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March 06, 2007

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» The Scooter Libby Verdict from Flopping Aces
So Scotter Libby was found guilty by a jury of his peers for lying to the FBI and the Grand Jury: Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis Scooter Libby, was convicted Tuesday of lying and obstructing... [Read More]

Comments

BuNNEE

If David Gregory had the goods on Russert then why didn't Team Libby interview him and put him on the stand?

Other Tom

You really think Gregory would have allowed Libby's lawyers to interview him? That's a hot one...

Syl

By that point in time we knew Mr. Libby had told a story. That what he had told reporters has come not from other government officials, but from reporter Tim Russert.

A story that had NOTHING to do with your investigation because ALSO at that time you already knew about Armitage and you already knew that Armitage got his information from an official source--a State Dept memo.

The information about Val went public in an article by Novak. Armitage was the leaker.

You saw a shiny paperclip and ignored the pot of gold.

Alcibiades

David Gregory and Russert were both represented by NBC council. There was no way one would be used to impeach the other; and the judge did not appear to be interested in allowing any such confrontation either.

Rick Ballard

"Fitzgerald abused his office and his public trust."

It would be nice to see Clarice's original letter to the DoJ as a post as well as her suggestions as to what should should be added regarding Fitz's conduct during the trial.

Fitz made a bigger fool out of Tatel than Tatel is naturally and the remaining redacted portions of that fraudulent Miller affidavit should be coming out shortly. Who knows, maybe the Libby appeal will wind up in front of Tatel and he'll have an opportunity to drop an anvil on the slimiest prosecutor in the room.

Terrye

If Gregory did know that Russert knew and did not come forward by now, will he ever?

My God, this is confusing.

TexasToast

Abuse?
Really Tom?

I don't like politics through the courts myself, but, it's not nice to lie to a grand jury.

And, in a bit of tu quoque
..... compared to Ken Starr?

They didn't leak - and they don't seem to want to (like Starr and the Energizer Bunny)keep going and going and going....

Terrye

Rick:

Do you think there is a chance of a dismissal?

moflicky

I'm just wondering if Wells reads this blog.

I'm guessing, sadly no.

morgan

Safe to say this is the "anger" stage...let me know when you get to acceptance, Tom.

Jack Moss

There is just something about that collins guy!

Sue

I would like to hear from the art curator as to why she got tossed. I also want to know if the person or persons who told Andrea Mitchell will ever confront her, or have they already? You see, I think this thing spun out of control for everyone involved. Russert and Mitchell included. Whether Russert ever told Libby or not, his "impossible" has the potential to put Libby in jail. And I for one will never believe he didn't know before the Novak article that Joe Wilson's wife was involved somehow, someway.

Terrye

Texas Toast:

This is not about Starr, but if you want to make it about Starr let's remember that Clinton admitted to perjury and did not have to face conviction or serve any time.

I hope this is the last special prosecutor we see. I am tired of this.

Terrye

Sue:

I think it has taken on a life of its own. I am not sure that even Valerie and Joe meant for things to go this far.

Rick Ballard

Terrye,

Not by Walton. I have no idea as to whether an appeal will be accepted. I know that there are issues that appear to be worthy of consideration but that doesn't mean a damn thing. If we had a justice system, it might, but what we have is a legal process system that excludes justice as an irrelevant notion. I've paid several hundred thousand dollars for a "real world" education on the matter over the course of thirty years and the only thing that ever surprises me about the courts is a correct verdict. The 'blind pig and acorn' concept alleviates even that surprise.

clarice

Stve Gilbert and I have been working on the same thing. Here's his.(I'll send him yours).

http://www.sweetness-light.com/archive/the-very-misleading-answers-of-patrick-fitzgerald>Misleading Again

Rick--the rebuttal thing surely should set wigs afire at DOJ (heh, as if they'll do anything)

And the stuff about the Russert affidavit in the subpoena case.He had an obligation to get NBC to correct the affidavit or to notify the court if they refused to.
And never asking Pincus about Fleischer or Gregory and Dickenson about Fleiacher or Mitchell about "everyone knew". This was not a trial about seeking a just result , this was a prosecutor using every trick at his disposal to secure a political scalp.

BuNNEE

other tom: a subpeona could have been used to force gregory to testify. the new york times didn't want to let jill abramson testify for the defense, and yet there she was in court, used to rebut former co-worker judy miller. if there is a will there's a way--team libby didn't seem to have much will or even much effort.

Jim E.

This is cruel, but . . .

I really shouldn't do this because we all have failed predictions in our closet, but this is just too funny.

From Gary Maxwell: There is also a mercy rule. By the time Wells is done, it may be invoked since he will be so far ahead that it not fair to continue.

From Patrick R. Sullivan: This is known to salesmen as; DON'T TALK PAST THE CLOSE. Wells has recognized something in the jury's reaction; it's time to push the contract over to the customer and hand him a pen, with something like; 'Did you want the blue one or the red one?'

Also from Patrick R. Sullivan: Another one bites the dust for Fitz. He's getting drubbed, and ought to throw in the towel.

From Tom Maguire: If lawyers used the phrase "pwn3d", defense attorney Wells would have been scrawling it on the whiteboard at the Libby trial today.

From clarice: the jury, though, they seem to get this very well. [Hmmm, this one’s actually not so bad from my viewpoint. But it’s funny cuz clarice wrote it.]

Also from clarice: The prosecution case is swirling down the white porcelain throne.

sferris

Ad hominem attacks is all you got left? And a pardon, but Libby will have to admit his guilt receive his pardon. At least Libby got the benefit of trial, which is lot better then many prisoners being held by the US get. He also got the best attorneys money could buy. Who were the winners? The American justice system and Fitzgerald. The losers? Libby, Cheney, and Bush.

Curly Smith

Two common denominators in the Martha Stewart and Lewis Libby trials:

- both were found guilty of process crimes rather than the crimes under investigation

- FBI agents lied in both cases

Welcome to the 21st Century, it's a new world but it's not necessarily a brave new world.

Pofarmer

If Gregory did know that Russert knew and did not come forward by now, will he ever?

No.

Have you heard the questions Gregory has for Bush?

Sue

I think Powell is the person Mitchell is protecting. But, we will probably never know so I might as well get over it, or as the latest troll said, reach acceptance. I think by the time Mitchell and Russert realized it was going all the way, they had committed themselves, through Russert's testimony, to standing firm on not knowing anything. I bet no one was as surprised as Russert was during Fitzgerald's press conference. He probably imagined he was an incidental player, since he had been treated so lightly by Fitz. And no leak had occurred. By the time he realized he WAS the case, it was too late to come clean. He faced perjury himself. But, if my theory is anywhere near correct, there is someone out there that knows the truth and that will be hanging over both of their heads for a long time to come. Will that person's conscience allow them to remain silent?

Terrye

Rick:

Well I know if I ever get busted all I am saying is name rank and serial number.

And of course, sorry, I don't remember. can't recall...don't remember.

Too bad Libby did not do that. And he is a lawyer, since when do lawyers not understand the wisdom of remaining silent?

The man was convicted for being too damn helpful. Not for outing anyone, just for talking and talking.

Syl

TT

I don't like politics through the courts myself, but, it's not nice to lie to a grand jury.

Fitz empaneled the GJ for the sole purpose of investigating Libby who had nothing to do with the leak that made val public. And fitz KNEW it.

When fitz empaneled the GJ he was only looking for process crimes (which had NOTHING to do with the actual leak), yet pretended he was on this super duper leak investigation.

That's not nice either.

clarice

He can't permit perjury but he let Russert perjure himself in an affidavit and never mentioned it to the court although he's an officer of the court. In fact, he promised NBC counsel he'd never raise it.

Sue

Ad hominem attacks is all you got left? And a pardon, but Libby will have to admit his guilt receive his pardon. At least Libby got the benefit of trial, which is lot better then many prisoners being held by the US get. He also got the best attorneys money could buy. Who were the winners? The American justice system and Fitzgerald. The losers? Libby, Cheney, and Bush.

Re-read what you wrote. And while you are at it, go google Patrick Fitzgerald and the Patriot Act. And while you are at it, go read the closing where Patrick Fitzgerald worked his magic on a terrorist who didn't have the benefit of a high priced lawyer. And while you are at it, don't bother. It won't change your mind about Fitz!

BuNNEE

I am really kind of shocked that so many people here seem to think it OK to lie to a grand jury or to an FBI investigator. It seems like everyone here says it was OK for Libby to lie because there was no crime.

Maybe in his mind and your mind there's no crime, but in reality a jury gets to decide whether a crime has been committed. You don't get to pick and choose when it is OK to lie during an investigation because it suits your purposes. And lying because to cover for your boss or because it is politically embarrassing or because the other guy said something that made you mad, that's just not a valid excuse.

Pofarmer

And a pardon, but Libby will have to admit
his guilt receive his pardon

Actually no, he wouldn't.

Sue

The damndest thing to me is they bought Grenier's testimony. The one where he just felt his memory of what he told Libby. And I bet it pissed EW off that they felt sympathy for the she-vampire, Judith Miller. In fact, EW will have to rethink her feelings towards Miller since she more or less helped convict Libby with her bag full of notes.

Sue

I am really kind of shocked that so many people here seem to think it OK to lie to a grand jury or to an FBI investigator. It seems like everyone here says it was OK for Libby to lie because there was no crime.

I'm really kind of shocked that so many on your side think it is okay for Fitzgerald to ignore so many leaks of a covert operative and just walk away.

Pofarmer

How miller and cooper could help convict anybody is kind of mind boggling.

Terrye

sferris:

Are you an American? I wondered because of the wording of your question.

BTW, the prisoners of the US have had their cases taken all the way to the United States Supreme Court. They may be terrorists who would happily slit your throat, but there are plenty of people out there ready and willing to represent them. Congress passed a law just to make sure they get a fair trial.

Now if we were some place like Russia, all they would get would be a bullet in the head or lost in some prison system for decades. No need for a trial. If they were some ME dictatorsip they would get their heads lobbed off or hanged without any pretense at a trial.

BTW, who knows what happens to people when even an enlightened and progressive country like France jerks someone off a street and drags them off to a police station? Does anyone even think to ask?

Thousands of people can disappear into what passes for a justice system in a place Venezuala and no one gives a rat's ass... but when the oppurtunity to trash America comes along they obsess about the diets and sleeping habits of a few hundred terrorists living somewhere the whole damn world knows about.

I am so sick of whiney little hypocrites.

Why don't you go complain to the mullahs about the homosexuals they publicly execute? I am sure they give a damn.

MayBee

clarice- good job to you and S&L. And TM.

Here's my thing:Fitzgerald said today that they actually knew the story about Russert before the Grand Jury was ever empaneled. How then, can Libby's testimony to the Grand Jury be considered obstruction?

clarice And the stuff about the Russert affidavit in the subpoena case.He had an obligation to get NBC to correct the affidavit or to notify the court if they refused to.

Fitzgerald admitted that they kept it secret that Russert had already spoken to the FBI. That is obviously why Fitzgerald didn't use it in the affidavit- to keep Libby from knowing they already had Russert's information. That way Libby couldn't change or correct his story when he went to the Grand Jury. All part of the trap.

topsecretk9

Sue

I thought that too. I noticed during the trial how awkward it was Fitz was so reliant on her after the left did their special brand of smear merchant Sid Vicious Blumethal impression on her. Sorta like how Kaus noticed that Ariannna needs to pick her boogeyman - Russert or Cheney.

hit and run

New Thread, Sue in lights...

Pofarmer

Here's my thing:Fitzgerald said today that they actually knew the story about Russert before the Grand Jury was ever empaneled. How then, can Libby's testimony to the Grand Jury be considered obstruction?

And why wasn't the rest of the crew questioned to check the story out?

And for the troll up above. The defense can subpeona somebody, but they don't have the benefit of a warmup in the GJ to know what they are going to say.

Syl

dgrttod

Who were the winners? The American justice system and Fitzgerald. The losers? Libby, Cheney, and Bush.

We are ALL losers when we allow politics to drive the justice system. ALL of us.

We are ALL losers when any of us cheers on a verdict because it's politically advantageous rather than looking at the facts and the law and the process.

We are ALL losers when the FBI fibs about what's in the notes vs the reports they write yet the FBI is not held to account.

That alone should scare the bajeebus out of anyone.

Uncle Pinky

BuNNEE

I don't think anyone is arguing that it is not a crime to intentionally lie to a Grand Jury. Eight hours under the hot lamp with no notes, no prep time and a non-crim lawyer to a sixty-three year old wooly-headed duffer, I can see him mispeaking. As to getting his info from Russert, Russert was shown in court to black out on phone calls where he was, hmm, exercised/emotional/drunk. I'm going for drunk since Libby called him at home, but even not he is simply not credible on adversarial phone calls as shown by the Buffalo story. Then the notes which might have indicated much more than "I could not rule it out" go missing? W.T.F?

Fitz wanted a WH conviction, any WH conviction and he worked reaally hard to get it.

Terrye

Bunnee:

I am not saying it is ok to lie. I am just wondering how we will ever really know who lied.

What if it turns out that Russert did know about Plame's identity earlier than he said he did? This is not the kind of thing that can ever be proved with a degree of certainty, there will always be another possibility and that makes me wonder.

Terrye

Syl:

Well nobody really trusts the FBI. The truth is this whole thing was so political that it will have long term effects people have not really thought about.

For one thing, people will have even less respect and trust for reporters than they did. Too often these people end up making the news rather than reporting it.

In the future it should be a rule to anyone in the White House, unless it is absolutely necessary...Do not talk to the media. Never trust them.

And that will create more secrets.

sferris

Libby's conviction now reaches right into the White House. On the positive sides, Cheney and Bush will not pay a huge price for Libby's conviction because their credibility was already severely damaged.

Rick Ballard

Mrs. 'I don't recall' Clinton and her husband set the standard for "cooperation" and President Bush erred in requiring a higher standard. With bums in the FBI and at the DoJ, cooperation is strictly a suckers game. If the President is going to require cooperation with the Copperhead Congress then he should expect to run the executive branch as a one man shop.

MayBee

Libby's conviction now reaches right into the White House.

Only Libby was convicted, and he was convicted on his words, not any that came from the White House.

Syl

bunnie honey

I am really kind of shocked that so many people here seem to think it OK to lie to a grand jury or to an FBI investigator.

Show us the quotes, honey. Who here has said it's okay to lie.

Show us quotes from anyone here who believes Libby lied and says it's okay anyway.

Now tell me, was it okay for Armitage to lie by omission and not tell fitz that he leaked to another reporter before he leaked to Novak?

Tell me, was it okay for fitz to lie by giving the jury the impression in his closer that people could die because a covert agent was outed when he presented no evidence that val was covert, and the judge had told the jury they couldn't even think about it?

Tell me, was it okay for Fitz to lie by pretending he was conducting a leak investigation when he grilled Libby for 8 hours?

I do not believe that Libby lied. I believe an innocent man has been convicted of doing so.

So get off your oh so arrogant high horse.

BarbaraS

I read on another thread about the CIA agent who investigated Aldrich Ames, Jeanne Vertefeuille. I was curious so I looked her up. Lo and behold, she is listed as being in Gabon in 1984 to 1986. I never heard of Gabon until it was reported that he was the ambassador there. I realize that Joe Wilson was ambassador in the early 1190s but I started wondering. Where did Denis Collins get the information to write about Jeanne Vertefeulle in his book? Did the CIA let this information out about what agents were involved in his capture? This doens't sound like the CIA. Could it possibly be that Denis Collins is a friend or at least knew the Wilsons and found out about Jeanne Vertefeuille from Valerie. After all, Valerie was outed by Ames. That is the reason she returned to the US. Just a thought.

Syl

MayBee

That is obviously why Fitzgerald didn't use it in the affidavit- to keep Libby from knowing they already had Russert's information. That way Libby couldn't change or correct his story when he went to the Grand Jury. All part of the trap.

Holy Crap. That never occurred to me.

sferris

Libby doesn't have to accept a pardon, but accepting a pardon implicitly constitutes an admission of guilt. It's also likely he will be disbarred.

Alcibiades

For one thing, people will have even less respect and trust for reporters than they did. Too often these people end up making the news rather than reporting it.

For one, the fact that that Denis Collins is now trumpeting the fact that Libby's guilty verdict hangs on Tim Russert testimony - what Fitzgerald has done, point blank, is criminalize politics by destroying the safety net between reporters and politicians. He's redrawn the line between them.

In the end, I think this will do nothing for the reputation of Tim Russert - he'll now be perceived as partisan - not the middle of the road trustworthy guy he aspired to project. I certainly won't see him in the same light again.

Pofarmer

BarbaraS

You're gonna give me an anuerism with stuff like that.

clarice

He had Russert and NBC by the short hairs and Libby in the vise.

clarice

BTW the dates of the FBI interviews w/ Russert were Nov 14 and 24 2003.

Pofarmer

Libby doesn't have to accept a pardon, but accepting a pardon implicitly constitutes an admission of guilt. It's also likely he will be disbarred.

Once again, no, it doesn't.

Pofarmer

Fitzgerald has run this racket before, after all.

I'd like to know more about the Ryan case.

Terrye

dferris:

Credibility? Puhleaze. I can still remember Clinton telling me that he did not have sex with that woman. He also looked into a camera and said with all seriousness that not only did Saddam have weapons, but mark my words, he said he will use them.

But hey, he is a Democrat and the rules are different for him. Right?

MayBee

Libby doesn't have to accept a pardon, but accepting a pardon implicitly constitutes an admission of guilt.

Where does that even come from?

BarbaraS

At least Libby got the benefit of trial, which is lot better then many prisoners being held by the US get.

You people kill me. Here you are. Patriotic. Support the troops. Very worried about the care our wounded are getting. Bring our children home before they get hurt. Even send them to Okinawa so they will be safe. Blah, blah blah!!

But then again you want to protect the very people who were shooting our soldiers on the battlefield and putting them in the hospitals. Poor things. They have three squares a day, their Koran, their prayer mats and hot water to bathe. This is probably more than most of them have ever seen. For you information some of these prisoners have to be run down to get them on the boat to go home. They never had it so goodand don't want to leave. And others their countries don't want them and won't take them. What do you suggest we do? Turn them loose in the US. Please let me know where you live so I can tell the military that you are willing to take some of them in.

MayBee

BTW the dates of the FBI interviews w/ Russert were Nov 14 and 24 2003.

Thanks, clarice. So right between Libby's first and second interviews with investigators.

Then Libby went to the GJ in March 2004, and Russert didn't get the re-virginating subpoena until May.

cathyf
I am really kind of shocked that so many people here seem to think it OK to lie to a grand jury or to an FBI investigator.
Yeah, it's pretty shocking that they think that it's OK for Fitzgerald to lie to a grand jury, petit jury, the Appeals Court, the Supreme Court. And that it's OK for the FBI investigators to lie to the grand jury. Oh, and they think it's ok that Fitzgerald and the FBI lied to them, too.
TexasToast

Yeah, it's pretty shocking that they think that it's OK for Fitzgerald to lie to a grand jury, petit jury, the Appeals Court, the Supreme Court. And that it's OK for the FBI investigators to lie to the grand jury. Oh, and they think it's ok that Fitzgerald and the FBI lied to them, too.

??????

Pofarmer

and Russert didn't get the re-virginating subpoena until May.

LOL

BarbaraS

??????

You really haven't been keeping up with this case have you? Evidently you know nothing about it at all.

Curly Smith

For one thing, people will have even less respect and trust for reporters than they did.

Sorry Terrye but itinerant used car salesmen garner more respect than reporters. Granted, if one uses the DanRather respectability meter then even the Pumpkinhead isn't just seeds for brains.

Speaking of the Pumpkinhead, I wonder if he's read "Big Russ and Me: Father and Son--Lessons of Life" http://www.amazon.com/Big-Russ-Me-Father-Son-Lessons/dp/B000GY78HS/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-5009261-8806531?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1173246354&sr=8-1? I bet the Pumpkinhead could learn a few things.

glass

Since Armitage turned himself in to the DOJ saying he was the leaker and Fitz knew that information when he got the case three months later, could it be that Libby did not know Armitage had confessed?

phrith

From your line of reasoning, the fact that no-one besides Libby was indicted means that Libby was innocent? That because Fitz concluded that he couldn't go any further exactly because of Libby's obstruction, Libby was innocent, and there was a grand conspiracy to cover up all the other leakers? It's hard to come away with anything more than the conclusion that your objective reasoning is nothing more than just partisan whining.

Syl

glass

Since Armitage turned himself in to the DOJ saying he was the leaker and Fitz knew that information when he got the case three months later, could it be that Libby did not know Armitage had confessed?

Of course he didn't know. It wouldn't be a perjury trap otherwise. Fitz also hid that Russert had spoken to the FBI. Fitz also hid that he wasn't conducting a leak investigation anymore--it was only process crimes.

Anyway, Libby knew he had nothing to do with the Novak piece.

Syl

frith

You are an idiot.

That because Fitz concluded that he couldn't go any further exactly because of Libby's obstruction,

Fitz had no further to go. That's why he clarified with the acting AG that he could do process crimes instead. Then fitz empaneled a GJ.

What Libby testified to in the GJ had nothing to do with whether Fitz could charge Armitage or not. Fitz already knew Armitage had leaked and already knew Armitage got his info from a State dept. memo.

And nothing Libby did led to public knowledge that val worked at the cia, whether he lied or not.

Any other smart questions?

Sara (Squiggler)

Libby didn't know Armitage was the leaker and neither did the WH because the DOJ types/prosecutor told him not to tell.

glass

"It's hard to come away with anything more than the conclusion that your objective reasoning is nothing more than just partisan whining."

I like a little cheese with my whine.

Tom Maguire

If David Gregory had the goods on Russert then why didn't Team Libby interview him and put him on the stand?

That would have been a great tactic if they had realized they were starring in a "guilty until proven innocent" trial.

Normally in America, it is the job of the *prosecutor* to eliminate reasonable doubt.

I don't know if that helps...

T.J. King

Why ask Gregory if Ari leaked to him. If he assumed from Russert's "maybe I did, maybe i didnt" with the FBI, that Russert knew he may have already drawn the line back to Mitchell by then. Saying "everybody knows" could mean, "yes, Gregory,...Andrea Mitchell told me you putz, everyone knows that, you smell like Scotch, get out of my office".

Tom Maguire

Abuse?
Really Tom?

I don't like politics through the courts myself, but, it's not nice to lie to a grand jury.

I don't like prosecutors gathering testimony with perjury as the goal. That undermines the public's confidence in the process, I would think, especially since this was under the guise of a national security investigation.

Well, we'll see his Miller affidavit and maybe it is pretty phony, too.

I am really kind of shocked that so many people here seem to think it OK to lie to a grand jury or to an FBI investigator. It seems like everyone here says it was OK for Libby to lie because there was no crime.

I am really kind of shocked at the lame quality of trolling today. Of course no one here thinks lying to a grand jury is OK. How about, hmm, lesser of two evils?

Anyway, I think some parts of Libby's story were probably true, some were honest confusion, and all were irelevant to any national security issues or a criminal investigation.

SunnyDay

I am really kind of shocked at the lame quality of trolling today

Disappointing, isn't it? Absolutely boring.

Tom Maguire

Fitzgerald admitted that they kept it secret that Russert had already spoken to the FBI. That is obviously why Fitzgerald didn't use it in the affidavit- to keep Libby from knowing they already had Russert's information. That way Libby couldn't change or correct his story when he went to the Grand Jury. All part of the trap.

Timing is everything - Libby testified in March 2004; the affidavit was that summer.

Tom Maguire

It's also likely he will be disbarred.

I assume he is disbarred as a convicted felon, but if he is pardoned, I bet he gets his law license back. Guidance, anyone?

MayBee

Tom- Ok, fair enough. But I do think if Libby had known that Russert had already spoken with the FBI before he tried to quash the subpoena, he might have noticed something crazy was afoot. Libby could have had a Karl Rove/Viveka Novak moment, and corrected his testimony. Or something.

Or I'll revert to my original theory. Fitzgerald didn't mention the FBI interview because he wanted the reporters to publicly fight the subpoenas.

I'll come up with something.

glass

Victoria Toensig's comments on the Newshour suggested that jurors comments after the trial could be "mined" as a source for a new trial or appeal.

Gerry

Appeall
??
for what
lol what a load of crap

JeanneB

Maybee:

Tom- Ok, fair enough. But I do think if Libby had known that Russert had already spoken with the FBI before he tried to quash the subpoena, he might have noticed something crazy was afoot. Libby could have had a Karl Rove/Viveka Novak moment, and corrected his testimony. Or something.

Or I'll revert to my original theory. Fitzgerald didn't mention the FBI interview because he wanted the reporters to publicly fight the subpoenas.

There's a simpler explanation: Russert and Libby DID talk about Plame. The original ("lost") FBI report said Russert couldn't be sure...and then magically that turned into "impossible". We DO know Libby called Russert to complain about Matthews. Matthews had been spewing the "Cheney sent Wilson" trope every night, so it's reasonable to assume that was Libby's complaint. At this point it's neither here nor there to me whether Russert or Libby raised the issue of Plame's involvement. But I find it impossible to believe that nugget would NOT have come up in their specifically on-point phone call.

As for Fitz, there's only one way for me to comprehend his investigation. He thoroughly bought into the "White House conspiracy to smear Wilson" theory. First, he compels Armitage to stay quiet. [Things we still don't know about Armitage: did he get immunity? Was he asked if he'd been instructed by the WH to leak her role? If the GJ knew he was the leaker, what reason did Fitz give them for their being there?]

Fitz also compels Novak to remain mum. Fleisher can't talk. Focusing on the Libby/Russert conflict, he sets out to flip Libby. By "sets out" I mean the many times he avoided witnesses who might rebut Russert, Fleisher, et al. Libby was meant to be his key to the White House conspiracy and, therefore, Fitz did believe his investigation was obstructed by Libby.

The problem is that Fitz wasn't tasked with investigating a WH conspiracy. He was tasked with finding the leaker.

Have I got that right?

Jane

but Libby will have to admit his guilt receive his pardon

Gee I don't remember Marc Rich admitting his guilt or those murderers from Puerto Rico. Perhaps you could show us where they did.

MayBee

The problem is that Fitz wasn't tasked with investigating a WH conspiracy. He was tasked with finding the leaker.

Have I got that right?
Very good, JeanneB.

JeanneB

The Fitz/Armitage relationship is the most troubling aspect of this case.

IF one gives Fitz the benefit of honorable motives (he believes in the WH conspiracy), Armitage could have disabused him of that notion. His leak WAS NOT part of a conspiracy. Armitage himself calls it "gossip". Was that presented to the GJ?

I'm amazed at how much we still don't know about Armitage.
I may have missed it, but these questions remain:

Did he get immunity?

Did the GJ know the full story of his leak(s) and that he considered them "gossip"?

Was he ever asked whether the WH was involved in his leak to Novak? What did he say?

Did Fitz ask whether he'd leaked to anyone other than Novak? If he said "no", why wasn't he prosecuted? Addendum: Armitage evidently gave Novak the OK to reveal him as Novak's source. We now know that Woodward was all the while pleading with Armitage to give him the same clearance, but Armitage refused. So Armitage didn't "forget" to tell Fitz. He deliberately lied to him (if he was asked). If he wasn't asked, why not?

Armitage told Powell the morning he "realized" he was the leaker. Was Powell compelled to silence---if so, under what terms? I can speculate that Armitage was seeking immunity...but what was Powell's deal? He wasn't bound by GJ testimony (did he testify?)---witnesses can reveal what went on in the GJ.

None of it makes sense. If Powell and Armitage KNEW there was no WH conspiracy behind Armitage's leak, why did they (especially Powell) go along with Fitz's fishing expedition? I may be naive, but I can't believe political infighting alone explains it. Fitz had a role in it....what was that role?



hit and run

JeanneB...regarding Armitage, here is David Frum's angle as it relates to a very muted level of, er, un-outrage from certain quarters...

NRO Contest

Here's a fun contest:

Can you our readers find any example of denunciations of Richard Armitage's leak of Valerie Plame's name by a) Democratic officeholders or b) MSM columnists or c) left-wing bloggers?

I did some Google searching this evening and came up pretty much blank.

So here's the paradox:


We hear on the one hand that this leak represents a cloud over the vice presidency - a scandal - a threat to national security - possible grounds for impeachment.

And then on the other hand: not one word of condemnation of the person who actually did the leaking!


Much more there and worth reading.

Oh and the final sentence is...well...to use Fitz' term at the press conference after the verdict, "Sad".



And so we have this elaborate pretense, culminating in Patrick Fitzgerald's charge to the jury, that Armitage never existed at all.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

Let's see? Light in his loafers. And, we're discovering the shrub has about as much political spine as a banana that's already been peeled.

Lots of mistakes.

And, they add up.

Sure. Familiar territory for the spoiled brat Bush is. As he drank his way through haaarvard and yale. Okay. he drinks no more. But he's waiting for Jesus to give him a clue.

UP AHEAD? For a small amount of time, the media will again shill the Wilson lies. And, Wilson? Will be directed to a judge of the ilk of waltoon. Because waltoon ain't the only one! When incompetents grab credentials we get this kind of mess.

Okay. Not a lawyer. But why didn't Bush, at first, ask the supreme-o's if Comey's appointment was constitutional? HECK, HE HAD HARRIET MIERS RIGHT THERE! He thought she should sit and warm one of the nine seats on the supreme-O's jello bench. Why didn't he ask her?

Of course he didn't! The orchestra still plays "hail to the chief" when he enters the room. And, in 2000, when he took this job, he thought all it meant was that he wasn't gonna stain the Oval Office rug with jissum.

Heck, his wife picked out the rug, ya know! He delegated the first question he was asked.

And, he doesn't allow questions. Those are the things that show us he's rather light in his loafers.

And, he also seems to be blocking mainstream folks, as well. Which is such a shame.

If the donks had a winnable candidate? They'd clean up in 2008.

We have to hope that a candidate, perhaps Guiliani, will emerge. Because Guiliani engages well in conversation.

Not a bush skill at all. None of the bush's have it. Not even Barbara. And, she's just mean.

So what choices do ya have, ahead? Bush waited out Molly Ivins. Molly is dead. But it's not quite the way you'd like to see the white house win, ya know?

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

The media is very complicit in crimes. Take OJ. Do they follow him around as he looks for the "perp?" Do they stand over his shoulder while he shaves?

Tabloid journalism thrives on the crazy stuff. From inhabitants of Mars walking about on earth. To this trial. That was the creation of the DC crowd.

Will Bush survive it? Well, he survived the worst of it. As the truth about Wilson came out. KERRY DID NOT WIN THE 2004 ELECTION.

And, the bruising fight we have now? In case you don't think Americans have noticed; it's due to a 25 seat gain in the house. And, a single extra seat in the senate. Where the democraps still aren't nice to Lieberman.

Here, I'll give you a bet. Lieberman is going to be asked to be VEEP. Which he will TAKE. And, that will dampen the "thrills on the mull-nutter hill," fer shur.

Not t'marra. But just you wait.

AST

I would have issued a pardon when it first became clear that Fitzgerald wasn't going to charge anybody on the main issue of leaking Plame's identity.

There needs to be a law that false testimony is a situation like this, where rumors are floating around that can't be tracked or confirmed, cannot be charged as perjury or obstruction of justice. If there's no charge on the main issue, where's the justice that was claimed to be obstructed?

This tactic has been used against organized crime, and nobody cared, but it's an example of a practice by prosecutors that isn't in the interests of justice. Another is when they catch a drug dealer and trade him his due deserts for turning in all his customers who then get slammed.

spellchk78

"Fitzgerald abused his office and his public trust."

So how can we citizens get justice?

Don't think this can't happen to you. The moral here is that if you try to aid law enforcement and your memory fails you, you, too, can end up with your life, your family and your fortune utterly destroyed, facing prison time.

In light of that, who can blame a witness for not wanting to help?

dmbeaster

Definitely a big disconnect from reality here.

All of the following were leakers -- Armitage, Libby, Fleisher and Rove have been identified, and there are likely others. So much for the early claim that the White house wasn't involved, and whoever leaked would be fired.

It is idiotic to refer to Armitage as the only leaker -- he and Rove happen to be the only leakers who succeeded in getting a reporter (Novak) to bite and print the story. But Libby himself was a leaker to reporters -- the fact that none of his targets ran a story does not negate the leaks he made.

Someone started the meme that Wilson the girlyman was sent to Niger on a junket by his CIA wife as a push back against Wilson. The evidence is strong that that Cheney/Libby crafted this storyline -- did they also know that Plame's status was classified? That started sometime in early June as a result of Cheney and Libby investigating the early stories about someone going to Africa in response to a Cheney inquiry and finding the uranium story to be bogus. It resulted in the June 10 INR memo (prepared to respond to Libby about information as to who had gone to Niger), which was then also given to Armitage (and is now declassified). This is apparently how Armitage learned that Wilson's wife was CIA, but what is not known is the extent to which he talked to others about the basic push-back story on Wilson.

The memo Armitage allegedly saw does not identify the status of Wilson's wife -- it just says that she was CIA.

If a crime was committed, it was by whomever both leaked AND knew that Plame's status was classified. Armitage says he did not know (the INR memo was classified, but it does not refer to Plame's status as secret.) Fleisher says he did not know. Did Libby know? Well, since he lied about how he even found out, we'll never know.

Many of the leakers, including Armitage, avoided indictment because it could not be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that they knew they were leaking the classified status of a CIA agent -- only that Plame was CIA. The one's most likely to have known this? -- Libby and Cheney.

None of this absolves one iota of Libby's criminality in lying and obstructing the investigation.

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