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February 11, 2007

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» Media Blackout on a Few Essential Points: Libby Trial from Kesher Talk
A Few Facts You May Not Know About the Libby/Plame Because of the Media Blackout The major witness the prosecution has called to impeach Libby's veracity is Tim Russert. Before Tim Russert remembered journalistic privilege, he was first contacted by... [Read More]

» Is Tim Russert Lying Under Oath? from Decision '08
Tom Maguire makes the case here (and catch the update here, as well)as you may have noted, Ive been quite light on the Libby trial coverage - thats merely because I know when Im outclassed.  Stick with Maguire ... [Read More]

Comments

brassband

Well, I don't know who is telling the truth and who is lying . . . but one reason why Libby might claim that he learned this from Russert was that he actually did speak to Russert and there probably would be a "phone record trail" of that call.

What I can't get over is why Libby would lie about it, when it would be obvious to him that the FBI would follow up with Russert who, if Libby was deliberately deceiving investigators, would surely disagree with him. Why not just say, "I heard it from a reporter, but I'm not sure which one . . . ?"

boris

I am predicting that the defense will raise it in order to create reasonable doubt about Russert's veracity and accuracy.

More likely defense will claim that no notes of the conversation and certainty based on later surprise are unreliably self serving rather than deceitful.

The unreliablilty of surprise explains more than one or two conversations.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

Here's Byron York's last paragraph on his article in today's (SUNDAY) NY POST. Easy to link to. Go to DRUDGE. Left hand column. Hit: NEW YORK POST. 3 pages. SWEET. Succinct. With this at the end:

" Whatever her status, don't expect to learn it from this trial.

NOW it's Libby's turn to present a defense. In com ing days, we'll see journalists like Bob Woodward and Robert Novak - the man who originally introduced Valerie Plame to the world. And then we might see Dick Cheney himself.

Will they give us the definitive answer on whether Lewis Libby lied to the grand jury? Probably not. But they'll certainly tell us more about what happened back in those strange days of 2003, when the CIA leak controversy began."

Byron York is National Review's White House correspondent.

Patton

You may want to throw in the Russert witenssed anyone that didn't hang Libby was attacked and ridiculed by the media dn the left.

If Russert even appeared somewhat supportive of Libby, would it be long before the New York Times would be insinuating they were sleeping together??

Thus was their attack on Miller and her 'entanglements with Libby. Look how fast they turned on Woodward s well, the dean of Washington journalism was scoffed and sneared at for attempting to set the record straight regarding Libby and who leaked first.

Even look at the backstabbing Russert did to Novak, questioing his cooperation with the Special prosecutor and claiming he was fighting them tooth and nail all the while Eckenrode has his hand on Russerts leg suggesting they get in bad together and make beautiful testimony.

clarice

t the end of the last thread I posted something from Charlie about how to get off the lock out list.And a cite to a beautiful research job by fedora on everything Plame.

I don't want to step on your good last post TM, but if you don't mind, once AT runs the fedora cite, I'd like to post it here to get it on the mba feed.

Jeff

That "reporter gossip" story works just as well if Libby simply sources it to Novak

Incorrect! There are several problems with a Rove-Novak alone scenario for Libby, but one of them is that if it were just Novak, there's no necessary element of reporter gossip - Novak could have gotten the information just from another government official, which would leave Libby more vulnerable. If "all the reporters know," it's much more difficult to link Libby's knowledge back to official sources. I'd also note that if Novak is Libby's connection, it obviously associates Libby more closely with and exclusively with Novak, in which case it's harder for Libby to make the case that his leaks to several reporters on July 12 were not something that President Bush's command that he wanted anyone with information to come forward would demand of him. There are also plausibility problems - Libby said the conversation with Rove probably happened late on July 11, when in fact Rove was already out of town, and so on.

Or, if Libby simply picked a reporter's name out of a hat, why pick Russert, with whom he had no relationship?

Since this post is all about speculating - er, hypothesizing - have you considered the hypothesis that Libby chose Russert because he became aware of Mitchell's October 3, 2003 comments on Capital Report?

Also, Russert was a good choice precisely because he is Mr. Credibility and Mr. Evenhanded himself. If Libby said that Miller told him, then it remains in-house neoconservative hawk stuff.

Of course, none of this is to doubt your contention that the defense will insinuate some of this stuff in closing. That's their job, and good for them.

Other Tom

Tom, I like your thesis, but as a member of the Slow Reading Group I'm struglling with (2). What motive would Russert have to dissemble in the first place? Granted, had he done so, we can all imagine him digging himself in deeper from then on, but it seems to me that if he had mentioned anything on the subject to Libby, he would simply have told the FBI about it.

boris

Libby chose Russert because he became aware of Mitchell's October 3, 2003 comments

Expecting Russert to either stonewall or lie for him? Are plausiblilty challanged?

Brand Coach

'since the investigators were looking for government officials who had leaked to reporters,'

Plame planned on it. She could only really get to the advisors. So, Fitz is actually doing Ames/Plame works.

Oh, ya, the dope on Survivor got found.

Pofarmer

What motive would Russert have to dissemble in the first place?

Who knows what Eckenrode told him in the conversation that the notes were lost for. The initial conversation sounds conveniently different than the summary, who knows what the notes say based on Bond's testimony.

And, a motive for Russert? How big of a story is it if Libby gets convicted? And Russert is the "White Knight"?

boris

What motive would Russert have to dissemble in the first place?

What if Russert just chose the wrong strategery to stay off the case? He zigged whan he should have zagged.

Other Tom

Pofarmer, that just doesn't strike me as a plausible motive to lie to an investigator, particularly when, for all Russert could have known, any lie might well be found out. For example, he couldn't have been certain that his conversation with Libby was recorded--not likely, but not worth risking committing a felony.

clarice

I think TM's version is utterly plausible, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear it at closing.
(a little sherbet :
http://www.newyorker.com/shouts/content/articles/070129sh_shouts_martin>72 virgins

Patton

Jeff: ""Russert was a good choice precisely because he is Mr. Credibility and Mr. Evenhanded himself."""

So Jeff, you honestly believe Russert completely forgot what Fitzmas was and who Santa Claus was going to be? Honestly?

And you believe Russerts affadavit in light of the revelation Russert had already gave an interview to the SP office.

Who was your last Mr. Credibility? Dan Rather.

MaidMarion

Here’s what Russert said on the “Tim Russert Show” http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2005/11/circle_the_wago.html>Oct 29, 2005:


RUSSERT: I came back after that interview, after The New York Times piece (Sunday, July 6, 2003), and there was a discussion about Joe Wilson and I didn't know very much. And then when I read Novak's column the following Monday, I said, `Oh, my God, that's it. Now I see. It's his wife, Valerie Plame, CIA, sent him on the trip. Now I understand what everybody was trying to figure out.'


Compared to what he testified http://www.firedoglake.com/2007/02/07/libby-live-tim-russert-one/>Feb 7, 2007:

--- 1 --- (Fitz)

F: Remember when you heard claims about Ms. Wilson?
T: Read Novak column in WaPo on Monday, July 14 in afternoon. I said, "Wow, this is significant." Went to work and asked people we were working with what they knew.

--- 2 --- (Wells)

W: Do you have a present recollection of not discussing Wilson's wife, are you just reasoning backwards from the fact that you did not know about her until Novak's column.
T: I have no recollection, but it would have been impossible.

--- 3 --- (Wells)

W: Did you tell FBI in November 2003 that you have many conversations and that it is hard to reconstruct one from several months ago?
T: I may have.
W: Is that your opinion now?
T: Yes.
W: Do you remember telling FBI that a general buzz was going around Joe Wilson?
T: Yes.
W: Isn't it true that a "buzz" might include rumors that are circulating?
T: We try to stay away from rumors.
W: But still can be a source for further investigation, right?
T: (missed this answer, wasn't significant)
W: Part of the "buzz" around Joe Wilson was about his trip to Niger and his wife's employment, right?
T: There was a pre- and post-Novak buzz… after the Novak column, it took on a new dimension,
W: (confusing question)
T: I don't know what that means, but I know that I didn't know about Wilson's wife. That is a significant fact that I would have reported and investigated.

For some reason, last Thursday Wells did not pursue what Russert meant on Oct 29, 2005 when he said "Oh, my God, that's it. Now I see." and "Now I understand what everybody was trying to figure out."

Maybe Wells plans to recall Russert AFTER he questions Mitchell/Gregory about what "pre-Novak" buzz THEY heard.

boris

any lie might well be found out

Not "remembering" that component of a conversation does not start out as discoverable lie. After the Ekenrode interview Russert knows there is no risk to his version.

Russert may not want to be included in the group of people known to have known preNovak like J.Miller.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

For my two cents; the Internet is the new media. Reaches MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. Even while you're sitting in your underwear. At home. Alone.

So the contest that started with DRUDGE. Besting Spiky Isakoff. Increased in altitude with "buckhead." And, Little Green Football's overlay of the creepy Dan Rather "fake but accurate" stories of typewriter inventions in the 1970's. As if you could spit out "TH" and with your tongue extended. And, spit would fly.

There's no scoreboard. But if you own stock? You did better, for instance, owning early shares of GOOGLE. Than late shares of the New Yuk Times. (Also. One is "A" and the other is "B". Creating differences right there.) Yes. The public should know.

What kind of clout does the media have? IF ENRON collapsed before you could sell that dreck?

What kind of clout does the media have today? Where I got to DRUDGE each morning. To see what he has to say.

And, I also know that DRUDGE has this innate ability (like a great surfer) "to catch the wave."

Today? He's not pouncing yet on the Libby trial. (It's about snow. And, the weather.)

But he will be there EARLIER, ahead, than the MSM. How do I know? Because at my last comparison (where I actually turned on my TV), I watched for the election night results in 2004. And, Kerry "just went to sleep."

As far as Kerry is concerned he didn't have to acknowledge defeat in a timely manner.

Ah. And, nor did Dan Rather! How do I know this? I read, a lot. And, Mary Mapes visciously attacked CBS a good six months after CBS had already folded up like a cheap suitcase got got flushed down the toilet, to hell.

Mary Mapes recounts that everyone, after that Dan Rather "hit piece," raced over to her and gave her big fat hugs.

Well? It's easy to "hug" I guess? It's not all that complicated. The left "hugs" trees all the time. When was the last time you hugged a tree?

But something went wrong. At first none of the executives, at CBS, knew what was wrong. (They loved the EDSEL. Adeli Stevenson was their favorite egghead. And, they had no idea how Nixon won two presidential races. Ditto, for that "forgetful man" Ronald Reagan.) Not only didn't they get it. They hired lots of flacks and lawyers to "halp" Americans out.

BOOMERANG. They take their merry old time, flying through the sky, before they return home. (The Warren Commission should have used it as the example of what split JFK's head off.) Because? Bullets are boomerangs. Pincus isn't Woodward. And, Eckenrode isn't Mark Felt. Gee, this list could go on and on. But why bore ya all?

Other Tom

But as I understand it, Boris, Russert went quite a ways beyond "not remembering." He was adamant about it, claiming it was "impossible."

boris

The summary of the Ekenrode phone interview was not certain and allowed for the possibility that it might have come up.

Carol Herman

CORRECTION FROM CAROL HERMAN

Bullets are NOT boomerangs. Typo's are my friend. Since I never proof read until after I send.

azaghal

Patton:

But, shouldn't the FBI ask you FIRST for your recollection, rather then share with you someone else first? Kind of stacking the deck isn't it.

Posted by: Patton | February 11, 2007 at 08:50 AM

Yes, I agree that investigators should be very careful not to influence a witnesses recollection. If that's what happened, it's very reprehensible. I think I'm on record somewhere to the effect that in a better justice system--a justice system rather than a legal system, if you will--the judge would on his own motion demand that Eckenrode be presented for examination regarding the notes.

I noticed last night that one of the links to FR contained allegations that Eckenrode had screwed up an investigation into the death of a Connecticut woman from anthrax and claimed he was a "cover-up artist." I have no idea whether that claim is in any way factual or is just gratuitous innuendo.

MarkO

Tom,

I can give you my observations and probable reasons for three questions you posed:

1. Russert can't remember if he told Shapiro.

I would have to read the transcript to be certain. His answers are all extremely well couched. If he said, in answer to the question, “I don’t know,” that would mean he doesn’t know if the lawyers told him. And, almost certainly they would not tell him so he could have no knowledge of it if asked.

If he merely said, “ I don’t remember or recall or (from Watergate days) I have no present recollection,” he could think that to be “true” because he truly can’t remember if anyone told him they had passed on the information. In the world in which he lives, as you well know, it is inconceivable that he would not report this conversation immediately, in one form or another. I would suppose his contract would require it so the Company could be certain to take action on the 1st Amendment privilege. One more possibility. Because I am fairly certain the NBC lawyers arranged the call, the Company would have known about it BEFORE it happened. That would avoid any need to tell Shapiro. There are far too many ways to have the Company know about the conversation but protect that fact from “evidence.”

2. Shouldn't he have a specific memory of *not* telling Shapiro on the advice of in-house counsel? Or at least a story about "It was impossible for me to tell Shapiro since I was told not to"?

All of these comments are arguably covered by the privilege and would most probably be objectionable and sustainable. He doesn’t have to disclose anything counsel says that is somehow mixed with legal advice. For practical purposes, this means Fitzgerald or the NBC lawyers would object. “Sustained,” and it’s gone. No way to validate it. (This brings up another issue with the system. Why is open discovery available in civil cases but not when one’s liberty is in peril? If there were discovery, one could come closer to unraveling this cloak.)

3. The Duo-fecta (Die!-fecta?) would be that Gregory impeaches Fleischer and Mitchell impeaches Russert - tough day for NBC News as they crater the prosecution case. Love to watch them report on that.

Based on NBC’s prior strategy, these would be my (heavily qualified) predictions: Gregory will not remember. No impeachment. No way to prove he does remember. He can say his (known) actions don’t suggest that he knew. At the same time, he doesn’t have to do in Ari. If this happens, he is nothing in the case. Now, if Mr. Wells has something else . . .? Mitchell has to choose between humiliating herself, which she already did on Imus or disclosing a piece of evidence that would throw NBC under the bus. It does not seem that Libby has a witness who can prove that she knew (in a civil trial it seems likely one could be found), so she will say she was wrong and that she corrected the misimpression as soon as she could.

How did she decide to recant? I don’t know that story, yet. I suspect that NBC’s lawyers told her that she may have criminal liability for revealing that “covert” operative and that she needed to consider whether she had knowledge of “everyone” so as to be able to opine as to their knowledge. In legal terms, her opinion lacked foundation. She could then go on, with this mental reservation, and claim she was drunk, silly stupid. It could be true, because, literally, she cannot know what “everyone’ knows. Certainly, after she said this, the lawyers told her to talk to no one. Fifth Amendment, maybe.

I believe that Mr. Wells will ask her where she heard it and that will be followed by a privilege objection. Probably, if this happens, NBC will have primed Fitgerald and he will argue the point for NBC. He doesn’t want her to answer anyway. He will argue that it is irrelevant because her knowledge means nothing if she testifies that she did not tell Russert.

This has been a long time in the planning. It’s good. It’s also unfair.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'...have you considered the hypothesis that Libby chose Russert because he became aware of Mitchell's October 3, 2003 comments on Capital Report?'

As TM has already pointed out to you, it's a lot more logical for him to have chosen Mitchell, if he was going to make up a story.

However, if Russert had asked him something about the substance of the dispute on Hardball; i.e. Did the VP have a role in sending Wilson? during their phone call, and now Libby hears Andrea admitting in plain English that she knew about Valerie, then Libby's mind could play a trick on him by making him think Russert's question was saying he knew about the wife.

Speaking of which, don't you owe us an explanation of the Feb. 12th Valerie memo recommending Joe for Niger duty coming before Cheney's Feb 13 briefing?

maryrose

On Meet the Depressed today Russert acknowledged how hard it was to be on the stand testifying. He basically Had Howie kurtz pontificate on what a chilling effect that has on reporters. He did not seem rattled or upset so the fix must be in with Mitchell and Gregory. It is not about truth anymore -just circling the wagons and adhering to the same script. Perjury or I mispoke will probably be what they resort to on the stand.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

Russert's song says "IMPOSSIBLE, only with the passage of time."

Disappearing memo's and notes, not withstanding, Russert AT CLOSE PROXIMITY to the time involved; is responsible for "impregnating the lady."

What? No DNA testing available? Because to do so allows in the BIG CASE?

Hey, Tonto. Little case in-chief as BIG problems. Will the peacock's feathers fall off before this is over? Was the peacock really a turkey? And, was tha analogy to Christmas a mistake? Because it was the TURKEY STUPID? (Hope Libby celebrates THANKSGIVING in style.)

Hope lawyers, in the future, for Libby, get a piece of NBC for all his "troubles."

Too bad Russert doesn't know OMISSION is as much a crime as COMMISSION. How old is that? Common LAW and Common Sense.

Walter

"...Libby chose Russert because he became aware of Mitchell's October 3, 2003 comments..."

Jeff, I was intrigued by your theory last time you brought it up. But, assuming truthful testimony by prosecution witnesses and perfect memory of those conversations by Libby, it begs two questions:

(1) Why chose Russert on the 10th/11th? It doesn't get him off the hook for the Judy Miller 7/8 discussion.

(2) Why not choose Mitchell herself? She, not Russert was the one claiming knowledge. We can see from Fitzgerald's filings just how much more difficult it is to attribute Mitchell's misstatement to Russert.

Just some thoughts.

MarkO

Someone who knows the facts here please help me with something. Did Libby call Russert before or after Mitchell recanted?

MaidMarion

Yes, I agree that investigators should be very careful not to influence a witnesses recollection. If that's what happened, it's very reprehensible.

Russert testified repeatedly that this is what happened.

clarice

Mark) I suppose Wells will be far more circumspect.He will go thru the leaks from DoS she had at that time and without asking her to reveal her source, he will get her to say that her sources were official, that she did talk to officials and did get material related to the Wilson matter. He may go thru her emails and notes and get her to acknowledge that in this period these were people she noted she had talked to. He will get her to respond to whether she always notes to whom she's spoken...etc, etc..He will go into policy and practices about sharing info at NBC..that she regularly shares with Gregory and Russert.. He will have to be very subtle and may have to use inferences from her testimony ..

azaghal

Regarding #2, above, I've been wondering for some time why Russert agreed to speak with the FBI. As a lawyer he would know that anything he said might end up leading to his being required to testify in some capacity. As a reporter, that would be something he would want to avoid, so agreeing to speak with Eckenrode was risky for Russert.

Without speculating on how the agreement/decision to speak with Eckenrode was reached, the best theory I can come up with for Russert's motive is this: his decision to speak with Eckenrode was a calculated gamble. The downside of the gamble is clear. The upside would be that Russert might glean information from Eckenrode--based on questions asked and so forth--that might give NBC a leg up on what looked like becoming a major story. Doubtless, If Russert realized that Eckenrode would shortly begin leaking far and wide he might have reconsidered his decision.

Hey, it's just a theory.

Jeff

don't you owe us an explanation of the Feb. 12th Valerie memo recommending Joe for Niger duty coming before Cheney's Feb 13 briefing?

Here's my explanation: Cecil was right and I was wrong. Does that count? I've got at least three scenarios that allow me to keep hope alive. But unless I get evidence for any of them, or I think of something else, that will have to do for now.

MarkO

Clarice,

I certainly could not disagree with that line of questioning. In the end, however, Libby will be left with argument from circumstantial evidence which, although useful, pales next to direct evidence which, based on the structure of NBC's lawyering, I believe she has.

Jane

Maybe Wells plans to recall Russert AFTER he questions

Clarice (or anyone else)

What is the liklihood of this? Around here it is frowned upon greatly to recall a witness. You are supposed to get it all done, during the first turn.

clarice

Russert wasn't Wells' witness, Jane. He could only ask him what had been covered on direct. Why shouldn't he be allowed to recall him to cover anything relevant not within his direct testimony?

Jane

As I said, around here they frown on that. Remember, this is the state that has no voir dire.

Dan S

Jane,

Wells hasn't called Russert.

He's only allowed to pursue avenues opened by prosecution in a cross of their witness, I thought?

clarice

Mark)--Pales next to his direct testimony? C'Mon--His direct testimony includes a play act with the prosecution, a raucous cheer when the indictments were coming down a memory so vague he forgot the two heated phone calls he made about someone who dared criticize him and a summary suggesting he was far less certain nearer in time to the events.

The defense is no less circumstantial than the prosecution's motive argument.

Jane

He's only allowed to pursue avenues opened by prosecution in a cross of their witness, I thought?

I didn't say it made sense.

windansea

don't you owe us an explanation of the Feb. 12th Valerie memo recommending Joe for Niger duty coming before Cheney's Feb 13 briefing?

Jeff did admit, with some hedging, that Cecil was right in comments of a Post jeff made at FDL....I see Jeff has made a more unequivocable surrender up thread.

Cecil may strut proudly

As for the other thing, you look to be on stronger ground, and in an even longer version of this post, I was explicit about the bit about February 12-13 being an element of Cheney’s case bolstered by recently released documents, an element of truth amidst the falsehood. And kudos to you on that one, for real - though I will hold out hope that 1)either the SSCi got the date of Plame’s memo wrong by one day, in which case the issue is reopened; or 2)the tasking memo on Feb 13 is just a documentary memorialization of a request Cheney had made the day before and that had been passed along already to CPD. I will keep hope alive. But until then, kudos to you on that one.

clarice

Gosh, Jane..Mass. sounds weird to me.

You mean if the defense got Eckenrode on the stand (theoretical) and he said TR was far more equivocal with me when I called him and the last time I saw my notes I'd handed them to NBC counsel at the deposition, you couldn't recall TR to the stand?

Jeff

(1) Why chose Russert on the 10th/11th? It doesn't get him off the hook for the Judy Miller 7/8 discussion.

Neither does Andrea Mitchell on July 8, later in the day than the Miller conversation. I suggested one answer for why Russert rather than Miller. With Miller, it's in-house neoconservative stuff, and accordingly more suspicious. With Russert, not. (And Patton, who misses the point as usual, would just strengthen the case in this regard - Russert is no friend of Libby's, so it's less suspicious that Libby'd be getting the info from him.)

(2) Why not choose Mitchell herself? She, not Russert was the one claiming knowledge. We can see from Fitzgerald's filings just how much more difficult it is to attribute Mitchell's misstatement to Russert.

Apart from the possibility that Libby knew that Gregory had been told as well, Russert also generalizes it out so tht it's not just national security reporters (plus Russert as head of bureau chief and all-around node in DC gossip-mobile would be more plausible for hearing all about it from everywhere); the timing may have actually worked better for Libby, insofar as he can claim he got the information basically simultaneously with Novak telling Rove he was going to be publishing, and turned the info over to reporters the very next day or so, which also makes it seem like he wouldn't be wary of giving out the information for any reason. Those are just a couple of reasons.

windansea

Cecil was right and I was wrong

and the implications of this are pretty huge

The main reason Plame got outed is that in truth Cheney didn't send Wilson, Plame did.

and here we are

Sue

Jeff,

Are you buying Russert's claim that Joe Wilson wasn't discussed during the phone call?

boris

Well it involves more than just Cecil:

Discrediting Wilson required no more than telling the truth;

Whether that's the case or not, the fact is that the White House lied to do so, repeatedly.

One case in point is that in responding to inaccurate reports that Cheney himself sent

Wilson, they lied about the role that Cheney did play in triggering the trip.

Since Cheney did not "trigger" the mission, the effort to set the record straight was justified and the resulting exposure of the real "triggerer" Valerie was probably inevitable. IOW the whole Cheney "triggered" the mission falsehood is what "outed" her.

MarkO

Clarice,

Hey, I’m a big fan of your hard work and analysis here. I’m not fighting with you.

My point is not that Libby is without circumstantial facts that can be argued in a compelling way—as you began in the post. Indeed, there are many reasons to discount Russert’s testimony, first of all his false statement under oath. I do think I understand your point.

My suggestion is that by careful and clever lawyering, NBC has managed to protect itself and, at the same time keep “direct” evidence from the defense. I’m merely trying to set out here how any why they have been able to do so. To me, looking at the circumstances of Libby’s call, Russert would have tried to mollify this important source and high official by telling him something that would sound like he was sympathetic to the Administration because he knew the fix was in on the Wilson report. It doesn’t seem impossible to me.

The other thing that strikes me ------while I’m pontificating here into cyberspace-------is that Russert said something like, “So that’s what everyone was trying to figure out.” That’s a dead give away that there was much discussion about who and what. That makes it more likely that the gossip about Plame was flying.

I think I have said I discount Russert’s testimony and that the defense will certainly use it.

My point is on something different.

windansea

IOW the whole Cheney "triggered" the mission falsehood is what "outed" her.

you said it better

boris

Link for the Cecil/Jeff quote above.

Jane

You mean if the defense got Eckenrode on the stand (theoretical) and he said TR was far more equivocal with me when I called him and the last time I saw my notes I'd handed them to NBC counsel at the deposition, you couldn't recall TR to the stand?

Well remember that the huge bulk of my trial experience is civil cases. But in nearly every civil case I've tried in the last 10 years the Judge warns the parties that witnesses cannot be recalled.

Now could you get around this if necessary? Maybe. And it may be different in a criminal case. But what ends up happening is the defense puts on part of its case during the plaintiff's case. We settle a lot of cases in MA pre-trial, for obvious reasons.

Jeff

Let me add two things. So far two, and I'm sure more are to come, have drawn completely unjustified inferences from the Feb12-13 business. As a number of you pointed out at the time of the dispute, it's not the biggest deal in the world, it is a deal. It was not just Wilson who was told the issue had come up because of Cheney. INR was told as well. And notably, as several of you pointed out, Cheney's questioning may well have given added urgency to the issue. I'm just not going to let my forthright acknowledgment of where Cecil was right and I was wrong be taken as license to draw all manner of baseless inferences. Especially the notion that the exposure was inevitable or justified, even aside from the fact that it's no more true that she sent him.

Jeff

IOW the whole Cheney "triggered" the mission falsehood is what "outed" her.

I love it when members of the Party of Personal Responsibility abdicate any and all of it.

clarice

Mark:"The other thing that strikes me ------while I’m pontificating here into cyberspace-------is that Russert said something like, “So that’s what everyone was trying to figure out.” That’s a dead give away that there was much discussion about who and what. That makes it more likely that the gossip about Plame was flying."

You can bet that'll make it into the closing, along with the admission he got that while NBC might not report "rumor" as fact (cough cough), that is not responsive to what they do inside their office--exchange rumors--or what they might say to mollify an angry official ("have you heard?")

boris

Especially the notion that the exposure was inevitable or justified, even aside from the fact that it's no more true that she sent him.

But that she was exposed as the result of a campaign of LIES from the administration does seem to be in doubt no?

If as suggested it was the DIA report that caused Val to set up a mission to address "this crazy report" it certainly is more true that she sent him.

boris

members of the Party of Personal Responsibility

Dunno who you're addressing here sport but I am not one of the "good guys".

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Here's my explanation: Cecil was right and I was wrong. Does that count? '

Yes, congratulations for admittiing it. However, surely you see the implications. Wilson lied repeatedly about the provenance of his trip to gullible people like Nick Kristoff.

There was no plot to out Valerie, only an attempt to correct the record by the VP's office, in which this particular sliver of background info got out. Hence, no basis for Fitz's investigation.

Carol Herman

FM: CAROL HERMAN
TO: MARK O

It's those entertwined "aspen roots," don't cha, know?

Andrea Mitchell, and Judith Miller, were, among others in ASPEN, COLORADO for the EPIC.

That was a meeting, in May of 2003, I think, where Wilson "spoke." On stage. And, with handshakes, to others.

I'm sure that Andrea Mitchell has told her husband lots more "stuff" than we have here, to go on.

And, when she sits on the stand, IF, she does. Since I don't think the whole NBC thing is clear that she "will." I have a feeling?

Well, I've said before: THERE IS A STAGE. WHERE, WHEN THE CURTAIN GOES UP, THE ACTORS COME ON STAGE. And, their words are SCRIPTED to their roles.

Ah, but that's not the end of it!

Because there's BACKSTAGE, TOO. And, none of the "roles" apply. It's a real back-stabbing environment.

So, how can anyone guess that Andrea Mitchell plays the role BACKSTAGE, that NBC, and RUSSERT have announced in the PLAY "BILL." (Where every man does it. But Bubba, for instance, got caught. And, Sandy Berg(l)er's pants and sox got full of it, too.)

There's no question that this story contains a "PLOT." Will it de-construct? Dunno. You are the lawyer.

But God has plans, too.

windansea

Especially the notion that the exposure was inevitable or justified

of course it was inevitable, how else could Cheney correct the record that he didn't send Wilson

even aside from the fact that it's no more true that she sent him.

Cheney: I want more info on Iraq/Nigeria yellow cake

Plame: Lets send my husband

you make the call

Sara (Squiggler

I must be missing something very important because I do not understand this discussion.

The answer to why Libby chose Russert is that Russert did indeed say "something" that gave Libby his V-8 moment. Pure and simple.

The fact that Libby sourced to Russert with both Rove and Cheney after the call seems to back up this claim.

Russert and NBC are game playing with a man's freedom. Reporters, like cops and prosecutors, lie to people all the time in order to trap them into saying something they can use so why anyone gives even an ounce of credibility to Russert is beyond me.

So, since everyone else seems to believe Libby is confused and Russert isn't, tells me I must be missing some huge chunk. What?

roanoke

Jeff-

Well this is where Fitz gets the benefit of the narrowness of his charge against Libby.

Basically you are asking the jury to make a lot of inferences as to why Libby picked Russert.

It doesn't seem to be much more than a he said/he said case.

Russert says he didn't tell Libby-"impossible"-and Libby says that Russert told him.

The burden of proof is on the Prosecution.

What proof besides Russert's word has Fitz presented?

Sure I follow your logical leaps-I was hoping that you would forget that Libby might have known that Ari told Gregory-what would even cement the theory for you more would be that there are phone record logs of Libby calling Russert-is that correct?

Given all that though you are still asking the jury to connect the dots for Fitz-there isn't even good circumstancial evidence-just- Hey! wouldn't this make logical sense. You have to have more than that.

Unfortunately for the defense the damn confines of Fitz's charges tie their hands. The narrowness of the charge and Fitz's evidence against Libby-the he said/he said plank-every time the Defense tries to defend against that- they are landed squarely into the "hearsay hold".

Fitz has used the very weakness of his case to handicap Libby's defense. It's jujitsu-with lots of Kabuki thrown out for the Court of Public Opinion.

roanoke

I'll also add-sometimes the truth isn't logical.

Patton

Jeff: And Patton, who misses the point as usual, would just strengthen the case in this regard - Russert is no friend of Libby's, so it's less suspicious that Libby'd be getting the info from him.

If you had a point I certainly did miss it.

But let's play the game, OK, I'm a savvy lawyer in my late fifties/sixties working at the top of my field. I need to lie and not have it found out. I need a go to guy that will swear I he told me about Plame and that he heard it from a reporter or I need a reporter.

Well of course, Cheney or Rove are the first obvious choices, if they are involved in a conspiracy with me, they would cover my back so to speak. Miller would make sense because she's a complete ditz who can't remeber anything so she wouldn't be able to rat me out. And of course she has been a confidential source who hadn't burned me. The even there's Cooper or Woodward, or a dozen others.

But me, being a guy trying to avoid 15 years in the slammer go with high profile, Democrat Tim Russert, and to top it off, I have no confidentiality agreement with him.

To top that off, Russert was the easiest nut to crack and he sung for the FBI without so much as a subpeona in hand. Bad, stupid choice by Libby??? I seriously doubt it.

In addition, even if you have a confidentiality agreement, it doesn't normally work in reverse. That is Libby would have to be stppid to think something a reporter told him, not the other way around, was going to be confidential.

Its simply completely illogical.

The simpliest answers in order are:

1. Russert simply forgot/confused the date that he knew about Wilsons wife to some extent.

2. Libby is confusing Russert with someone else.

3. Libby is confusing the dates of the conversation and the extent of knowldege past.

Patton

It woul also be interesting to see if their really were TWO phone calls?

Libby calls Russert, complains.

Russert calls Producers/Mathews, whoever. They say, hey did he mention anything about Wilson or his wife and her role at the CIA?

Russert calls Libby back to tell him they take his complaits seriously and I've talked to my huppity hump and by the way, what you hearing about Wilsons wife?

So Russert may have been a pass through..

Sara (Squiggler

Seems to me that if Libby was looking for a reporter to trust to keep his mouth shut, he would have turned to someone like Woodward. Woodward, at least, had a 30 year track record of protecting a source.

Carol Herman

FM: CAROL HERMAN
TO: EVERYBODY

Last night I wrote an email to Mark O. Today, I received his answer. It dealt with a scene I created in my own head. Of what Cheney testifying would look like. AND, HE ASKED "DID I POST THIS. Well, here's the email. So I can say, yes, to Mark O., now.

Mark O,

Just the logistics, man. Announced ahead of time? The White House Press Corp goes nuts. Imagine the pressure on Tony Snow to give out "special passes?"

That's not good enough? Imagine the Secret Service detail.

On the other hand? Given that Cheney likes low-key. And, he is the Veep,the Judge might allow him to be a stealth witness. And, Cheney sits in the judge's chamber; having come into the court house through a back door.

All the stamps the judge has to put on the paper so that Wells' witness testifies, is done "in-camera."

And, in court? Everybody is already seated. Wells stands up. And, calls Cheney. And, a hush falls about the room. The Marshall of the Court says "ALL RISE" ... And, even the judge is UP, and out of his seat.

In first? Secret Service agent? Or Cheney. You pick. Dramatic, huh? And, up and close and personal.

After the SHORT direct, Walton asks Fitz. "Do you have any questions, sir?"

At this point, do you think there's a load in Fitz' pants?

As to playing the "tough guy" prosecutor HERE? Remember Wolf Blitzer? Where Wolf had Cheney "in his living room." Did you see what Cheney did to Wolf Blitzer? (The words were, "I think you are out of order." Blitzer kept asking about Cheney's daughter's pregnancy, being such a shame, ya know? And, Cheney had to repeat "I THINK YOU ARE OUT OF ORDER," more than once.)

Hm. Bet Cheney can use those words at Fitz, too. And, with authority.

So, I'm sitting opposite you, now,Mark O. And, I'm gonna bet: Fitz drops all questions. And, says "no questions."' Oherwise, he is a greater fool than just some stalker dude. And, you know how stalkers eventually get in trouble, don't cha?

DISCLAIMER: MARK O "FORCED ME" INTO POSTING THIS ONE.
>
> Anyway, your question is certainly a fascinating one. The peanut
gallery
> is entertained, here.
>
> Where are you putting your bets?
>
> Both kinds. For the one Cheney will not be called. And, for the
other,
> what Fitz' does with this jackpot. (Jackpot: Wells.) Oh, and
Libby.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Valerie--recently returned to work after having had twins--is offering up her hubby to go to some godforsaken hole in Africa on the very day she reads the DIA report. Without calling him first, to ask if he'd like to?

More likely:

'Honey, guess what, there's this crazy report about Iraq buying uranium in Niger. Since you've got plans to go there anyway for your gold mining investors, why don't I suggest to my boss that you could go check this out for us. We could get the Agency to pick up your travel expenses.

'Okay, great. I'll send the boss an e-mail right now.'

Then, when the truth gets out, Joe panics and makes up the conspiracy to out Val meme.

Sara (Squiggler

I posted this in the other thread in the wee hours. Please note the date of this WaPo article:

washingtonpost.com

Media Mix-It-Up At State Department

By Lloyd Grove

Sunday, July 20, 2003; Page D03

It can't be said often enough: Don't mess with Andrea Mitchell.

Last Monday afternoon, the State Department's public affairs shop e-mailed beat reporters that Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had agreed to appear that very night on Greta Van Susteren's Fox News Channel show, "On the Record."

Mitchell went ballistic.

"This is OUTRAGEOUS," NBC's foreign policy correspondent scorched the State Department flacks in an e-mail. "He [Armitage] can't answer telephone calls or REPEATED requests for backgrounders or an on-camera interview from the correspondent representing the most widely watched NETWORK newscast . . . and he's doing a FOX talk show that has no relationship to foreign policy?"

Mitchell vented: "I don't get it but it is very upsetting. It also defies any understanding of the difference between the NBC Nightly News, TODAY program, CNBC and MSNBC PLUS the nation's biggest Web site. Is the administration that desperate to appeal to a niche audience? If I sound upset, it's because I am."

Mitchell's e-mail was widely circulated to an appreciative audience and eventually came to us. State Department spokesman Phillip Reeker defended Armitage's level of accessibility. "He is well represented across the spectrum of this nation's and the world's electronic media." But Reeker declined to discuss Mitchell's complaints. "That," he said cheerfully, "would betray my relationship with Andrea Mitchell."

Mitchell, meanwhile, said: "I'm never going to apologize for aggressively trying to get the deputy secretary of state to come on NBC, especially since we have the biggest audience and do such extensive reporting on foreign policy."

Van Susteren, for her part, told us: "I don't know what she means by 'niche' programming. At Fox, we covered the war in Iraq wall to wall. I really think she is tipping her hat to me because I beat her out. If she would like, I would be more than happy to give Andrea Mitchell an interview on foreign policy."

Carol Herman

FM: CAROL HERMAN
TO: ROANOKE

RE: KABUKI

Let me tell ya, when someone steps on your toes during a Kabuki number, by definition they stay on your toes longer than normal. And, it hurts more than most dance miss-steps, too.

windansea

Jeff, EmptyWheel etc keep looking for a conspiracy where we see a legitimate pushback that led to Plame outing

MaidMarion

Clarice,

"You can bet that'll make it into the closing, along with the admission he got that while NBC might not report "rumor" as fact (cough cough), that is not responsive to what they do inside their office--exchange rumors--or what they might say to mollify an angry official ("have you heard?")"

Why do you think Wells didn't pursue more about the "pre-Novak buzz" following this exchange with Russert:

W: Part of the "buzz" around Joe Wilson was about his trip to Niger and his wife's employment, right?

T: There was a pre- and post-Novak buzz… after the Novak column, it took on a new dimension,

W: (confusing question)

T: I don't know what that means, but I know that I didn't know about Wilson's wife. That is a significant fact that I would have reported and investigated.

Why did Wells stop short when he could have continued with "You may not have known anything but was there any pre-Novak buzz inside your newsroom about Wilson's wife or Valerie Plame?"

Alcibiades

I think if there had been evidence of a second call, the defense would have already told us that while Russert was up cross - why would they wait for later? That impeaches him fairly seriously from the get go.

Carol Herman

FM: CAROL HERMAN
TO: JEFF

You mention the "DC node." And, I laughed. Then, I remembered. Jill Abramson was INSIDE that NODE, before she went outside, to run the NY TIMES cabal. On 42nd Street. Where outside "that" building, it is notorious as a pick up zone for all sorts of whores. Whatever your apetite.

So, when Jill Abramson's ass hits that witness stand, she now knows from the MTP, Howie Kurtz and Russert's "love fest" ... that being on the witness stand is a painful experience. I do not know why. It certainly doesn't look like New York's old Sparky.

But the NODE to nowhere near DC? Ain't gonna fly by Jill Abramson getting "forgetful" about her old home town. No. Sir. EEE.

Jeff

Wilson lied repeatedly about the provenance of his trip to gullible people like Nick Kristoff.

he did no such thing. He was told it was the VP. So was the INR analyst asked to give INR's assessment of the question.

Walter

Jeff,

Thanks for addressing my questions. I hadn't known the timing of Mitchell/Miller on July 8.

I still would not have picked Russert, absent something I could point to for cover, but then again, I haven't made it to OVP, let alone the White House.

Sara,

One of the reasons we're speculating on possible Libby errors more than possible Russert errors (obviously not including TM & Clarice) is that Wells has said that Libby might have made mistakes. So far, nobody speaking for Russert has claimed that he might have made a mistake. Doesn't mean he's not wrong or lying through his teeth. But we're not likely to see proof (as opposed to argument) on that subject.

Unless Mitchell cracks under Wells inciteful (insightful?) questioning.

Jane

Maid Marion,

My guess is Well's didn't know the answer. Remember Russert was on vacation, so he could easily say he didn't hear the buzz. Wells probably thought the inference was better than a denial.

Are you going back to the trial this week?

MarkO

Why did Wells stop short when he could have continued with "You may not have known anything but was there any pre-Novak buzz inside your newsroom about Wilson's wife or Valerie Plame?"

In my experience there is no reason to ask the question, because things can only become worse. As you can see from my posts with Clarice, there is already evidence in the record to argue that Russert’s testimony is inconsistent with his on-air statement. It’s no only a matter of “not asking a question to which you don’t know the answer’ (that doesn’t always apply). In this case, asking Russert would simply give him an opportunity to diminish the impact of the prior admission. Do you doubt that NBC’s lawyers had him ready for that question?
All of this has to do with how the defense case is crafted, like it says in Revelation, they know the end from the beginning. Anyway, they had better.

MarkO

Carol H.,

Thanks for recognizing that I am all powerful.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

REGARDING THE QUESTION "Why Would Libby Choose Russert?" HELLO.

Libby CALLED Russert to COMPLAIN about the Joe Wilson shit Chrissy Matthews allowed to let fly on HARDBALL. Russert is a MANAGING EDITOR of NBC. ANd, HARDBALL is a program "under his chair." Now moved to the throne room in the toilet.

Russert, on the stand said: "I PUT ON MY VIEWERS' COMPLAINT' HAT. And, told Libby that "he'd have to take his complaint and stuff it." OR? Call Chris Matthews producer to complain about the content of that hilarious show.

Ah. And, then? EIther one or two phone calls. Russert doesn't remember. But Wilson? The "name" never came up! Russert, I guess is allowed to divulge "viewer complain calls," even from the White House OVP, Chief os Staff. Because?

Because sometimes he just "listens."

At other times, he has phone calls, even from the FBI. Where he just listens. And, ain't it a shame that whiile he underwent "memory improvement" with Eckenrode, there are misplaced notes. Which do not corroberate the intial "I may have," and gave "IMPOSSIBLE" the road show to Fitz' indictment.

And, the media? They think we can't deconstruct this plot. At least not in Walton's court room.

ME THINKS? However, me thinks there are uncircumcised gents who have gotten their pricks caught in the crack (of this story) So far? It hurts. But no one wants an honest rabbi to come by and snip. Nor do I blame them.

Though of all the magic in this world, God works in strange ways. When you get bored here. Go read about Lincoln. He was the fatalist. Who talked about HIGHER MOTIVES. Where he credited this to God's work. And, God's will. Which every human carries in their brains. Later? Freud will label this the Super Ego. Or how your own unconscious can make you do things where your concisous mind only controls your tongue.

There's a greater good to be learned of, out there.

Old Dad

I'm sure there are good lawyerly reasons, but why hasn't more attention been paid to what the Washington press corp was working on vis a vis Wilson before the Novak article. Clarice's link to Fedora hints that Mitchell was honest when she claimed that lots of reporters knew about Plame.

Is it too late for Wells to establish that, and would it matter if he did?

Common sense suggests that there probably was a good deal of fishing, gossiping, bait and switching, etc. long before the Novak scoop. It seems incredible to me that Mitchell wasn't in on the game and equally incredible that she didn't share at least water cooler talk with Russert and Gregory. It's certainly possible that Gregory and Russert have muddled the time line, but I'm skeptical.

I think TM's on to something. I thik Little Russ went Plame fishig with Libby and is conveniently forgetting.

BarbaraS

2)the tasking memo on Feb 13 is just a documentary memorialization of a request Cheney had made the day before and that had been passed along already to CPD. I will keep hope alive. But until then, kudos to you on that one.

Give up hope because in that instance the CIA would not have the memo anyway.

MaidMarion

Russert's body language...

During Thursday's trial, I was seated several rows behind the NBC attorneys, and directly in Russert's line of sight to his lawyers.

Throughout the trial Russert made very little facial gestures...was fairly low-key and in control. But there was one time where he made a face probably thinking no one noticed. It was during this sidebar as Fitz/Wells were approaching the bench, as posted in the http://www.firedoglake.com/2007/02/08/libby-live-tim-russert-three/>FDL blog:

W: You have never divulged on TV your conversation with Eckenrode, right?

T: Was a confidential conversation I did not report on.

W: Do you recall a statement by NBC News that NBC had done its best not to hide anything about its involvement or Tim Russert's involvement in leak investigation?

T: Yes.

Objection. Sidebar (after Fitz shrugs, a little frustrated, and says, "May be approach?"). Sustained.

As Fitz moved to approach the bench Russert quickly glanced at the NBC lawyers and communicated a subtle face: He widened his eyes to them, blew a little air in his left cheek, and then let it out.

This is the best I can describe the expression...it's a common one people make.

It was remarkable because he hadn't made any obvious eye contact with his lawyers up to this point. I took it to mean "This is getting sticky."

windansea

he did no such thing. He was told it was the VP

get real Jeff, Cheney asked for more info, he didn't ask for a mission to Niger, let alone ask for Munchausen.

AND CHENEY ASKED THE DAY AFTER VALERIE HAD ALREADY SUGGESTED JOE

Carol Herman

FM: CAROL HERMAN
TO: MAID MARION

What you're describing is a POKER TELL.

It means Russert doesn't have the cards. He is bluffing. And, he is now gonna get raised.

MarkO

Dad? Is that you?

The judge has deemed this to be objectionable because it is deemed to be irrelevant. In this case, it is “too relevant.” The rules of evidence are strange in many ways. For example, if you were on a jury for a robbery charge, would you want to know that he defendant had previously robbed the same house? Good luck.

That said, I think there is enough evidence in the record to show a frenzy. The X-mas Eve tape, for example. But, trials are NOT about the truth.

Carol Herman

FM: CAROL HERMAN

I agree with Wind-an-see. Cheney's note is definitely dated the 13th. And, Val's request to have her husband sent to Niger was written to her boss (was it Alan Foley?) ... oh February 12th. ONE DAY APART.

Favors Cheney. And, the White House recollection.

Sara (Squiggler

Last night I watched a CSPAN "Booknotes" segment on the book "The Trial" which is about the Abraham Lincoln assassination trial. So, you think this trial is complicated and complex. In that trial, the government called 366 witnesses. Yikes!

Although there were convictions, there were : drumroll :: at least three government witnesses lied under oath and were charged with perjury.

From what I saw in that segment, the idea that "we've never seen anything like what the press is doing today," pales in comparison to what was going on back in the aftermath of Lincoln's assassination.

BarbaraS

(2) Why not choose Mitchell herself? She, not Russert was the one claiming knowledge. We can see from Fitzgerald's filings just how much more difficult it is to attribute Mitchell's misstatement to Russert.

Maybe he chose Russert because that is who he talked to. Russert really has a nerve being so adamant about the conversation when he can't remember events and phone conversations of more recent calls than Libby's. And parsing about "didn't tell him her name" Maybe he didn't know her name but knew the fact that she was an operative in the CIA who sent her husband on the "mission". Maybe he just plain forgot and found himself in a mess because of his bad memory and could not find a way out.

MaidMarion

MarkO,

OK, I see the "diminish impact" rationale.

Jane,

Hope to be in court everyday next week.

Cecil Turner

he did no such thing. He was told it was the VP. So was the INR analyst asked to give INR's assessment of the question.

That's a very good point, if true. But I don't see anything in the INR memo or the contemporary attachment (notes). It's also less than compelling in Wilson's case, since I assume he talks to his wife.

boris

he did no such thing. He was told it was the VP

Since Val (Joe's own wife) knew it wasn't the VP it's far more likely Joe was told to SAY it was the VP. Therefore he in all likelyhood did such thing.

clarice

MM, Introduce yourself to me and we can have lunch together. C

PaulL

Sara Squiggler,

For what it's worth, I believe Libby when he says that Russert told him. I do not believe that Libby mixed up Russert with someone else.

Kazinski

Jeff,
Wilson may or may not have lied about believing he was sent by the VP, but he did lie about at least two things:

That there was no evidence Iraq was "seeking" yellowcake from Niger. Unless is was too dense to see what "commercial relations" meant.

That he debunked the Nigerian yellowcake forgeries that he couldn't have seen or even heard about at the time.

Old Dad

MarkO,

Thanks for that. Strange rules indeed. Hence all the discussion about subtle references, crafting closing statements to create reasonable doubt, etc.

Regardless, Little Russ is too seasoned a vet of the press wars not to have been in on the scuttlebutt, and maybe he was off his game when he chatted with Scooter, and I have some swamp land in Florida ...

Slowkey

clarice said:

"he will get her to say that her sources were official, that she did talk to officials and did get material related to the Wilson matter."

This made me wonder. All along the media (and possibly the prosecution) has conflated someone talking about "material related to the Wilson matter" with speaking about Wilson's wife. Anyone trying to get out the rebuttal on the facts about Wilson's bogus claims was painted with a broad brush as also having (wink, wink) improperly spoken about the wife as well.

This is one of the major confusion points for the MSM that allows them to continue their charade of coverage because the distinction requires knowing a certain amount of backstory at a more than cursory level. MSM reporters appear not to know or care about the distinction.

I wonder if the defense will attempt to hoist the media on its own petard by making the point clear through Mitchell, Woodward or others that these were two very distinct concepts, to wit: "Just because you were talking about Joe Wilson and his claims it didn't mean you were talking about his wife."

They can't have it both ways. (Does this make sense?)

boris

Wilson may or may not have lied about believing he was sent by the VP

Not credibly. That Val wrote her memo on the 12th and Cheney was briefed on the 13th absolutely implicates the Joe and Val team in a lie. Even if she used her husband to lie to the public she made herself fair game and brought about her own "outing".

boris

Having on several occasions drawn a distinction between a lie and a false accusation for the Wilsons and Fitz, the date thingy definately pushes the Wilsons into the lie category.

In general a selfserving lie that harms nobody else is a lesser offence than a false accuastion based on ignorance or rumor. A false accusation based on lie is really bad.

It serves no purpose to minimize their perfidy.

Rick Ballard

Boris,

'These are not the droids you are looking for' doesn't cut it with you? It seems such a good argument to many...

MarkO

On the question of Russert saying, “I didn’t know that,” regarding who Wilson’s wife was.

Again, this is all based on my experience and view of his overall testimony and the strategic position in which he finds himself. He may have some definition of what “to know” means that we don’t share. This is a common trait among witnesses who wish to withhold evidence. We all recall and laugh at “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” But, this is a common maneuver by witnesses who want to lie, but hate the lie direct. In a civil case (again with the whine) one can ask the witness to explain what he means by “to know.” I would not begin to go down that road with Russert unless I had a clear impeachment at the end of the line. One would look petty.

Back to my reason for posting and taking up your Sunday. A trial is a confined space with specific rules. One can have the ability reasonably to anticipate the outcome of a certain line of questioning and the impact of a witness. So much------indeed everything-----depends on preparation, research and execution.

I was surprised by the holes in the case left by Fitzgerald. A real perjury case should be clean and clear. Did you notice the witnesses not prepped by NBC did poorly? With the exception of the false declaration, which, again, Fitzgerald should have had Russert explain rather than let it become a memorable moment on cross. It did seem that Fitzgerald chose the not-very-creative strategy not to bring out matters on direct that could weaken the witness. Maybe they did not tell him, or maybe he just didn’t care because he thinks his case is so solid. Remember Marcia Clark?

clarice

Maybe he's just used to practicing against hotshots like Ramsey Clark and Lynn Steward..

MarkO

Empty suits.

Jeff

Not that INR guy. This one, from SSCI, 42:

On March 1, 2002, INR published an intelligence assessment, Niger: Sale of Uranium to Iraq is Unlikely. The INR nalyst who drafted the assessment told Committee staff that he had been told that that piece was in response to interest from the Vice President's office in the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal.

And remember, this is to bolster the likelihood that Wilson was told some such thing; it's not to reargue the Feb 12-13 point (for now). It's easy to imagine too by the time Wilson came in on Feb 19, the VP's interest loomed larger than anyone else's, as a number of you suggested back when I was vociferously arguing the Feb 12 point.

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