions about a shooting incident?
[/quote]

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:Xz-Q-gDugI0J:transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0602/14/sitroom.01.html+dick+gregory+duck+hunting+press+conference&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=5>Gregory on the duties of a citizen

clarice

I suppose Wells' closing argument on the obstruction issue will be a thousand name rollcall of people who were never called or questioned even though like Gregory Fitz knew he had valuable information or like Mitchell "everyone knew" who any rational investigator would have questioned.
And people like Russert and Armitage who were questioned carelessly and not very thoroughly.

Aelfric

So Fleischer telling Gregory is just a part of the old 1 x 2 x 6, right?

topsecretk9

David Gregory, the NBC White House reporter who works with Russert, had been told by White House spokesman Ari Fleischer that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA.

Dickerson said he was "walked up" to the point by Fleisher and once asked where his subpoena was - it's a weird incest like affair.

I still say to the media - was Wilson's false claims worth it?

Anonymous Liberal

Let's assume Fleischer did leak to Gregory on July 11th or thereabouts. A few points worth remembering:

1) It's not at all clear that Gregory did anything objectionable. The case that Gregory lied is pretty weak. The quote from the Russert show is highly ambiguous and seems to have more plausible interpretations that are entirely innocent.

2) The fact that Gregory never publicly reported his conversation with Fleischer is not surprising given that it was likely made off the record. Pincus and Kessler have never discussed their privileged conversations either, and Cooper, Miller, et al. only did so under heavy legal pressure and after public waiver of the privilege by their sources.

3) There's NO evidence Gregory divulged this info to Russert prior to the call with Libby.

4) Even if he did, keep in mind that Fleischer only learned the info from Libby himself, which makes Libby's testimony that he thought he was hearing it for the first time from Russert seem ridiculous.

5) The fact that Fleischer was being very hush-hush about the Plame info and later pleaded the 5th before testifying suggests that Fleischer had reason to believe the information was classified, or at least senstive. That, too, undercuts Libby's claim that he had no idea Plame's CIA affiliation was classified.

clarice

I disagree. The press is intertwined intimately in all the leaks--the leaks were to them in the perfectly ordinary way that political news is handled--they knew who leaked to them, they knew it wasn't Libby and like Armitage they compounded the perfidy by lying (Cooper) and dissembling about the state of their knowledge (Kristof, Pincus, Russert,Mitchell,Gregory) acting like innocent bystanders who had nothing of value to contribute to a search for the truth.

Had Libby not fought back his life and career would have been irretrievably ruined..they may still be though I hope not.
They knew and kept quiet about an injustice. They led the fight for the appointment of Fitz when they knew that there had been no "Vengeful outing" just gossip. They coronated Fitz . They overlooked his obvious shortcomings and the half-assed investigation which followed and they will be exposed. If not by their colleagues, then by us.

clarice

AL--Fleischer had more reason for concern. He had seen the INR marked "secret". Libby never had. He'd only recieved oral reports of parts of the report . In any event Libby is a smart lawyer and knew from day one no law covered this conduct.

topsecretk9

2) The fact that Gregory never publicly reported his conversation with Fleischer is not surprising given that it was likely made off the record. Pincus and Kessler have never discussed their privileged conversations either, and Cooper, Miller, et al. only did so under heavy legal pressure and after public waiver of the privilege by their sources.

I am confused by this. I seem to recall MANY, MANY arguments that Libby's waivers to Cooper and Miller were symbolic nothings - and he never expected them to testify. That is what Cooper dramatically said. That is what the left has said about both.

Also, Judy Miller didn't print anything either - yet Libby gave a waiver.

MJW

AL, Point 4) may or may not be correct. It is widely (though not necessarily correctly) believed that Fleischer read the INR memo on Air Force 1.


As to point 5), I could be wrong, I doubt Fleischer would tell Gregory information he thought was classified. The fact that he pleaded the 5th only shows he had the good sense not to talk to the FBI if he thought he had the slightest chance of legal jeopardy. Maybe he was afraid he'd be indicted for making false statements if he misremembered a conversation from months ago.

topsecretk9

Also --- TM via Corn

Gregory, though, did not report the information, and he later declined to talk to Fitzgerald about his conversation with Fleischer. Fitzgerald never subpoenaed him.

So Gregory was, essentially a "Judy Miller" in all this, only Fitz didn't pursue?

MJW

I've read that Fleischer asked for and received immunity. Is that confirmed or just assumed? Another possibility is he refused to talk to the FBI and said he'd take the 5th if called before the grand jury. Fitz then gave him immunity to force him to talk.

clarice

In pre trial discovery--and I think very recently--the SP had to notify the defense if anyone had been granted immunity, but prior to the SP's request for a jury instruction on immunized witnesses we had no clue who, if anyine, had been granted immunity.There was speculation here when the issue arose and the general feeling was Fleischer was the likely candidate.(Partly because he resigned--the president's direction to cooperate made that option unavailable to those who remained.)
I only know what was in Wells ' opening statement and it wasn;t in sufficient detail to answer your question.

Anonymous Liberal

In any event Libby is a smart lawyer and knew from day one no law covered this conduct.

Clarice, you know that's an incredibly weak argument, right?

First of all, Libby's conduct after the investigation began is entirely inconsisent with a belief that he had absolutely no legal exposure.

Second, this is a complex legal issue. Because there have been no IIPA cases, the law has never really been interpreted. It's hard to know what might be construed as a violation, particuraly without detailed knowledge of Plame's career. Second, even without the IIPA, the Espionage Act is incredibly broad. Fitzgerald has excercised his discretion not to invoke it, but in the hands of an aggressive prosecutor, the Espionage Act can be stretched to cover a broad range of conduct.

The assertion that Libby "knew from day one" that he had no potential legal exposure for his conduct is pretty hard to take seriously. I don't care how smart a lawyer he is: the law and facts just don't lend themselves to that sort of certainty. And his conduct after the investigation began bears that out.

sylvia

Well this is a bombshell. It opens the floodgates. What's of crucial importance is did Gregory learn of it from Fleischer before or after Miller on July 8. Hopefully we will find out soon.

If Gregory learned before July 8, then the question remains did Libby know that Fleischer told Gregory, to explain Libby's assertion that "other reporters" knew about it. If Fleischer did tell him this, then that too might be a little troubling, as both knew the other was "leaking" at that point and neither did anything about it. But that doesn't really matter anyway, as the case is not about leaking anymore. The case is about perjury.

So in order for Libby to escape the charges there are several elements that must be dealt with.

1.)The Other Reporters "Knew it Too" Comment -

a.) Mistake - In order for Libby to get out of this, he would have to show there was some logical reason for him to "mistakenly" say this during his grandy jury testimony, even if he remembered later it wasn't true. If anyone is to believe this was just a mistake, Libby will have to show that he wasn't playing a ruse, knowing full well that he was the only one with this knowledge at the time, but that he reasonably believed that other reporters did know about Plame at the time he leaked, even if it was supposed to be a tightly held secret. Now that we know that Gregory and Woodward knew around that time, it's not enough to know they knew, there will have to be some confirmation that Libby KNEW they knew. (It get's very Rumsfeldian here.)

b.) Lies - Or Libby will have to create reasonable doubt that all three reporters may have lied in the same way, and contrary to the similar assertions of the three reporters, Libby actually did say that other reporters "knew it" too. The defense could say that all the reporters may have lied because all were trying to protect their sources and they knew if they reported that Libby said that other reporters "knew it too", then Fitzgerald's next question would be "is that true and who told you?". Again, there will have to be some cause to show that the reporters did know something about Plame beforehand - and knowing that Gregory knows takes care of Russert, and Kristoff takes care of Miller.

2.) Others brought up Plame first comment -

In order for the reporters to bring up something about Plame first, they would have to have some knowledge that she was connected to Joe Wilson. The defense will have to create reasonable doubt that the reporters Libby spoke to knew about Plame and neglected to mention their questions about this to Libby to protect sources. What's difficult is that this has to be proven for all three.

richard mcenroe

anonymous liberal -- but I thought "no controlling legal authority" was an airtight defense... or is that only for Democrats?

topsecretk9

Rich
HEH.

sylvia

You know what - it doesn't matter if Gregory found out before July 8, the first time Libby spoke to Miller, because only July 12th is mentioned in the indictment.

To refresh our memories:
-----
It was part of the corrupt endeavor that during his grand jury testimony, defendant LIBBY made the following materially false and intentionally misleading statements and representations, in substance, under oath: ….
LIBBY advised Judith Miller of the New York Times on or about July 12, 2003 that he had heard that other reporters were saying that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA but LIBBY did not know whether that assertion was true. …
LIBBY did not advise Judith Miller, on or about July 12, 2003, that LIBBY had heard other reporters were saying that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA, nor did LIBBY advise her that LIBBY did not know whether this assertion was true;

MayBee

From the Dickerson link, re Libby's motivation to lie:

The second motivation, Fitzgerald explained, was that Libby had promised Vice President Cheney he wasn't involved, and on that promise Cheney had gone to bat for him.

How does that fit with the jerry/ew/jeff/firedoglake theory that Fitzgerald is trying to get to the bottom of the Cheny conspiracy- that Cheney ordered the leak?

clarice

It doesn't. In fact it proves how stupid the contention is.

Sara (Squiggler)

Since Novak's column was in 85 newsrooms on the 11th, I would be flabbergasted to hear they weren't hearing from reporters. The press office's (Cathie Martin) phones were probably ringing off the hook.Odds are that when Libby was calling Miller to talk NIE, she already knew or had seen Novak's column.

MayBee

clarice- you will be shocked to hear that I can't find this movtive part of Fitzgerald's opening on ew's liveblog.

clarice

Me, too, so shocked I'm not sure I'll be able to actually fall asleep but it's almost morning here and I'll try again.
Sayonara.

MayBee

Ja Mata

Patton

"""The fact that Gregory never publicly reported his conversation with Fleischer is not surprising given that it was likely made off the record.""

OK, I'll bite. How did the White House think they could smear Wilson and punish him by outing his wife if the reporters they used had no plan to publish the information??

What purpose does telling Gregory serve if he's clammed up and not talking?

Patton

AnonLib: ""First of all, Libby's conduct after the investigation began is entirely inconsisent with a belief that he had absolutely no legal exposure. ""

WOW! You're smart. You mean things like Libby taking the fifth? Ohh wait he didn't do that.
You must mean Libby refusing to sign the reporter waiver? No, wait, he signed that too.
You must mean Libby destroying all his notes, oooops, wait again, libby turned over 100s of pages of notes. Fitz has made no claim that Libby destroyed anything.
You must mean Libby meeting secretly with other witnesses just before they testified, Oops wait no that was Armitage.
Then you must mean Libby telling a different story to the investigators then he told the GJ, Oops, no wait his story was consistent.

OK, I'll bite, you what in the h-ll are you talking about?

Jane

I think they should put Russert on trial. He clearly misremembered that he heard from Libby what he actually heard from Gregory.

P

AnonLIb: "The assertion that Libby "knew from day one" that he had no potential legal exposure for his conduct is pretty hard to take seriously.""

Huge hole in your argument Anon, the story you believe Libby concocted (heard it from Russert), ALSO does not take away the legal jeopardy. Just because you heard something in public, doesn'r mean you, as an official, are allowed to go blabbing it about.

Of course Libby would have knoew this so-called cover story also held the same legal jeopardy.

Nice try though.

Aelfric

Meanwhile-here's what the jurors have heard so far:

Grossman-I told Libby Wilson's wife worked at the CIA in June.

Seixon

David Corn:

(This directly implicated yet two more White House officials in the scandal.)

Ehm, how is Dan Bartlett implicated in any kind of scandal? There was no law breached by Cheney telling Libby. There was no law breached by Bartlett finding out from Libby. The only person I can see that is "implicated" in anything remotely resembling the scandal that Corn helped stir up, it would be Ari Fleischer.

Oh, but wait, Ari Fleischer told Gregory about Plame off the record, thus nuking the "revenge leak" angle yet again. Shucks.


Grossman's testimony, on the other hand, was quite interesting. I'm going to do a post on it hopefully later today. May 29, Grossman, Libby, Wilson, oh my!

Martin

Fitzgerald will provide evidence of 11 times Libby had conversations about Plame = CIA before 'Russert told him' (Grossman is 1 down).

Even if you're an administration defender, why is it better to have all the other administration official cast as liars, except Libby.

To save the rotten apple, you have to heap scorn on the whole bunch. Just toss out the rotten apple! Bush did!

Patrick R. Sullivan

'So Gregory was, essentially a "Judy Miller" in all this, only Fitz didn't pursue?'

Because Fitz didn't hold a 'Holyland' grudge against Gregory. It's funny how all Fitz's little errors and misspeakings all go in the same direction.

largebill

No one comes out of this looking very good. Fleischer, Libby, Cheney, Bush, Armitage, Rove, and on and on will be slimed over this non-crime. Meanwhile, media putzs like Russert, Gregory, Novak, Mitchell, Woodward, etc. who were equally involved don't get trashed because honor amongst thieves (ie: media doesn't trash media). Lastly, the people who have behaved the worst in this whole sorry affair (Wilson, Plame, Fitzgerald) are treated as though they are as pure as the driven snow. What a mess.

In the end, conviction or not, Fitzgerald has done what was expected of him and made the case an endictment of the entire administration. He will be rewarded with an appointment of some sort by the next Dem president.

P

Martin, talk about missing the train.

Noone is saying they're all liars. We all know Libby knew...that's not the point.

The point is the witness has no independent memory except when reviewing his calender.

If Wells shows every witness also, like Libby, can't remember any of the details
of their conversations while Fitz says it was sooo important you would have to remember it.

Case in point, Fitzs' first witness couldn't remember when the conversation happened or the exact words used in the conversation.

Emeel

'.....smear Wilson and punish him by outing his wife if the reporters they used had no plan to publish the information??'

This is the same as Plame saying she was leaked by high ups in the US government and then claiming her marriage. This was always the goal.

'The Wilson's were smeared because of the war,' but CIA sold off covert WMD just before and, later Plame, an expert in this who trained at Universities like all OOs that got leaked later and the presidents 'had to be hired' by Bush(Rice Degree);Plame's goal may have been to be leaked because she is a WMD expert, something that CIA never wanted to be trained in and later protest the war based on Joe getting 'smeared' over his stance on the war. Aimes worked the same and one might wonder if these were goals before the war. Plame also says she's the loyalist CIA agent on the planet and so does everybody else at CIA(Larry and Jim, etc.). Of course this makes no sense considering she admitted she was a CIA agent, paramilitarily trained at the farm. The assassintions were done the next day and Plame had finally confirmed who she was to get the results she was looking for while she claimed being leaked by high US government officials. So, is Plame really the loyalist CIA agent working toward goals of CIA or is she a bad agent like Aimes trying to keep a faction happy while destroying high up US government officials?

Tim

"[Here, for example, is Josh Gerstein again:

Aside from the finger-pointing at Mr. Rove and the disclosures about Mr. Fleischer, the remainder of the opening arguments of Messrs. Wells and Fitzgerald went largely as anticipated.

Hmm - was everyone expecting Fitzgerald to announce that Libby had destroyed evidence? I don't think so.]"

Maybe Joel Gerstein needs to be he asked how he knew that Fitzgerald was to accounce that Libby had destroyed evidence, after all the comments went as anticipated.

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