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February 07, 2007

Comments

Martin

TM, you posted this right before Russert's testimony:

"If Russert rocks the court with the news that, although he did not discuss Valerie Plame with Libby he may have said something about Joe Wilson's wife, well, Special Counsel Fitzgerald may be laughed out of the courtroom...

So that little 'rocking' fantasy is crushed like a fat lady riding a fat horse' cigarette butt, and now you're crew is chasing a new fantasy where Russert lied to the judge...

It's kinda sad, really.

Carol Herman

CAROL HERMAN

WOW. Russert's toast. Maine Blogger says it was "amost painful to watch" as Wells dissected Russert's hypocracy. (I'll venture a sacrcastic guess that NBC goes to "old movies" tonight.)

I also don't think Russert was "dismissed." But Lance (Maine's GREAT blogger, not a lawyer), says they're still "bench pressing" if Jill Abramson gets called t'marra. (And, I think she's a Wells witness.)

lordy

Yeah, Tom. What happened to that theory?

Cycloptichorn

It didn't pan out. Give the guy a break; that's what happens to theories.

Carol Herman

CAROL HERMAN

Russert's toast.

He has a law degree. He tried to actually ask Wells questions. And, then, Maine Blogger says "Russert is like a cat covered in peanut butter entangled in a yarn factory."

Maine Blogger also noticed that early on Russert had a "verbal tic," where he smart-ass'ed his answers with caveats.

Given there are a lot of people who've been burned on Meet The Depressed; I think they'll love the "tables turning."

And, at some point? I read NBC, herself, may be sold off by "Immelt." That won't be a kind cut to Russert's $5-million-dollar salary.

clarice

Somerby nailed Tim in the article TM cites:
"Yes, human nature being what it is, it’s dangerous when our biggest journalists lollygag on their decks in Nantucket typing up tales of their Buffalo souls. When we humans are pandered and fawned to, we tend to nurture imperial dreams, in which our conduct and instincts are always correct. And we start repeating worthless tropes to prove how fair we really are. "

ht

Shit

Ranger

From the previous thread:

W: (Accuses Russert of making a false statement to federal judge)

T: I just talked to Eckenrode about my side of the conversation

W: You talked to him about both sides of the conversation

T: I listened to him describe Libby's side.

Walton calls a truce recess for the evening.

So, the jury goes home tonight with that ringing in their ears. Wells is a master of the craft.

Jane

Boy he really is. That is just so much skill. The timing, the demeanor, the content, the attitude. If you have never done it, you can't possibly know.

windansea

comment at FDL

Clarice Feldman is lurking “live blogging live blogging” for JustOneMinute. I picture her laying in bed with her laptop resting on her chest - wdrinking kool-aid and Stoli - cackling with glee thinking Wells is making a pancake out of the prosecution’s case.

you like kool aide and Stoli too?? small world

james

If Russert rocks the court with the news that, although he did not discuss Valerie Plame with Libby he may have said something about Joe Wilson's wife

That question was not answered one way or another today, unless I missed it.

centralcal

I try to imagine what this does psychologically to Mitchell and Gregory, both of whom are yet to appear.

Russert ends the day with some potential legal jeopardy of his own (note, potential), due to the skilled cross of Wells. It shows a defense team who have done their homework. And, let's face it folks, we have only had a glimpse so far. Would you want to be Mitchell or Gregory, following your big shot boss to the federal courthouse witness box?

I don't think I would be feeling too cocky or confident right now, like I might have if Mr. Tim, my boss, had ended his day waltzing off back to the castle.

ghostcat

We already know that Andrea had become very nervous about this case ... "It's a mess for us." Or something to that effect.

Martin

James-you missed it.

clarice

When I first started writing about this case, I said the media would live to regret what they created. I feel this is coming true beyond my expectations.

Funny to see the true Russert after all those lefty screeds about him being a shill for the WH isn't it?

Jane

Pipe dream alert:

Tomorrow Walton questions Fitz and decides that he suborned perjury - and declares a mistrial.

azaghal

So true, centralcal. There is now a definite pucker factor at work here for any witnesses who will be crossed by Wells.

Javani

Ranger:

"So, the jury goes home tonight with that ringing in their ears. Wells is a master of the craft."

Esp. for the lawyer and reporter on the jury.

From Russert:

"T: I listened to him describe Libby's side."

So the FBI agent, on a cold call, about a leak case, calls Russert. And Russert responds. Without legal consult, without a personal meeting. Hm........

Also, could it be the FBI agent first told Russert what Libby said, then Russert replied? Wow...hope the Defense clears that up...

Patrick R. Sullivan

'It didn't pan out. Give the guy a break; that's what happens to theories.'

Yeah, Fitz is working on his third theory and looks to need a fourth.

Tom Maguire

Yeah, Tom. What happened to that theory?

Geez - as a prediction of where the defense would try to go, that theory worked pretty well, yes?

As to my official prediction made at the outset of the trial, here we go:

My pick for most entertaining witness - Andrea Mitchell, who was just awful with Don Imus and may be awful here. But I am sort of braced for disappointment all around - I doubt we will see a Perry Mason moment in this trial.

I suppose I could recycle that from time to time, but I have not been expecting Russert to crack. Hoping, yes; expecting, no.

clarice

FNC has a bit of the cross on right now.Emphasize that FBI notes of Russert conversation show Russert told them that Wilson's wife may have been mentioned in the conversation.

Charlie (Colorado)

I picture her laying in bed with her laptop resting on her chest - wdrinking kool-aid and Stoli ....

From previous discussions I get the impression a laptop would be pretty precariously balanced if on her *chest*.

Dan S

I suspect it was, james. I think Russert just can't stop at "yes" or "no" and has to tack on more, which leads to those seemingly coy answers. He did answer yes and no a lot today, then slipped in another one of those "No, I didn't know her name" or something lines.

I think on the substance we're dealing with bad memories. May be Russert's, may be Libby's.

But Russert is doing a nice job of making it possible that it's his memory that is at fault, which increase doubt, and moves it well into the reasonable range, considering the on-the-record example of how bad Russert's memory can be.

Then there's another can of worms about to be opened, about whether this was more a persecution than prosecution. Wells seems headed there with the flat accusation that Russert lied to a federal judge. If there's any sign the Fitz knew, and didn't say anything, this will get VERY interesting. (As in, "may you live in interesting times.")

The local reality-based trolls hang more importance on our fantasies that Russert would stake this blood-sucking case down once and for all with an admission he actually did do as Libby said, and just played coy with his answers. That possibility WAS there, based on his careful parsing of words. No one put us (me included) on the spot about what probability we'd assign it or they might have been surprised at the low numbers touted. (Single digits for me, but sure would have been fun if I'd won that lottery!)

No, I was just expecting Russert to somehow decrease the weight of his testimony, mostly through expectation he'd prove he too wasn't completely positive. I had no dream he had a memory skeleton so prominently out of the proverbial closet and on the public record to do THAT job poetically.

Fitz really, really missed that one. No way if he was aware of that incident he would have put Russert up there in a case so dependant on memory. Better to drop the charge on this point.

But the others aren't looking much better. Maybe it's just that he had nothing better.

Jane

Disappointing that Fox didn't cover the issue involving the quashing of the subpoena.

james

Martin

You have the relevent excerpt?

Javani

"Yeah, Tom. What happened to that theory?"

The idea that Russert would say he discussed Wilson's wife by any name with Libby is not a good one.

The good questions are nevertheless, at that time did you know Wilson had a wife. At the Cia. that she might have something to do with his trip to Niger.

Hard to tell if Russert was asked that directly. He said he didn't know about the wife, but that could be parsed as to context.

Hard to tell with the Blogscripts

windansea

FNC has a bit of the cross on right now.Emphasize that FBI notes of Russert conversation show Russert told them that Wilson's wife may have been mentioned in the conversation.

how do they know..or are they guessing like us?

sad

WOW!!
Clarice, Jane, Tops, Maybee, Cecil, Boris Rick Ballard, cboldt, Ranger, Walter and all of you who bring this case to life: THANK YOU!!

clarice

DanS. He had nothing else. It is increasingly obvious that his whole case hung on the first to leak and when that proved untrue it couldn't hang together very well..

Dan S

windandsea,

I think I saw reference to him being less than absolutely positive in the report of the FBI interview (there are no notes, remember). I think it was a Wells question.

sad

TM

You're the best

Javani

""Emphasize that FBI notes of Russert conversation show Russert told them that Wilson's wife may have been mentioned in the conversation.""

I didn't see that in the blogscripts, did you?

clarice

windandsea, FNC read that from the transcript of the cross.

Dan S

Clarice,

I'm comfortable with that supposition.

It's a hail mary play.

james

Wells: You recall in November 2003 that you did not recall saying anything to Libby about Wilson’s wife?

Russett: I did not state her name, no.

Seems a bit Clintonian. He answered a question he was not asked. And did not answer the question he was asked.


Ranger

how do they know..or are they guessing like us?

Posted by: windansea | February 07, 2007 at 03:32 PM

I think that was near the beginning of the cross, when Wells was asking him if he remembered saying things to the FBI in the interview, and Russert said no, he didn't remember saying those things. I think there were some FBI notes of that conversation Wells was refering to.

Sue

Why would Wells spend so much time with Russert about a forgotten phone call in a matter that didn't involve Libby? And is this what Fitz was trying to keep out in his filing that talked about impeaching a witness with information that wasn't related to the case at hand? If so, is there proof of a 2nd phone call from Libby to Russert? And we have in evidence Russert totally forgetting a phone call, one that caused him embarrassment at the time, so much so he apologized for it.

Dan S

Javani,

Who's claiming to have the notes? Fitz says he lost them.

Dan S

Sue,

That might come from Libby's phone records, if a second call was made. Anything over a couple of minutes would imply a conversation took place. (Libby is too busy to sit on hold long, I think we can posit.)

windansea

This finale wasn't clear in the last thread

I found it at FDL

Hmm, interesting that Walton broke off the testimony right there, after Wells thunders: so you lied in your affidavit, didn’t you?

nice :)

Patrick R. Sullivan

I'm surprised Martin showed his face here after ridiculing the idea that either Rove or Cheney will testify in support of Libby having mentioned Russert to them. 'Cause it's better than even money he did, especially to Rove on the day it happened.

Clearly, Russert's memory is playing tricks on him. Tomorrow I expect Wells to hand him this Newsday story and ask him to read to the jury:

'The identity of an undercover CIA officer whose husband started the Iraq uranium intelligence controversy has been publicly revealed by a conservative Washington columnist citing "two senior administration officials."

'Intelligence officials confirmed to Newsday yesterday that Valerie Plame, wife of retired Ambassador Joseph Wilson, works at the agency on weapons of mass destruction issues in an undercover capacity - at least she was undercover until last week when she was named by columnist Robert Novak.'

He'll get Russert to repeat the word 'tomorrow', then ask him to read the date of the article; July 22, 2003. Which is EIGHT days after Russert supposedly had it dawn on him how important the revelation in Novak's column was.

kate

Fox All Star discussion on Libby case coming up. They are usually less clueless then the rest of the media.

sad

Much has been said about adult diapers lately. Who do you think needed one more during Well's cross of Russert: Fitz or Russert?

Bonus question for you experts: Did Russert know this was coming down? Is this what has Evan Thomas so subdued?

Javani

Do you recall saying that you cannot rule out the possibility that you and Libby talked about Wilson’s wife?
No.

(Wells asks Libby to read last paragraph of notes)

Russert says those are not his words.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Why would Wells spend so much time with Russert about a forgotten phone call in a matter that didn't involve Libby?'

It destroys Russert's credibility about his memory.

Ranger

Ref: Notes

You told FBI that you remembered at least one and maybe two conversations ?
I only recall one conversation

So the FBI would have been incorrect?
(Wells brings FBI notes to show Russert)

Russert gets notes, puts on glasses. Judge tells him to read it to himself. Russert says ‘Its two pages’, Wells points to top of page and says just that. Russert says ‘Cant I read the whole thing?’ and Wells says sure go ahead.
Russert seems to kind of take control through this exchange, his presence is really soemthing to watch on stand. Compared to Bond for instance, he seems like a ringer to be in the witness box.

does this refresh your memory about how many calls?
i only recollect one call

TexasToast

It is quite interesting to read these play-by-play comments. Everyone seems to be looking for the "perry mason" moment - "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit".

Remember the expert on punch card voting machines in the Bush/Gore dispute at the trial level? A pure "perry mason" moment - Gore's lawyers found deposition testimony by the Bush punch card expert that was almost the exact opposite of his direct testimony - a telling impeachment of the witness. And it didn't matter - for better or worse, GWB became president. So the insta-reactions that this or that testimony "could be big" strike me as more wishful thinking than anything else.

I haven't seen anything close to a bushwhacking in this trial - just whacks at the accuracy of the various witness' recollections. If that Buffalo paper thing is the best that they've got against Russert's credibility, ......

They aren’t through with Russert, but he hasn't been "rocked" - to borrow from Tom. He hasn't even been roughed up. He has consistently denied telling Libby about Plame which directly contradicts what Libby told the grand jury - and he continued that denial in his direct testimony.

Moreover, these witnesses aren’t all members of a plotting anti-administration press corps. They don't have a reason to throw Libby under the bus - if anything, they would have a motive to see him walk.

So far, ISTM the prosecution has made a case. Looking forward to the defense.

Dan S

Clarice,

Great anecdote illustrating the difference between impossible and unlikely/improbable on the last thread.

That's also a great example of witness prep, something Russert was clearly lacking.

Javani

Dan S.

Here's the trans. from Maine:

"Do you recall saying that you cannot rule out the possibility that you and Libby talked about Wilson’s wife?
No.

(Wells asks Libby to read last paragraph of notes)

Russert says those are not his words."

If the notes from the FBI live up to Wells presentation (they may not), and Eck. verifies his notes that Russert said that, the "lying about Russert" part of this case is nuked.

Jane

I don't think any of the Fox panelists saw the testimony.

clarice

It would bring the judge's gavel down on Wells' noggin if he misrepresented what the note said to Russert, javani.
A big no no.

Sue

Texas,

On all of the counts?

clarice

Jane. Right. ( all the media are about a day behind.)

Javani

Texas Toast:

"I haven't seen anything close to a bushwhacking in this trial - just whacks at the accuracy of the various witness' recollections."

TT, this case is about recollections, not the mechanics of voting machines.

Dan S

"Hmm, interesting that Walton broke off the testimony right there, after Wells thunders: so you lied in your affidavit, didn’t you?

nice :)

Posted by: windansea"

Heh. WAY beyond nice if it was actually cut right there. Walton seems to have played along, from what the two blogs had up. He could have allowed a couple more minutes to defuse the power of that. Doesn't seem to have.

To me, this suggests (based on what we have available to "see") that Walton is not exactly pleased with the prosecution end.

Christopher Fotos

""Emphasize that FBI notes of Russert conversation show Russert told them that Wilson's wife may have been mentioned in the conversation.""

I didn't see that in the blogscripts, did you?

Is this it (from previous JOM thread):

Do you recall saying that you cannot rule out the possibility that you and Libby talked about Wilson’s wife?
No.

(Wells asks Libby to read last paragraph of notes)

Russert says those are not his words.

Is it your testimony that you did not tell investigators in 2003 that you could not rule it out completely?
No

This attributed to Maine Blogger.

centralcal

The blue headline on Huffington Post:

"Developing…Why Did Russert Fight To Avoid Telling the Grand Jury What He Had Already Told the FBI?"

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

Drudge is carrying a banner headline saying that the NY Times publisher does NOT think his paper will be "printed" in 5 years. So I linked. To this headline:

(From HaAretz): NY Times publisher: Our goal is to manage the transition from print to internet

WOW is the NY Times gonna make it on the Internet? Behind their Times Select Barrier?

Media's changing.

I'll also bet that Russert Meet the Depressed, lives up to its name, until it's folded. (Within less than five years. Or so says my teacup.)

Jane

He hasn't even been roughed up.

Oh he's been roughed up. I'm confident he's not strutting about tonite.

The problem is the liberal DC jury. Is reasonable doubt enough or will they require that Perry Mason moment?

kate

Well, the Fox panelists seemed just as clueless. When Mort was talking about the intense activity, I wanted to scream. It seems intense because that's all they are focusing on. It's being taken out of context.

I remember Mary Matalin saying that Wilson was about 55th on the list of what the OVP was worried about. There was a war, terrorism threats...

Cycloptichorn

'Why would Wells spend so much time with Russert about a forgotten phone call in a matter that didn't involve Libby?'

It destroys Russert's credibility about his memory.'

This is a hell of a stretch.

There seems to be a presumption amongst the posters here that if Wells can show the jury that the witnesses' memories aren't exactly perfect - even about events which are unrelated to the trial - then they can't be trusted at all.

But, that's ridiculous, because noone has ever expected anyone to have a perfect memory. Noone even expected Libby to have a perfect memory - he could have checked his notes and changed his testimony based upon his notes (between the FBI and GJ, iirc), but he didn't.

You all are getting way out in front of yourselves here. Unless you honestly believe that the jury expected all the witnesses to have a perfect memory, and then was disappointed when they were shown actually to be human, AND that the jury would believe that many Prosecution witnesses are lying in order to intentionally cook Libby's goose... then I don't see how you can believe the trial is going well for Libby.

Patrick R. Sullivan

"He'll get Russert to repeat the word 'tomorrow'"

Should have been, 'yesterday'.

Ranger

TexasToast,

I think when your star witness has to defend himself against plausable charges that he filed a false pleading in the case, the prosecution is not going so well. It's not just about what the witnesses say, it is also about what the jury thinks about those witnesses. I don't think the jurors think much of Russert tonight.

rokjok

lurker here. IANAL, an engineer, and one time on a jury on a pissant civil matter, nevertheless...
The crucial witness says it's impossible that he knew first and told Libby, and then
a) totally messed up another (implied) impossible, the VWRC question at the New York debate, and subsequent criticism, and
b) he lied to the Court re: the Nov FBI interview and subsequent filings.
That witness is as impeached as impeached can be. There's no way responsible citizens will send somebody to the slammer based on this witness's testimony. You can't use a single word from this witness when deciding what are the crucial facts of the case.
IMO, obviously, but that's how I would approach it on a jury.

Jim E.

Don't know if it's already been mentioned above or not, but transcript of Scooter's GJ testimony is online at Dept of Justice website now.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

James, you're right. It's been noticed Russert "qualified" the name of plame. So, I expect Wells to use "family member" as the code word. "Missus" is another.

Don't forget plame went from being Joe Wilson's shack-up partner, who lived in Wife #2's DC residence. For some years.

Joe's attracted to wommen agents. It would be funny if the code was "Victoria Flame," as written in Judith Miller's notes.

Can Fitz come to court tomorrow and just ask the judge to toss this case out the window? (You don't think Washingtonion phones are ringing off their hooks, here?)

Sue

then I don't see how you can believe the trial is going well for Libby.

I'm not sure you are addressing me personally, but since you used part of my post to make your point I'll address you. I haven't said anywhere that the trial is going well for Libby, though I think it is going better than I expected, since I thought he was guilty going into the trial. I really expected more from Fitzgerald than what he has given us. Anyway, I don't think Wells is using that forgotten phone call for memory purposes alone. If he doesn't have proof of a 2nd call, one that Russert does not remember, then I don't see how bringing that in will help Libby. I expect proof of Libby's 2nd call to Russert. I may not get it, but that is why I think Wells went that direction.

windansea

lets see what the jury has for questions after Russert cross is done...

Rick Ballard

Texas Toast,

I agree with your contention that the prosecution isn't doing all that badly in general.

Except for that little element of motive.

Without strong motive (which I have not been able to identify from Fitgerald's presentation), why would Libby do these things? Absent strong motive, "reasonable doubt" grows like a weed.

Daddy

Please somebody say the web address of the Maine blogger guy.

Ranger

Cycloptichorn,

The jury doesn't have to believe that the witnesses are lying, they just have to believe that their memories are not good enough to rise above the level of reasonble doubt. That doesn't require the defense to prove mendacity on the part of prosecution witnesses, only human falability.

Javani

Cycloptichorn:

"...This is a hell of a stretch. ..."

You're post is what is called a "strategic retreat." That's some heavy cover fire!

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Unless you honestly believe that the jury expected all the witnesses to have a perfect memory...'

When all you have is a memory, and the burden of proof is ON YOU, you lose if it is demonstrated that you have a history of forgetting conversations about yourself. If you misremembered once, you can misremember twice. That's reasonable doubt.

lurker
But, that's ridiculous, because noone has ever expected anyone to have a perfect memory. Noone even expected Libby to have a perfect memory - he could have checked his notes and changed his testimony based upon his notes (between the FBI and GJ, iirc), but he didn't.

It is my understanding that Fitz's opening argument focused on Libby having perfect memory, which Fitz thinks would help him prove those charges.

So far, Fitz has failed to prove those charges.

smh10

daddy:

mainewebreport.com

Dan S

Daddy,

mainewebreport.com

Cycloptichorn

Sue,

Wasn't you personally, thanks for responding.

I agree that Fitz' hasn't slammed it out of the park. I just find all the cries of 'the jury will NEVER believe xx witness now!' to be a little, well, over-optimistic on the part of Libby supporters.

If Libby does well on the stand, he could make this aaalll go away. If he does poorly, he's going to be responding to 'lizzy' for the next few years in federal PMITA prison.

Is there any thought that he won't take the stand, any longer?

clarice

I don't imagine the knowledge that your impassioned plea for press confidentiality was made after you blabbed freely to the first guy who called and lied to the court about it is (a) good for Russert's reputation nor (b) his credibility.

azaghal is right, too, the guy didn't call blind--the callS were probably arranged thru counsel for NBC.

Please note as well --Libby recalls there was a break in the conversation and it may have been TWO calls. Russert remembers one.
The FBI report says there were TWO calls with Russert. He remembers only one.
The Buffalo News reporter says he had two calls from Russert. Russert says there were none.

Daddy

Thanks SMH and Dan.

MayBee

Sue: I expect proof of Libby's 2nd call to Russert. I may not get it, but that is why I think Wells went that direction.

Oooh, that second phone call. When you asked about it earlier, I thought you meant the phone call to the Buffalo reporter.
Yes, I'm with you, there should be more evidence of a second Libby phone call for that to make much sense.

Daddy

Thanks SMH and Dan.

MikeH

The Washington Post checks in: (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/07/AR2007020701040.html)
"Russert Testified He Never Told Libby About Plame"; By Amy Goldstein and Carol D. Leonnig... "...Tim Russert, the Washington bureau chief for NBC News, this afternoon swiftly but firmly rejected I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's assertion that the journalist revealed the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame to him."

on the GJ testimony)..."In response to each question, Libby can be heard on the grand jury tapes carefully choosing words that would not implicate his boss."...
..."They also provide an insider's view of the eagerness at the highest levels of the White House to reach out to the press to discredit Wilson's claims that the president had misled the public about the reasons for the war."

Cycloptichorn

Ranger,

'

Cycloptichorn,

The jury doesn't have to believe that the witnesses are lying, they just have to believe that their memories are not good enough to rise above the level of reasonble doubt. That doesn't require the defense to prove mendacity on the part of prosecution witnesses, only human falability.
'

That's a good point; my feeling though is that in order for the trial to be going well for Libby, ALL of the prosecution's witnesses would have to be seen that way.

There also is the question of: does showing that someone has a hard time remembering one event, prove that they cannot be remembering a second event clearly - in the eyes of the jury? Many people here seem to assume this is the case, but I'm not exactly sure why.

Cheers to all

clarice

If Libby can prove there were 2 calls. one on the 10th and another on the 11th , the day that Novak's story hit the wires, the "impossible" becomes increasingly more possible.

MayBee

azaghal is right, too, the guy didn't call blind--the callS were probably arranged thru counsel for NBC.

I believe he called Russert at home, which is interesting.

lurker
I agree that Fitz' hasn't slammed it out of the park. I just find all the cries of 'the jury will NEVER believe xx witness now!' to be a little, well, over-optimistic on the part of Libby supporters.

In your mind, has Fitz proved beyond reasonable doubt that Libby perjured and obstructed justice?

Sue

Is there any thought that he won't take the stand, any longer?

I have never thought one way or the other whether he will take the stand. His lawyer won't make that decision until the last possible moment. I certainly don't know their strategy so I can't possibly know whether they think putting him on will be a plus or minus.


Yes, I'm with you, there should be more evidence of a second Libby phone call for that to make much sense.

For some reason that part of the cross didn't go over with me in real time. Why was he making such a big deal about a forgotten phone call? Other than the memory defense, which is still a possibility. I re-read it later and wondered, with talk of a 2nd phone call from Libby, if Wells has proof there were 2 calls, not one. If he does, it will be the Perry Mason moment that the lefties think Libby needs in order to prove reasonable doubt.

Cecil Turner

That's a good point; my feeling though is that in order for the trial to be going well for Libby, ALL of the prosecution's witnesses would have to be seen that way.

Why? Do all of them directly contradict Libby on a critical point? Hardly. If Libby had a credible source that he'd mistaken for Russert on the morning of July 7th, there wouldn't be a single significant contradiction in witness testimony. Acting as if this is some sort of box score is ludicrous.

Jane

Well i just turned into hardball, and the theme of the day is that it was all Cheney's doing.

Sue

As a bonus, what if that proof is in the form of Andrea Mitchell's notes? The ones that the judge has decided might be relevant. ::grin::

lurker

OT:

1964 Ronald Reagan Speech - too bad he's no longer with us. Amazing his speech applies today.

james

Cycloptichorn

noone has ever expected anyone to have a perfect memory. Noone even expected Libby to have a perfect memory - he could have checked his notes and changed his testimony based upon his notes (between the FBI and GJ, iirc), but he didn't.

So far, every witness in this trial has had Libby-like issues with memory. They say one thing now, but said another back then. Their stories change over time. All perfectly normal, except Libby is being charged with a crime for it.

Ranger

Cycloptichorn,

The problem for the prosecution is that so many of their witnesses have poor memories about this specific issue.

Grossman: Three phonecalls become one face to face meeting. (and there is that issue of the meeting with Armitage the night before he talked to the FBI the first time)

CIA guy #1: No specific memory of telling Libby, but says he must have because he feels guilty about their conversation. Yet, he specificly denied telling Libby to the CIA inspector generals office less than two months after the supposed conversation took place.

CIA guy #2: Has no independent memory of any conversation about Wilson's Wife. Memory only exists after shown notes that imply they may have talked about it.

Martin: Originally thought and told the FBI and GJ that she remembered the conversations taking place after July 7th. Only realized a year later that they must have happened earlier because she recongnized Wilson's name on MTP on 6 July.

Are you getting the picture here?

Cycloptichorn

lurker -

Though it isn't my mind that matters, I would say:

Perjury - yes. There not only are questions raised purely from what Libby said during his GJ testimony that didn't match up with other known events, there have been a wealth of witnesses who describe having conversations Libby said he didn't have, talking about things Libby didn't say he talked about. You would have the jury believe that all 5-7 witnesses for the prosecution are lying or cannot be trusted, since their memories are not in fact perfect.

Obstruction of Justice - this charge seems a little bit weaker, so I wouldn't make a call on it. It relies upon the jury to make a pretty big judgment call about a single statement, versus multiple statements at different times with different people in re: perjury charge. Bigger hill to climb for Fitz.

One thought: there seems to be a great deal of celebration here over the fact that Wells has advanced Libby's defense somewhat during the prosecutions' presentation of case. In your mind, however, you should realize that there is every chance that Fitz is going to advance his case somewhat during the defense portion of the trial.

If Fitz makes Wells' witnesses look bad, where is Libby then?

And the question of the year: will Libby take the stand? If he does, how will it go for him?

JOMJunkie

I sure hope you smart folks get a chance to see Hardball tonight with Mathews and Shuster. It's priceless conspiracy speculation about the VP sending Wilson to Niger. Someone send Chris the Bryon York piece about the Wilson trip timeline.

Javani

""azaghal is right, too, the guy didn't call blind--the callS were probably arranged thru counsel for NBC.""

No blind call? OK, but it was a first contact, and by telephone. Counsel approved? I tend to doubt that.

topsecretk9

---Please note as well --Libby recalls there was a break in the conversation and it may have been TWO calls. Russert remembers one.
The FBI report says there were TWO calls with Russert. He remembers only one.
The Buffalo News reporter says he had two calls from Russert. Russert says there were none.--

Sounds like a Dr. Seuss passage.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

Maine Blogger's web address:
http://www.mainewebreport.com/

By the way, it's just my assessment. But the case seems to bring LOTS of bloggers here. And, there's confidence in the air. While the media is lagging behind in reporting details.

Maybe, once, that time delay "halped" the media. But overall? If you're here. You're not even dependent on the TV pundits.

I cannot imagine that Russert isn't doing damage control! Going over and over in his mind, what worse things can happen to him, and his reputation, tomorrow. He must be furious at the way he got exposed (even if it is just here, among bloggers.)

Cycloptichorn

Ranger y James -

The thing is, Libby claimed to have learned for the first time something that the prosecution showed he was exposed to not once, not twice, not three times, but multiple times over the course of the month preceeding the point where he claims he learned it from Russet - who has flatly claimed that he didn't know it and didn't tell Libby.

The jury would have to believe that Libby forgot each and every conversation that people testified under oath that they had. I don't find that to be plausible at this point.

centralcal

JOMJunkie: It wouldn't do any good to send York's piece to Matthews/Schuster.

They are no longer about news, or truth, but only about ratings - and the way they get ratings is by appealing to hard left moonbats.

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Wilson/Plame