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January 25, 2007

Comments

MayBee

JMH- you are wrong about that! You've just missed the threads where we've said how much we miss you. It's true, we do....
although it sounds like you are having a real adventure.

MJW

TSK9: That wasn't a snip at you, but I am always mystified why JOMer's have to go out of their way to thank and right a perceived wrong of the lefties --when none of them - jeff included- ever afford the same.

'Cause we're nicer?

JM Hanes

Hi MayBee! It's been great, and actually pretty civilized, all things considered -- although I did jettison my portable printer in favor of my snake boots & a back up supply of DEET. My idea of high anxiety is discovering that internet cafés use PC's not Macs.

Daddy

Observing the MSM's spin reporting as this proceeds is beyond pathetic. And these are the clowns that are supporting the clowns who aim to give us "The Fairness Doctrine". Arggggh!

cboldt
Fitzgerald reveals gamble in CIA leak case
By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer Fri Jan 26, 1:55 AM ET

... Defense attorneys said they will ask U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to force Fitzgerald to reveal what Fleischer promised him. Fitzgerald told Walton that no promises were made.

The disputes between prosecution and defense revolve around the contents of "the Fleischer promise." Tangentially related is the 1x2x6 article, which the defense prefers not be introduced into evidence.

"Application" of Giglio is really a sticky wicket here for the defense. I put "application" in scare quotes because whether or not the principle enunciated in Giglio is applicable to this case.

I've seen little discussion about specifically what promises might have been exchanged between Fleischer and Team Fitzgerald (other than the defense insinuation that there was a promise naming Libby; and the prosecution assertion that Fleischer's "proffer" was most general), and the ramifications of various promise scenarios.

Fleischer's first testimony in the investigation came after Fitzgerald was appointed. That fact alone can fuel speculation regarding Libby "opportunity" (if Ari isn't talking, one less potential witness to worry about), and prosecution subterfuge (laying a trap for Libby).

Anyway, if Apuzzo's story is accurate, we'll see a defense filing today or over the weekend.

On a separate subject, I note nary a peep on Fitzgerald's Motion in limine filed yesterday afternoon.

cboldt

-- because whether or not the principle enunciated in Giglio is applicable to this case. -- [sheesh, can't even remember to finish sentences] is itself a contested issue.

Just to amplify, the prosecution says Fleischer is not a Giglio witness. They also (slightly tangential) say Fleischer does not trigger a Brady obligation either. (Prosecutors are required to disclose to the defense evidence favorable to a defendant which is either exculpatory or impeaching and is material to either guilt or punishment. Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963))

But as a matter of convenient shorthand, it is appropriate to consider Giglio (not necessarily apply it, but consider whether or not it's applicable) any time a witness who will give testimony at trial has been given a related immunity agreement.

P

FROM LARRY JOHNSON: ""....... The CIA routinely uses former Ambassadors,"""
...............
Thanks for the list, Larry.
Signed, Osama

lurker

McClatchy reporter should have questioned Jay’s intelligence [and lies]

MayBee

I find the release of the non-disclosure agreement a bit tough for a few reasons. The first is, he signed it whether he lied or not-- he had already signed it. So it hardly proves any motive, although it can be suggestive of one.

The other problem I have is the problem I have with the whole case. Armitage, Fleischer, Rove, whoever, all signed non-disclosure agreements and all were equally as or less forthcoming with the investigation. What was their motive.

Finally, while I'm sure Libby didn't want to be fired from his job, it isn't like it was the only thing he could find to do for a living. You'd have to prove one would rather lie and risk jail time rather than simply step down and find a job that pays 10x as much.

cboldt

Byron York and Marcy Wheeler on C-Span discussing the case. Byron gave a good smmary of what the case is about, both from the legal perspective and from the "big case" perspective.

davod

Channel 28 news (Arlington VA) her in Washington DC just reported on the lady who testifeid yesterday. The headline "Woman's testimony damaging to Libby." The commentary started off with the damaging testimony that she told Libby about Plane in June, followed by the comment that she could't remember if it was June or July.

"Damaging testimomy"?

Ranger

I think it will be important for Wells to lay out to the judge at the end of the prosecution's case and to the jurors in final arguments the degree to which witnesses testemony has changed over time and cross reference that with media coverage. We have so far 4 prosecution witnesses who all changed their testemony from their initial FBI interviews to their GJ testemony, 2 of those very significantly. All changes were prompted by the witnesses being presented with evidence or media accounts that controdicted their original statements and Fitz gave them the opportunity to correct the record. Libby was never given that opportunity. It will be important to point out that the more the press talked about Libby as a focus of the investigation, the more peoples memories tended towards him as well.

cboldt

Surprisingly, C-SPAN is giving York more of the chore of describing the case and the facts coming out - and to Marcy, questions about the mechanics of blogging. ;-)


First caller asks about when Cheney and Rove will testify. Marcy says there is no certainty that either would testify.


York and Wheeler both say Libby is facing 30 years (that's utter bullshit - persistent, but utter BS), and are asked to speculate on the prospect of pardon.


Wheeler reading too much into Wells "we'll probably deal with this after the case," i.e., that Wells expects to lose. As to the contention that Libby plans to appeal, well duh, no shit, Sherlock.


Second caller is asking "Cheney as unindicted co-conspirator" or going after bigger fish. York gets first whack at that, but says Fitz has been careful to say we are just charging one person, and we are not making any claim about conspiracy. C'mon Byron, why don't you come out and say that Fitz is trying to impugn Cheney. Wheeler tries to draw Cheney in, with the instruction from Cheney to Libby to "get it out." Wheeler says this isn't just the NIE, this is evidence that Cheney ordered the leak of Plame.


Anyway, pretty interesting C-SPAN segment. I'll stop now.

kate

This is why I am so glad to have JOM. The reporting on this story has been appalling. It is a mixture of purposeful misreprensentation, sloppiness, bias, and self-protection.

I think conservatives may have overplayed the death of the MSM. I think that may be true but in the process of imploding today's media is getting more and more biased and crusading. The performance in the last election was mind boggling.

The monolithic media of the 1970s was much more subtle and nuanced. Since there was not threat to its monopoly, it had no need to go extreme.

MayBee

don't stop! I can't see it. Liveblog it, cboldt!

sad

Please don't stop, cboldt,

kate

Yes, the 30 years thing. I don't get that either. A poster on JOM several months ago outlined the federal sentencing guidelines and the actual sentence Libby faces if convicted is far less. I think it has to do with the alleged crimes being treated as one and the sentence being concurrent.

I recall at Martha Stewart's conviction, some reporters were saying she could face up to 20 years but acknowledging that the sentence would be far less (indeed, it turned out to be 5 months jail, 5 months house arrest).

sbw

Re: CSPAN.

Wheeler says the "French" forgeries were floating around before Wilson made his comment about a Nigerian official having left office before he could have signed the document. In other words, Wheeler is saying that Wilson could well have seen the forgeries before they were officially "deliveered." Does that make sense?

MayBee

I don't know how she thinks she "knows" that. But if so, why would he have backed off that claim? At the very least, he wasn't supposed to see them.
Of course, she could ask Wilson about them.

sbw

CSPAN

Wheeler: Why didn't Libby reveal his conversation to Robert Novak?

Which conversation was that?

sbw

CSPAN caller: Mrs. Wheeler, iIf scooter libby is found innocent will you go after rehabilitating hios reputation with the same vigor that you have gone after him?

Wheeler: [quavering] At a time Libby ws supposed to be defending the country was going after a critic. I will not.

sbw

**He** was going after a critic.

Gosh. I type like Clarice! I am obliged to compliment EW on her liveblog typing skills, if nothing else.

sad

Wheeler: [quavering] At a time Libby ws supposed to be defending the country was going after a critic. I will not.

Was the quavering stage fright, or is Wheeler starting to see the writing on the wall?

sbw

CSPAN --
Q: What's next?

York: Its going to get spectacular if reporters testify and bigger if VP testifies.

Wheeler: Biggest q. is whether Scooter will take the stand. It seems like his team is trying to get him out of taking the stand.

Book plug for Wheeler.

Q: Favorite President?
York - Lincoln.
Wheeler - I don't know that I have one. Maybe the first female President. Maybe the first African-American one.

Show over.

cboldt

Sorry for the quality of this, I was distracted at important times ...

---===---

Third caller says Wilson can't remember what he says, and he and Plame ought to be in jail for their lies.

York gets into the big case as to Wilson's report, the forged documents, and in general the debate between
Wilson and the government on things such as "the OVP knew of the Wilson report." Finally, York
points out that Wilson's credibility is not an issue in the case.

Dana Milbank article from yesterday is brought up as a point to discuss. The trial has pulled back the curtain on WH
communication technique, bad news dumped on the weekend, etc.

Marcy agrees that the revelations that the WH is "using the media" causes a cringe in the media room (maybe because it's their
secret too?) York points out that Wilson went to MTP to get his story out.

York back to the difference between WH and Wilson, and that WH is reasonably focused on rebutting "we knew about
Wilson's report."

Fourth caller talking about Armitage, Powell and State. He is perplexed that Powell didn't talk to Bush. He is perplexed
that Bush is not aware that Armitage was the problem. Wheeler says there is some indication that Bush found out
about Armitage's role - using Novak's "go ask the President" line when pushed to disclose who told Novak.

York says that Armitage being the first leaker, and also talking to Woodward, is a problem inasmuch as it militates against
the presence of conspiracy, because State and WH are at odds, not working together.

Wheeler asks York why Libby hadn't earlier disclosed talking to Novak. Wheeler thinks Novak "knew" Plame was
"under cover."

Fifth caller says he was first concerned about an unauthorized leak, but watching Wilson, et al, came to the conclusion that
this story is ginned up by the press to assume that the Bush administration is guilty. This guy turns off the NYT. This
caller parallels the Plame case with the Duke case. Asks if Wheeler will help Scooter regain his reputation if Scooter is
acquitted.

Host turns to Wheeler with a lead-in from her book, Anatomy of Deceit. She says she would not help Scooter because at the
time he should have been working in N. Korea, Iraq, Iran and terrorism, he was preoccupied with damaging Wilson's credibility.

York recounts the history, as DOJ tossing the hot potato of an investigation around until they found Fitzgerald. Then, what
Fitzgerald did was go after reporters, with cooperation from the Bush administration. The WH cooperated, and used the waivers to
compel reporters to testify, setting a terrible precedent that leads to reporters having to testify about NSA leaks, etc.

Questions from host. Can Cheney duck perjury because his statements weren't under oath? Why no leak charge? Is it
because Cheney can declassify? Wheeler says Cheney is at risk for false statements, but not for leaking even though
the declassification authority question one has some constitutional implications (Huh?)

Last caller, is very interested in finding out about Aldrich Ames outing Plame, and that Plame was not covert - Wilson had put
Plame's name out. York says there is no evidence of that. Plame was covert at the beginning of her career. At the time her
name was published she was in a transition period. The CIA considered her designation "classified." Libby considered it
(classified status) ineffective. What's going to happen? York thinks it will be spectacular when Russert testifies, and even
more so when Cheney does. Russert will testify and that will be spectacular, Cheney may or may not testify, but if he does it will be even more spectacular. Thus ends York's speculation.

Wheeler's speculation - will Libby take the stand? If he doesn't, his whole argument "he forgot" is lost for want of being presented. The defense may be angling to use Cheney's testimony to get Libby's memory defense (all the CIPA stuff)
in. She concludes by saying that if Libby doesn't take the stand, there will be fireworks. Hard to
tell what those would be.

MayBee

Thanks, sbw.

sbw

sad: Was the quavering stage fright?

Conviction. Quavering shows you believe it. It's the neo-liberal secret signal that says whatever you say HAS to be true. Quavering lends weight. I'm sure she didn't do it voluntarily; it's just visceral.

And, from my point of view, a warning that feelings might short-circuit the accuracy of what she has reasoned.

kate

Oh, no. Did Wheeler really say that. Her favorite president is in the future and its race/gender based.

No FDR, no George Washington, no Lincoln, no Jefferson.

lonetown

Saw Wheeler on C-Span. Her answer to the last question "your favorite president?" was the strongest tell I've ever seen.

Her answer "oh, I don't know, the first woman or African-American".

No shit. Talk about form over function. What a dip. Her favorite president is dome politically correct horseshit.

Yeah! count on her for accurate analysis.

What a laugh.

cboldt

-- I think it has to do with the alleged crimes being treated as one and the sentence being concurrent. --

That and lots more. I looked at the statistics for false statements and perjury prosecutions, which happened to include the jail terms. I doubt the real risk to Libby is 1 year - TOPS - with negotiation downward from there.

Specter

Hi All,

Well - I haven't been posting on this, but I have been following along. I do have a few comments though:

Herbie - you old dog...LOL...now you've got JOMers looking up definitions. Talk about an old dog teaching new tricks....

TruthProbe - the "Bush Lied" theme is so old. We just found out that 4 days prior to the disputed 16-words he got confirmation from CIA. Get over it.

General Comments
First off - I think it is amazing how well the 'sphere has been covering the trial. Even though I don't like the editorializing in the live blogging, it is incredible that we are able to do this - to get the testimony in a time-sensitive fashion. I further like reading all the "logical" comments - well thought out and bringing in new viewpoints. It is most enlightening! So to all of you - Thank You and Keep Up The Good Work!

I would also like to point out that, yes, the MSM is still printing biased articles. However, I think that not only is it a reflection of their political bias, but also the fact that they are not following the story as closely as the 'sphere. Our local paper had an article about how CM's testimony showed how Cheney was directing the conspiracy! Incredible.

kate

Can someone clarify for me. I have absolutely no sense that Cheney is at any risk. In fact, the prosecution is not calling him. I thnk he is looking forward to testifying on behalf of Libby.

Is this just the remaining remnants of Fitzmas?

sbw

Re: CSPAN

To be fair, the host through York and Wheeler a curve on the "Who's your favorite President?" to sequé into a CSPAN website plug. He later apologized for putting them on the spot.

York deftly deflected by going popular and Wheeler, reeling, having to cope, fell back on habit. Cut her some slack for being typical of here ilk.

And thank her for her service liveblogging. It helps us all learn more. Even when there is static on the radio, we can still hear the signal thanks to her effort.

[Now, I appreciate that is somewhat short of putting money into the FDL tipjar, but have have recently contributed to Michael Totten, Bill Roggio, and Michael Yon for their Middle East embedded coverage and urge you do to the same -- they add more signal to the MSM noise.]

sad

Ft. Worth had a case where the wealthy second wife was brutally murdered and the husband wounded superficially. Security system was not triggered. I had that man pegged as a murder because he inherited everything she had. I had no doubt, but within a few days it was learned that the man's daughter had hired a couple of friends to kill her father and stepmother. The daughter was going to pay her accomplices from her inheritance.

I was shaken to the core at judging someone so harshly and being so wrong. It jumps to my mind whenever there is a rush to judgment.

sbw

** through ** s/b threw

Didn't someone just do the reverse?

MayBee

kate- think of it as Fitz Boxing Day.

sad

She says she would not help Scooter because at the
time he should have been working in N. Korea, Iraq, Iran and terrorism, he was preoccupied with damaging Wilson's credibility.

And this from someone who feels it is her patriotic duty to damage the President's credibility.

Martin

The correct answer is Grover Cleveland.

Martin

Cleveland was the only President to ever get married in the White House and at age 49 married the 21 year old Frances Folsom, still the youngest First Lady ever. You go Grover!

MayBee

Thanks, cboldt. Did the host mention that wheeler isn't a lawyer, and doesn't really know what Cheney's legal risks are?

DR. Funkular

'Valerie's boss asked her if Joe could do it and directed her to write a memo on the matter.'

Who was Plame's boss? CIA denied Foley and so did Foley. If it was Foley is this why they assassinated Foley(USAID/CIA/RPCV) in Jordan. The assassintation may be the reason for the denial and to cover up a trip she ordered for a family member and possible son of an x CIA employee(dad diplomat in Spain)?


'Joe had been sent on prior missions to Africa by the CIA.'

No, he was sent once by his wife and payed for it out of pocket. Unless Joe was CIA while in PC or later as an ambassador.

'DoD Diebold employee plant?'

Well, was anyone fired or abused by that?


I'm missing posts?

Florence Schmieg

Specter, I also think that a lot of the journalists don't wait until they hear the entire testimony, including the cross examination, before they write their articles. Neil Lewis had already published on the NY Website yesterday just before the cross really got going. Hence, the readers only got the prosecutor's take. Really lazy, sloppy, journalism which appears to be the norm these days. And, I am afraid that criticism must also be directed to Joyner. He did not update his blog the entire afternoon, again, skewing what people might interpret about the testimony of Martin. Perhaps it was from there that Lewis got his story?? Of course, the media meme is all important and nothing is allowed to disrupt it. Libby is a liar, Wilson an aggrieved whistleblower, Cheney a devil, etc. If I were to choose ONE thing to spend my life protesting against and working for, it would be to clean up our media somehow. What a danger they are.

hit and run

clarice:
ts--I have a house guest and a dinner party I'm hosting tomorrow night, but I hope to have something this weekend.

Sorry, but I forgot your answer -- do you want me to bring a red or white wine tonight? Oh and we didn't get a babysitter, so we won't be staying overnight. You are too gracious to offer, though. We're looking forward to it!

Martin:
Anyway, I don't know what you're talking about in particular, but I can assure you that I'm right, you're wrong, and it is you who are an sub-stupid moron who, with hard work and study, could one day rise to the level of stupid.

And if you don't you get stuck in Iraq.

clarice:
This is far bigger news that Tom Cruise's visit.

Yes, I would put it as bigger than Tom's visit but less important than Penelope's.

sbw:
Q: Favorite President?
York - Lincoln.
Wheeler - I don't know that I have one. Maybe the first female President. Maybe the first African-American one.

York shoulda come back with -- "Yeah, I agree with Ms Wheeler - I wanna change my answer. Condi. Definitely. Thanks Ms Wheeler.

Jane

Can someone clarify for me. I have absolutely no sense that Cheney is at any risk.

Kate,

I can't think of any risk either. It seems like wishful thinking on the moonbat's part. Now I'm sure someone somewhere will try and create some case on some basis that Cheney has committed the crime of the century, but I'm equally sure it won't go anywhere - unless Fitz is on the payroll of someone we don't know about.

Other Tom

Actually, the correct answer is Calvin Coolidge, whose dictum, "Normal people take care of themselves" should be recited each morning as the Congress convenes.

For those who might be wondering, every few days I drop a carefully worded dung-bomb over at Crazy Larry's site, well calculated to drive the guy into a frenzy. Hasn't failed yet. Last year he responded with an obscenity-laced tirade which I posted at FDL when someone there attested to his brilliance. For that, I got banned.

I believe Larry was acquainted with Val back when Larry had a cup of coffee at some Agency desk job. These days he serves as Joe Wilson's all-purpose sycophant and jock-sniffer. If Joe told him the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, tomorrow night Larry would think it was morning.

cboldt

-- I were to choose ONE thing to spend my life protesting against and working for, it would be to clean up our media somehow. --

I'd make it dirtier and even more polarized. Teach that trust is risky, to seek source documents, and to develop the skills that facilitate independent analysis and action.

Patrick

EW makes too much of the "we'll talk about it after the case" comment. Typically, when a trial attorney says that, they would be talking about the close of either their case in chief or the close of evidence. There is frequently a lot of discussion re: jury instructions, among other things. e.g. is there evidence in the case that would require the use of this instruction on the law. There is no chance that Wells believes at this early stage that the case is lost.
Also, I do not think it's foregone that the memory defense is unavailable if Libby doesn't testify. I think a reasonable jury could conclude there is doubt as to whether Libby would remember the conversations he discussed, even if he presents no evidence of that himself. As of now, the witnesses agree that their memories have faded, and were inaccurate even when they were before the GJ and talking to the FBI.

Lastly, having thought about the matter, it makes sense that Wells et al. signaled that they are willing to point fingers (to an estent) at Rove, etc., and not let Libby be the fall guy. Rove is a top administration guy, in an administration that is extraordinarily unpopular, especially in DC. It seems a good trial strategy to disassociate Libby with those guys. It remains a gambit, however, with respect to a pardon. If he goes too far, he decreases his chance of getting a pardon from the Pres.

sbw

-- I were to choose ONE thing to spend my life protesting against and working for, it would be to clean up our media somehow. --

Read Journalistic Indifference and Crisis? What crisis? for a newspaper publisher's analysis of the problem.

Martin

Patrick-who's going to testify that Libby forgot?

How is any evidence of him claiming to have forgotten it going to come in without his testimony?

Rick Ballard

Florence,

If you click sbw's name it will take you to his excellent blog where you can see some worthwhile analysis and speculation upon his trade.

The overwhelming majority of reporters ply their trade as best they can with as much attention to detail and fairness as their budgets (both time and money) allow. The sickness in the trade isn't really generalized, it's located at the top (and in the editing end).

The "cure" involves refusing to pay for the product and in encouraging others to do likewise. Curiosity concerning "what's happening" can be satisfied by going to the AP home website which puts the absolute minimum amount of revenue in biased pockets. I've even been trying to stay away from Google and Yahoo.

I second cboldt's suggestion concerning source documents. There is more easy to find current information available today than there has ever been in history. If one wants to know about something the 'news' isn't the place to gain knowledge.

Martin

"I've even been trying to stay away from Google and Yahoo."

It shows.

JJ

I think I have the top prize for the I-haven't-watched-one-minute-of-the-trial-but-I-have-an-opinion commentary. Shame that this is the only news that some people have time for...

From Jeffrey Toobin and Anderson Cooper on CNN last night --

...Jeff, let me start with you. This was the prosecutor's fourth witness. How are they doing so far in trying to prove their case?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think they're doing very well, because it's sort of confusing the facts about this case. And what the prosecution is doing in saying, look, this is very simple. "Scooter" Libby said he learned that Valerie Wilson was a CIA agent from Tim Russert in a conversation.

COOPER: That's what he testified to?

TOOBIN: That's what he testified to under oath. What the prosecution is doing to begin the case is calling a series of his colleagues at the White House to say, I told "Scooter" Libby that she worked for the CIA. And that's -- you know, it's going to be tougher.

COOPER: Not only did I tell "Scooter" Libby, but I told "Scooter" Libby before the date that he says he learned it.

TOOBIN: That's right. And it was a big deal that this isn't just -- part of the defense is, look, this guy was dealing with all sorts of things. But you saw in that courtroom how obsessed this administration was with the weapons of mass destruction issue. Where were they? Why weren't they found? And that's what "Scooter" Libby was spending his time on. That's why, the prosecution argues, he should remember this.

Sue

Emphasis on the plural. You got this one time.

I have come to the conclusion that Larry makes stuff up. ::grin:: But if you consider they sent him (Joe) in 1999 and again in 2002 that makes it plural, especially in Larry's mind.

lurker

The book, "Anatomy of Deceit", should be focused on Fitz, rather than Libby.

cboldt

-- I do not think it's foregone that the memory defense is unavailable if Libby doesn't testify. --


That depends on what one means by the term "memory defense." In some sense, he's already put on a memory defense, yes? By showing the gross imperfections in Grossman, Grenier, Schmall and Martin's memories?


"The Memory Defense" is a fairly elaborate defense construct involving some 67 redacted exhibits, charts, and a presentation that appears would span a couple of days of Libby testimony.


There is a bunch of middle ground between what has already been presented, and the full-blown "The Memory Defense" -- and the contention is that Libby may be satisfied with some point in this middle ground, a point reached without his need to take the stand.

Sue

JJ,

Nothing about recovered memories? Nothing about changed testimony? Figures.

Dan S

"I guess FDL'ers are comfortable with the fact they could be indicted for a crime by investigators who thorough or you know everything. WHAT IF THIS WAS A POOR PERSON?

Aren't they always jumping up and down about civil rights abuses?

Posted by: topsecretk9 | January 25, 2007 at 10:06 PM "

They only worry about innocent people. Libby is GUILTY! Shame on you.

lurker

Was "Tim Russert telling Libby about Plame" the first time Libby heard publicly? Everyone else that told Libby before Russert were government people, right? Perhaps Libby considered the information coming from government employees inside (private, confidential) information versus Russert giving him "public" information?

clarice

I have to go away to work for a while and I wonder if someone could clear up something for me..
What was the exchange between Wells and Walton about regarding Libby's testimony.. I seem to recall it differently than some are reporting.
Thanks.

Florence Schmieg

Rick, Although I am a firm believer in freedom of the press, here are some reasons I think some sort of intervention is warranted:

1. The press, always powerful, is now even more so in the days of 24/7 cable news and blogs. We get our "information" in real time and draw conclusions immediately without time for additional "information" to clarify what we hear.

2. All powerful people and professions are subject to checks and balances BECAUSE they are powerful. Not so the press. Simply hoping the public will bail on them will not work. The public cannot be expected to spend the time to learn about things broadly on all topics. They rely on the press.

3. Serious professions that have major impact on people's lives try to police themselves. Medicine has stringent exams; malpractice boards, etc. Law has the bar exams and ethics committees. Journalism cannot have it both ways. They cannot claim that they are so very important (first amendment) that must be shielded and then turn around and claim that they are just a "craft" and therefore the self-policing of their "craft" is not necessary.

4. The media is a major reason wars are lost, presidential candidates are unsuccessful, reputations are destroyed unjustly, etc. And they are never held accountable because there is no way to do so.

cboldt

-- What was the exchange between Wells and Walton about regarding Libby's testimony.. I seem to recall it differently than some are reporting. --

Sounds like an opportunity for you to compare what others have said with what you believe occurred, and to explain the factors that support your conclusions over the other reports. That sort of comparative analysis is great stuff for independent-minded readers to pore over.

Cecil Turner

I'll call her a stenographer again, but in a nice way. Despite a few lapses into snippy partisan asides, for the most part she did an admirable job of blogging the court proceeding.

Yes, I'd like to retract my earlier snipe about her editorializing over reporting. She got much better as she went along. Joyner was more consistently fair, but not quite as knowledgeable or detailed. I cited him as the early blog-leader, but think EW probably passed him there at the end. Sets a high bar for the next group . . . kudos to both for a great effort.

Just heard Nina Totenberg on NPR. All four of the first witnesses told Libby about Plame, who [implied] perjured himself to defend Cheney because Wilson exposed their lies in promoting the Iraq War. So there you have it.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'The confusion between interest in Joseph Wilson and interest in Valerie Wilson is part of Fitz's plan.'

It's becoming increasingly clear that Fitz doesn't know the difference. He's got the same problems with logic as your average commenter at Empty Wheel. Or David Corn:

'The significance of this? Fitzgerald had shown once again that Libby was making efforts to gather information on the Wilson trip when little was publicly known about it. As a result of this effort, he was told by Martin that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. Ted Wells, a Libby lawyer, tried to depict Martin's report to Cheney and Libby as nothing but an easy-to-forget ten-second snippet. But Martin also testified that Libby was intensely engaged in a campaign to rebut Joseph Wilson's charge that the Bush administration had rigged the case for war by misrepresenting the prewar intelligence--and that Libby had even requested to see transcripts of cable news shows covering the controversy (particularly Chris Matthews' Hardball program). Consequently, a juror could well conclude that information regarding Valerie Wilson's CIA employment was important to Libby and registered with him.'

It's a classic non-sequitur.

And, Cathie Martin's testimony actually refutes it. She testified that SHE thought Valerie's role would be 'useful' in demonstrating that the VP hadn't sent Wilson. She didn't say Scooter thought so, nor Cheney. She didn't even say 'we'.

And, also refuting the idea--as Cecil pointed out at Joyner's blog--the talking points that came out of their discussions have nothing suggesting 'the wife' was important at all.

boris

It seems a good trial strategy to disassociate Libby with those guys [Rove & Co]. It remains a gambit, however, with respect to a pardon. If he goes too far, he decreases his chance of getting a pardon from the Pres.

Not to worry, if gravitas Cheney says “Pardon Libby”, Libby gets pardoned.

The scapegoat defense does not have to be provable or even true. It just has to provide context for some of Libby’s bafflegab. Libby’s testimony didn’t ring true but didn’t make sense as lies either. Last May I suggested his testimony makes sense if he felt he was being framed or set up to take the fall for something he didn’t do. Why not just say “I don’t remember” and shut up? Because doing that would just get him framed so he dumped every self serving recollection and speculation he could toss out there. Not to deceive but rather in self defense.

Wells has established some evidence for the administration circling the wagons to protect Rove. It also seems Grossman was doing the same for Armitage. Again it doesn’t have to be provable or true, it just has to affect Libby’s perception during his bafflegab testimony.

cboldt

-- 4. The media is a major reason wars are lost, presidential candidates are unsuccessful, reputations are destroyed unjustly, etc. And they are never held accountable because there is no way to do so. --


I think a lazy, gullible and decadent public shoulders the greater part of the blame for this. You are asking for "forced honesty" for the good of the gullible. I am saying "screw the gullible, and they'll get smart." Societies full of smart and independent people are strong societies. Societies full of gullible people who need to rely on others for being able to detect bullshit got us to where half the voters stay home, and half of the half that's left vote for the likes of those lying airheads Kerry and Gore.

Martin

"She didn't say Scooter thought so, nor Cheney. She didn't even say 'we'."

Because that would be hearsay.

As far as putting on a memory defense without Libby, get real. Especially if Russert does in fact deny he told Libby.

The standard is beyond a "reasonable" doubt not if "there's the tiniest subatomic little bit o' doubt"

Walton was totally right, it'd be suicidal.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'What was the exchange between Wells and Walton about regarding Libby's testimony.. I seem to recall it differently than some are reporting.'

What I took from EW's report of it was that Fitz is worried that if the Defense is allowed to demonstrate how many other issues were confronting Libby at the same time as mentions of Valerie Plame-Wilson WITHOUT Scooter Libby on the witness stand, it will destroy his theory of the case.

And, might deprive him of the opportunity of cross examine Libby.

But, the way things are going for Fitz, it would be a blessing in disguise for him if Libby doesn't testify.

Dan S

"

Patrick-who's going to testify that Libby forgot?

How is any evidence of him claiming to have forgotten it going to come in without his testimony?

Posted by: Martin | January 26, 2007 at 06:32 AM
"

Martin, Libby doesn't have to PROVE his innocence: that he didn't lie. He only needs reasonable doubt in the mind of one juror with a strong will that he did lie.

So far we have 4 witness all of whom made clear they have trouble remembering. Occam's Razor says if four people involved in events have problems remembering those events, a fifth is likely to also.

That is reasonable doubt. That is, at core, "the memory defense" that is already in action.

Rick Ballard

Florence,

Why do you elevate reporting to the status of a profession while enumerating the reasons why it is no more than a decent trade? It cannot be overseen in the manner which you propose because it has been granted (deservedly or not) special status under the First Amendment.

I argue that the press is held accountable by the people and I would offer the parlous state of the NYT's finances as People's Exhibit #1. It would be a wondrous thing if that treasonous rag could be destroyed in an instant but there is some grim satisfaction to be derived from watching it being ground to dust by the market which it despises.

I agree that the instantaneous reporting of events accretes additional power to both the MSM and blogs but can you say that Wheeler's pathetic editorializing advanced her delusional cause with those capable of more than unthinking support of the liberal cause du jour? She writes for her sycophants - as do those inhabiting the lofty perches in the rotting trees of the MSM. We can all wish for the trees to succumb to the rot more quickly and it is interesting to speculate as to what new growth will emerge in the sunlight which they now block but it is not a process over which we have any control.

Aside from canceling subscriptions, refusing to watch and supporting the new endeavors of which we approve.

cboldt

-- What was the exchange between Wells and Walton about regarding Libby's testimony.. I seem to recall it differently than some are reporting. --

Here are two accounts prepared contemporaneously as events transpired. The two accounts are radically different in some regards, and similar in others.


Libby Prosecution: Craig Schmall Testimony (Pt. 2)


By James Joyner - Thursday, January 25, 2007


Libby Live: Craig Schmall, Two


By Marcy Wheeler - Thursday, January 25, 2007

I wish there were additional accounts to flesh out the exchange further, because I don't feel like springing for a transcript in order to read what was really said.

hit and run

Patrick R. Sullivan:

'The confusion between interest in Joseph Wilson and interest in Valerie Wilson is part of Fitz's plan.'

It's becoming increasingly clear that Fitz doesn't know the difference. He's got the same problems with logic as your average commenter at Empty Wheel. Or David Corn:

May I rework the Corn quote in your post as parody?

'The significance of this? JOM commenters had shown once again that hit and run was making efforts to gather information on the Tom Cruise/Penelope Cruz visit when little was publicly known about it. As a result of this effort, he was told by http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2007/01/libby_trial_gro.html#comment-28193417> Patrick R. Sullivan that http://flyunderthebridge.blogspot.com/2007/01/sizing-them-up.html”>Paz Vega is a super hottie. Other commenters tried to depict the comment that http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2007/01/libby_trial_gro.html#comment-28266511>Peter UK provided of http://www.cojeco.cz/attach/photos/lide/Cruz_46734/Penelope_Cruz_2MAX.jpg>Cruz href> as nothing but an easy-to-forget ten-second post. But Sullivan also commented that hit and run was intensely engaged in a campaign to find pictoral evidence of Penelope Cruz --and that hit and run had even requested to see pictures of a significantly skimpy nature. Consequently, a commenter could well conclude that information regarding Cruise's advocacy on behalf of German Scientologists was important to hit and run and registered with him.'

It's a classic non-sequitur.

Not a 100% fit, but...

Dan S

I didn't find either of those very illuminating. The weakest part of the both efforts has been the handling of sidebars. When there are more than two people involved, the reporters (Joyner and EW) aren't making clear (if they can even tell) who is addressing whom, and body language (which is mostly missing, aside from a couple digressions by EW, and is too easily biased by the observer in any case and needs to be observed by each of us for our own "read").

So we some some wildly divergent reads on those sidebars, like EW's take on the possibility of Libby non-testemony, among others. The compliments and criticisms by Walton of counsel are also problematical. We don't know exactly how those were couched, nor to whom he directed them exactly. The full context is missing and important.

When it's one lawyer and one witness, this is a lot simpler. Even occasional interjections by the judge are pretty clear.

I'm not even sure an official transcript will be enough in some of those sidebars. Better, though... maybe.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Because that would be hearsay.'

Had Cathie Martin testified thus:

'I told Libby and Cheney that Harlow told me they sent Wilson because his wife recommended him. His wife works at CIA. I said I thought that could be used to demonstrate we had nothing to do with his trip.'

And Fitz then asked what Libby said in response, and she said, 'He agreed that it would be useful.'

That is (1) not hearsay, and (2) damaging to Libby.

But, she said nothing like that.

Dan S

Hit & run...

So where the linkie to this evidence that we knew what Cruz looks like before Cruise became the target of this campaign to discredit his efforts to cram Scientology down German throats?

boris

Harlow told me they sent Wilson because his wife recommended him.

Would like to see a transcript on what C.Martin actually said. Based on the Novak/Harlow interchange it seems more likely he would NOT claim "because his wife recommended him".

Martin: "Why him instead of an agent?"

Harlow: "Well his wife works here and he knows the region and we used him once before"

IOW nothing about the wife promoting Joe for the trip, just that being her husband was a factor in using him again.

Patrick R. Sullivan

All we are saying,

Is give Paz a chance

boris

In that scenario for Libby to later learn that the wife was the one responsible for sending Joe would be a surprise.

Other Tom

"Because that would be hearsay."

False, as to Libby. See Fed. R. Evid. 801(d)(2). As to Cheney or others, it's hearsay, but admissible under the exception for state of mind; see Fed. R. Evid. 803(3). She could readily testify that Cheney felt Valerie would be useful in refuting a claim that the VP sent Wilson, but the testimony could not be received for the purpose of showing that Valerie would, in fact, be useful for such a purpose.

Martin

Sullivan- you're getting there. I'd like to see Wells admit that wasn't hearsay! It would of course still be hearsay if it was being introduced to show Libby's state of mind.

Dan S- "So far we have 4 witness all of whom made clear they have trouble remembering."

Ok, I'll stipulate to that. Can you agree we also have 4 non-hostile witnesses whose main priority was not rebuffing Wilson (except C. Martin, whose memory is correspondingly the clearest) and none of whom's testimony is directly contradicted by another witness (as we presume Russert's will do to Libby's)?

Florence Schmieg

I'll try one last time and then stop. You cannot put the burden on the public here. It isn't just politics, etc. but all other things as well. e.g., a CNN reporter had a blurb about Pfeizer pharmaceuticals' financial difficulties, stating that they had problems with safety considerations about their newest drug in the pipeline. Implication was that they were trying to foist dangerous drugs on the public. Truth was that they pulled it when it did not fulfill a phase 3 trial, as required for any decent pharma company to do. Is it the public's responsibility then to know about the FDA's drug regime? This stuff happens all the time. Patents, scientific implications of stem cell experiments, international laws about just about anything, etc., etc. Is the public responsible to know all of this on their own somehow, or is the press responsible for accuracy in what they tell the public? Just asking.

cboldt

-- is the press responsible for accuracy in what they tell the public? --


Only for defamation and false advertising. The sooner the public wakes up to the fact that "press responsibility" is the equivalent of "political honesty," the better.

Patrick

Martin -

Fitz needs to prove Libby intentionally lied to GJ and FBI. Even without Libby's testimony, a jury could conclude that the detail (important to Fitz, maybe not to Libby) was easily forgotten. Wells can argue that Fitz failed to prove intent by showing what was occurring in the OVP at the time included a lot of other more important details that a lot of people who were not indicted forgot when they spoke to the FBI and GJ.

To be brief (at which I admit I am no good): Libby does not have to testify that he forgot, Fitz has to prove he did not forget (i.e. intent).

Martin

Ok OtherTom-I'll defer to your intepretation. But let it be noted you're being tougher on Libby than I. I would never let that in if I was as a judge as "a statement of memory or belief to prove the fact remembered."

Martin

I'm feeling agreeable this morning Patrick. So I agree. I just think that would be an ultra-risky move.

But what do I know? I've never even been indicted!

boris

But what do I know?

Pretty much nada.

clarice

Thanks for the links cboldt..EW's account is far more detailed. He is clearly not saying that he would bar a memory defense of Libby doesn't testify, just expressing what he thinks is the practical effect and Fitz is angling for a promise too early in the trial that Libby will testify--something Wells naturally does not want to do:
"Wells, Witness refusing to meet with us, with the tension between CIA and OVP, if a witness sits down and says something, I don't remember this, I don't remember that. If we had been permitted to take him through an actual document, some people would think he wouldn't be credible.

Walton I beg to differ. I bet if we go back three four years and ask if you did something, most of us would say no. I don't think you'd get anywhere with this.

Wells Jurors are asking that. If you were in that juror box. If I took him through each one. And he said I'm a no-nothing, a see-nothing. It would go to his credibility about the notes in the corner. It impacts the credibility that it might give to him. The more important items on the document are. I think I have the right to call his credibility into question. This is his document from the CIA files. I have every right on Cross to call his credibility into question. When he is saying he remembers absolutely nothing.

Walton. What I'm grappling with is the procedure by which you'd be able to do what you're doing. I doubt it'll impugn his memory about a specific date. He would say this is the type of stuff I briefed him on. I just think if he were questioned about the actual document.

Wells. The only empirical note we have whether it would be relevant is that note in your hand.

Walton. Good faith basis for the jury to know the questions. I will tell the jury that that having been said, the questions are not evidence. It is the responses he gave that counts as evidence.

Fitz. I think it was improper to put memory defense in without making Libby testify. We've now perfected getting around the court's ruling of only introducing the CIPA stuff if Libby testifies. I think we shouldn't stick in their mind and then tell them to forget about it.

Walton. My understanding of refreshing recollection is that the lawyer does not have a right to identify the document. I've always taken the position that a party is permitted to show a document to a witness to see if it refreshes their recollection. If there's some legitimate reason to introduce it, then they can attach that info to that document. I don't buy the proposition that if he was shown the document … we don't know whether if he is shown the unclassified briefing document that it would refresh his recollection.

Fitz. We do know.

Wells. We would not stop at refreshing recollection. He would say this is my briefing document. I agree with the rules regarding recollection if it was a document prepared by someone else. If we gave him the document, he would say this was his document.

10:53

Walton: You wouldn't have a right to tell the juror what it said.

Wells: I'm beyond recollection. So long as I don't say it is the truth. I'm trying to call his credibility into question. Including his credibility when he says that he doesn't remember anything. Then he may have no credibility about the note in the corner. We want to say that given their biases they cannot be believed. Once we say this is my document, we would have been able to move the document in. We will argue that he should not be believed, period. It's beyond past recollection recorded. As long as he said it was his document, we would have a right to paint a picture of what took place in that room that day.

Walton. There was a good faith basis for the questions that Cline asked. However, you must understand that the questions asked by Cline are not evidence.

Fitz. I would object to the "based on the briefing"–we're introducing memory defense without Libby.

Walton. I am somewhat convinced that if the defense position is that it is illogical. Maybe the defense is taking the position that it would be illogical that this witness does not remember any of this information the jury could consider that in bearing on his credibility as a witness. Wells is saying it's inconceivable that he would not have a memory of that.

Walton. There will be no memory defense if Libby doesn't testify.

Fitz. Now they're saying he's lying when he doesn't remember that? Why should we bolster the defense by saying that that came from something that is not in evidence and may never be in evidence. If the judge tells a jury that a question was properly based.

Walton. I don't think it has any significant impact on the government's case. I assume they'll infer that it came from something that existed. If Mr. Libby doesn't testify there'll be no memory defense. I don't see how a memory defense exists.

Fitz. I don't want this to be a precedent. I don't want jurors to always ask there is a basis for questions.

Walton. I don't think it'll have a significant impact on the government's case.

Fitz. Going forward…

Walton. You can object and I'll rule.

Wells. Miss Martin is the next witness. Miss Martin took a number of notes. We have been asking since Saturday. They brought the notes at about 8:30 (this morning). I have not had adequate time to review… what I would ask.

Walton. I don't want to lose half of a day. You have a right to review the notes. Do we have another witness we can call.

Fitz. So we're clear they've had copies of this for a year. "When you have three firms and eleven lawyers on the other side, Paper comes flying at us."

Wells. We asked for the originals bc you can't read the copies.

Walton. Are the originals more legible.

Wells. Oh YEAH!!

Fitz. That's a bit of spin. The notion that they were sitting around for a year with illegible copies.

Walton. He's saying as an officer of the court that he cannot read. If he's lying I'll punish him for it. If it's a lie, I'll punish him for it.

Wells. We started asking Saturday. There are multiple emails.

Walton. All I can say is to look at the originals and the copies to see who is right. If he's going to say he couldn't read them, I won't question that. You have been one of the most scrupulous prosecutors before me.

Fitz If they're illegible I don't have a problem giving him time. I just don't want the record to reflect that we've been sitting on these.

Walton Did you make a requestion at that time.

Wells Ms. Casey started asking on Saturday. I think some documents are not complete. I don't want to sit here and make any kind of allegation. To make sure that something that was on the back side of the page. I need the originals.

Fitz Just to be practical, we're putting in 10-12 exhibits, only a handful of them

Walton He's entitled

Fitz we're not going to be done with diret before lunch. It's not a volume of documents.

Walton I don't want to lose any time. If there's gonna be any delay.

Fitz there's no other witness available RIGHT NOW.

Fitz brings up a handful of documents.

Wells no–the box.

Fitz four pages, one single-sided, a second single-sided. the next one two pages, double sided. I can tell you that there were copies provided before..

Walton I thought we were talking about reams and reams of documents. With all the lawyer power you got over there I don't think you'll have a problem.

11:15

Oops. I screwed up. We've got one more question for Schmall. and then Cathie.

Walton. There were questions asked about this witness about the briefing on June 14. You are instructed that there was a good faith basis for the questions based on what was on the briefing papers. But you must understand that the questions asked by Mr. Cline are not evidence. It was the responses that was evidence.

Walton (juror question). What do you mean "independent recollection." what's your understanding of what you say. A recollection w/o the benefit of looking at notes I may have written.

Walton. TOC June 2003–who would have written it?

Schmall That was my handwriting.

Walton June 14 2003–there was no T on it. What does the T represent?

S to represent a tasking.

Walton You did not put a T on it

S Not in reference to that–it referred to something that was redacted.

Walton Does the absence of a T have significance?

S there are a lot of questions asked that I don't put into a formal tasking.

Walton that entry why did you put that there.

S I would have written a question down of something I didn't have an answer to. If I get a question I don't know the answer to, I'll write it down. I wasn't able to answer it, but we didn't consider it a formal tasking.

Walton You indicated in ref to Libby having concerns about CIA people revealing info on briefing. You said he was irritated.

S Annoyed

Walton What's the basis for your belief he was annoyed?

S Tone of voice, body language."

Patrick

Martin, you've never been indicted only because Fitz isn't watching closely enough!

Florence, I absolutely disagree that intervention is warranted. The answer to media bias is not someone on a high horse determining what is true/accurate/fair/biased, it's more exposure and more universally available information. In other words, the web, left right and center hashing it out.

More speech, not less.

Martin

Boris-you're such a niggling little fruitfly. I can't really work up the energy to swat you, but when I do, you'll be crushed.

vnjagvet

Shifting the emphasis from the thread's a bit, note how important this case may be from an historian's point of view.

It mainly shows how clever and effective Wilson and his cohorts were in moving the "Bush lied" meme from bottalk to virtual conventional wisdom. Wilson's deceptive article is the unexplored story so far, but the rich detail of the trial will provide a great deal of fodder for future articles and books.

From the evidence thus far adduced, it seems apparent that from the WH point of view, the information about "the wife" seemed very incidental.

It was relevant and material, because Wilson really was a bit player in the overall intelligence gathering about Saddam's quest for yellowcake unranium. But it was not a big part of the WH counterstory either overt or covert.

Thus to the WH folks, the notion that it was "leaked" by them probably seemed absurd initially. Then it became "the" story.

The trial is showing beyond question that a lot of people other than the WH were interested in getting the story of "the wife's" role in the Wilson junket for their own reasons.

Libby, of course, wanted to be careful by the time of his conversations with the Press that he was not doing anything except confirming with faint reference what the reporters indicated to him they already heard "on the street". That method of "handling the "wife" problem"
may have been all he remembered when he gave his FBI statements, and when he testified before the GJ.

As I read his GJ testimony transcripts and the snippets of his statements provided in the indictment, all are to me consistent with the above theory.

Watcha think, gang?

Cecil Turner

That is reasonable doubt. That is, at core, "the memory defense" that is already in action.

Yes, and the reason the Defense would appear to want to get as much of the memory issue as possible in front of the jury as soon as possible. Especially if the cumulative effect obviates the necessity of calling Libby. I've always maintained that putting Scooter in front of the jury is a bad risk: he's an inherently unsympathetic figure; the jury is likely to be biased against him from the start; and, the defense is technical enough to sound like doubletalk. Considering the first four witnesses all have significant memory issues (contradictory initial versions) on the key point of when and if they told Libby about Plame, it's a gamble worth considerable deliberation.

However, the main outstanding problem with Libby's story is the difference with Russert. Either they need to challenge Russert's credibility directly (which would be preferable from a simplicity standpoint), or they need to introduce the concept that he mixed up the conversation with Cooper (or whichever alternate version Libby will claim). AFAICT, the former is going to be pretty hard, and the latter, while relatively easy, can only be made by Libby on the stand.

The confusion between interest in Joseph Wilson and interest in Valerie Wilson is part of Fitz's plan.

Concur. He did the same thing with the NIE, in my opinion, along with implications Libby might've misrepresented it, mishandled classified information, and leaked it inappropriately. I doubt it's accidental.

Dan S

Martin,

The problem Fitz has is he has a nigher bar to jump over than Wells does. That's the way the system is designed to protect the not guilty.

The looming issue he has is that some of those witnesses' testimony is self-contradictory. That's a larger issue than whether they contradict anyone else. Self-contradiction impeaches.

And what's worse, it strengthens the "oops, I guess I don't remember that as well as I think" argument. It's working to argue for the defense case, on one theory of defense.

Any rational juror is going to be squinting at Fitz and wondering where his case is. How does putting witnesses on the stand that can't remember well what happened prove that Libby knowingly lied when the most obvious explanation for any inconsistencies (like those in testimony already heard) is that his memory too isn't all that clear?

We all let our biases influence what we observe, I know mine are influencing me, BUT, as I said, the prosecution has the high bar. What we supporting the defense have glaring at us is the jury that tends strongly to anti-administration sentiment. We can't know that there is one juror that approaches rationality on this case because the feelings on the street in DC are pretty strongly anti-administration, and a lot of those people would like to "send a message" or "speak truth to power" despite the facts.

That's the looming hurdle for the defense.

But we've not heard all witnesses yet. Fitz may have something stronger.


clarice

The biggest problem with the unconstitutional limitations on speech in McCain-Feingold is that the power of the press is magnified in the most critical pre-election period. (The second is the huge 527 loophole which permits even foreigners to finance campaigns--something not heretofore permitted under the old laws).


Here is from Fitz' filing in limine to get into evidence the non-disclosure agreements signed by Libby to suggest a motive to lie--he feared firing for any unauthorized disclosure of classified info even though he isn't claiming the info was classified or that Libby knew it was:

". While the government has agreed not to present evidence at trial to establish that Ms. Wilson’s employment status was in fact classified in June and July 2003, the government intends to offer proof to establish that: (a) the FBI and grand jury investigations defendant sought to obstruct concerned the possible unauthorized disclosure of classified information and the possible unlawful disclosure of a covert agent; (b) the false information defendant is charged with providing to investigators and the grand jury was material to both the FBI and the grand jury investigations; (c) defendant knowingly made

Case 1:05-cr-00394-RBW Document 253 Filed 01/25/2007 Page 2 of 7

false statements to the FBI and the grand jury; and (d) defendant had a motive to lie in that, at the time he made the charged false statements, he had reason to fear that the information regarding Ms. Wilson that he disclosed to reporters may have been classified, and that Ms. Wilson may have been a covert CIA officer, and was well aware of the potential consequences of his having disclosed classified information. Specifically, the government intends to prove that, at the time he made the charged false statements, defendant was aware that, if Ms. Wilson’s employment status was in fact classified, or that Ms. Wilson was in fact a covert CIA officer, in addition to potential criminal prosecution under a number of statutes, defendant faced the possible loss of his security clearances, removal from office, and termination from employment as a result of his disclosures to New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper.

As part of its proof on this issue, the government seeks to introduce in evidence at trial five non-disclosure agreements executed by defendant during the course of his employment as the Vice President’s Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor, and as the President’s National Security Advisor. See GX5A-GX5F, copies of which have been provided to the Court and defense counsel. These agreements are signed instruments having independent legal significance, and thus are non-hearsay, and also are admissible as admissions of a party-opponent. Because these agreements are probative of defendant’s state of mind at the time of the charged offenses, they should be admitted."

How this squares with Libby's admission that he told Cooper and Miller is beyond me.

Martin

Clarice-just link to FDL already.

clarice

No. Sometimes it is best to have the actual text in front of us to make the discussion more meaningful, Martin.

Martin

Well let's not discuss the Bible then!

boris

I can't really work up the energy to swat you, but when I do, you'll be crushed.

Bring it on.

Martin

Nah. The helplessness of your needling incites pity not fury.

P.S. "Bring it on" is only addressed to terrorists and insurgents by the President of the United States to advocate attacks on Americans.

clarice

I think the jurors are very engaged and listening closely and their questions reflect that.

Cecil Turner

Watcha think, gang?

I don't think he remembers the particulars any better than any of the others did. Which means his selective recital of those "facts" that help him are at best wishful thinking. However, I also think it's also clear that it's not some masterful attempt at steering an investigation away from nefarious deeds. And I continue to believe he mixed up at least one conversation and the "we didn't even know he had a wife" detail has all the hallmarks of a mixup caused by drift of an oft-repeated talking point (probably derived from the "we'd never heard of Wilson" one from early June).

Is that "perfectly honest"? No, I don't think so. But I also can't feature it as either perjury or obstruction. And at this point it's obvious the investigation was conducted to find a "guilty bastard" (as in K-court chit usage) in either the White House or OVP. Which I find a lot more offensive than someone in the Administration carelessly gossiping about an unimportant "secret" that was carelessly handled by the folks responsible for keeping it (CIA). Or self-serving dissembling from the guy who unexpectedly (and undeservedly) found himself under the microscope.

Dan S

Clarice,

I'm afraid to be optimistic, but I agree that the questions point in that direction.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame