Powered by TypePad

« NY Daily No-News On Libby | Main | "Drop The Charges" »

May 24, 2006



A Farley File is stock in trade for politicians,diplomats,journalists and those in big business,even showbusiness.
The idea that an ex-Ambassador could float about without anyone having his details,could only exist in the minds of those who don't go out much.


J Walton indicated last week that his discovey order would probably be issued on Friday.Still nothing. I hope it means the razzle dazzle is losing its gleam.


BTW,What kind of superspies don't make contingency plans for a front company being blown? Companies can be bought off the shelf.
It is a realtively easy task to obtain information on any company,and if you can't then it is obvious that it is fishy.Presumably Brewtser Jennings filed accounts?


If you only look at the wives of Russert, Pincus and Cooper, you know they knew before Novak. Add in DNC with all the defectors from the WH.

JM Hanes

IMO, the parsing of Russert is way overblown. Talking out of school on a case like this one is like playing golf in an electrical storm. It seems entirely reasonable to assume that everyone, from his lawyers, to his bosses and their lawyers (and maybe even Fitz) has been telling him, forcefully, not to add one damn word to the talking points he's already provided.

And he hasn't -- right down to the same disingenuous claim about being "pretty low down on the food chain" that he floated 6 months ago. Maybe Russert is just a more disciplined client than most. As a major public figure, and one whose career is tied to credibility, he has to be.


I'm not optimistic about Walton. They are all so afraid of the media, they want to be loved, not ridiculed.

I now think Fitz strategy is to get Libby to plea by embarrassing the White House and VP. It's a kinda squeez play because the more aggressive Libby's team gets the tougher Fitz gets in his filing. Libby has to fear that if he ticks off the WH too much, his pardon might go bye bye.

Why didn't Fitz offer Libby a better plea deal in October, you know a Bill Clinton or Sandy Burger deal.


P;ame listed as retired Employer N/A

Barney Frank

"LIBBY: “And then he said, you know, did you know that this -- excuse me, did you know that Ambassador Wilson's wife works at the CIA? And I was a little taken aback by that. I remember being taken aback by it….And I said, no, I don't know that intentionally because I didn't want him to take anything I was saying as in any way confirming what he said, because at that point in time I did not recall that I had ever known, and I thought this is something that he was telling me that I was first learning.”

I don't think it is a right wing thing or much of a stretch to characterize this and his other statements as pretty incoherent. I've read a lot of transcripts and have rarely come across so many convoluted sentences as Libby provides. I understand some blame this on Fitz's questions, but for whatever reason Libby often speaks like a goof.


Libby speaks like a goof and had a lousy lawyer during the investigation phase. The poor jury won't know what the heck he's talking about.


Walton doesn't have to worry about the media or their opinion. Besides to the average Joe on the street this case is below the radar. In my household I'm the only one who realizes that most of the info on this case on MSNBC and CNN is patently false. I constantly have to explain to my husband what's going on in this Libby kerfuffle and even then it's hard to keep all the players straight. If not for this blog I also would be clueless.I finally saw McNulty on TV defending the FBI search of Jefferson's office. I wish he'd spend a little time supervising Fitz.


After reading Libby's words you quoted as if for the first time Is it possible that Russert could have asked that Question about Wilson's wife working at the CIA in exactly the way Libby stated he did? He doesn't say Plame's name just Wilson's wife.


I figured it out, Libby had a deja vu moment.


Is the New York Times About to be Indicted?

Time will tell but if they are indicted, that would be good. JMHO.

The razzel dazzle losing steam would also be good.


And all the cr*p about Jefferson and the "above the law" versus separation of powers, Glenn and hotair think that Hastert may be investigated for bribes.

Officials: Hastert "In the Mix" of Congressional Bribery Investigation

Time to consider replacing our incumbents with new blood.


LIBBY: And then he said, you know, "did you know that this" -- excuse me, "did you know that Ambassador Wilson's wife works at the CIA?" And I was a little taken aback by that. I remember being taken aback by it….And I said, "no, I don't know that" intentionally because I didn't want him to take anything I was saying as in any way confirming what he said, because at that point in time I did not recall that I had ever known, and I thought this is something that he was telling me that I was first learning.

The only ambiguous one is that last bit, which shifts tenses in the middle, but it looks like Libby may just have said "is" instead of "was," which would not be a surprising or extraordinary mistake; make the replacement and it too is clear.

Tom Maguire

From Pete:

You posed a question for Russert two days ago. That seems to have been answered by Russert. Now the goalpost has been changed and a new question is on the table.

Do you really think I have struck off in a new direction? Especially since I was perfectly clear, a few days back, that I was casting about for a good formula out of which he could nto wiggle.

Anyway, here is where I left off then:

Mr Russert - without any hedging about whether you actually knew her name, did you mention Ambassador Wilson's wife to Lewis Libby when you talked with him just prior to the Robert Novak column? Or had you heard unconfirmed rumors about Wilson's wife?

And here is my current suggestion:

Mr Russert - without any hedging about whether you actually knew her name, did you discuss Ambassador Wilson's wife with Lewis Libby in any way when you talked with him just prior to the Robert Novak column? Or had you heard any unconfirmed rumors about Wilson's wife somehow playing a role in the trip to Niger?

Not a huge change, but I am wondering whether Russert heard about a link between the wife and the trip, but no tthe CIA part.

Anyway, I don't think Russert answered either one.


Raw Story is contradicting Jason Leopold

MSNBC's coverage of the CIA leak case continued Wednesday with new suggestions that presidential adviser Karl Rove may yet be indicted. The indictment of 'Bush's Brain' seemed imminent after reports from MSNBC and the Washington Post indicating that the Rove camp expected a decision earlier this month -- but it has now been 28 days since Rove testified for a fifth time before the grand jury investigating the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame.

MSNBC's David Shuster says former federal prosecutors believe the silence from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald doesn't bode well for Rove.

"Fitzgerald's office refuses to comment," Shuster said. "But former federal prosecutors describe the following procedure when considering an indictment: First, a prosecution team would review the evidence. Then, they would examine case law on the relevant criminal statutes. And finally, the prosecutors would decide whether a reasonable jury would convict at trial."...

as in this all was/is very stupid and the people who carried and continue to carry water and a bic lighter keeping open the possibility of Jason's story some day maybe coming true are enormously irresponsible...

Barney Frank


We are parsing oral testimony in its written form.

If you read that statement out loud, as a jury would hear it, without the benefit of poring over it with our red pencils, it sounds like gibberish. If he testifies for several days in his own defense the jury will probably let him off because they'll figure he was unfit to stand trial in the first place.


I'm with JMHanes on this one. I don't think there is much to this Russert kerfuffle. I doubt much of anything will come of any supposed ambiguity at trial. He would have to be either stupider than Libby or smarter than I think he is to shave such a fine line repeatedly in Fitz's face, if he really did discuss Plame with Libby.


From TruthOut regarding the Information Sharing on the Rove Indictment Story (Marc Rove nonsense):

Update [2006-5-24 14:52:39 by TruthOut]: This thread is now closed, but feel free to continue the discussion here. The thread has been closed because of the large number of comments and the time it takes for them to load in your browser.

I guess they got tired of living in that glass house. People kept throwing stones back.....

Tom Maguire

From jeff:

So Tom and clarice, in the spirit of questions looking for a straightforward answer, am I right that you don't think Libby is confusing the conversation with Russert with another conversatio with a different reporter at a different time?

I have no firm idea. I suspect Russert said something about Wilson's wife to Libby.

But I would not fall down with surprise if we found out that Libby confused a chat with someone else with his Russert chat.

Or both.

I *think* it would be good news for Libby if he could find a Russert substitute on July 6, just to sweep up the Flesicher and Miller chats. But his bad memory would still be hard to figure.

As to the defense hypothesis - are they going to argue that Libby just checked his phone logs, figured Russert was on the right date and the right topic (since Libby was complaining about the NBC coverage of the Niger trip), and invented the bit about the wife?

If Libby was that creative, why not just go with the "I forget" defense - why even pretned to remember the chats with Cooper or Miller, why even rememner that he sourced it to reporters,or not?

Why not just say, I talked about Wilson and the Niger trip with a bunch of reporters, maybe the wife was mentioned, I have no recollection because she was a minor point.

That should avoid perjury; since GJ testimony is secret, he can't even be fired for not cooperating, or for taking the Fifth.


OOOOOPPPPPSSS...Marc Ash Nonsense....about the Rove nonsense...LOL

Tim Russert

It would depend on which wife you refr to,Joseph Wilson has had three IRRC.


Shuster got 2 anti-Rove prosecutors to make a story since MSNBC doesn't let him talk to Jason Leopold anymore.

Now they are spinning the fact that Rove wasn't indicted last week as they predicted as more evidence that (drum roll, please) Rove will be indicted since it's taking too long to not indict Rove.




Further, we know - and we want our readers to know - that we are dependent on confidential sources. We know that a report based solely on information obtained from confidential sources bears some inherent risks. We know that this is - by far - the biggest story we have ever covered, and that we are learning some things as we go along. Finally, we know that we have the support of those who have always supported us, and that must now earn the support of those who have joined us as of late.

We now move on to what we believe. (If you are looking for any guarantees, please turn back now.)

We believe that we hit a nerve with our report. When I get calls on my cell phone from Karl Rove's attorney and spokesman, I have to wonder what's up. "I" believe - but cannot confirm - that Mark Corallo, Karl Rove's spokesman gave Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post my phone number. I believe Howard Kurtz contacted me with the intention of writing a piece critical of our organization. I know that Anne Marie Squeo of the Wall Street Journal attacked us and independent journalism as a whole in her piece titled, "Rove's Camp Takes Center of Web Storm / Bloggers Underscore How Net's Reporting, Dynamics Provide Grist for the Rumor Mill." We believe that rolling out that much conservative journalistic muscle to rebut this story is telling. And we believe that Rove's camp is making a concerted effort to discredit our story and our organization.

Further - and again this is "What We Believe" - Rove may be turning state's evidence. We suspect that the scope of Fitzgerald's investigation may have broadened - clearly to Cheney - and according to one "off the record source" to individuals and events not directly related to the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. We believe that the indictment which does exist against Karl Rove is sealed. Finally, we believe that there is currently a great deal of activity in the Plame investigation.

We know that this story is of vital interest to the community, and that providing as much information as we can is very important to our readers. We want you to know that this is challenging territory and that we are proceeding with as much speed as the terrain will allow.

5/23/06 - 3 indicted in scheme involving bogus tests

richard mcenroe

Yay! It's Wednesday! Just two more days 'til our weekly Rove Indictment!


Yes,I enjoy the weakly Rove indictment.Eventually it will settle down to a yearly celebration,like the Fourth of July,Rove wiil be indicted in effigy throughout the Land of the (if you're not Rove) Free. Every year a handsome you couple will be voted Plame and Wilson of the year,they will hand out a special confection known as "Yellow Cakes" to the cheering populace.


OK now you are officially over the top!

Sara (Squiggler)

"Johnson maintained that the leak did horrendous damage. “Not only was her cover destroyed, but an undercover company was destroyed,” he said in April on MSNBC. “Intelligence assets that were involved with trying to determine, detect, and protect America against weapons of mass destruction — they were destroyed in that leak.”

My new theory on Larry is that he is/was carrying a torch for Val. And/or he has/had a vested financial interest in whatever Brewster-Jennings was being used for as the cover organization.

Others who work in Washington can confirm or deny, but my experience was that CIA front companies were those things everyone knew about but everyone knew not to talk about except among others you were sure were in the know.

Cecil Turner

I figured you'd go for both, since unless you buy the bafflegab theory, the timing doesn't work for Libby even if the conversation with Russert went exactly as he said it did.

Oh, I think there's little doubt about the bafflegab. I meant "in addition to," not "in place of." And personally, it's the bafflegab which makes me most annoyed with Libby.

And you're on record thinking Libby may well have confused the Russert conversation with another, earlier conversation.

Do you see something inconsistent here? When folks have mistaken memories, do they always make one (or even one kind of) error? You really ought to do an accident investigation some time (it's much better than criminal ones, because the vast majority of witnesses have no incentive to lie . . . and some of the stories are spot-on and some are just out there). The concept you appear to be missing is that even people with the best of motives make up the missing parts.

I see no jumble, no bafflegab.

I think that's just silly. He tells a story that's in some places exculpatory, and in others inculpatory. The quotes in the indictment are clearly unpolished idiocy, not some slick alibi. And sorry, but I think "incoherent" is a perfect description for Barney's example, and this one right afterward:

So then he said – I said – he said, sorry – he, Mr. Russert said to me, did you know that Ambassador Wilson's wife, or his wife, works at the CIA? And I said, no, I don't know that. And then he said, yeah – yes, all the reporters know it. And I said, again, I don't know that. I just wanted to be clear that I wasn't confirming anything for him on this.
Anyway, I don't think Russert answered either one.

I don't either. And his remarkably similar and careful phrasing makes me think he's overparsing the denial (the contrast with Libby's blather is striking). However, I can't see what would fit into his denial except perhaps that he knew "Mrs Wilson worked in intelligence."


Hmmm... Do you think it's possible that Russert knew something that was both "spot on" and "out there" at the same time? Like, "Hey, I heard that Wilson's wife was having an affair with Tenet and they sent Joe to Niger to get him out of town." You laugh, but that's exactly the sort of catty comment a woman would make, and an irony-challenged man wouldn't realize it was meant to be a joke...

cathy :-)


Over the top?


Why no Special Prosecutor for the other CIA Leaks? Christopher Hitchens.


Out, out damn truth!

"As more and more information comes in on the Jason Leopole-Truthout Karl Rove indictment non-story, it looks more and more like the story was without truth. Our sources within the Patrick Fitzgerald investigation, ones who have proven reliable in the past, tell us Rove wasn't indicted 10 days ago and may never be indicted (even though Fitzgerald still considers him a target). If an indictment is to come, it has not come yet. The case, they say is incomplete."

In spite of TO.


As Taranto says of Truth Out ("If you want the truth get out of here")


So then he said – I said – he said. Sorry. He, Mr. Russert, said to me, "Did you know that Ambassador Wilson's wife" - or "his wife" - "works at the CIA?" And I said, "No, I don't know that." And then he said, "Yeah – yes, all the reporters know it." And I said, again, "I don't know that." I just wanted to be clear that I wasn't confirming anything for him on this.


LUV IT, Clarice! :)

How about Libby opposing Cheney evidence?

Libby lawyers oppose Cheney notes as evidence


Old news, of course but that's coming from MSNBC, which I don't like to read it.

Sara (Squiggler)

(even though Fitzgerald still considers him a target)

He does? News to me. Rove has been told he IS NOT a target.


New story:


Cheney may be called in CIA leak case

"Fitzgerald said Cheney's "state of mind" is "directly relevant" to whether I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's former top aide, lied to FBI agents and a federal grand jury about how he learned about CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity and what he subsequently told reporters."


Now Fitzgerald is for state of mind testimony!

The newspaper is a ploy. Libby admitted Cheney wanted information to go out. Unless Cheney denied it, the newspaper is of no extra worth...but it makes a good prop for the trial!


OK, I always think Walton will go Fitz's way...but this new "state of mind" crud? Um, what does Cheney's state of mind have to do with Libby feeling threatened he'd loose his job if he were honest, I mean he made THAT argument too, right?

Sybil - party of 22 - your table is now available! (different em- PHA-sis) Sybil Prosecutor - party of 22 - your table is now available


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060525/ap_on_go_pr_wh/cia_leak;_ylt=ApntcL.9jEu7oaaUO7ltw.qs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3OXIzMDMzBHNlYwM3MDM-> filing?

The article suggests Fitz made a new filing today..Anyone seen it? I certainly won't take this newspaper report of what it said at face value. The reports are so rarely accurate.


Mac Ranger referred to this article as "old news":

Perhaps a filing might be the only truth. "State of mind" might not be?

I don't attribute this as the so-called "new activity" as attested by TO. Just part of the normal process.


My state of mind is-

If Russert is talking, why isn't Novak?


Well, the new filing is pretty interesting. From reading the actual grand jury testimony from Libby that is attached, I think it's safe to say that at least one version of the bafflegab theory is dead. Libby will not be claiming that he was misunderstood by Fitzgerald et al when they thought he was claiming that he learned about Plame from Russert as if the information were new. Libby will not be claiming that he simply put himself into a frame of mind of ignorance in order to lie effectively to Russert.



I just emailed them to you ...anyone else want them just email me.


"Shuster got 2 anti-Rove prosecutors to make a story since MSNBC doesn't let him talk to Jason Leopold anymore."

Yeah, one of worked for Ken Starr - very biased that guy ...


Solomon L. Wisenberg...does definitly trend Democrat in his view, which makes Ken Starr even more honorable a man.


The filing is not available online?


ts--Thanks--I got two documents from you but both are identical --they are Fitz unopposed motion for an extension of time of one day in which to respond to Libby's argument about the newspaper articles--There is not a thing in this filing that supports the above-posted yahoo (via AP) story about Fitz calling Cheney. (Of course, if Fitz needed authenication of the article, he would simply seek a stipulation. I find the claim that he intends to call Cheney as a witness for that reason ridiculous.)


Jeff, can you post that filing or email it to Thom..or do you wish to carry on a discussion about the filing with yourself?



they are, but via the court website for which you have to get an account and credit card to download.



I just got my first Larry Johnson email! I'm in the club...

JM Hanes

Wow, tops, congrats! Was it nasty enough to bear repeating?


Repeat it anyway , ts.

Tom Maguire

I have a new thread with the docs, but the key news - Mariano Rips, Manny Flips (finally).


"Jeff, can you post that filing or email it to Thom..or do you wish to carry on a discussion about the filing with yourself?"

"I am happy to have my ability to understand something in the context of someone else's perspective compared with that of anyone else who posts here."

What do you think Clarice?

Tom Maguire

On Russert's possibly misleading deposition:

He would have to be either stupider than Libby or smarter than I think he is to shave such a fine line repeatedly in Fitz's face, if he really did discuss Plame with Libby.

If his goal was to protect a source, avoid a subpoena, and avoid perjury, so far it is Mission Accomplished.

Now, at some point he ought to have his lawyers give Fitzgerald a secret signal that there may be trouble in paradise with Russert's testimony. But when - new subpoenas to Russert and Mitchell are still a possibility, he might think.

Tom Maguire

As to "what everyone is trying to figure out" - in a rare stint as Russert apologist, let me mention the John Dickerson in Africa with TIME story, where he said senior Admin official were very cryptic about telling reporters to ask the CIA about the origins of the Wilson trip.

Maybe Dickerson became very wise only after the fact, but *MAYBE* what everyone at NBC was trying to figure out was, why is the Admin hinting so darkly about the CIA and the Wilson trip?


TM - Thanks for the clarification, and I apologize that I might have misunderstood what you said earlier.

You are posing two questions, and they appear very different to me. The first is I think the real important one. Hopefully someone will pose that very question to him.

The second one does not seem very relevant to me. If administration officials were mentioning to reporters about Wilson's wife (as we now know they were), it would be natural for them to hear these unconfirmed rumors.

The comments to this entry are closed.