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February 13, 2007

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Pete

Yeah, pete, as I understand it the latest leftist pitch is anyone for the war is either a chicken hawk (if he's not in the service) or a mercenary (if he is)..Therefore, the only ones with "moral authority" , are those opposed to it,Got it. Somehow, I find that unpersuasive.

That is a mischaracterization. I have no problems with the position of those who believe in the war and go fight it. I have problems with those who believe in wars but somehow chicken out (also known as "have other priorities") when it is/was their turn.

cathyf

Just to parachute in and offer some pedantic points:

1) Having a memory of something means that you have electrochemical imprinting of the event in your brain cells in your head. When Russert says that he has no memory of telling Libby, then it is possible that he is lying because that electrochemical imprint is in his head, or if it is not in his head, then he is telling the truth. All of this is possible independent of whether Russert did or did not tell Libby about Plame. (Yes, it is possible that Russert did not tell Libby about Plame, but has a false memory of doing so, and as such is lying about not having the memory. Far fetched, certainly, but not impossible.)

2) The statement "it was impossible" for Russert to tell Libby about Plame is not a "fact", it is a conclusion. As such, the statement cannot be either "the truth" or "a lie". A conclusion can be drawn correctly or incorrectly based upon the underlying facts, and one can tell the truth or tell lies about the underlying facts, but any conclusion is correct or incorrect and can be neither truth nor lie.

The jury can, quite reasonably, conclude that Russert may have told Libby about Plame without any need to conclude that Russert is lying. They can believe that it happened and Russert doesn't remember, and is telling the truth about not having that memory. The jury can also conclude that Russert's statement of "impossibility" is simply incorrect, illogical, badly thought-out, and/or stupid as opposed to being dishonest.

The jury is charged with hearing the facts and drawing the conclusions. They are doing their job if what they take away from the testimony is a picture of the facts, and as the triers of facts they decide which facts are proven and which are not. They are perfectly within their role if they choose to ignore witnesses' conclusions and draw their own conclusions from the facts that they believe are proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

theo

Let me get this straight Pete. You think that only active duty military personnel should have any say on who and when and whether we fight or not?

MLL

VICE ADMIRAL McCONNELL Director of NSA to DNI. Maybe NSA won't loose it's charter and the new CIA analysts that moved there will be happy. The NSA domestic stuff sure got people mad. Maybe Plame complained?

VOA's charter looks okay too.

Plame's dad worked at NSA too?

Jane

Meantime, it's just past 10:30 a.m. here in sunny SoCal, and I gotta go out and get those first couple of Martinis under my belt. Forgive me if my speech starts to slur in a little while.

Hey, have a few for me too!

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

BINGO, JANE!

Because Fitz would stuff a "re-trial" into his pocket, and let Libby hang out there forever more. (Ditto, for a hung jury.)

Walton, then? Can take affirmative action and stuff it up his ass.

He's got a cold now. Which means he's stressing out. Otherwise? Your own immune system is quite a good protectant from "courtroom germs."

sammy small

maryrose

The MSM bought the Wilson story hook, line, and sinker. The MSM picked up the Dummicrat political demand for an investigation into THE LEAK hook, line, and sinker.

The leak investigation was evidently dropped on about Day 2. The least we could get for our millions of taxpayer money is the humiliation of the MSM reporters who had early involvement for being lazy, inaccurate, conniving, and biased.

Sara (Squiggler

Jane, the problem with "all these eyes" is that Walton probably gets his news only from the MSM and their eyes seem to have cataracts. I heard no less than 3 very high profile pundits say yesterday that they never read the blogs and pay no attention to the gossip of the blogs. Yet they pontificate on what the public thinks and/or knows. Guys like Bill O'Reilly, Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke, etc. still believe that if news doesn't not make the front page of the NYT or the WaPo, it isn't news.

theo

Jane --

Better not combine those martinis with your meds. And I do hope the eyes are feeling better.

PaulL

I missed whenever you all discussed that the Court went through contortions to make sure Powell wouldn't be mentioned. How long ago was this argued?

clarice

Nonsense. It's about time people called the left on their high minded excuses for shutting up the opposition.

Surely you aren;t saying only the military is qualified to speak on war issues. Are you? No, you're position no matter how it's sliced and diced is a common one on the left, attacking opponents on side issues unrelated to the substance of the arguments.

White people can't talk about Blacks. Men can't talk about women. The West is so evil it can't talk about the Third World.Etc. Etc.

Everyone can talk about whatever they want to, in my book and, unfortunately for you, rational people can decide on the merits.

clarice

sammy, it's far worse. The media megaphoning Wilson and "Bush lied" knew it was an utterly baseless charge and megaphoned it anyway.

Jane

Better not combine those martinis with your meds.

I'm just showing solidarity with OtherTom, and if that requires him having martini's for me, than so be it. I'm willing to accept the consequences.

Rick Ballard

"Wells isn't backing down. Walton is making an acommodation (sp?) for Mitchell based on his perception that Fitz will lose anyway."

Azaghal,

Maybe but I lean toward an explanation more in line with what MarkO had to say when he signed off the other evening - the trial is a test of the understanding and application of the rules [of the circuit]. I think Wells just made a feint at Mitchell to get some Fitz logic down in front of the judge so that he can return at an opportune moment and beat Fitz about the head and shoulders with it.

I still think that Bartlett will be the key to unlocking Mitchell as well as popping Fleischer's testimony.

hit and run

Thread Herder says..."nrrrmmph thrrrrmmmph"

Since he's buried in a box, I can only guess he meant to say "New Thread"

JM Hanes

BarbaraS:

"Put Armitage on the stand. Ask him if he told Mitchell and when he told her. It had to be before July 20, 2003 because she said he wasn't answering her calls after that."

I suspect something along the lines you suggest may be playing into why Wells decided not to keep pushing on Mitchell. Know when to fold 'em!

While I personally think that Mitchell, more than most here, deserves to be disinfected with a little sunlight, I also think it looks like Walton really doesn't get the connection between her testimony and Russert's assertion that it would have been "impossible" for him to have mentioned Plame to Libby. Mitchell's mock exam might clear things up for him, but then again, maybe not -- especially if it also becomes clear that Defense is, indeed, trying an end run around an earlier ruling.

Why risk incurring Walton's futher displeasure if you can hit the note you need by other means and simultaneously lock in your chances at appeal by foregoing a witness of debatable value?

On a sidenote, I don't think you want to keep the jury hanging around outside the courtroom if you don't absolutely have to -- it doesn't make them happy campers and it slows down the crisp pacing that's already made the Defense case a lot more memorable than the Prosecution's halting narrative. The lack of cross-examination by the Prosecution here is a real boon to the Defense where dramatic timing is concerned. Maybe at this point the FitzVolk just really want this whole thing to be over? Of course, Fitzgerald has always relied on arguing his case to the Judge, not the jury.

BTW, haven't had a chance to mention that I enjoy your concise contributions to the round table. The discussion moves soooo fast!

clarice

Poor Fitz.surely he didn;t do much on the rest of his case, planning instead for a :brilliant: cross of Libby..HEH

Now he looks as arsea as Ross Perot's running mate "what am I doing here?"

roanoke

Jane-

This isn't a game, it's a person's freedom.

Damn straight!

Let me see Russert said it was "impossible" for him to know.

Who works directly for Russert almost immediately under him-covering State which was investigating Powell's UN speech-and where Wilson got his credentials?

Mitchell.

Who uses the language "everyone knew"?

Mitchell.

Who else?

Armitage.

Who works for who?

State, and Powell.

So everyone in Mitchell's circle knew.

The most immediate spokes in that circle?

Powell.{one of only 75 guests at her wedding.}

Russert.{essentially her immediate supervisor}

Now doesn't Walton owe something to THE JURY?

What kind of responsibility is it to live with knowing that you decided to take from a man his basic right to freedom?

That would be something you would wonder about maybe for the rest of your life.

You come out of the jury you make the guilty verdict-and everyone tells you-

Well Andrea Mitchell-NBC Star and Washington Socialite extraordiniare said-

"Everyone knew".

Even though Russert her boss said-

"Impossible." {that he knew}

Well as a member of the jury how do you feel?

Well lousy maybe but then you are reassured don't worry later Mitchell took it all back on Imus and said-

"I must have been drunk."

And la voila that's how we have that new term now it's called-

Pleading the Mitchell.

This is where only people with access to the American viewing public get to take back pertinent information and not have to be witnessed and judged by a jury.

Because you know-no one is *really* their peer.

The Fourth Estate-free of checks and balances and free of judgement because they are above us all.

maryrose

Anyone who had any hand in this story about leaking and knew any details needs to come forward and fess up. Stop hiding behind lawyers and people with over-inflated influence and egos.
You have nothing to fear from the Wilsons-they've already left town and are living it up in sunny New Mexico. Why is the courtroom dark? I thought we were going to hear from Eckenrode or was Mitchell the main attraction?

hit and run

Why is the courtroom dark? I thought we were going to hear from Eckenrode or was Mitchell the main attraction?


Wasn't there question about him getting there due to the weather? Has there been an Eckenrode sighting or confirmation of him being at court?

Tom Maguire

If Walton is wrong and Libby gets convicted on the Russert count, then Wells is set to appeal, but Walton did what he could.

Since this is the full conspiracy to spare Ms. Mitchell and Colin Powell, dare I ask - can they discreetly approach the court or the DoJ and have the count on which Libby is hypothetically convicted dropped - don't contest the appeal, or something?

All hush hush and on the qt, as befits the case.

azaghal

azaghal,

That's a bad thing for a Judge to do in a high profile case. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but with all these eyes on Walton, he'd be nuts to be making "an accomodation".

Being able to win on appeal just gets you back to a retrial and many more years of this stuff hanging over Libby's head. It's better than sustaing a conviction, but no where on my top ten list of outcomes.

Posted by: Jane | February 13, 2007 at 10:48 AM

Agreed. But where I come from bad things sometimes happen. And, yes, prosecutors cut some people slack, too, for political and or personal reasons--I've seen it. But remember, I'm saying that Walton's perception is that it'll never get to an appeal anyway, and he won't even be called on to override an injustice. I think we could all pretty well agree that on the facts as they are right now there is no way for a reasonable jury to get beyond reasonable doubt. And the facts aren't going to get any better for Fitz.

I say this because like some other posters I simply can't see any reason to exclude Mitchell's prior statement simply because she attempted to recant it. Russert's statement that she would have told him, coupled with her statement (mirroring the known leaker Armitage's statement) that "everyone knows" makes her prior statement an impeachment of Russert. If you can explain how excluding her makes for a fair trial, please do--that is, on any other basis than that the defense will win without her anyway!

And thanks for the spelling correction--I hate not knowing how to spell a word.

Publius

Has anyone looked for Eckenrode's notes in
the Clinton war room at the WH?

Pete

Surely you aren;t saying only the military is qualified to speak on war issues. Are you? No, you're position no matter how it's sliced and diced is a common one on the left, attacking opponents on side issues unrelated to the substance of the arguments.

You are trying to demolish an argument I never made (also known as strawman).

I am simply pointing out the hypocrisy of those who claim to be for wars or to support a war when they themselves opt out of fighting it.

feedup

The entire prosecution case is a joke - but once in court, one never knows what can happen.

A big waste of $$$

Appalled Moderate

Excuse me TM. How is Colin Powell, retired and not likely ever to have another GOP job, spared by Andrea Mitchell not testifying? He didn't leak. While I think his rumored conduct with respect to Armitage (basically encouraging him to not fess up in public) was a disgrace, what's Andrea Mitchell got to do with that?

clarice

Once again I'm with azaghal.
And once again I find the morals of the mighty appalling. Mitchell is rich and has had a long career. And she's near the end of it. To save a man from the possibility of a criminal conviction , a little moral bravery seems a small sacrifice.

maryrose

Publius:
They are probably in same spot where they found the long lost Rose Law Firm files,safely tucked away in Hil's favorite corner.

clarice

pete, and I'm simply pointing out the utter vacuity and lack of substance of your position.

Wilson's a liar

Well, perhaps an appeal could be dragged out until President Giuliani can fire Fitzgerald and order the charges dropped.

sarah

How come the FBI lost ALL the transcripts of its interviews with Tim Russert?

Russert is their STAR WITNESS!

How can the FBI possibly lose every single copy of the transcripts and every tape of the phone calls and in person interviews with Russert?

Does anyone else believe that this cannot happen without help?

Alcibiades

Still working through the thread.

Clarice cites Thompson:

"He turned out to be a fella who can see miles and miles in a straight line, but had no peripheral vision at all and didn't realize apparently that he was caught up in a bureaucratic political dogfight."

Yeah, that's more or less the point I made yesterday about Fitzgerald being a linear thinker but not realizing that the environment for his analysis was circular.

Publius

Maryrose:

Am I mistaken, or was not the Rose law firms billing records found in a shopping bag, under a table, in a corner of the war room at the WH?

sbw

Pete: I have problems with those who believe in wars but somehow chicken out (also known as "have other priorities") when it is/was their turn.

I see. If the messenger isn't PC, there is no message.

Sue

Playing in Tom's way-back-machine, I found this quote from Ben Bradlee...I had heard about an e-mail that was sent that had a lot of unprintable language in it.'" I wonder if Woodward sent the text of the Armitage/Woodward via email to someone?

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/03/armitage_woodwa.html>March 2006

royf

I am simply pointing out the hypocrisy of those who claim to be for wars or to support a war when they themselves opt out of fighting it.

I guess you mean like Roosevelt, LBJ and Clinton. My goodness that just happens to cover 3 of the last 5 wars we have been involved in. No problem with GHW Bush since he fought in WW II.

Snowbunnie

There may be many who think most of us are not paying attention. But, you'd be wrong.
As an American living in Canada many of us follow these things very closely. Particularly when we support the President and his administration. We have always felt that there was no leak. It was obvious from minute one. Joe Wilson was and is a liar who proved that by his own writings and admissions. This was and is a put up job to get the Bush Admin. Libby should never have been indicted and everybody knows it. As Clarice says, this turns out to be an indictment against the press far more than against Libby and the administration.
However, in this environment, I would be surprised if Libby is acquitted. They ( the MSM and all those opposed to our president)are going to do everything they can to see to it he is found guilty.
It may be as Clarice says, that not allowing Mitchell to testify is reversable error on appeal. That might be the case, but it does not satisfy me, as the man has gone through enough and should be acquitted in my view.
Should be and will be are very different things , so I worry. We all do who care about this and , again, there are many more of us than you all might realize.

Sue

Why is the courtroom dark? I thought we were going to hear from Eckenrode or was Mitchell the main attraction?

ABCNews Radio has reported that government offices are shutting down due to the snow storm about to hit Washington DC. It wouldn't surprise me if the court doesn't do the same.

Jane

there are many more of us than you all might realize.

That is very nice to hear snowbunnie.

clarice

Reading thru FDL--I see Walton's questions to Hannah a treat for the defense--he's making the case for Libby (who obviously is not taking the stand) that the press of serious business was extraordinaily high in the time frame at issue.

Continuing further, Fitz has clearly lost on the issue of bringing in all this stuff w/o Libby's testimony (his life must be ebbing away before his eyes..now, back to garbage truck cases for the rest of his life):
"Fitz: The next witnesses are the 3 CIA briefers. at this point, the CIA briefers should not be called, testimony should not come in, wrt your prior rulings. They should not describe threats, when in fact there is no testimony that Libby was obsessed with those threats. We feel strongly that getting into particularly terrorist threat if there's no evidnece Libby was consumed with it, it should not be entered. We saw that issue coming in questions from jurors in their notes. To introduce these, without context of how many terrorist threats were normal. You'll recall that your hands were tied if Libby were to testify.

Walton Counsel will be unable to qualify the extent to which info would have impacted Libby. Only Libby would have capacity to say so. The fact he was briefed on something, The issue becomes whether jury could infer whether this was some level of importance. They would be able to assess that bc of nature of info it would have had some level of importance.

Fitz when we went through two months of hearings, it was clear to me, that the 403 line was drawn differently when it was represented that Libby would testify. It was this fact that made him worry, your honor took a much broader view of relevance and unfair prejudice when that representation was done. With a switch done, that now Libby is not going to testify. In effect CIPA has said defendants are better off when they deal with classified evidence. BC they can say they were consumed by this

Walton COunsel will lose ability to calibrate the impact of this. Not so sure that they can't say this was infor provided to him. Jury is intelligent enough to draw own conclusions, that would have had some level of import

Fitz I'm focused less on defense argument, your honor let in additional materials.

Walton, there may be specific things I ruled on contingent on Libby testify, these were predicated on my understanding that Libby would testify. To extent that those rulings are flawed bc he's not.

F We should not be in position where bar got lowered bc he's not testifying. We're doubly worse off, this is getting in without him testifying.

Walton If the briefers testimony that I briefed him on XY and Z, I've got to consider each item.

F The MIB's that we talked about were predicated on his testimony, with taht predication, if that's gone, they shouldn't be coming in at all.

Walton Documents themselves, you may be right. I never indicated documents would come in.

F We'll pull the cite, I don't want to misstate, it's been a long trial. But I believe you said evidence regarding MIB would not be admissible.

Walton I can't be bound by rulings I made earlier when landscape has changed. You may be right, but I have to reevaluate to what extent evidence might come in.

F Whole point of CIPA was for govt to know what was going to happen before trial. Then when defense says, never mind, we're not going to testify, now Defense is saying that comes in anyway.

12:19

Walton Not going to be any evidence regarding whether this overwhelmed him wrt Wilson and his wife.

Cline has a "what you talking about look" on his face.

Bonamici yesterday you made a very good point, there's a difference between quantity and quality. The govt heeded the distinction you made, the kind of evidence that would come in when defendant did not testify. It was based on that distinction that govt did not object to TYOI's testimony.

Walton Morning briefing info is just a list

B It shows nothing about quantity at all.

Walton I ruled the others stuff that he'd be able to introduce those details.

B You specifically ruled on page 19 that MIBs represented what govt considered important, rather than what Libby thought was important. Just titles of items, You're inviting jury to speculate, no opportunity to develop context, no way to cross examine Libby on relative importance. What you have now, he attends these on almost daily basis, sometimes he inquires about the info, sometimes he does not. We do recognize distinction on matters that he inquired and did not. We're objecting to those matters that he did not make inquiries about. other than supposition that we can all make that something of that nature was bad. That's not appropriate type of testimony that would support introduction of evidence. We understand that Libby entitled to change his mind and not testify. But unfair to lower bar to ZERO which is what the bar would be now, and relevance is purely speculative. Courts routinely exclusde evidence where relevance is speculative.

Cline Talking about general introduction of this. Your honor permitted articles, because he read them, he was focused on 16 words, these are inferences govt wanted to draw. We want to counter it. We ought to be able to show, overload, inundation

Walton Relative importance is not going to be an issue, and I would hope that no one would defy my on that.

Fitz We heard with TYOI

Walton There was no objection. If there was an objection I would have ruled against it.

Fitz it's put in for the purpose that Libby was overloaded or consumed. There's a difference between jury being overloaded, and experienced National Security Advisor, Jury does not have same baseline. when Libby hears multiple terror plots every day. It'd be hard to cross-examine Libby, I can't say to them "you don't know what LIbby was thinking."

Walton They can't say he was consumed by it. They can ask rhetorically.

Fitz They're getting all the benefit of having said it, there's no witness with state of mind Libby has, they're getting all the upside. It's a bait and switch. Here's how we get past 403, bc he's testifying, but now he's not testifying."


Waa Waa Waa

centralcal

from fdl:

Wells: Prior to lunch I indicated to the court that I would be making recommendations to Libby wrt the progress of his case. Over the lunch hour Mr Jeffress and I advised Cheney's lawyer. If we had called he would have been available on Thursday. We have released teh VP as a witness. Jeffress and I recommended to Libby that subject to putting on the briefers and some documentary evidence, he should rest following that. After consulting with us and his wife, he indicated he would follow teh advise.

percipio

"I am simply pointing out the hypocrisy of those who claim to be for wars or to support a war when they themselves opt out of fighting it." - Pete


Surely you are referring to the current darling-du-jour of the left, Ehren Watada? Oh, please do continue your role as hypocrisy-cop.

Sue

Wow, this was my guess, way back when...for Ugo (as Armitage was so lovingly being referred to back then)outing Plame...

There was no motivation. Ugo was responding to a question raised by the reporter about the story going around about the ambassador. Something along the lines of "the boondoggle trip by that quack Wilson who would look good in a clown suit if they could find one that would fit over his ego...his wife over at CIA got him the gig...I don't remember her name...Plame, Flame, Victoria, Valerie...". I probably added some words that ugo didn't actually say, but he should have...

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2006/02/who_is_the_sour.html#comment-14352641>Not bad considering I hadn't heard the tape at that time

Charlie (Colorado)

No problem with GHW Bush since he fought in WW II.

Or George W, since he was flying a widowmaker in combat patrols.

Dan S

fdl:
"There's a rumored snowstorm hitting DC, so much of the Federal government is shutting down. Apparently, they're going to let the jury go home. But we're going to stay here and let Wells and Fitz wrestle out the CIA breifer testimony.

Walton: I wanted to get the jury out of here, the Federal government has shut down. Then we can go over any legal issues so we don't have any delays tomorrow. I assume that we're not going to need the jury on Thursday. "

centralcal

from fdl:

Wells: ....."I wish to play a certain tapes to the jury to show that Russert gave in accurate testimony to the jury when he testified."

hhmmmm. interesting. inaccurate?

ghostcat

What a magnificently efficient job by the defense of reframing the narrative. The details will now be appropriately resorted by the jurors ... at least by those with two active cerebral hemispheres. I'm lovin' it.

Sue

I told you guys this damn trial wouldn't last 6 weeks. Closing arguments on Tuesday! Damn! We will never know what Bartlett had to say. We will never know who the stranger on the street was. We won't know what Mitchell will say.

ARC: Brian

I wonder if Woodward sent the text of the Armitage/Woodward via email to someone?

Good find Sue! That makes the "everybody knew" a lot easier to believe doesn't it?

Thinking about the tape. What would have happened if there wasn't a tape? Would Armitage have still come forward? Would Woodward have gone to Fitz?

Woodward's tape may be the "blue dress" of this case. Monica was just a liar until she was rumored to have the dress.

Dan S

Looks like neither Libby or Cheney will testify, if I'm reading FDL right (and she's typing in something remotely accurate.)

Closing arguments next Tuesday.

Sue

The defense was told that the White House had recently located and turned over about 250 pages of e-mails from the vice president's office.

Something else we will never know...poor Jeff. He was so sure they were as important as Joe Wilson's hair. ::grin::

percipio

Snowbunnie! Nice to know I'm not alone up here.

Sue

Good find Sue!

Apparently not. Defense is about to rest and closing arguments begin Tuesday. All our hard work for naught, it would seem.

TexasToast

Russert's statement that she would have told him, coupled with her statement (mirroring the known leaker Armitage's statement) that "everyone knows" makes her prior statement an impeachment of Russert.

Only if one believes that:
1. her statement on the radio is more believable than a statement under oath or that the inconsistancy of her statements means she is lying now;
2. that Russert is correct that "she would have told him";
3. that Russert doesn't remember or is lying in testifying that no one had told him prior to his conversation with Libby;
4. that Russert doesn't remember or is lying about actually telling Libby;

and

4. that this string of inferences is
more believable than "Libby lied to protect his boss".

Its like a plinko game where every gate must be in favor of the defense. What are the odds? Are they "reasonable"?

Sara (Squiggler

Geez, I went to take a Jacuzzi for another back attack and come back an hour later to find the trial virtually over. I'm confused and my mind is spinning.

Dwilkers

PK says Wells announced no Libby, no Cheney testimony.

I was scratching my head over this yesterday, so I'm not exactly surprised by the decision, but it IS interesting.

The Cheney part...I understand that one. I think there's an excellent possibility Cheney hurts you with this jury more than he could possibly help you.

The Libby decision is dicier. Jurors will notice that he didn't get on the stand and swear he's not guilty. I'm trying to decide if Wells is doing this because he thinks he has flat out beaten Fitz at this point or if he's playing some larger game - IE The Decider angle or he thinks he has a good Appeal set up.

It almost has to be that he thinks he has the case won.

clarice

This is the difference between a great team of lawyers and a pedestrian crew..Aim higher than the ankles..cut to the chase. Move your case along at a pace the jury can grasp. Knock the other side off its feet.

I heart Ted Wells who has shown us all what a good litigator is.

verner

If I ever get into trouble, I'm going to mortgage my house and call Wells.

His closing is going to be BANG UP.

Missing notes, contradicting testimony, real leakers not charges, Joe Wilson as A@@hole per Novak, NEVER questioned Woodward, and Fitz's star witnesses looking like alzheimers patients. Even the FBI agents!

After all that, no way in hell is Libby going to get convicted.

Thank goodness for Woodward's tape recorder!

clarice

I plan to head out of town tomorrow weather permitting and will be back Tues afternoon. I'll keep checking in, but I feel I can leave w/ a clear heart.

I am a very happy woman. I can;t wait to read Wells' closing argument.

verner

DWilkers, my guess is that he will not call Cheney and Libby because he does not need to--quit while you're ahead. He only needs to present a reasonable doubt, and he has--and how!

cathyf
Cline Talking about general introduction of this. Your honor permitted articles, because he read them, he was focused on 16 words, these are inferences govt wanted to draw. We want to counter it. We ought to be able to show, overload, inundation
Geez, I hope this is just an inept paraphrase, because the point Cline should be making sure doesn't come out here. Which is that the judge allowed articles which consisted of journalists' speculations about Libby's state of mind in as admissible evidence, and specifically told the jury that they are supposed to be treating the journalists' fantasies as some sort of settled fact specifically when it comes to Libby's state of mind. Now we have the people (CIA briefers, etc.) who were actually in person engaging Libby's mind at the time, and they aren't allowed to testify unless Libby waives his 5th amendment rights?

Un [...] real.

(For those of you confused by the usage of [...] see the transcript of yesterday's Armitage-Woodward tape.)

Jane

More going on at FDL - I'm not sure I get the beginning stuff:

Walton We still have the issue on what could be brougt out from briefers. Did you have something else you wanted to add.

Fitz The argument that this was just like the newspaper articles. They showed state of mind right before he testified. In this case, we've had extensive evidence from TYOI, one thing it's important to understand, in my view. THe difference between saying Libby was consumed by X and saying this issue was so much less important. If the elephant in the room is before the jury without being discussed. If the jury does believe our case, on appeal they'll say they just couldn't phrase it. What is the relevance of the evidence. If the evidence is relevant, then letting it in, but not letting them say he was being consumed. It gets to no relevant point. If your honor doesn't think it's fair to say he was consumed with it. CIPA and Rule 403 are designed not to vet arguments but to vet evidence, the relevant evidence is already before them (from Hannah). TO put it before the jury, whether or not the words consumed are used. If it's not there, it should not be let in. I do think it will inject extremely unfair to the govt. I would simply say that we all did the level best in the fall, when the intell and briefing materials came up, they would get in, and they could argue what they wanted. Should put us in the same position otherwise.

Walton I guess I have two questions. One, are we talking about anything different as it relates to the pertinent dates, as opposed to those interim times? Is the govt correct that since Libby is not going to testify about how these things would affect him, what if anything can the jury do with that information beyond speculating that because he was briefed that that means he would have been focusing on these matters. Once you go into what he was briefed on, doesn't that engender speculation, the jury speculates that that was the case, bc Libby is not testifying to tell us.

Cline: We're talking about June 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and maybe June 23. And July 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. We're looking at the nine things Hannah has said was a focus for Libby. Govt has introduced circumstantial evidence, all of that requires jury to speculate, 412 and 413, a series of newspaper articles that dealt with 16 words. Govts theory is that bc they were found in Libby's files, one can infer he read them, from that one can infer he was concerned about Wilson's wife and focused on it. We want to introduce evidence that involves a shorter chain of evidence. He was actually briefed on them, we know he read it. We also know this was significant national security intell that he was reading. We know from Hannah, they were areas of particular concern for Mr Libby. We want to be able to argue the legitimate inferences from this. Libby had an enormous flow. We want to show some particulars. To give them a sense of what he was dealing with. This was a man with an extraordinarily plate of pressing significant issues. Fitz can argue maybe he didn't pay attention [you think?]. We need the evidence in the record from which we can draw our inferences. 3 briefers, 15-20 minutes apiece. It's important to put that to complement the evidence from Hannah. The briefers are significant to show particulars.

Fitz I can respond wrt Cline's points. The fact there are limited dates distorts it, that doesn't allow us to show there's a continuum, it's just left as an inference. We can't ask him what he did the rest of the day. There's a huge gap of the analysis. We put in one nondisclosure, not six. Hannah has testified about all the things going on, the hours, the volume, the flow. The distinction between the articles and this are different–these are articles that Libby marked up. We agree that if he asked a briefer about it.

Walton The October 4 article wasn't introduced.

Fitz And they're putting 3 articles in in response. They spent a few minutes on the terrorist threat and more time on the other elements. The fact that Libby is receiving a briefing, the only reason to have the jury draw the inference that Libby was consumed by it. That's precisely the logical foundation your honor required it have. Basically the bar was lowered.

Walton I will think about it over night. I'll have counsel come back at 11:30. I understand the govt's concerns, but I also appreciate the defense perspective. The question is whether a reasonable inference could be formed, if they know he was briefed on these matters. There are going to be restrictions on what they say. If defense suggests, govt would have a reasonable ability to respond. It's sometime a fine line between what is fair inference. It seems to me if you're NSA for VP, and you're getting NS info on briefings, that you'll give some level of thought to it. I don't know if I can totally cut it off.

Cline One other element–statement admitting relevant facts. The govt wants to redact it in a certain fashion.

ARC: Brian

Apparently not. Defense is about to rest and closing arguments begin Tuesday. All our hard work for naught, it would seem.

Wait, there's a trial going on? I just meant more for advancing the narrative. Now that we know there is a tape, and that it contained expletives, it confirms more of the "everybody knew" when you back it up with what Bradlee said.

I figured with as much as Fitz is yelling to Walton about how Wells "changed the deal" on Libby testifying there was no way that Libby was going to testify.

Any bet's on FITZ reprising the Mortimer Duke role in Trading Places after this is all over?

"I want this trial re-opened! Get that jury back in here! turn the microphones back on!"

Jane

More: Wells, Three pieces of impeachment evidence, WRT Russert. First, admission by govt date 2/3/2007 concerning concessions regarding Russert. THere was a letter, the govt then produced this letter, which added additional accommodations wrt how they would treat statements Russert made to FBI in November 2004. Govt took the position that that would not consider that a waiver. We want to put this in so jury knows everything Russert received.

azaghal

Since this is the full conspiracy to spare Ms. Mitchell and Colin Powell, dare I ask - can they discreetly approach the court or the DoJ and have the count on which Libby is hypothetically convicted dropped - don't contest the appeal, or something?

All hush hush and on the qt, as befits the case.

Posted by: Tom Maguire | February 13, 2007 at 11:11 AM

Congratulations, TM, you're a true Israelite without guile!

For corruption to be ethical it must be deniable, which means that for insiders ethics is all in the eye of the beholder. If you try to approach an interested party to speak, you will be rebuffed and noted for future reference as a hopelessly clueless and dangerous buffoon. A real life example, to which I was privy, may help.

The G had a high level official for one of the biggest and most left wing unions in the nation dead to rights--two felonies, totally incontrovertible evidence, election fraud against the largest non-union company probably for states around. Bang, bang. Not only that, but there are excellent prospects for moving against even higher officials (union lawyers).

The AUSA handling the case announces that she and the USA have discussed it and they'll suggest a plea deal: two misdeameanors, forget moving higher. Over strenuous G objections the AUSA remains adamant, while having to talk nonsense to "justify" the offer. No bargaining with the defense, just make the offer.

Defense counsel comes in and short circuits the problem by announcing, before the AUSA can speak, we'll plead to a felony and probation as a first offense. Defendant is happy. G is happy. AUSA is happy. USA is presumably happy, although incommunicado through entire proceedings.

And the ending got even happier, because a month later the USA resigned and took a position with the biggest labor law firm in town. She had passed a test with flying colors. See, you have to demonstrate that you know how to do the right thing--if you have to ask what the right thing is you're hopeless and untrustworthy.

And of course this corruption was even more ethical, in that not only was the union very left wing but the AUSA and USA were both liberal democrats. Years later the AUSA became the USA. Happy endings galore. Perhaps that wasn't the only test she had passed. Who knows?

So, checking Walton's phone records would probably be pointless, if that's what happened.

Cecil Turner

4. that this string of inferences is
more believable than "Libby lied to protect his boss".

Green moon cheese is more believable than that nonsense. The fact that it persists, despite zero evidence, is a pretty good indicator of BDS.

I have problems with those who believe in wars but somehow chicken out (also known as "have other priorities") when it is/was their turn.

That's nice. I have problems with those who believe they have no obligation to support the national defense, but that they have some sort of moral high ground to condemn others' decisions based on political considerations. Got some service? Then I have some time for your opinion on the subject. Don't? Then your opinion on this is about as valuable as your opinion on shaped charges versus advanced armor.

It almost has to be that he thinks he has the case won.

I think he does, too. This case is awash in reasonable doubt. And if the jury will convict on that evidence, there's really nothing for it . . . calling Libby won't help.

cathyf
This is the difference between a great team of lawyers and a pedestrian crew..Aim higher than the ankles..cut to the chase. Move your case along at a pace the jury can grasp. Knock the other side off its feet.
Yeah, yeah, we know, clarice, which is why it's a damn good thing that I'm not on Team Libby -- the urge to bite at the ankles is just so.. so... overwhelming! I marvel that you sober grownups manage to resist!
Another Bob

azaghal, yes its better to know than not know, and yes I do live in the real world, but you depress me deeply anyway.

azaghal

There was no motivation. Ugo was responding to a question raised by the reporter about the story going around about the ambassador. Something along the lines of "the boondoggle trip by that quack Wilson who would look good in a clown suit if they could find one that would fit over his ego...his wife over at CIA got him the gig...I don't remember her name...Plame, Flame, Victoria, Valerie...". I probably added some words that ugo didn't actually say, but he should have...

Not bad considering I hadn't heard the tape at that time

Posted by: Sue | February 13, 2007 at 11:48 AM

And with all expletives very properly deleted. :-)

Jane

More on getting the Russert impeachment materials in. This is interesting:

Wells Russert said he did not know the benefit, but I believe jury should know the full scope of the benefits given to Russert.

Fitz It's absolutely irrelevant. Russert wasn't aware of the details. The only relevance here is if it affected the credibility of Russert. This was worked out between lawyers.

Walton These can be perceived of some type of benefit. The problem is attorney client privilege, may impede ability to assess whether he was aware of it. Counsel would advise client about concessions govt is making.

Fitz This was handled by lawyers. Can you put in writing what your proffer is. I do not believe that Russert ws not in the weeds. The only relevance is if he was aware of the deal.

Walton. If there was some type of concession, the jury should know.

Fitz we didn't put it into writing. It was related orally to Russert's lawyers. End of day to argue that something we didn't put into writing, but we saw it on an ex parte filing.

Walton Maybe I don't admit the writing. Bu tthe defense can read in a statement that this info was orally provided to Russert.

Fitz THere's no showing that this was shown to Russert. They asked him about it. We gave them the correspondance, we didn't think they were entitled to it. To claim Russert was aware of every "jot and tittle" it seems like we're way far afield.

Walton I feel like Defense is entitled to something.

Wells. Second piece of evidence relates also to benefits received by Russert and would be form of impeachment testimony. Being able to testify in setting where lawyer was present. On cross, in attempt to explore Russert's understanding if he went before GJ, to my complete shock, Russert said he had no knowledge.

Walton There's no evidence he's ever done criminal law.

Wells. I'm going to show you three video tapes where it's clear he's aware of it. "So you understand that normal procedure, they're not permitted to have lawyers in room." I've given govt transcripts of three different appearances where he acknowledges that witnesses before GJ don't have their lawyer. Discussing GJ testimony of Clinton. [why am I not surprised we were going to Clinton?] He askes why he doesn't go before GJ.Resisting a subpoena are words he can understand better. Clinton is saying "can we not testify on video" rather than having to march before GJ without his lawyers. In other portions of the interview, why she won't answer that question. She says it's one of may questions because it's before a GJ w/o a lawyer. These go right to the heart of a benefit.

Walton I would agree that the second and third make the point. the first one, it doesn't necessarily say what you're suggesting. What's the govt's position.

B Law is clear that it is impermissible to do nothing but impeach something on collatoral matter and that is after you make the determination that there is an inconsistency. Those are television appearances for which he was briefed in 1998. A single television appearance 9 years earlier is not something that reflects a witness knowledge as he sits on the stand. He was asked "do you know what the law is." He said no, he was unaware of this.

Walton I'm assuming it's not collatoral, you have to be confronted with it.

B Every aspect of the rule has been broken if this testimony will be allowed in. Witness not confronted with it. Witness did not testify. Plus, all three refer to investigations being done by Ken Starr, we all know that's done under a separate statute.

Walton I don't know–does somebody know that there is no difference between a suspect and a target. That's the problem as to why it's important if you're going to impeach. He may well have said. Clinton was a target. But I wasn't sure.

B In fairness, the other one They were all potentially targets.

Walton Rule does say extrinsic evidence not admissible unless witness is given oppty to respond.

vnjagvet

Here's my take on Wells' trial decision today:

If the jury would convict on the evidence in this trial record, there is no hope that Libby or Cheney could convince them otherwise by their testimony.

On the other hand, there would be the opportunity for Fitz to improve this record with a slip-up from either Cheney or Libby, however unlikely that might be.

The rewards don't begin to outweigh the risks of calling these witnesses.

JM Hanes

Jane:

Emptywheel's headline for this final blockbuster installment is priceless:
Tedious Legal Arguments

Jane

So Russert may be recalled.

Publius

How can Fitz's arguments as to Libby's "state of mind" be anything but barfflegab?

He successfully argues that MSM articles and 8 hrs of GJ testimony is relevant to Libby's "state of mind". Yet, in his next breath, wants to deny Libby's briefings and workload as evidence of his "state of mind"?

If this is what they teach you in law school, I'm glad I didn't go there, but went to work in a sausage factory instead.

azaghal

Waa Waa Waa

Posted by: clarice | February 13, 2007 at 11:42 AM

Like, if you didn't want the rug pulled out from under ya, what were ya doing standing on it--moron!

Rick Ballard

Vnjagvet,

I think that Wells may not have filed a Rule 29 plea for dismissal very purposefully. Do you think he'll go for dismissal on 1,2 and 4 now? I'm betting he will and I think Walton might grant it. 3 and 5 go to the jury and it's acquittal or hung.

Jane

B Concessions to a witness are different than concessions to a potential target. This witness admitted to receiving the benefit. All we're trying to do now is trying to prove that he lied when he said he didn't know. It's purely collatoral.

Walton The bigger problem is that he wasn't given oppty to be confronted with it.

B We object on all those grounds.

Wells You have never known in course of your reporting. I went beyond lawyer.

Walton I don't have a problem that he was confronted with something that would otherwise be appropriate. I think the govt's argument about it being collatoral. It doesn't go to heart of his testimony. Therefore the interest of justice argument would not support it. Otherwise, he has a right to be confronted.

Wells I had no idea that a reporter would ever say that he didn't know about GJ. I'd ask Russert to be called back and Jury can assess his statement. He took the stand and took the oath. There are multiple statements, I asked multiple questions. Jury has right to know that the testimony he gave is contradicted by statements he made on multiple occasions. Fourth trancript. To extent confrontation, I'd ask he be brought back tomorrow at 1:30.

B We object to that notion. Russert was on direct for 12 minutes. He was on cross for 5 hours. He was grilled in every way by one of the best lawyers in the country. There is no basis to reopen his testimony.

~

Wanna bet?

ARC: Brian

WOW! Jane thats huge! Allow me to highlight!

From FDL:
Wells. Second piece of evidence relates also to benefits received by Russert and would be form of impeachment testimony. Being able to testify in setting where lawyer was present. On cross, in attempt to explore Russert's understanding if he went before GJ, to my complete shock, Russert said he had no knowledge.

Walton There's no evidence he's ever done criminal law.

Wells. I'm going to show you three video tapes where it's clear he's aware of it. "So you understand that normal procedure, they're not permitted to have lawyers in room." I've given govt transcripts of three different appearances where he acknowledges that witnesses before GJ don't have their lawyer. Discussing GJ testimony of Clinton. [why am I not surprised we were going to Clinton?] He askes why he doesn't go before GJ.Resisting a subpoena are words he can understand better. Clinton is saying "can we not testify on video" rather than having to march before GJ without his lawyers. In other portions of the interview, why she won't answer that question. She says it's one of may questions because it's before a GJ w/o a lawyer. These go right to the heart of a benefit.

I was just as shocked when Russert made that claim on the stand. Whether he practices criminal law or not, he reported on one of the most critical criminal proceedings in the country's history (leading to the impeachment of a president). He had to know the rules of the GJ, and that there was likely some sort of tape asking him similar questions to NBC legal analysts.

I bet some paralegal was working overtime over the weekend going through Lexis and re-runs of Meet the Press.

Jane

Tedious Legal Arguments

She should relabel it: The best part of the day

Well except for dawn

azaghal

azaghal, yes its better to know than not know, and yes I do live in the real world, but you depress me deeply anyway.

Posted by: Another Bob | February 13, 2007 at 12:29 PM


But then you didn't really think this investigation was conducted in good faith, either, did you? Not after what we've seen the last few days? The real happy ending here would be that clarice's letter to DoJ would get acted on, but I'm not going to hold my breath on that.

clarice

azaghal:"Like, if you didn't want the rug pulled out from under ya, what were ya doing standing on it--moron!"

Every short cut old smoke and mirrors pulled off bit him on the ass. He thought he was cute getting in "state of mind" with those faked up newspaper articles. Wells jujitsued that into getting in the security matters that Libby was working on without making him testify.

Yeah, right after Libby's acquittal my dream is an honest evaluation of my ethics complaint.

clarice

The jury already sniffed the odor of his deal with the prosecution and Fitz knows because he thereafter asked all the witnesses about how they didn't have to go before the gj..If Wells even gets is most of what he wants, the jury gets it even more.
Gregory needn't testify--Fleischer says he told him and it's on the record that Russert said if one of us knows we all do.
Why attack Fleischer thru Gregory. Flesicher swore he didn;t tell Pincus. Pincus swears Fleisher did.

I want to read Wells' closing over and over..It's going to be a masterpiece.
And Fitz'--not so much-How do you argue a Rube Goldberg fantasy? He lied to protect the VP? (Then why did he say he told reporters who swore he didn't?

vnjagvet

Rick:

I think you may be right. It is usually better to file the Rule 29 after the close of the case if you have some particularly good defense witnesses.

The "incredible as a matter of law" conclusion after the seeing the summaries of Miller, Cooper and Russert's testimony is even more persuasive after hearing the testimony of Woodward and Novak, and hearing the gleeful voice of Armit[r]age (not to be confused with Arbitrage) conveying his "news" to Woodward.

Knowing that Libby had come clean both before the GJ and FBI about getting the information about Plame from Cheney when he did helps that analysis, of course.

Snowbunnie

Percipio... Hail Fellow Well Met!- We watch quietly and fume in frustration at this another left outrage against our guys fighting a war.

Sue

It is hard to figure out from the paraphrasing what happened. Is Russert coming back?

Another Bob

azaghal:

You're right of course.

One of my character flaws is being cynical enough to consider your example above credible, but not cynical enough to simply ignore the "not right"-ness of it.

One of the reasons I didn't go into law, I think.

Snowbunnie

AND ..we thank God for Clarice, and all you guys here at Just One Minute... and American Thinker, Lucianne, et al.. what would we do without all of you?
We'd know nothing, which is just how the MSM wants it!

clarice

SMOOOCHES back Snowbunnie..Now keep your fingers crossed next week.

Jane

Sue,

Wells wants to put in impeachment testimony of Russert, specifically the fact that he absolutely knew that you testified sans lawyer at a GJ. He found what I couldn't - transcripts during the Clinton days where he said just that on MTP.

Walton said, you have to confront the witness to do that. So Wells has to recall Russert.

Frankly that seems like the worst possible outcome for Russert, and Wells also wants to put in evidence of the accommodations made for his testimony. Fitz argues that he may not have known because those accomodations went to his lawyers. (That doesn't pass the giggle test for me.)

So tomorrow should be really fun.

vnjagvet

Clarice:

You deserve some time off after the yeoman work you have been doing. And now is a good time to take it.

It must be particularly rewarding to know that your assessment of the case has been far more accurate and prescient than the gang at FDL, who are now gnashing their teeth:>)

I wish I could afford the time to take a trip to DC next week on the off chance that I could see Wells final.


vnjagvet

Russert will now know the true meaning of "pucker factor".

PS, it is somewhat different from the "O'Reilley Factor".

JM Hanes

The idea that Russert's lawyers actually communicated the terms of his testimony to their client, seems like a stellar example of reasonable inference to me.

Especially since FitzVolk just argued that Mitchell's lawyer could adequately respresent her testimony as an officer of the court. But then consistency is apparently the hobgoblin of Oh-So-Special Prosecutors.

JM Hanes

The idea that Russert's lawyers actually communicated the terms of his testimony to their client, seems like a stellar example of reasonable inference to me.

Especially since FitzVolk just argued that Mitchell's lawyer could adequately respresent her testimony as an officer of the court. But then consistency is apparently the hobgoblin of Oh-So-Special Prosecutors.

Another Bob

Other than to embarrass Russert, what's the point?

Another Bob

Other than to embarrass Russert, what's the point?

Jane

Worth repeating!

Another Bob

Typepad

JOMJunkie

I hope Wells puts the quotes up on the screen for Russert just like Russert does for his MTP guests. Don't show the video, just put the quote on the screen and have Wells read it to the jury. Man, I'd love to be there for that.

Jane

Oh dear I was referring to JM Hanes' point.

The point another Bob is to show at the least Russert has a very bad memory, and at the most, that he is a liar.

centralcal

Jane, I am not quite understanding the part about "communicating the terms of his testimony to their client..." vis-a-vis Russert.

Can you simplfy what this is about?

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Wilson/Plame