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March 09, 2007

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Pofarmer

it is hard not to conclude that Libby cooked up his stories to protect Cheney.

Isn't it a bit inconvenient to that line of thinking that Libby told investigators right off he'd learned it from Cheney way back when?

Pete

So what's the howler? That Libby leaked to three reporters instead of one?

cboldt

-- Uhh, Libby confessed to leaking to three reporters --


The debate is affected by whether there is agreement on the meaning of "leaking." Libby admitted repeating reporter-sourced rumors.


The debate is missing the evidence of Libby confessing to leaking officially-sourced information to three reporters - or even to one reporter.

cboldt

Here are handy links to the text of the GJ transcripts .. put out the day of the verdict, so overlooked by most.


March 5, 2004

March 24, 2004


USDOJ: OSC: Libby Trial Exhibits March 6, 2007


Also linked from there, the audio in Shockwave FLASH form.

clarice

Another question--What is the role of weekly news mags in the age of the internet? Filling dentists' offices? Publishing crap like this? Just asking.

boris

Libby admitted repeating reporter-sourced rumors.

That he also admitted an official source for.

In terms of actual jeapordy the "but it slipped my mind" part offers no cover.

Foo Bar

Uhh, Libby confessed to leaking to three reporters

I agree that the Time article is quite sloppy, but is it really right to say that Libby confessed to leaking ? If I understand correctly, what he confessed to was passing on reporter gossip which he didn't know was true (since he had forgotten being informed by Cheney). That's not the same as confessing to telling reporters what he knew from official sources to be true.

"Libby confessed to leaking" might give some of your more casual readers the impression that Libby confessed to telling reporters about Plame while knowing from official sources that it was true, and that's just wrong.

boris

Also Libby's GJ testimony revealed that "hearing about" and "remembering" Wilson's wife from Cheney, Martin (Harlow), Grossman, Grenier, Schmall, without warning of any classification, he could clearly conclude nobody was keeping it secret, therefore no reason to suspect it was classified, and he was well aware there was no jeopordy for discussing it.

boris

Lets look at the quote itself then ...

If Libby had gone a different route and admitted in his grand jury testimony that he had told a reporter about the identity of Wilson's wife

It TM uses the short hand "leaking" for that action mox nix. His point about the article is perfectly valid. Libby most certainly did admit that he had told a [three]reporter[s] about Wilson's wife.

Repent Ye Nit Pickers!

bio mom

And he never told Tim Russert. But so many articles I read say he did just that. Phooey!!

Jeff

This is a howler? Trivial quibbling on your part is more like it.

And if you want to be technical, does testifying that he heard a journalistic rumor that WIlson's wife worked at the CIA but he didn't know if it was true, didn't even know if Wilson had a wife count as discussing WIlson's wife's identity? Did he testify that he told a reporter about Wilson's wife's identity? Or did he testify that he told reporters of rumors he was hearing that he knew nothing about?

But in any case, does what you're saying amount to saying TIME should have inserted "truthfully" somewhere in there?

Cecil Turner

The debate is affected by whether there is agreement on the meaning of "leaking." Libby admitted repeating reporter-sourced rumors.

That's not what the newspaper suggested:

Why did the Vice President's top aide not simply admit to what everyone knew was true — that he discussed the identity of Wilson's wife Valerie Plame, a CIA officer, with at least one reporter? [emphasis added]
And TM is precisely correct both that Libby did, in fact, admit to that point, and that the coverage on basic facts is abysmal. (He is admittedly loose with the word "leak.")

"Libby confessed to leaking" might give some of your more casual readers the impression that Libby confessed to telling reporters about Plame while knowing from official sources that it was true, and that's just wrong.

It's also immaterial, because if he knew the information to be classified it wouldn't be a defense; and if he didn't know the material to be classified, it couldn't be a crime. The "official sources" meme is a cute construct, but wrong.

MikeS

Today so many presumably honest journalists and posters are still totally wrong on the facts. Makes me think the jury was hopelessly confused too!

boris

Libby on the Fleischer conversation:

I don't recall discussing it. What I do recall is being surprised when I talked to Mr. Russert on the 10th or the 11th, and I am inferring from that surprise that I hadn't talked about it earlier in the week. I simply do not recall

There it is The Big Lie.

Libby infers he didn't discuss Val with Ari because he was surprised later.

Fitz convicts Libby of not being surprised because he discussed it with Ari earlier.

MikeS

I think the jury forgot that Libby said he didn't remember.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Mickey Kaus has a version of this at bloggingheadstv which is so convoluted even Bob Wright didn't buy it.

Michael Smith

Does anyone know why the Libby defense did not seek a change of venue?

Anyone who thought a high ranking Republican member of the Bush administration would get an impartial jury in Washington, D.C., in a case where the Bush adiminstration is accused of retaliating against a Democrat who is said to have exposed how pre-war intelligence was manipulated -- well, they must have been living on another planet for the last three years.

Other Tom

A bit off-topic, but do we know for certain whether Cheney was interviewed by the FBI? My recollection is that he was...

Pofarmer

I think the jury forgot that Libby said he didn't remember.

The problem is, the jury couldn't forget it wanted to punish the administration.

Pofarmer

Look at an 04 election map and tell me what metropolitan area Libby could get a fair trial.

Michael Smith

Pofarmer, I understand your point. But surely there has to be some place less biased than Washington, D.C.

Barney Frank

Other Tom,

Prosecutors questioned Cheney in mid 2004.

Time's premise seems a little odd. Regardless of what Libby said in his GJ testimony, Fitzgerald was free to call Cheney to the GJ and question him under oath at any time. He didn't need the predicate of a lead from Libby.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Tom Sowell should be given honorary JOM membership:

' The information about Joe Wilson's wife was so incidental and trivial at the time that it is hardly surprising that it was not fixed in people's minds as something memorable. Only later hype in the media made it look big.

'With Libby handling heavy duties in the White House, there is no reason for his memory to be expected to be better than that of others about something like this -- much less to convict him of perjury.'

danking70

What about the mysterious 2nd Libby phone call with Russert?

Real or imagined?

Other Tom

Thanks, BF--I thought so. That would seem to make the following passage rather silly:

"If Libby had gone a different route and admitted in his grand jury testimony that he had told a reporter about the identity of Wilson's wife, Fitzgerald's next question would have been, Were you acting on Cheney's orders? And it would not have been long before Cheney was giving testimony under oath."

I'm going to assume that the investigators who interviewed Cheney asked him, among many other things, what orders he gave to Libby, if any. If he didn't answer truthfully he would have exposed himself to criminal liability under Section 1001--the "false statements" felony charge.

And as you say, Fitzgerald could have summoned Cheney to testify before the Grand Jury if he wanted to, and he could have subpoenaed him to testify at trial.

But when one is consumed with a lust to establish that there must have been a conspiracy, and it must have involved Cheney, reason becomes a detour.

Tom Maguire

So what's the howler? That Libby leaked to three reporters instead of one?

I can post it, but I can't read it to you.

That said, I did go and add emphasis to this:

Why did the Vice President's top aide not simply admit to what everyone knew was true — that he discussed the identity of Wilson's wife Valerie Plame, a CIA officer, with at least one reporter?

Does that help? he did *not* admit to even one leak, per TIME.

Walter

Pofarmer & Michael Smith:

Libby was tried in Federal court. The main difference is that a jury is drawn from a "judicial district" which, in every state/territory other than DC, includes far more than one county.

For example, the jury pools in California are drawn from only four districts which average over eight million people apiece. The state of Missouri has two districts, neither of which has fewer than two million people. While local rules may require jurors to be drawn from within a division of a district, they too cover several counties.

In state courts, your jury pool is generally drawn from a county or a subset of a county. Thus the urban/rural distinction.

So, even if the trial were merely moved from DC to Virginia, the pool would be expanded dramatically. (For reference, Virginia has two districts subdivided into eleven divisions and Maryland has one district with two divisions.)

I am unfamiliar with any precedents which would allow a trial to be moved between two districts, let alone two circuits (each of which, except for DC, comprise several states). It may be possible, but I've just not seen it in practice.

MikeS

I understand that this case was confusing. The prosecution theory was chaos. By that I mean there was no harmonic convergence of the motive, the hypothesis, and the facts.

I don't understand why most of the 'confused' people are liberals. (oh, does this belong on the Iraq War thread?)

Tom Maguire

"Libby confessed to leaking" might give some of your more casual readers the impression that Libby confessed to telling reporters about Plame while knowing from official sources that it was true, and that's just wrong.

I can count on one hand the number of times I have disagreed with Foo Bar and felt good about it - change noted.

Larry

Didn't Libby tell the FBI early on that he got Plame info from official sources (Cheney?)? What does it matter what he tells reporters about from where his knowledge arose? I don't see MSM, moonbats or jurors acknowledging that. Seems they all want him to hang for lying to reporters.

hit and run

Don't worry Tom - I'm in khakis and a golf shirt today, and I didn't misinterpret your post like FooBar warned casual readers might.

But I can't speak for anyone else...and his point may be true for them...

MikeS

Libby testified that Cheney told him about Plame.

At no time did he ever testify that he forgot. He was asked many times if he forgot about Ari and other sources before he talked to Cooper. At no time does he say yes or answer in the affirmative.

The closest Libby ever gets to saying he forgot, about Plame during that period of time, is when he says he really doesn't remember anything except an emotion and from that emotion he is inferring that he forgot.

Other Tom

Larry's question gets to the heart of this thing, at least for one with my incomplete state of knowledge. I'd appreciate it if one of the more encyclopedic types here could set me straight.

My understanding is that at the time of his two FBI interviews, no documents had been produced to Fitz showing that Libby had learned from Cheney, so he didn't disclose that he had done so. A document was subsequently produced making it clear that Cheney had been his initial source. It was only after that document production that he was essentially forced to acknowledge that he had learned from Cheney.

At that point he could have contacted the FBI and said that his memory had been refreshed by the document, and he now realized that he had been told by Cheney. By doing so he might have placed himself at some risk, but with hindsight he probably wishes he had taken that approach. Instead, he stuck by his guns when he went to the grand jury, but in order to do so he had to come up with the line that he leared it from Cheney, forgot about it, and heard it "as if for the first time" from Russert. I still don't know why he picked Russert, but to me it doesn't matter much. I think he lied to the investigators at a time when he thought the lie was a trivial one, since he thought he investigation was seeking to find out who leaked to Novak, and he knew he was innocent of that leak.

Where have I gone wrong?

Larry

My recollection: The "document" was found between Libby's first and second FBI interviews. Libby found it and turned it over to them.

boris

What the nit pickers are really saying is that Libby DID IN FACT LEAK to those reporters but denied LEAKING by claiming that repeating rumors in not a LEAK.

The entire motivation behind the LIE is to deny LEAKING by converting the LEAK into a mere rumor. As if that's a credible distinction to risk jail over. It certainly provides no legal cover and any political cover is lost in a semantic quibble that could only work for a BJ Clinton adored by the media. IOW it's a subjective projection based on the notion that all Republicans are really just BJ wannabes.

Pofarmer

My understanding is that at the time of his two FBI interviews, no documents had been produced to Fitz showing that Libby had learned from Cheney, so he didn't disclose that he had done so.

I think he said he'd heard it from Cheney from the first FBI interview. I beleive that's what was in the notes, anyway.

clarice

He said in his gj testimony, Boris, that he knew whether he based it on as a non-officially sourced rumor or not to reveal a covered agent was no excuse--so that could hardly be motive for lying.
Larry, Bond says he showed them the Cheney note at the very first meeting w/ the FBI.

Larry

Thanks, Clarice. An old man's recollections are seldom reliable.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'My understanding is that at the time of his two FBI interviews, no documents had been produced to Fitz showing that Libby had learned from Cheney, so he didn't disclose that he had done so.'

No, you are wrong. Libby himself produced a note that he had dated 'about' June 12, 2003 that showed he'd learned from Cheney that Wilson's wife worked at CPD. Libby gave that note to the FBI at his first interview.

topsecretk9

Not don't Jonah Goldberg's column - an ode to the poor poor couple just trying make it through the days has been mentioned, but:

Don't they know he's the author of a book, The Politics of Truth, and a winner of awards for his self-proclaimed courage for "speaking truth to power"? Why should a bipartisan Senate intelligence report cataloging his dishonesty and distortions stand against a man with such important hair?

Sort of made my day!

topsecretk9

No DOUBT Jonah Goldberg's column

boris

Where have I gone wrong?

Make the arguable assumption that Rove and Cheney could confirm that Libby told them that week that he heard from Russert about Wilson's CIA wife.

Note that Coopers note appears to support Libby's testimony that he said to Cooper "heard from reporters but don't know that it's even true".

Has Libby constructed his lie that early?

Note that Mitchell clearly stated she knew all about Val before her story changed in dramatically suspicious fashion.

Note that Russert admitted if Andrea knew he would too.

Base on the first assumption, evaluate the credibility of Cooper's note, Cheney and Rove vs Russert.

Foo Bar

It's also immaterial, because if he knew the information to be classified it wouldn't be a defense; and if he didn't know the material to be classified, it couldn't be a crime. The "official sources" meme is a cute construct, but wrong.

Immaterial to what? Not everything is (or was, especially pre-'04 election) about whether Libby committed a crime. There's a big distinction between passing on reporter gossip and confirming Plame's status as rock-solid in terms of how likely it is to lead to the journalist printing something about Plame. The public perception was that it was a bad thing that Plame's name ended up in the papers. Libby's testimony ( as opposed to admitting straight-out confirmation) lessens the impression that the White House was trying to get someone to break the Plame story. That matters for 2 reasons, as I see it:

1) It lessens the likelihood that the investigators will continue to dig deeper and increases the likelihood that the investigation gets wrapped up quickly, since it makes it seem less likely that higher-ups really wanted Plame written about.

2) If Libby's testimony gets leaked pre-election, it's still bad for Bush, but right wing talking heads and bloggers would have been able to push back with "Cmon, that's not a leak- he didn't know if it was true; he was just noting that other reporters are talking about it". There's a difference in how the politics play out versus Libby saying he knew it to be true from official sources and told reporters.

Larry

Heck, Boris, everyone knows Cheney and Rove never tell the truth. Those two are the source of all evil in the universe.

boris

Boris, everyone knows Cheney and Rove never tell the truth

Hence not useful to present as defense witnesses. Too much DC BDS to put on the stand.

boris

Immaterial to what?

FooBar reading comprehension is FUBAR.

The word was used in the sense of "irrelevant" not the legal sense required for perjury.

MikeS

Fubar:
Are you saying that Libby lied in his secret gj testimony, hoping that testimony would be leaked, so it (the lie) could help the President get reelected?

Michael Smith

Walter, thanks for the clarification.

Will

Was Novak indicted? Was Armitage indicted? They both confessed to the Grand Jury that they revealed Plame-Wilson's name. Fitzgerald was wrong to conceal this information and used the time to trap a political rival and to allow Matthews, Olbermann, and the Times to pump this story up beyond any sense of reality.
Why would anyone serve this government, except those like Delay, Jefferson, Wilson, Murtha, Reid, etc who profit from these disgusting games.

boris

"Cmon, that's not a leak- he didn't know if it was true; he was just noting that other reporters are talking about it". There's a difference in how the politics play out versus Libby saying he knew it to be true from official sources and told reporters.

Here's the thing. It was in fact true that reporters already knew about it and were spreading it around that week. Also true that there was noting to indiacte the information was sensitive or classified.

For political cover "Everybody already knew anyway and I only discussed what they were already talking about with them. Besides there is no indication that it was classified and no official ever claimed it was."

See? All true. No Lies. Political cover with zero legal jeapordy.

Another example of a FUBAR lib using lack of imagination as a substitute for logic and fact.

MikeS

Yes boris
So the only thing Libby said to the FBI that was suspicious is that he was surprised.

Is that enough to call for a grand jury?

Pofarmer

except those like Delay,

Huh?

Pofarmer

Is that enough to call for a grand jury?

Apparently it's enough to be charged with a Felony.

sylvia

The fact that Libby actually told the FBI about his knowledge from Cheney and his discussions with reporters up front, but supposedly fibbed about his awareness of that official knowledge while he was speaking to reporters, is probably a distinction too subtle for many. Especially for reporters who probably want to make the reality bolder than it is, so they can sell more newspapers. They can further get away with this because there is no transcipt available of his FBI interviews and not much printed from the grand jury. The more you get familiar with the news, the more you see that reporters often use a little creative license. I wish there was some way to make this clearer though. Another email campaign perhaps?

MikeS

Sylvia
I want to add 2 more motives Libby might have for fibbing to reporters.
Libby was tired of his name being mentioned.
The POTUS was having a kerfluffle with CIA on this very subject.

both those motive are on the record.

Larry

"...fibbing to reporters...." My very point! WTF is illegal about fibbing to reporters?

sylvia

See Larry, that is what I mean about the subtle distinction. The point is not did Libby fib to reporters, but did Libby fib about his awareness of where he first heard about Plame while he was speaking to reporters.

Syl

Jeff

And if you want to be technical, does testifying that he heard a journalistic rumor that WIlson's wife worked at the CIA but he didn't know if it was true, didn't even know if Wilson had a wife count as discussing WIlson's wife's identity?

And does that mean that he was protecting Cheney?

That's what is so absurd. How could Libby, who testified he first heard it from Cheney, be protecting Cheney by inventing a 'lie' that he forgot then heard it from reporters and passed it along as gossip?

No difference between that and hearing it from Cheney and passing it along to reporters.

If Libby lied, it was only to protect himself, not Cheney.

Other Tom

Sorry about my misremembering the facts concerning the document production.

Foo Bar


Fubar:
Are you saying that Libby lied in his secret gj testimony, hoping that testimony would be leaked, so it (the lie) could help the President get reelected?

No, he obviously would not have been hoping it would get leaked. As I said in the earlier comment, if his FBI or GJ testimony were to get leaked it would still be damaging to Bush, but not as damaging as if it had leaked that he had testified that he offered or confirmed the Plame for reporters on the basis of official information.

Plus, as I said, his testimony makes the White House look less motivated to get Plame written about than it would look if he had confirmed based on official sources. That would diminish the likelihood of the investigation dragging on or snowballing.

I'm not saying for sure Libby lied for those reasons, but they seem somewhat plausible to me.

hit and run

FooBar:
I'm not saying for sure Libby lied for those reasons, but they seem somewhat plausible to me.


Somewhat plausibe = Reasonable doubt?

MikeS

Fubar:
Can you think of a motive for Libby to claim Russert told him (about Plame) rather than Rove or Novak?

Recall that Russerts denial is what focused attention on Libby in the first place.

boris

not saying for sure Libby lied for those reasons

The point you're not getting ... the true situation provided adequate cover without jeapordy. Reporters already knew before he discussed it with them. All the cover needed.

  1. Cheney told me;
  2. I wrote it down;
  3. [unnecesssary claim];
  4. Reporter X told me later;
  5. Discussed it next day with reporter Y.

Where the unnecessary claim is "it slipped my mind". Performs no useful function for legal or political cover.

boris

... (5) Discussed it next day with reporter Y ... who already knew and brought it up.

MikeS

boris:
I wish Well would have said that.

MikeS

**Wells**

Syl
I don't recall discussing it. What I do recall is being surprised when I talked to Mr. Russert on the 10th or the 11th, and I am inferring from that surprise that I hadn't talked about it earlier in the week. I simply do not recall.

I think Libby didn't even know what surprised him. It could have been something as simple as hearing a question about the wife.

What's going on about wilson's wife?

And his surprise was that the wife was even mentioned. And by a reporter!

But he forgot WHAT surprised him and assumed it was that Russert actually told him that she was CIA and had sent Wilson to Niger.

MikeS

Syl:
Yes, he could only remember the emotion.

also Russert's wife's name is Maureen. How important is that?

MikeS

Syl:
are you **surprised!** that I mentioned Russert's wife?

boris

I still haven't seen anything in Libby's testimony inconsistant with speculation that had somebody asked him "Do you know where Wilson's wife works" he might have been able to answer.

If Russert say's "Guess what, Wilson's wife works at the CIA and sent him to Niger!" Libby has no recollection of knowing that even though he could have answered a question about it. Hence he's surprised as if hearing for the first time. How do you know what you remember at any given time? Until you have reason to retrieve it and recall that event.

Libby's actual claim is not that he had forgotten it so much as he has no recollection of retrieveing the memory.

MikeS

During his gj testimony seems to question *what* surprised him. He says "may be he (Russert) said something more."

Later in the testimony Libby seems to remember what surprised him. He says he was "struck" that Russert thought it (Wilson's wife) was important.

MaidMarion

During his gj testimony seems to question *what* surprised him. He says "may be he (Russert) said something more."

Think about that day: Libby was furious over Matthews' false assertions the previous two nights on Hardball regarding the OVP; he calls Russert, spits out a few curse words, and tells Russert the OVP had nothing to do with sending Joe to Niger.

Russert then demurs he's not Matthews' boss, etc., but that he'll get back with Libby (this is how Libby recalls the progression.)

It was in the followup conversation that Libby received the surprise. If, as Libby claimed, Russert got back to him and asked about Wilson's wife, wouldn't that shock you too...especially in light of what you had just been cursing at Russert about? For Russert to ask about the wife (especially if he asked whether the wife sent Joe to Niger) would jar me. I'd wonder why, if NBC News knew this, was Matthews peddling Joe's lies?

I think that's what the surprise was...

Cecil Turner

There's a big distinction between passing on reporter gossip and confirming Plame's status as rock-solid in terms of how likely it is to lead to the journalist printing something about Plame. The public perception . . .

Is unaffected, cuz they never hear of it. The "big distinction" stays in the GJ room.

not saying for sure Libby lied for those reasons . . .

That's good, cuz it's perilously close to nonsensical.

Again, I'd suggest folks skim the GJ material. Fitz grills Libby on the NIE declassification for about half of it, then skips over to the Plame material and introduces this novel legal theory. He gets Libby to parrot it once at the end, underlines it, and calls it perjury. Illuminating, in a nauseating sort of way.

Patton

Cbolt and Foo Bar,

Its simply not true that Libby thought saying he heard something from reporters made it OK to tell it to other reporters.

In his GJ testimony he clearly says:

""...if something has appeared in the press through a leak but has not been unclassified, you're not supposed to talk about it. I don't know whether it's a crime or not, but I think you're not supposed to talk about it."""

Libby clearly knew if something was classified and showed up in the press, it doesn't make it OK to repeat it, and said so under oath so your entire theory is BUNK!

He clearly distinguished between things the President/admin authorized for public release and things that weren't.

YOU ARE SIMPLY READING HIS TESTIMONY WRONG TO CONCLUDE LIBBY WAS TRYING TO CLAIM SINCE HE HEARD IT IN THE PRESS, IT WAS OK TO TELL OTHER REPORTERS, HE NEVER CLAIMS THAT.

He clearly claims he 'doesn't recall' conversation...he doesn't say that they absolutely didn't occur.

The reason this is a perjury trap, because Fitz ends up charging him with soemthing he supposedly said about his conversation with Russert based on testimony of others.

I'll explain later...

MikeS

Maid:
Sara has a link where Wilson says he went to State (read Armitage) 2 months before the May Kristoff piece.

So I read Wilson> Armitage> Andrea Mitchell> Tim Russert.

If Russert admits to Libby conversation he will be asked where he learned about Plame.

Foo Bar

Is unaffected, cuz they never hear of it. The "big distinction" stays in the GJ room.

That's right, because testimony only gets leaked in high profile cases like the Barry Bonds investigation or the Clinton/Paula Jones investigation. It never could have happened here.

boris

It never could have happened here.

Obviously not.

MikeS

Foo:
I is possible that you're correct. It just doesn't seem to be the most reasonable explanation.

Syl

Foo Bar

That Libby would make up a story and risk everything that lying entails so that maybe there would be a leak in possible future GJ testimony BEFORE there ever was even a special prosecutor is

absurd.

MikeS

That's what I said.

boris

BEFORE there ever was even a special prosecutor

Since Libby tells the Russert story to Cheney and Rove the week of July 5, and Cooper's note indicates the "heard from reporters, don't know if it's even true" line, Libby must have been planning on a grand jury leak even before Novak's column!

That's impressive fortune telling power! Libby's a frakken prophet!

Glenmore

Why was the jury told "they could not consider whether Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert agent or whether her employment status was classified."
Would not that status be critical to establishing any kind of reasonable MOTIVE for Libby's accused lies?
And what was the 'obstruction of justice' charge about? If there was no underlying crime which required justice be administered then how could obstruction of 'justice' even exist?

Jeff

How could Libby, who testified he first heard it from Cheney, be protecting Cheney by inventing a 'lie' that he forgot then heard it from reporters and passed it along as gossip?

Well, the story Libby initially intended to tell, he made clear in his grand jury testimony, was that he first heard it from Russert, period. But then they found the note in OVP indicating that he was talking with Cheney about Plame in June 2003. The story he was going to tell had, then, to take account of that. So the story became he heard it from Cheney, but so completely forgot about it - it becoming, in effect, non-knowledge - that even when Russert told him, it did not recall to his mind that he had heard it already from Cheney. So hearing it from Cheney became, in his story, completely inconsequential.

And don't forget the other part of the lie - that he didn't hear about it from Cheney again in July, shortly after Wilson's op-ed.

clyde

" But then they found the note"
Libby showed the note to the FBI in his 1st inteview.

MayBee

Well, the story Libby initially intended to tell, he made clear in his grand jury testimony, was that he first heard it from Russert, period. But then they found the note in OVP indicating that he was talking with Cheney about Plame in June 2003. The story he was going to tell had, then, to take account of that.

As clyde points out, if that is the story he "intended" to tell, it was sometime before his first interview. Because in his first interview, Libby brought the note that he found, and said that Cheney told him about it.
Interesting theory that one can now be convicted of perjury based on what you might have intended to tell investigators or a grand jury, but didn't.

Jeff

MayBee

You misunderstand the point, which was in response to Syl. Libby told Cheney himself that his story was that he learned of Plame from Russert, but then the OVP found the note, and Libby obviously had to adjust his story. (I'm not going to quibble with the fact that Libby did not show the note at the first FBI interview; I believe he only mentioned it, and showed it at the second.) It has nothing to do with Libby being convicted for his initial intention to tell a story that completely excluded Cheney. The point is that though that was Libby's initial intention, he could not tell such a story to the FBI, since there was documentary evidence contradicting him. So he did the next best thing under the circumstances.

But the basic point is, given the documentary evidence, Libby told the best story with respect to Cheney's role in the matter.

Sue

The point is that though that was Libby's initial intention, he could not tell such a story to the FBI, since there was documentary evidence contradicting him. So he did the next best thing under the circumstances.

How do you know what Libby's initial intention was?

Sue

So he did the next best thing under the circumstances.

The next best thing? How about, if your scenario is correct, he did the next worst thing? Two of the most brilliantly evil minds ever to sit in power and that was the next best thing they could come up with?

This story reminds me of the 2000 election. "Daddy Bush" making sure "Dubya" won the election, by hook or crook. "Daddy Bush" so powerful, with so many powerful friends, they could steal an election. But unable to pull of the same feat 8 years earlier and save us from Clinton.

They are all powerful, magnificently evil, able to control minds with their powerful mindray machine, hidden in the bunker where the evil Cheney lurks, but this is the best they can come up with?

And while I'm at it, what happened to Armitage? Fitz let him go, for some reason. Any idea why?

clarice

OR--------He could have eaten the note and blamed it on the VLWC..Jeff, that is just silly.

MayBee

But the basic point is, given the documentary evidence, Libby told the best story with respect to Cheney's role in the matter.

And what was Cheney's role in the matter?
Anyway, I thought Libby showed them the note in the first interview, and gave it to them in the second. You could be right, though.
Who are you saying found it when you say "OVP" found it? I suspect you are trying to say it wasn't Libby himself that found it, therefore there was some reason Libby "obviously" had to change his story. He was forced, by the knowledge of others. Furthermore, you then get to discredit the idea that Libby could have simply never brought the note in to the FBI.
Is there something on the record that it was not Libby himself who found that note, and brought it in to the FBI?

Sue

Libby probably didn't find the note himself. His staff went through his papers, just as I would go through and find the relevant documents for my own boss. But in Jeff's scenario, Libby would have had to have forgotten a note to begin with, and the conversations (otherwise he would have known to look for notes himself and not allow for the possibility he wrote down what Cheney told him, as was his standard MO for someone else to find). Which doesn't work too well in the Libby remembered where he learned of Wilson's wife to begin with scenario.

Sue

His staff went through his papers

That shouldn't have been so affirmative, since I don't know who found the note. I should have added a probably or something.

MayBee

I'm not sure what you are saying, Sue.
It is possible that Libby's assistants found the note, but it would have been at his urging to look for it.
The other relevant requested information had already been turned over to the FBI.

MayBee

sorry, cross posted.

My main point was that Jeff is saying "OVP" found the note, so Libby had to change his story. As if he got caught out by this note-finder, and had to adjust accordingly. He has no evidence that anybody but Libby either found the note or asked for the production of the note. He could have, as clarice said, eaten it. But he didn't.

MayBee

Here we go:
W Do you have a recollection that Mr. Libby told you early on during the interview that "early this month" when he was reviewing documents he found notes reflecting a telephone conversation reflecting a conversation.

DB The 10/03 is October 2003, not October 3.

W Libby also told you those notes refreshed his memory of his conversation with Cheney

DB That's what it says.

W He told you that he recalled being told of Plame

DB Yes, but that he had forgotten about it

W He was telling you about his recollection when he was sitting with you.

W The note says CP and then says Division

Sue

It's midnight. I don't even know what I'm saying. ::grin::

I assumed the note was found in response to the subpoena. Did he find it later after other documents were already turned over?

MayBee

Sue, we are cross posting like crazy!
Look above!

Yes, he found it after the other documents were already turned over.
Jeff, I'm afraid your attempt to make this about the "OVP" finding Libby's note and making him change his story falls flat. Very subtle, though.

MayBee

(that's agent Bond's cross exam, btw)

Sue

Okay.

I've tried 12 different ways to put down in coherent language what I'm trying to say, and it doesn't make sense, so I erase it and start over. I think I'll say goodnight and try again tomorrow.

::grin::

Later...

MayBee

Sue-perhaps it is me that is incoherent. It usually is.....

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