I'm back, barely. Some stray thoughts to which I hope to cling:
1. Did the puzzlement about Andrea Mitchell's cooperation with the investigation get kicked around in court? She said at one point she had never been approached by the investigation (or was it Fitzgerald?), but at another time she said she spoke with the FBI.
Surely Fitzgerald and the FBI know the truth of this, and it might provide a clue as to the reliability of her other public comments.
2. Like a Quick Pick lottery ticket where you win (or more often, lose) instantly, I have a Bold Prediction about the defense close - they will hammer the point that Russert may have seen the Novak column on the July 11 when it went out on the AP wires. After all, nothing in Russert's story actually dates his discovery of the Plame info - he says he could not have told Libby about Plame on the 10th or 11th because he read it in the Novak column, but when did he read it? Couldn't some NBC news hawk staffer have faxed/emailed/delivered it to him on the 11th?
Yes, the timing is tricky - Libby says he talked to Rove after talking to Russert; Rove left for vacation late in the morning on the 11th sometime after talking to Matt Cooper.
But it is possible (and where are the phone records and vaunted White House phone logs?)
3. I have long argued that Condi Rice's appearance on the Sunday, June 8 talk shows, where she was embarrassed by her ignorance of the Wilson trip (and offered her "bowels of the agency" reply), may have sparked inquiries over to State about the Niger story. Colin Powell was also on some shows that weekend and may have been similarly ignorant.
The story on offer from Marc Grossman is that Libby's inquiries, made in preparation for the Pincus article and in response to the Kristof May 6 article, inspired the INR memo about the Wilson trip.
But why couldn't there have also been inquiries from Condi Rice and Colin Powell, either of whom had more clout than Libby (but maybe less than Dick)? Did Fitzgerald explore that, and could it possibly be relevant at this late date?
And I Picked Six! Or a winner, anyway - from her defense summary:
Novak's statement came out on the AP wire on July 11. Russert could have seen it. If you lived in the media world of Tim Russert, they could read it and talk about it.
OK, it was an obvious point, but I am grateful for small victories here.
STILL MORE: File under "I suppose they had to say something" - this, from the prosecution side, is priceless:
Addresses possible defense argument that Libby confused Novak and Russert. He shows them both photos and says, "no way."
Photos? We are talking about two phone calls.
And more "Desperate Moments" for the prosecution:
Number 7 is Ari Fleischer. Ari has a farewell lunch with Libby. Libby tells him about Wilson's wife. He took this as gossip and said it was unusual because Libby was a tight-lipped individual. Ask yourselvers, Why did Libby choose to share this information with Fleischer? Ask yourselves if he did it deliberately, hoping that Ari would talk about it with reporters. And, that's just what happened. He told it to John Dickerson and David Gregory on the trip to Africa.
10:10 Immunity agreement protects Ari only if he tells the truth. He told the Government about
He said he has no recollection about Pincus conversation. The Government doesn't dispute Pincus. The fact that he doesn't remember it doesn't mean he made the conversation with Libby up. Why would he lie? How else would he have learned about Wilson's wife? Ari has no ill will, they are former colleagues, why would he lie.
How else would Ari have learned about the wife? Gee, from his own lips he told the jury that he heard about her from Dan Bartlett on Air Force One. Was the prosecution dozing, or do they hope the jury was?
And why is the only choice for Ari's conversation with Libby that either he or Libby is lying? Is Ari lying about Pincus? Why would he lie? Or is Pincus lying? Gee, I have an idea - Ari is honestly confused!
There is a tremendous amount of information being presented to the jury, so maybe insulting their intelligence will be a winning strategy.
LOSING IT: From the Times:
“Don’t you think the American people are entitled to a straight answer?” Mr. Fitzgerald asked of the jury. He said that “a critic points fingers at the White House and as a result his wife gets dragged into the newspapers.”
OK, then, when will we see indictments of Richard Armitage and Karl Rove? And that is setting aside the point that the CIA kept telling folks the wife was a legitimate part of the story.
But to be fair, Fitzgerald did not attempt to link Libby to Hurricane Katrina.