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February 21, 2007

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Jeff

her first discussion with an administration official about the matter was after the Robert Novak column was published. And that discussion, she said, was off the record.

And that administration official is most likely Dick Cheney, at Gerald Ford's 90th birthday on July 16.

My take on Mitchell is that she was called by the FBI (not the CIA) and she told them she had received no leak before Novak's column. My take on her suspicious comment is that she was answering an imagined question about Joe not Valerie Wilson.

But I advise you to keep hope alive for finding the elusive leakee who will show that in reality Joe Wilson blew the cover of his wife. I remember being promised five witnesses who would testify that he did so by the defense, and I remember being promised much along those lines by clarice. I didn't quite see any of it.

I saw Pincus - an earlier candidate - be pretty categorical about when and from whom he learned of Plame (hint: it wasn't from Joe WIlson).

But I'm sure that elusive person is out there somewhere. Maybe it's Mitchell.

Chants

In house counsel wanted this to go away a long time ago, back when they hired VT for an amicus brief.

Multiply now that want to the power of 10 (it goes to 11) and you may get a feeling of what NBC in house wants now.

Good post, Tom.

Chants

Jeff,

Why Dick Cheney? You got a slam on Clarice, but never followed up on why the leak is from Cheney.

clarice

There was no need to call the witnesses, Jeff, because this wasn't a leak case, was it?

But there is General Vallely open and on the record about it, and in one filing, Fitz said that both Kristof and Pincus worte their original stories after meeting w/ Joe and [redacted]..since Kristof met and interviewed Joe w/ Plame present and Pincus' story was written about a July 4 bash at Joe's home, it isn't hard to imagine who [redacted] is.

Bruce

Jeff: "And that administration official is most likely Dick Cheney"

As if an NBC BDS sufferrer wouldn't trumpet that every chance they got. What a laugh.

The only people worth covering up for are Plame,Wilson and Colin Powell.

pldew

Jeff,
How about Judy Miller? The detail about WINPAC doesn't appear anywhere but in her testimony, unless you count the various times Wilson put it out there--like Vanity Fair.

OzJohnny

Not a lawyer, just a casual observer, but all this talk about "being promised" this or that by the defense in opening statements seems a bit of a red herring to me. Seems the defense has no obligation, or even tactical need, to maintain consistency in arguments from the beginning to the end of a trial. Much like a terrorist, the defense only has to be right one time to raise reasonable doubt while the prosecution must be right every time.

It actually seems smart to me that the defense might claim it will bring X witnesses and argue Y theories of scapegoating in order to flavor the prosecution's presentations. Heck, doing that sort of thing might get the prosecution to enter a taped recording proving that Wilson leaked his wife's name since they figure the defense will prove it anyway. Heck, postulating conspiracy theories might make the prosecution wary of introducing too many reporters and WH/Gov officials that could feed a conspiracy explanation - and risk leaving unanswered questions about "but why is so-and-so not being questioned?" in large type and bold font and raising another reasonable doubt altogether.

Yep. The "being promised" talk seems more like a get-out-of-jail card: sure, Libby got off, but Wells was all over the place and didn't run a consistent case - If I had been on the jury...

Chants

"it isn't hard to imagine who [redacted] is"

Thence it is not hard to see the nascent leak of Plame to a journalist.

clarice

"Here are a few of the gems in this affidavit by Fitzgerald, an affidavit without which Judith Miller would never have been jailed.

Paragraph 9:

'Wilson, who was not a government employee at the time of the trip and [REDACTED] spoke to several reporters including Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times and Walter Pincus of the Washington Post...."

http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:mg32Y-mt468J:www.americanthinker.com/2006/02/death_knell_for_the_case_again.html+clarice+feldman+fitzgerald+affidavit+in+Miller+case&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us>Miller Appeals Ct Affidavit

Jeff

There was no need to call the witnesses, Jeff, because this wasn't a leak case, was it?

But surely you knew it was not a leak case when you promised us, positively guaranteed, clarice, that numerous witnesses would be called who would testify that Joe Wilson blew his wife's cover to them.

Vallely was on the list of witnesses/names possibly to be mentioned at the outset of the trial. I can't imagine why the defense didn't call him. Not one reason.

As if an NBC BDS sufferrer wouldn't trumpet that every chance they got. What a laugh.

Yes, because BDS sufferers regularly fall for the likes of Alan Greenspan. What a laugh indeed.

clarice

They didn't need to , Jeff..they were insurance..like Cheney. But the prosecutions witnesses fell flat on their faces from the very beginning and Wells' dashed to the finish line w/out them.

Ralph L.

Chants said: "In house counsel wanted this to go away a long time ago, back when they hired VT for an amicus brief."

If VT is Victoria Toensing, I wondered why I hadn't seen her pontificate on this for a while. Sneaky NBC.

MayBee

But surely you knew it was not a leak case when you promised us, positively guaranteed, clarice, that numerous witnesses would be called who would testify that Joe Wilson blew his wife's cover to them.

As if clarice had any more ability to promise what would happen at trial than Jeff or EW did. Do you feel you broke promises, Jeff?
As I see it, there were many predictions on both sides that were left unfulfilled. Now we'll just see if Fitzgerald goes after that conspiracy. Or if he really puts the screws to Cheney to admit what happened in his 1 on 1 conversation with Libby (Waas).

Syl

Jeff

You're not a lawyer are you. Wells would have put them on the stand if he felt he needed them. If he felt he had to establish, clearly, that there was a buzz about a CIA wife around town.

And perhaps if Andrea had testified, he might have.

But Wells got what he needed from Armitage's EARLY leak. And Russert screwed his own testimony with his memory problems and the talk to the FBI.

Wells didn't have to show more than Russert may have heard 'it' from Gregory via Ari...in face he didn't even push that hard at all.

Just sow doubt on everything.

Hey, he didn't even need Cheney and Libby to testify.

clarice

I think the amicus brief was a long time ago when the MSM lawyers were fighting the Subpoenas--they aregued that everyone knew about Plame and there was no underlying law which would have been violated by disclosing her identity. (That, as we know, was a Corn invention.)

Syl

As usual, Clarice said it better and shorter than I.

Bruce

Jeff: "Yes, because BDS sufferers regularly fall for the likes of Alan Greenspan."

Of course ... all marriages are between people with identical political views. Ha ha ha.

Ralph L.

The Greenspans married during Clinton's term, didn't they. I didn't attend because the Inn at Little Washington is so declasse, but I sent a nice check anyway.
Also, see Kissinger about power and sex.

Ralph L.

The Greenspans married during Clinton's term, didn't they. I didn't attend because the Inn at Little Washington is so declasse, but I sent a nice check anyway.
Also, see Kissinger about power and sex.

topsecretkk9

--You got a slam on Clarice--

Jeff and Co are obsessed with Clarice and i just love she could care less - and they just take themselves way too seriously.

Syl

Jeff

And that administration official is most likely Dick Cheney, at Gerald Ford's 90th birthday on July 16.

July 16th was WAY too late anyway. Do you think Andrea is a slacker? She would have made contact with administration officials immediately upon reading that column.

I'd say she spoke to administration official(s) no later than the afternoon of the 14th. Possibly even earlier depending on when she actually read the piece (off the wires) and she had plenty of home numbers in her little book.

I guess, besides not being a lawyer, you're not a journalist either. :)

Ralph L.

I'm certain I've heard this thread title before...could it be from American Doodler?

MaidMarion

By the way, the NBC lawyer was in the courtroom all day today (Feb 20) for the closing statements.

Syl

MM

Did he use his blackberry?

Pete

Jeff - you hit the nail right on the head. The notion that somehow Russert and Mitchell colluded to convict Libby is laughable. And the inference by Tom Maguire that they colluded to sink Libby and are somehow the "cooler heads" despite colluding is equally laughable.

The journalists in this case - Miller, Mitchell and Russert did all they could to protect the Bush administration. Russert sat on an explosive story which would have been negative to the administration had he revealed it before the 2004 elections. Russert fought the subpoena in order to protect Libby. Had the investigation remained under Ashcroft, Russert would not even have been forced to testify and the investigation would have gone nowhere.

Those in NBC who are not caught in this know what went on, and it is no surprise that they know how guilty Libby is.

Pete

But surely you knew it was not a leak case when you promised us, positively guaranteed, clarice, that numerous witnesses would be called who would testify that Joe Wilson blew his wife's cover to them.

And I remember those regulars here who were trumpeting that Cheney would appear in the trial and single handedly demolish Fitz.

Infact Cheney was too chicken to allow Fitz to cross examine him under oath.

clarice

They colluded to save Russert's reputation and to avoid subpoenas.

Syl

Pete

I know you only look at things through your own eyes, but please refrain from looking through other peoples eyes as if they are your eyes.

Russert and Andrea aren't colluding against the Bush administration (whether they want to or not). It's that corporate image they're protecting (or/and their corporate lawyers are)...under the guise of 'protecting sources'.

NBC doesn't want Andrea or David NEAR a courtroom...and they'll hang Libby to make sure they don't testify. That's a side effect they can easily live with. They also don't want it publicly discussed more than absolutely necessary that Russert gave up to the FBI without a fight.

Syl

Sigh.

I'm gonna nickname Clarice 'Smarter and Shorter'.

:)

clarice

Smooches--goodnight. I mean it.

Tom Maguire

And that administration official [who leaked to Andrea Mitchell] is most likely Dick Cheney

Oh, you are just goading us now, seeing as how Colin Powell is a personal friend who was invited to her wedding - she got it from Colin or Armitage and has been saving their skin ever since.

As to why the defense called (and didn't call) the witnesses they did - honestly, did anyone expect Grenier, Grossman, Schmall, and Fleischer to blow up so pitiably?

How about Russert - what, in his testimony, precludes him having learned about Plame on the 11th from the AP? Nothing. Will that be a problem for the jurors?

How about Edelman, who was in the indictment but so weak he never made it to the trial?

I think Wells was spot on when he told the judge he had no idea at the outset that the case was this weak.

p.lukasiak

Jeff, give it up. You can't win an argument with Clarice, because she doesn't understand the law....

for instance, she links to one of her own pieces in which she writes:

In these newly—released appeal documents Fitzgerald contradicts the claims he made on January 23, 2006 to Libby's counsel that Plame's status and history at the CIA as well as the harm to national security were not material to the charges in the indictment. When he sought Miller's testimony, he made representations to the effect that Plame was within the reach of the IIPA (Agee Act).

of course, there is no contradiction -- when Fitz was seeking Miller's testimony, it wasn't solely (or even necessarily) about proving that Libby was lying; Miller's testimony was sought as part of the larger (and still on-going) leak investigation--and of course IIPA considerations were relevant to that investigation.

Valerie's actual status, however, is irrelevant to the lying/perjury and obstruction charges against Libby -- and lest we forget, it was TeamLibby that ensured that the jury was not presented the evidence that "CPD" meant Covert Operations---and that when Libby was told by Cheney that Valerie was "CPD", it should have sent alarm bells off in Libby's head telling him NOT to discuss Valerie with anyone.

So don't bother arguing with Clarice or her devotees, Jeff, because they have no real command of the facts, and what few facts they do know about are "organized" according to the rules of logic of an alternate universe...

clarice

Well lefties--you've lost Jeralyn:

"Reasonable doubt and the presumption of innocence form the bedrock of our criminal justice system. A reasonable doubt is a doubt based on reason and common sense. It can arise from the evidence presented or the lack of evidence. It's not about which side you believe more. If you think both sides could be right, or one side is probably, but not convincingly right or even that it's possibly right, Libby is entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

The Government was terrific in its closing argument on Libby's motive to lie. Peter Zeidenberg laid out a methodical case that was easy to follow and made a lot of sense. Patrick Fitzgerald had all of the case evidence so committed to memory it flew off his tongue. But, the trial isn't about Libby's motive to lie. It's about whether he actually did lie about his conversations with two reporters or was simply mistaken.

Ted Wells' closing was unfocused and meandering. But, he was emotional. The jury had to sense, as I did, that he believed with his whole heart in his argument. I think that will go a long way with the jury. William Jeffress more than adequately established the memory problems of all the witnesses in the case. The bottom line is, who's to say Libby's faulty recollections were a lie while the faulty recollections of the other witnesses were innocent mistakes?

In the end, this trial must be ruled by the presumption of innocence and reasonable doubt. The charges the Government brought against Libby are narrow and specific as to the exact statements about which he allegedly lied. In the end, no smoking gun was introduced to establish Libby lied as opposed to being mistaken. That lack of evidence presented must be held to work against the Government.

The smartest thing the defense did at trial was not to put Libby on the stand and subject him to what surely have been a withering cross-examination by Fitzgerald. The dumbest thing the Government did was charge too narrow a case and not indict Cheney along with Libby.

In other words, Fitzgerald missed the forest for the trees. Maybe he thought the case wasn't there. But in charging such a stripped down version solely against Libby, I have to believe at least one juror, like me, will have a reasonable doubt and refuse to convict.

Will I be disappointed if there's an acquittal? Yes, but in Fitzgerald, not the system. And if there's a conviction? Then I'll be disappointed in the Judge, for refusing to allow a memory expert to testify at trial. As much as I might prefer it otherwise, this case was about memory and reasonable doubt, not about the conspiracy that was proven to exist at the Administration's highest levels of power."

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2007/2/21/23551/6143


clarice

Nobody knows the law , but lukasiak I guess, not VT, not Jeralyn Merritt and not me..Pity.

clarice

So Victoria doesn't know what she's talking about and is unethical; I'm a total peabrain and Jerelyn---come on I'll help you--a sellout to the warmongering Bushitlerites..LOL

MayBee

p luk- who do you think is the [redacted] that met with Wilson and Kristof at breakfast?

Pete

Russert and Andrea aren't colluding against the Bush administration (whether they want to or not). It's that corporate image they're protecting (or/and their corporate lawyers are)...under the guise of 'protecting sources'.

NBC doesn't want Andrea or David NEAR a courtroom...and they'll hang Libby to make sure they don't testify. That's a side effect they can easily live with. They also don't want it publicly discussed more than absolutely necessary that Russert gave up to the FBI without a fight.

Russert talked to the FBI because he thought that his testimony was not relevant and would not hurt Libby (after all he got no leak from Libby so he thought it was ok to talk). Once he found out otherwise, he clammed up. If Russert had sources to protect he would not have had the initial talk with the FBI.

Wells had the option to cross examine Andrea under oath. Wells did not take the option. So am I to assume that Wells wants to hang Libby? Wells could have called David Gregory too, but he did not call Gregory either. Is Wells in cahoots with the NBC lawyers?

The reason NBC does not want it discussed is because they do not want further embarrasment about how their reporters were somewhat allied with and being used by the Bush administration.

p.lukasiak

p luk- who do you think is the [redacted] that met with Wilson and Kristof at breakfast?

maybee, since Clarice has two bad habits (not linking to original sources, and misrepresenting what appears in those sources), I really can't speculate absent some proof that some "redacted" met with Wilson and Kristof for breakfast (or more specifically, that there is any evidence that "redacted" talked to Kristof. IIRC, in Wilson's book he describes how he spoke with Kristof while the two of them were alone in the room....)

Pete

And despite the initial interview with the FBI, Russert could have easily corrected any possible discrepancies in his testimony later.

Libby said that Russert told him that all reporters knew of Plame. And Libby said that he was surprised to hear that. Had Libby learned this information from Russert, he would not have been discussing with Cheney 2-3 days later whether they should leak Plame's CIA affiliation to reporters.

p.lukasiak

Jerelyn---come on I'll help you--a sellout to the warmongering Bushitlerites..LOL

The nice thing about Jeralyn is that she doesn't use completely specious arguments -- and its possible to have a rational discussion with Jeralyn, and rely on her representation of facts.

Jeralyn is an intellectually honest person, but she is also a defense attorney -- and in this case I think her perception of the facts in the case are being skewed by her instinct to support the defense case in any criminal matter.

Ranger

Wells had the option to cross examine Andrea under oath. Wells did not take the option.

Posted by: Pete | February 21, 2007 at 12:37 AM

Actually, I don't think that is true. As I recall, the Judge asked the NBC counsel a question, which the counsel then artfully failed to answer, and the Judge then decided that he would reject Wells' motion to question Mitchell.

As I recall, the NBC counsel stated that Mitchell will deny recieving any rumor about Ms Plame's CIA job. That of course does not answer the question of if she was told directly by someone who knew (possibly from reading the INR memo) Ms. Plames employment at the CIA and her role in getting Joe the gig.

Ranger

Wells could have called David Gregory too, but he did not call Gregory either. Is Wells in cahoots with the NBC lawyers?

Posted by: Pete | February 21, 2007 at 12:37 AM

Wells didn't need to call Gregory. Ari made the case for him. Ari said he told Gregory on the 11th. Russert said if Gregory knew, then he would have told him (Russert). Russert also said he (Gregory) did not tell him and that he did not know about Plame until the 14th. So, why call Gregory when Ari already put the nail in Russert's coffin.

MayBee

p luk- first of all, you may note that the article clarice linked is a year old.
Soo.....who do you think Fitzgerald redacted in that paragraph about Wilson and [redacted] meeting with several reporters, including Kristof and Pincus?

Pete

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17112876/>U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said Monday he would permit the defense team to question Mitchell Tuesday, outside the presence of the jury.

This will allow her testimony to be in the court record and then the judge can rule on whether Mitchell would appear before the jury.

Prof Kim reported from the court - Scooter Libby defense attorney Ted Wells said he would not call NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell to testify in the case

And why didn't Wells call Gregory?

Ranger

maybee, since Clarice has two bad habits (not linking to original sources, and misrepresenting what appears in those sources), I really can't speculate absent some proof that some "redacted" met with Wilson and Kristof for breakfast (or more specifically, that there is any evidence that "redacted" talked to Kristof. IIRC, in Wilson's book he describes how he spoke with Kristof while the two of them were alone in the room....)

Posted by: p.lukasiak | February 21, 2007 at 12:45 AM

P.,

This is where you get yourself in trouble. Kristof wrote a column where he specificly stated that he had breakfast with both of them. He also said he knew Plame worked at the CIA, just not that she had ever been a NOC. He also claimed very specificly that though she did not provide any information about "this particular story" which leaves open the possiblity that she was a source for him on other intel related issues.

Also remember that Wilson was shopping himself around town and was being cited in newspapers as a "former ambasador with close ties to the CIA." What kind of "ties" do you think he used to support that claim?

Finally, Val's security clearance was suspended for a year and he was suspended from work without pay for a year. Any chance that all those unauthorized contacts with reporters (Breakfast in May, Party on 4th of July weekend) played a part in that decision?

There are many established contacts between Joe and Val and reporters, and sufficient evidence in the public record to support a circumstantial case that, in deed, among reporters, "everybody knew" that Val worked at the CIA.

Ranger

Pete, and if you recall, on that Monday, Judge Wells changed his mind after asking one quesiton to the NBC counsel.

Wells never got to question Mithcell.

There was much outrage from people here and commentator MarkO explained exactly how this kind of "hiding" of the facts using legal counsel is accomplished.

p.lukasiak

re: the question of Mitchell's testimony....

Wells could have called her --- but the judge made it abundantly clear that any effort by Wells to impeach her testimony by the defense would be disallowed. (as Clarice should have explained to you, you cannot call a witness in order to impeach their testimony). Nothing that Mitchell would testify to under oath (basically, she would have said under oath that she had no prior knowledge of Valerie Plame before the Novak column) would advance Libby's cause, so he didn't call her because he would not have been allowed to use her public statements that contradicted her sworn testimony against her.

(it would have been different had Fitz called her as a witness, of course --- the rule is that you can't deliberately impeach your own witnesses)

Syl

p.luk

and in this case I think her perception of the facts in the case are being skewed by her instinct to support the defense case in any criminal matter.

That's a pretty damn rotten accusation you make here, I guess you're accusing Jeralyn of not knowing the law either.

The law is the law. It is what it is. It's not something concocted ad hoc to fit your desires.

Pete

Wells didn't need to call Gregory. Ari made the case for him.

Wells specifically pointed to discrepancies about Ari, so Ari could not have made the case for him.

It would have been far more powerful to call Gregory on the stand and hear from him first hand. Why did Wells not call Gregory?

MJW

Pete, with regard to Mitchell, you seemed to have missed out on the courtroom events the following day (per FDL):

Wells: I don't to reargue my point. But I'd like to call her to talk about how aggressively she was working on the story. Once I show the intensity with which she was covering the story, I would have the right to question her whether she heard a rumor, and then I'd have the right to impeach her. [Sure seems like he's rearguing the point–btw Ted has his humble personality on right now, speaking real low and rationally.]

Wells: I'm willing to sit on the record as is. I do believe I would have the right to impeach her. I'm not calling her as a subterfuge. I will accept that the record is closed. I will release her. My appelate record is protected.

Walton: The intensity of what she was doing in and of itself doesn't add to your defense.

Wells: If you accept that the intensity of her work is relevant, then I submit that the statement is admissible.

Walton: The intensity doesn't mean anything UNLESS you're arguing she may have heard it. The mere fact that intensity of investigation doesn't help your case. You've got to couple the two for it to have any value in your case. You may perceive it as having probative value. It has nil value.

Wells: That's why I'm willing to rest on the record with that understanding. [Sounds like we won't see Mitchell, sorry Tom Maguire.]


MJW

Pete, I wish Gregory had been called, but there was a tactical reason for not calling him: If Gregory didn't hear about Plame from Fleischer, he impeaches Fleisher; If he did, he impeaches Russert (since Russert testified he learned about Plame on June 14th, and he also testified Gregory would have relayed such information). Fleischer was already impeached by Pincus, so the defense probably chose to impeach both, rather than to impeach Fleischer twice.

Ranger

Wells specifically pointed to discrepancies about Ari, so Ari could not have made the case for him.

It would have been far more powerful to call Gregory on the stand and hear from him first hand. Why did Wells not call Gregory?

Posted by: Pete | February 21, 2007 at 01:13 AM

The problem is one for the prosecution. They put two witnesses on the stand who's testimonies specificly controdict each other. The defense really is not required to determine which of the prosecution witnesses is telling the truth and which isn't. The fact is simply that Ari's and Russert's stories are completely incompatable. It was Fitz's job, though the investigation to figure out who was telling the truth and who wasn't, but he chose not to do it.

No need for the defense to call Gregory to get an answer. Fitz created the problem for himself.

Pete

MJW - I did not miss it.
p.lukasiak (February 21, 2007 at 01:12 AM) states it correctly.

Wells could have questioned Mitchell under oath. He did not.

Wells could have questioned Gregory under oath. He did not.

p.lukasiak

That's a pretty damn rotten accusation you make here, I guess you're accusing Jeralyn of not knowing the law either.

I doubt if Jeralyn would think it a "rotten accusation". Unlike you (apparently), both Jeralyn and I are capable of acknowledging that our own experiences and prejudices can influence how we perceive events.

As to your second accusation, its baseless, as would be clear had you bothered to read what I wrote about Jeralyn....

****************

This is where you get yourself in trouble. Kristof wrote a column where he specificly stated that he had breakfast with both of them. He also said he knew Plame worked at the CIA, just not that she had ever been a NOC. He also claimed very specificly that though she did not provide any information about "this particular story" which leaves open the possiblity that she was a source for him on other intel related issues.

do please provide a citation for these statements.... like I've said earlier, many of the "facts" I find here are not facts at all -- or are outright distortions of the facts.

For example, you claim that Kristof knew that Valerie Wilson worked for the CIA....but quite the opposite is true, according to the actual column (likely) source of your claim (see http://www.helenair.com/articles/2003/10/14/opinions/a04101403_02.txt )

Tom did a post that included a quote from that column (see http://justoneminute.typepad.com/plame/2006/03/nick_kristof_a_.html ) in which he attempted to turn Kristof's denial of knowledge that Valerie worked for the CIA ("I knew nothing about her CIA career") into the opposite.

This is why I keep talking about non-facts being bandied about here....

Pete

No need for the defense to call Gregory to get an answer.

Then why all the complaining about NBC lawyers? Tom Maguire said that Gregory was "duct-taped" when the reality was that Wells was afraid to call Gregory on stand.

Ranger

Tom Maguire said that Gregory was "duct-taped" when the reality was that Wells was afraid to call Gregory on stand.

Posted by: Pete | February 21, 2007 at 01:35 AM

Pete,

TM is referring to the fact that, to date, Gregory has yet to make a statement to the public about what he knew and when he knew it. As a reporter, it seems he has been very quiet about a very important story. Dickerson and come out and clearly said the Ari got it wrong. Gregory has said nothing (probably on the advice of NBC counsel).

MJW

Pete, but if he couldn't question Mitchell about what she knew about Plame, what would be the point? It's pretty meaningless to argue that he could question under oath, but not about what he wanted to question he about.

MayBee

p luk:the rule is that you can't deliberately impeach your own witnesses)

Not quite. The rule used in this case is you can't put a witness solely to impeach them on something that wouldn't otherwise be admissable.

Mitchell's statement, even taken at face value, couldn't be shown that it had anything to do with Libby at all. Nor was there evidence she spoke to Russert about it. None of that was admissable on it's own, so impeaching on it wasn't allowed by Walton.

Karl

Paul Lukasiak doing about as well with this as he did that whole "Bush AWOL" thing. I do want to thank him for his small part in the discrediting and ultimate cashiering of Dan Rather on that. Here, it's Russert that got exposed as the disingenuous partisan.

Were this not a DC jury, I would consider Lukasiak's interest in this case almost as strong and indicator as Larry O'Donnell's ravings.

Pete

Pete, but if he couldn't question Mitchell about what she knew about Plame, what would be the point?

Wells could question Mitchell about what she knew about Plame before Novak's column was published.

MJW

He could, but if she said she didn't know anything, all he could do is smile and say "thank you" -- he couldn't use her prior contrary claim to impeach her.

Pete

TM is referring to the fact that, to date, Gregory has yet to make a statement to the public about what he knew and when he knew it.

Fine but Wells could have asked Gregory. Wells did not. If the NBC lawyers have duct taped Gregory as alleged, that duct tape would not have worked in court. And yet Wells left a chance to have another swing at impeaching Russert. Why is that?

Ranger

p.lukasiak,

Well, I probably did overstate the case, but I will point out that the column in question is very carefully worded to conceal rather than inform.

For example:

"I know Mrs. Wilson, but I knew nothing about her CIA career..."

He didn't say he knew nothing about her employment at the CIA, just her specific career history.

"(Mrs. Wilson was not a source for this column or any other that I've written about the intelligence community.)"

Once again, an admission through denial. Why not simply say 'Mrs. Wilson has never been a source for anything I have written.' By limiting the denial to the "intelligence community" he is leaving out a broad range of intelligence related issues that she has been a source for. For example, the Niger trip doesn't relate to the "intelligence community" it relates to actual intel. The NIE isn't about the "intelligence community" it is about finished intel product.


"Third, Mrs. Wilson's intelligence connections became known a bit in Washington as she rose in the CIA and moved to State Department cover, but her job remained a closely held secret."

In other words, "everybody knew" she worked at the CIA well before this whole thing started.


Syl

Pete

re NBC, you haven't yet grasped (it took me a while) that Andrea, Russert, and Gregory share the same NBC corporate lawyers. I don't know how to put this delicately, but this situation allows much information that would otherwise be discoverable in a trial to be hidden by client/attorney privilege.

as for this re Gregory testifying:

Wells specifically pointed to discrepancies about Ari, so Ari could not have made the case for him.

It's not up to Wells to 'make the case', it's up to Fitzgerald to do so. Ari was a weak witness for Fitz because it was easy for Wells to cast doubt on his testimony.

But Wells doesn't have to 'prove' which parts were reliable and which parts weren't.

It was Fitz that had to nail it and he didn't.


p.lukasiak

Pete, but if he couldn't question Mitchell about what she knew about Plame, what would be the point?

MJW, the point here is that Wells could question Mitchell about Plame -- what Wells couldn't do was then try and impeach Mitchell's testimony based on her public statements.

Maybee... the general rule is that you cannot call a witness with the intent of impeaching their testimony (exception made for hostile witnesses, etc). Wells was trying to do wa workaround of that rule -- resulting in the ruling that you cited.

After Wells got shot down on the "public statement" approach, he switched tactics, and claimed that he wanted to show how the intensity of Mitchell's efforts on the Wilson story would have made her a likely leak recipient, thus impeaching her testimony that she wasn't a leak recipient and implying to the jury that she'd been a leak recipient and had passed the info onto Russert. But it all came down to the same thing....

Pete

He could, but if she said she didn't know anything, all he could do is smile and say "thank you" -- he couldn't use her prior contrary claim to impeach her.

If you are looking at a journalist's statements to impeach, you need to look no further than Novak's statements that the two administration officials came to him (Armitage did not) and they gave him the name (Armitage did not) and that he did not have to dig up the name (but now he says that he digged it up from an almanac).

Sure one can provide some creative defenses of Novak's statements, but then it is not too hard to provide a creative defense of Mitchell's statements either.

Ranger

Fine but Wells could have asked Gregory. Wells did not. If the NBC lawyers have duct taped Gregory as alleged, that duct tape would not have worked in court. And yet Wells left a chance to have another swing at impeaching Russert. Why is that?

Posted by: Pete | February 21, 2007 at 01:54 AM


Probably because he didn't need it. Russert was pretty well impeached by his own testemony. Can't remember phone calls, lies to Federal Judges, can't remember anything he said on the day of the indictment... and the list goes on.

MJW

Pete, of course Wells was in some sense "afraid" to call Gregory. No lawyer wants to question a witness -- particularly one who's likely to be hostile -- without knowing what they'll say. But, as I pointed out previously, the most likely reason he wasn't called was to leave the (probably false) impression that a close associate of Russert knew prior to Novak's column that Plame worked for the CIA.

Ranger

If you are looking at a journalist's statements to impeach, you need to look no further than Novak's statements that the two administration officials came to him (Armitage did not) and they gave him the name (Armitage did not) and that he did not have to dig up the name (but now he says that he digged it up from an almanac).

Sure one can provide some creative defenses of Novak's statements, but then it is not too hard to provide a creative defense of Mitchell's statements either.

Posted by: Pete | February 21, 2007 at 01:59 AM

Funny that Fitz and crew didn't bother to ask any of those questions on cross.

p.lukasiak

Once again, an admission through denial. Why not simply say 'Mrs. Wilson has never been a source for anything I have written.' By limiting the denial to the "intelligence community" he is leaving out a broad range of intelligence related issues that she has been a source for.

an admission through denial? That's kind of a stretch.

Its entirely possible that Valerie Wilson had provided Kristof with information for previous columns -- lets say Kristof wrote a story about energy. Valerie's cover was as an energy consultant for Brewster Jennings, so its entirely possible that she may at some point have discussed non-classified energy issues with Kristof at a DC cocktail party, and that info made its way into a Kristof story.

Kristof makes the important denials in an unequivocal fashion --- he didn't know that she worked for the CIA, and she was never a source for intelligence related stories.

Syl

an admission through denial? That's kind of a stretch.

Well, it's exactly the same type of parsing thing Jeff and other members of your cult throw at us all the time.

Sauce.Goose.Gander

Patton

It should be noted that noone has gagged NBC News but themselves. If this were a story about NSA wiretaps or capturing terrorists in third countires NBC would be screaming about the peoples right to know and that that is more important then keeping our troops safe or winning the war.

In this case Gregory is intentionally following the governments request so they can convict Libby. NBC has gotten in bed with the government since the day Russert invited Echenrode under the covers for some serious petting.....

Syl

Pete

If the NBC lawyers have duct taped Gregory as alleged, that duct tape would not have worked in court.

Wells doesn't have to call witnesses just to satisfy your curiosity. Wells didn't need to prove that Ari told Gregory who told Russert, all needed was the possibility that it occurred.

This is the DEFENSE, remember. Possibilities are good enough for reasonable doubt.

Why don't you ask why Fitz didn't call Gregory. After all Ari confessed to leaking to him. This was a leak case after all.

Patton

Jeff: ""But I advise you to keep hope alive for finding the elusive leakee who will show that in reality Joe Wilson blew the cover of his wife. I remember being promised five witnesses who would testify that he did so by the defense, and I remember being promised much along those lines by clarice. I didn't quite see any of it.""""

Well DUH! Libby hasn't been charged with Outing Plame, so there was no basis for putting in the evidence.
There's also no evidence a covert agent was outed, so the left should stop claiming it or point to the evidence given at trial.

Syl

for some serious petting.....

or mild burping. :)

Patton

Pete:""Infact Cheney was too chicken to allow Fitz to cross examine him under oath.
""

Now Pete, Jeff is going to require you cite exact trial testimony to make this claim. Please give us a reference from the trial transcript. Or Jeff is going to pull a Fitz and get all pissed off and do the whole verbal diarhea in front of the jury pool.

Syl

me too!

Jeff

But I advise you to keep hope alive for finding the elusive leakee who will show that in reality Joe Wilson blew the cover of his wife.

Oh, and please keep hope alive that someone, someday, somehow will show that Cheney ordered 'Code Red'. Jeralyn seems to think a conspiracy was 'proven'. It would be nice of her to show us some evidence. All I've seen is accusations and connect-the-dot walking just like with any other purported conspiracy.

Maybe the civil suit? I Can't wait!

p.lukasiak

Well, it's exactly the same type of parsing thing Jeff and other members of your cult throw at us all the time.

Syl, we know that everyone in this administration "parsed" intelligence to create a false impression about the threat posed by Iraq. And we know that they "parsed" the facts about how intelligence was manipulated in order to cover up the abuse of intelligence. In other words, we know that this administration cannot be trusted -- and that every statement they make must be examined for potential misrepresentations, distortions, and outright lies.

But the real problem here isn't the parsing of statements -- its the fact that people like ranger will take a statement that obviously means one thing and "parse" it to mean the opposite. "I knew nothing about her CIA career" gets parsed into "I knew she worked for the CIA", and "her job remained a closely held secret" gets "parsed" into "In other words, 'everybody knew' she worked at the CIA well before this whole thing started."

That's pure insanity...

Patton

Its pretty clear what has Fitz, Jeff and pete up in arms, they relied on proving their case by cross examining Cheney and Libby rather then actually having evidence to present in their case in chief.

Wells dangled the idea of Cheneys and Libbys testimony in front of Fitz like a exotic dancer and Fitz spent ll his time preparing for it, rather then his case.

That's why Fitz keeps throwing in stuff that wasn't in the trial, because in his mind, he is arguing the case that he planned to present after the Cheney and Libby cross examinations.

Fitz said he wanted a minimal case just about a few lies, nothing to do with Plame (the wife)....now he's pissed because he lost that minimal case and now he wants to argue the big case. Same as Jeff wanting to still argue about Plames status when the government has already conceeded it is not an issue and they had no evidence that she was any more then an employee.

Ranger

Kristof makes the important denials in an unequivocal fashion --- he didn't know that she worked for the CIA, and she was never a source for intelligence related stories.

Posted by: p.lukasiak | February 21, 2007 at 02:09 AM

Now you are over stating the case. Kristof in no way says he didn't know she worked for the CIA, he only says that he was unaware that she was a NOC. That's the key difference between employment and career. Same with the hedge on "intelligence community."

And, if, as you postulate, "its entirely possible that she may at some point have discussed non-classified energy issues with Kristof at a DC cocktail party," then wouldn't that lead to him learning that "Mrs. Wilson's intelligence connections became known a bit in Washington as she rose in the CIA..." That statement, combinded with his careful selction of words earlier indicates that Kristof knew (or should have know if he was worth a crap as a reporter) of Plame's CIA employment before he ever sat down with Joe over breakfast in 2003.

Ranger

But the real problem here isn't the parsing of statements -- its the fact that people like ranger will take a statement that obviously means one thing and "parse" it to mean the opposite. "I knew nothing about her CIA career" gets parsed into "I knew she worked for the CIA", and "her job remained a closely held secret" gets "parsed" into "In other words, 'everybody knew' she worked at the CIA well before this whole thing started."

That's pure insanity...

Posted by: p.lukasiak | February 21, 2007 at 02:42 AM

What's pure insanity is that you can not see the difference between knowing that someone works in a specific organization, and knowing what their job is within the organization. You are colfating Kristof's denial that he knew she was a NOC with an (unstated) denial that he knew she worked at the CIA. That is especially hard to accept given that in the very same column he clarly states that "Mrs. Wilson's intelligence connections became known a bit in Washington as she rose in the CIA..."

My point is that Kristof admits that "everybody knew" (or if you prefer "known a bit") she worked at the CIA, just not what she did there. It is clearly possible to know one without the other, and career means something very different from employment.

JM Hanes

Patton:

"That's why Fitz keeps throwing in stuff that wasn't in the trial, because in his mind, he is arguing the case that he planned to present after the Cheney and Libby cross examinations."

Yes! Imagine being a fly on the prosecution wall when the Defense just...rested.

Ranger

*colfating* conflating

Syl

Pete

Sure one can provide some creative defenses of Novak's statements, but then it is not too hard to provide a creative defense of Mitchell's statements either.

Mitchell's too easy.

NBC counsel: Andrea! What the [...] were you blabbing on CNBC?!?!? Don't you know that will open you up to questioning and REVEALING sources! You could go to jail JUST LIKE JUDY.

Andrea: ::splutter::

NBC counsel: We're in a big enough mess with Russert. Puhlease don't add to it!

Andrea: ::splutter::

NBC counsel: Don't worry. We'll work up how you can back off your statement. You were drunk or something.

Andrea: ::burp::

NBC counsel: So, tell me, what DO you know?

Andrea: I know Plame! I know her. But I didn't know she was Mr. Important Hair's WIFE! I know she works down there at a low-level in the group that sent Wilson. But I didn't know she was his WIFE!

NBC counsel: What about a leak? Did you get a leak?

Andrea: No. Gregory told me something HE got.

NBC counsel: No problem. You didn't get a leak directly from the Whitehouse?

Andrea: No.

NBC counsel: Okay. Good. We can work it out. You didn't get a direct leak. Good. You didn't know Wilson's wife sent him...'cause you didn't KNOW who she was. Good.

Okay. Here we go...

You didn't know Mrs. Wilson was CIA nor that she sent him on the trip and you didn't receive a leak.

Andrea: That's it. Good. Very good. That will work.

NBC counsel: Give us a few days and we'll give you exactly what to say to retract the CNBC nonsense. Get you on Imus.

Andrea: ::splutter::

NBC counsel: And whatever you do do NOT talk to Tubby or Gregory about ANYTHING to do with Plame, Libby, the trial, Wilson. If you have anything at all to say tell ME.

Andrea: Roger that.

Syl

JMH

Yes! Imagine being a fly on the prosecution wall when the Defense just...rested.

LOL

I love Wells!

p.lukasiak

You are colfating Kristof's denial that he knew she was a NOC with an (unstated) denial that he knew she worked at the CIA.

Kristof denied knowing about Valerie Wilson's CIA CAREER. At NO POINT does he ever make any distinction like you are making.

My point is that Kristof admits that "everybody knew" (or if you prefer "known a bit") she worked at the CIA, just not what she did there.

in fact, Kristof says the exact opposite -- that her position at the CIA remained a "closely held secret." Yes, of course more people in DC became aware that she worked for the CIA once she started reporting to Langley every day (and, according to various sources, given significant authority over nuclear proliferation intelligence concerning the Middle East.) Hell, Libby probably met her on one of the dozen or so trips he took to the CIA, given her job there during that period. That's what "known a bit" refers to....the very limited increase in the number of people who knew she worked for the CIA.

"Known a bit" doesn't mean that "everyone knew".... especially when it remained a "closely held secret".... and to interpret it as such is pure insanity...

Cecil Turner

But I advise you to keep hope alive for finding the elusive leakee who will show that in reality Joe Wilson blew the cover of his wife.

Oh, there's not much of a mystery left, now . . . It was a team effort: Val blew her own cover by introducing him at the 19 Feb 2002 meeting . . . Joe made it interesting by publishing in the NYTimes. Even if they never talked to Kristof (yeah, sure they didn't), there's your security breach. Fitz's disingenuous effort to pin it on Libby (after spouting all sorts of high-minded nonsense about this not being a leak trial . . . conveniently constraining the Defense until he got the last, unanswered word) is risible.

There's also the little matter of the source for Grenier, Harlow, et al, who obviously didn't inform them there was anything sensitive about Plame. And the rather sloppy handling of classified documents by Armitage and Fleischer (okay, I wouldn't have concluded her status was anything much, either . . . but if you get it from a paragraph marked S/NF, you really oughta check before trumpeting to the nearest reporter). But without the earlier breach, those would have been harmless.

Jane

Will I be disappointed if there's an acquittal? Yes, but in Fitzgerald, not the system. And if there's a conviction? Then I'll be disappointed in the Judge, for refusing to allow a memory expert to testify at trial. As much as I might prefer it otherwise, this case was about memory and reasonable doubt, not about the conspiracy that was proven to exist at the Administration's highest levels of power."

Boy Jerrylnn gives me hope that not all liberals are moonbats.

Good Morning everyone!

MayBee

Oh dear, I was out to dinner and almost missed the wake-up call. Good morning, Jane.

hit and run

Good Morning. I am KICKING myself because I went to bed about 10 minutes before MaidMarion showed up. When I went to bed the place was dead - and then she posted her account THANKS MAIDMARION!!!! and everyone crawled out of the woodwork.

Now trying to catch up on the comments.

::ouch!:: man, who knew I could still kick like that after all these years?

Jane

HI MayBee, H&R,

Maid Marion's perspective is invaluable to me, because she seems to bring more of a juror's perspective, which after all is what it is all about.

hit and run

Oh, and then Tom showed up.

Dernitall

Oh, but this thread went by quickly.

Thank you for those who spent the time with the moonbats.

I want you on that wall. I need you on that wall.

hit and run

Thank you for those who spent the time with the moonbats.


spent the *night* with the moonbats.

Ranger

Kristof denied knowing about Valerie Wilson's CIA CAREER. At NO POINT does he ever make any distinction like you are making.

Posted by: p.lukasiak | February 21, 2007 at 03:35 AM

Which is exactly the point. There is a big distinction between knowing WHERE someone works (in this case the CIA and knowing WHAT their specific job history and current position is. Kristof denies knowing WHAT her specific job position and work history was. He never denies knowing that she worked at the CIA in or around 2003.

In fact, his carfully worded denial of knowledge of her career is far too specific to claim it is also a denial of employment. Just as his carfully worded and specific denial of what type of stories she was a source for is, in essence an admission that she had been a source for him in the past for some type of stories.

Ranger

"Known a bit" doesn't mean that "everyone knew".... especially when it remained a "closely held secret".... and to interpret it as such is pure insanity...

Posted by: p.lukasiak | February 21, 2007 at 03:35 AM

But the only part that was a "closely held secret" was her work history and current job, not her employment status. In fact, it was so well known apparently that Harlow felt he could tell Novak without any real problem that she worked at CIA, rather than the standard NOC response of "this person has no formal or informal affiliation with the CIA."

Oh, and if Libby ran into her at Langly, then he most assuradly would have assumed that she was not nor ever had been a NOC, since "Affermative measures to conceal a persons identity and work relationship" includes making sure these people are not seen at CIA headquartes (thus giving away that they are in some way affilitated with the agency).

Jeff

Do you feel you broke promises, Jeff?

I defy you to find any prediction I made with the confidence with which clarice predicted, even promised, that numerous witnesses would reveal that Joe Wilson had blown his wife's cover to them.

I appreciate that at least now a consistent response has been given - the defense didn't need them. My next question is to wonder when that decision was made - before the trial? during the trial?

I wonder partly because Vallely was on the list of potential witnesses/people to be named in the trial, but as far as I can see, he's the only possible one. So did they decide before trial they maybe only needed one, and then decided during the trial that even one wasn't necessary? I'm sure that's it, right?

MayBee

There is another possible name on there, because there were 2 mysterious witnesses and Hohlt was one. I can't remember the other guy's name but TM has it in the archives.

I believe the decision not to put them on was made when it became clear that Grenier didn't so much warn Libby, as he remembered a year later that he had felt guilty and therefore thought he must have told Libby. That Grossman didn't tell Libby in the middle of a staff meeting or call him a couple of times, but whispered it in the hallway. When Edelmen didn't appear at all.
Basically, when the defense felt the prosecution hadn't made it's case.
That, combined with how hard they were having to fight to get witnesses and evidence entered into the trial. Fitzgerald would have fought those witnesses. Do you think they would have been allowed in?

You know any guarantee that something would come up at trial was purely rhetorical. I do think the proof of grand conspiracy has fallen fall short. I don't even think 1x2x6 held up, and certainly Wilson didn't come out of this looking good.

bethl

Since the Judge had ruled and repeated many many times that VP's status could not be considered in this trial (at least by the defense) I don't think the he would allow people to testify that Wilson had outed his wife since that fact has nothing to do with perjury and obstruction.

MayBee

I agree, bethl.

Jeff

MayBee

So at the beginning of the trial, the defense had for some reason whittled its five witnesses prepared to declare under oath that Joe Wilson blew his wife's cover to them from five to two, and then decided in the course of the trial not to use those two?

I've not advocated grand conspiracy, and I have long been interested rather skeptically in 1x2x6. I remain uncertain how much there is to it, though I think there is something to the heart of the claim that White House officials disclosed Plame's identity to multiple reporters, while other parts of it haven't held up (called, etc). But neither of those are predictions about the trial anyway.

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Wilson/Plame