Powered by TypePad

« Tim Russert Thread | Main | More Russert »

February 07, 2007

Comments

Holly

Yes, Clarice, today has been a good day for Wells.

I have to admit that watching Wells is a treat. I went to law school, passed the bar, but never practiced. So I don't know much, but it seems to me that Wells today is a nonpareil.

Thanks so much to you and the very intelligent JOMers here for the commentary. Pure joy for me.

danking70

I say it's impossible because Russert still looks unflappable. lol! Right pete, martin???

Nice to see Walton let in the attorney letter. Will Ekenrode be called about his Russert discussions?

Think Wells is saving the gregory and mitchell bits for tomorrow?

danking70

I say it's impossible because Russert still looks unflappable. lol! Right pete, martin???

Nice to see Walton let in the attorney letter. Will Ekenrode be called about his Russert discussions?

Think Wells is saving the gregory and mitchell bits for tomorrow?

clarice

And it looks like he lied to his lawyer and let him file a false statement to the court.

cboldt

-- Now Wells seems to be building the argument that Russert made a false pleading to the court in his motion to squash. --


I missed where Russert admitted to having documents relevant to the discovery subpoena.

clarice

Smooches back, Holly.

Jane

Unbelievable. Stick a fork in him because Tim should be done.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

To add to the "Government is your friend," there's a James Cagney quote (at least I think it was him):

Hey copper, ya wanna make a Federal Case out of it?

"Federal Case" gets taken up a notch. To a whole new level.

Dan S

Clarice,

Does that sort of thing (lying to your own counsel) have any affect on attourney-client privilege?

topsecretk9

--Well, it gets even worse for Russert. Now Wells seems to be building the argument that Russert made a false pleading to the court in his motion to squash.--

And might explain why Russert has stuck tightly to the parsed statement...pigeon holed into it -- he has no choice - he must have had a heart attack when that Andrea "widely known" tranny was unearthed....and NO WONDER our proxy hasn't said anything.

Sara (Squiggler)

Consider me a juror, Clarice. I don't get it on Russert. What does this mean:

"-- Now Wells seems to be building the argument that Russert made a false pleading to the court in his motion to squash. --"

Jane

Dan,

It's a very long process to get there. One would have to charge the lawyer with filing a false pleading and the lawyer would have to be asked to be released from the priviledge which is completely owned by the client.

So the short answer is no.

cboldt
-- Don't leak to Novak,
and,
don't leak to Russert.
--

IIRC, it's already established here that Libby (and hence nobody else) expects reporters to keep confidences. Hence, the above "don't leak" advice is old news.

clarice

Dan S there are some circumstances where courts have held it may be disregarded by counsel. One of them is if your client's behavior causes you to be suspected of illegal or unethical behavior and you need to disclose those communications to protect yourself.(These rulings tend to be on a state by state basis and not all recognize the same exceptions.)

Ranger

I missed where Russert admitted to having documents relevant to the discovery subpoena.

Posted by: cboldt | February 07, 2007 at 01:56 PM

The false pleading is where he argues that: "He says he cannot provide such testimony without violating the understanding that he shares with his sources that the communciations will be held in confidence."

Which he had already violated when he discussed the phone call with the FBI.

Patrick R. Sullivan

I keep thinking about a sheepish reaction Joe Lieberman had to a grilling Russert gave him during the 2000 campaign: 'You're good at this.'

Now Russert can say the same to Wells.

danking70

Russert's going to need a gurney instead of crutches when this is over.

Looks like the prosecutions filing the stop Mitchell from testifying is denied. lol.

Jane

Gee the trolls have gone silent. And FDL is inaccessable. Hmmmmm

clarice

Sara, it makes him out to be a liar who misled the court. Because even though his lawyer filed it it was done on his behalf and he surely saw it before it was filed.

clarice

Well, Dan you asked 2 lawyers and got 2 opinions.But we;ll send you one bill.

centralcal

Jane, you beat me again. Swopa at fdl is MIA!

Dan S

Thanks, Jane and Clarice.

Didn't think it would be THAT easy since I'm sure it's not uncommon for defendants to lie to their lawyers.

Alcibiades

FDL is there, Jane. But the snark is gone from Swopa.

Barney Frank

cboldt,

There are plausible and reasonable "explanations" for what appears, on the surface, to be hypocritical.

....the press has an "image" to protect (just as the WH and OVP did and do), and some of what goes on is just for show.

Isn't the second comment pretty close to the definition of hypocrisy, ie. pretending to feel or believe what you do not feel or believe, esp a pretense of virtue?

Chants

This is not at all what I expected. It's worse.

JM Hanes

Haven't had a chance to catch up on comments here yet, but lord how I wish Clarice were in the media room to give us the reaction of the media Who's Who in attendance!!

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

THE GODS HAVE ARRIVED! I told ya, Clarice. To save our system we need Roy Black, Gerry Spence, and Theodore Wells. What gifts these men have. Truth may be slow in putting her pants on, chasing after lies ...

But time is what it takes to build interest.

People today are busy switching back and forth between BLOGS! And, that's just how you do watch a public becoming informed. It's never been done in such real-time before, either.

Patrick (not Sullivan)

Maybe Wells could take over MTP. $5 mill could probably tempt him.

clarice

It's about a client's lying that makes it appear that his lawyers' representations to the court were deliberately false (and the lawyers knew it) in this case.

Dan S

So, did Wells leave it hanging here? :) Good place if so.

Alcibiades

Russert and his private hypocrisy now made public has just become the story. At least for tonight.

I wonder how his peers will treat him now --- all the air has just been knocked out of their edifice of "special privilege".

If the rest of the press ignored Cooper the next day at lunch, how will they treat Russert.

Patrick (not Sullivan)

Maybe Wells could take over MTP. $5 mill could probably tempt him.

JohnH

Clarice, I thought you said Matt Apuzzo of the AP was OK? Here is the latest filing (16 min ago accor to Yahoo):

WASHINGTON - NBC newsman Tim Russert testified Wednesday he never discussed a CIA operative with vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, contradicting Libby's version to a grand jury in the CIA leak investigation.

cboldt

-- The false pleading is where he argues that: "He says he cannot provide such testimony without violating the understanding that he shares with his sources that the communciations will be held in confidence." --

You mean that's a false statement? He didn't say that he didn't violate confidences. Plus, I say again, Russert has made a point of asserting that Libby wasn't (to Russert) a source during that phone call.

Anyway, I'm reading [Case 1:06-mc-00123-RBW Document 8 Filed 05/08/2006] looking for false statements (that's the Reply brief - I'll go to the Motion to Quash in a bit), and look forward to somebody pointing out the SPECIFIC false statement, in case you or somebody else here finds it before I do.

clarice

Now, surely the SP knew that representation was false. Did he disclose that to the defense?

clarice

JohnH, I'd bet that story was filed an hour ago. Matt Apuzzo would not conceal this.

Jane

Didn't think it would be THAT easy since I'm sure it's not uncommon for defendants to lie to their lawyers.

I suspect a pleading like this would require an affidavit. Lying in a affidavit is perjury.

owl

Clarice....could you give me a yes or no opinion about a link you left on another thread? The btcnews.com....is this real gj or spoof?

Dan S

Wells submits as evidence, and displays, a declaration by Russert filed with court. Paragraph 5 emphasizes that an essential part of his job is keeping conversations with government officials confidential, that he will not discuss identities or information publicly.

W: You are swearing that you will not release confidential information freely, right?

T: It depends on the nature of the conversation

Wells continues reading from the document. Quotes Paragraph 6, which specifically says Russert cannot testify about Libby conversation without violating confidentiality.

W: That's what you're saying to Judge Hogan under oath?

T: That it would have a chilling effect, yes.

W: You're saying under oath that you can't even confirm that

T: As a journalist, I didn't want to do it, correct.

W: Not just didn't want to, you can't do it, correct?

T: Correct.

W: You don't say that you had already talked to this to Agent Eckenrode in Nov 2003.

T: There is no mention of it.

W: You had already disclosed the substance of the conversation

T: There's a difference

W: But this does not say you had confirmed the existence of the conversation, and the content of it as well.

T: Correct.

W: In June 2004, your position that you could not do this.

T: Correct.

W: In Nov 2003, you violated this, didn't you?

T: No, because they asked about my side of the conversation, and conversation was a viewer complaint.

W: Are statements to Judge Hogan true or false?

T: So you violated these statements when you talked to Eckenrode.

T The focus was on my words at that time, and Libby's viewer complaint was not in any way confidential. As is my policy, I did not report on them.

W: So why say you can't talk about the same conversation?

T: We did not want to get involved in an open-ended fishing expedition.

W: (Accuses Russert of making a false statement to federal judge)

T: I just talked to Eckenrode about my side of the conversation

W: You talked to him about both sides of the conversation

T: I listened to him describe Libby's side.

Walton calls a truce recess for the evening. He also makes a statement that the prosecution does NOT contend that Libby did anything wrong in talking about the National Intelligence Estimate on July 8, 2003 or thereafter, "after it had been declassified by the president." So now you know.

Prosecution is expected to end its case tomorrow morning… and defense wants to start with Jill Abramson, but Fitzgerald has an objection to that. So that objection will be addressed first. The defense says they'll be happy to start Monday, given various motions they have to submit first, and they don't want to waste jury's time. Fitz says they can start with other witnesses — "Pincus, [Evan] Thomas, Kessler, Sanger…" I don't think this will be resolved until tomorrow morning.

And with that, school is out. Goodnight!

clarice

Jane, whadda ya think? The SP didn't know that filing was false?

JOMJunkie

Are we nearing a Perry Mason moment?

Ranger

cboldt,

Russert can't have it both ways. If he didn't consider Libby a source, then yes, he was perfectly free to discuss the call with the FBI. But, if that is the case, then he had no legal right to then move to squash based on the argument that Libby was a source entitled to protection.

Javani

"Plus, I say again, Russert has made a point of asserting that Libby wasn't (to Russert) a source during that phone call."

That's one of the points that have intrigued so many.

No one has ever alleged Libby was a source to Russert. Yet has repeated that statement often. Joe Wilson is good at that too, giving answers that sound infomative but are non-responsive.

cboldt

-- Isn't the second comment pretty close to the definition of hypocrisy --


Yes, it is. And the "damage" this case has caused to press-source relationships is something the press has been harping on.


I don't object to labeling the press as hypocritical, that's for sure. But I don't see Russert's admission on the stand as a bombshell.

Dan S

Ranger,

That's my read too, and clearly it's the one Wells is trying to push.

lordy

Remember this morning when according to the people here - Russert was going to say he talked with Libby about Wilson's wife?

**Crickets chirping**

topsecretk9

T: No, because they asked about my side of the conversation, and conversation was a viewer complaint.

Earlier

W- I did talk to him yes You talked about the conversation in general, what Libby said to you, what you said to Libby, correct?

T-correct

Javani

Oh, correction. When you say source, cboldt, do you mean when Russert claims Libby didn't give him information, i.e., "was not a recipient of a leak," or source meaning he could talk freely because the call was about a complaint?

azaghal

Thanks to everyone for the updates--with my dial-up I'm leaning on ya'll.

It does appear that Wells has done several very important things in his cross. One is that, all particulars aside, he has very effectively stripped the sheen of celebrity status from Russert and made the $5 million dollar mouth look very ordinary, indeed. Not only has he established his poor memory--even with notes/letters--but he has at the same time shown Russert to be very, very touchy about criticism. Then, when Wells got into the business about Russert's dealings with Eckenrode and the FBI, he really cut Tim down to size by showing that he was also two-faced and credulous.

Well, Fitz can always bring in Eckinrode to bolster Tim's testimony--NOT! Heh, heh. Clever tactical move, that, by Wells. But this also shows why it's bad to have such hand-in-glove involvement of the prosecutive staff in the investigative stage of a case. It leads to collusive and abusive investigations like this one.

clarice

owl, I do not know what you are referring to.

I cannot believe that the SP didn't know about Eckenrode's conversation when NBC filed that pleading.
I do not recall a single public filing where he disclosed to the defense that there was a falsehood in that filing.

I wonder if we will learn that Eckenrode was in the special depo(Fitz has been fighting disclosure of who was there when Russert gave his deposition.)

Jane

Jane, whadda ya think? The SP didn't know that filing was false?

If you are asking if Fitz knew that Russert talked to the FBI - I can't imagine he did not. It would be important to see the filing.
My guess is that it was a clever dodge that backfired.

My question is whether or not Russert knew he was at risk here.

Is Russert back on the stand tomorrow?

jwest

I wonder if the FDLers think Russert may be a flight risk?

As to Russert knowing about Val prior to Novak’s article, the cross examination is not over yet.

clarice

As far as I can tell cross continues tomorrow.

Javani

""Remember this morning when according to the people here - Russert was going to say he talked with Libby about Wilson's wife?

**Crickets chirping**""

Russert is good. All testimony led me to believe he didn't mention the "wife" by any word or name,...yet he said in response to one of Wells q's that he did not use the name.

Suspect, Defense will work on that tonite.

I wonder if Russert knew about the Wilsons via his own wife?

Appalled Moderate

OK, pardon my skepticism (it seems to be my role here), but how has Russert's testimony about the substance of the conversation with Libby been shaken?

Explain please...

Jane

I wonder if the FDLers think Russert may be a flight risk?

I have no idea but they are very pre-occupied with what is going on in here.

cboldt

-- he had no legal right to then move to squash based on the argument that Libby was a source entitled to protection. --

You made that up, right? Of course he has the legal right to make the argument he did. That doesn't make it morally right or fully honest; but morality and legality are two vastly different fields.

Ranger

W: (Accuses Russert of making a false statement to federal judge)

T: I just talked to Eckenrode about my side of the conversation

W: You talked to him about both sides of the conversation

T: I listened to him describe Libby's side.

Walton calls a truce recess for the evening.

So, the jury goes home tonight with that ringing in their ears. Wells is a master of the craft.

Martin

A Perry Mason moment?! Good one.

topsecretk9

What church does Russert go to that Ekenrode knew him from? He's catholic right? Same church as Novak?

jm

I haven't been able to follow Russert's cross fully, but my first reaction when I saw Wells quoting from the NBC statement was different. It struck me that he was setting up the proposition Russert had other "sources" he wanted to protect. It seemed Wells was setting up an argument Russert didn't need to resist as to Libby since he had already given him up. To get his testimony they never asked about other sources. Mitchell's statement on television comes across as something more than a slip of the tongue in context with that.

AJStrata

My favorite part of the Russert testimony was his (and Fitzgerald's) apparent misleading comments to the Federal judges regarding the fight against the subpoenas. Russert had testified to the FBI under oath. Fitz could have limited any testimony to that subject. So why is it they ended up in court against each other? This is another case of Fitzgerald overstating his needs and the media grandstanding in court.

T.J. King

Regarding the buffalo news letter:

http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh062504.shtml

"...But one claim by Russert was just flat-out wrong. On Monday, Kurtz reported the error:

KURTZ (6/21/04): Tim Russert has told the Buffalo News he regrets an error he made in a recent Washington Post Magazine interview.

Russert had said he never called News reporter Mark Sommer to complain about a negative review of his performance in moderating a Hillary Clinton-Rick Lazio Senate debate in 2000. But Sommer says in an interview that Russert called him twice about the piece and “was furious...I was struck how a guy who basks in the reputation of being a tough reporter can’t handle criticism when it applies to himself.”

“I just plain didn’t remember it,” Russert told Kurtz. But he didn’t deny what Sommer had said—that he actually called Sommer two times...."

Jane

Both Russerts memory and his credibility have been pretty well impeached.

If he can't recall a very personal incident that happened in his life - where he actually had a writing, how can we rely on his recollection absent notes,

and

How can we believe him when he seems to put his self interest in front of the truth?

Appalled Moderate

jm:

thanks, you answered my question.

Javani

AM:

""OK, pardon my skepticism (it seems to be my role here), but how has Russert's testimony about the substance of the conversation with Libby been shaken?

Explain please...""

Why bother? Your comment is nearly the same as tens of others here.

JM:

""It struck me that he was setting up the proposition Russert had other "sources" he wanted to protect. It seemed Wells was setting up an argument Russert didn't need to resist as to Libby since he had already given him up.""

Yes, could be that too.

Carol Herman

FROM CAROL HERMAN

AP Apuzzo's might feel sorry he jumped so soon on Russert being an excellent witness for Fitz. I guess he had a "deadline." And, now he has regrets?

Remember, too. THIS IS STILL FITZ'S WITNESS!

Libby's case has yet to "arrive." (Oh, for all the pressures that must have been on Libby's back! Here's Wells showing that RUSSERT LIED TO THIS COURT! How? By knowing his own lawyer was lying to this judge.

These guys sure know how not to give away TELLS. Just like in poker. What people keep misunderestimating Bush at, too.

clarice

From last night's pleading filed by Fitz and denied today after cross began:
(thx to Sunny Day):
"

Motion to Quash Subpoena

In May 2004, pursuant to the Department of Justice Guidelines Regarding the Issuance of Subpoenas to Members of the News Media, the government requested that Tim Russert voluntarily cooperate by testifying before the grand jury. Mr. Russert, through counsel, sought to avoid providing testimony in this matter, first by attempting to convince the Special Counsel that Mr. Russert had nothing relevant to say because he had not been the recipient of any leak regarding Ms. Wilson’s employment, and then by filing a motion (under seal) to quash the grand jury subpoena issued for his testimony. After Mr. Russert’s motion was denied on July 21, 2004, the Special Counsel and counsel for Mr. Russert agreed on a procedure pursuant to which Mr. Russert would forego an appeal and provide testimony.

Mr. Russert’s Grand Jury Testimony

On August 7, 2004, Mr. Russert was interviewed under oath in a deposition. By agreement, the deposition was conducted as if Mr. Russert were in the grand jury, with the exception that counsel for Mr. Russert and NBC was permitted to be present in the room. The questioning of Mr. Russert was limited to telephone conversation(s) between Mr. Libby and Mr. Russert on or about July 10, 2003 (and any follow up conversations) which involved Mr. Libby complaining to Mr. Russert in his capacity as NBC Bureau Chief about the on-the-air comments of another NBC correspondent, including whether during that conversation Mr. Russert imparted information concerning the employment of Ambassador Wilson’s wife to Mr. Libby, or whether the employment of Mr. Wilson’s wife was otherwise discussed in the conversation.

2

Case 1 :05-cr-00394-RBW Document 269 Filed 02/07/2007 Page 3 of 7

Discovery

The government provided defendant with extensive details regarding information obtained from reporters during the course of the grand jury proceeding on February 2, 2006. This disclosure included copies of correspondence between the Special Counsel and Mr. Russert’s lawyers concerning the scope of the testimony sought by the government and the manner in which Mr. Russert’s testimony would be taken. In addition, as part of its Jencks Act disclosures, the government produced to the defendant (a) the report of the FBI interview of Mr. Russert,1 and (b) the transcript of Mr. Russert’s August 7, 2004 deposition. The government also obtained an order unsealing the transcript of the oral argument on the motion to quash, and provided a copy of the transcript to the defense. Finally, the government informed the defense by letter of the following agreements reached between the Special Counsel and counsel for Mr. Russert: (a) the parties’ agreement that nothing said during the parties’ negotiations would be reported by Mr. Russert in the press, or argued by the government to constitute a waiver of any rights or privileges that could be asserted by Mr. Russert in litigation over the subpoena; (b) the government’s agreement that it would refrain from arguing that Mr. Russert’s statements to the FBI constituted a waiver for purposes of the subpoena litigation; and (c) the government’s agreement to schedule Mr. Russert’s deposition so that he could proceed with plans to cover the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

The government has been informed that the defense is in possession of all of the public

‘ As indicated in the Government’s Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant’s Request for Disclosure of Information Related to Accommodations Provided to Media Witness Tim Russert, notes taken during this interview have not been located, despite a diligent search.

3

Case 1 :05-cr-00394-RBW Document 269 Filed 02/07/2007 Page 4 of 7

filings and orders in connection with Mr. Russert’s motion to quash,2 but not the government’s ex parte submissions, which remain under seal. In addition to all of the following, the defense has access to a substantial number of public statements by Mr. Russert. In sum, the government is in possession of nothing to which the defendant is entitled under the Jencks Act, Brady, Giglio or Rule 16 that has not been provided to the defense.

Nevertheless, in a letter dated February 3, 2007, defense counsel requested the following additional details concerning communications between counsel for the government and counsel for Mr. Russert:

1. Please inform us when the agreements described in your letter were reached and identify the persons involved in negotiating those agreements.

2. Were the agreements made in writing? If so, please provide those written materials.

3. What if anything was Chief Judge Hogan told about Mr. Russert’s FBI Interview and/or the agreement that the government would not argue that the interview did not constitute a waiver of any rights or privileges asserted by Mr. Russert in his motion to quash?

4. If there was any further information disclosed to Chief Judge Hogan, through ex parte filings or otherwise, concerning information received from Mr. Russert or regarding negotiations with Mr. Russert or NBC, please provide it as soon as possible.

In response, the government informed the defense that government counsel that Chief Judge Hogan was indeed informed of the accommodations made with respect to the subpoena to Mr. Russert, and that there were no formal written agreements between the government and Mr. Russert. Counsel declined to provide the defense with any further details concerning communications between counsel for the government and Mr. Russert.

2 Mr. Russert’s motion was litigated jointly with a motion to quash by former Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper.

4

Case 1 :05-cr-00394-RBW Document 269 Filed 02/07/2007 Page 5 of 7

ARGUMENT

Defendant Has Received All Information Regarding the Circumstances Surrounding Mr. Russert’s Prior Testimony to Which He Is Entitled.

The government has provided the defense with substantial discovery and, given the nature of Mr. Russert’s profession, there is a wealth of public information through which the defense may search for cross-examination material. Nothing in the government’s possession is inconsistent with the prior testimony or statements made by Mr. Russert during the course of the grand jury investigation, or in any way reflects the existence of any tacit agreements, incentives or benefits beyond those provided as part of government counsel’s efforts to “accommodate the interests ofboth the grand jury and the media” as required by the DOJ Guidelines. While the government disputes the notion that accommodations made to members of the news media are, as defense counsel has suggested, “benefits” akin to concessions made for plea or immunity agreements, the government nevertheless has disclosed all accommodations to the defense.

Contrary to its suggestion, the defense is not entitled to a detailed accounting of which members of the Special Counsel’s Office were involved in discussions with Mr. Russert’s counsel, details concerning the substance of such conversations, or the various means by which such discussions were, or were not, memorialized. Such information has no possible bearing on Mr. Russert’ s credibility.

In seeking statements by counsel for An Fleischer the defense previously relied on a district court case from the Central District of California — United States v. Sudikoff~ 36 F. Supp. 2d 1196 (C.D. Cal. 1999)(requiring the disclosure of notes of multiple proffer sessions with a witness that “led to the leniency agreement”). Mr. Russert received no “leniency,” and neither Sudikoff nor any

5

Case 1 :05-cr-00394-RBW Document 269 Filed 02/07/2007 Page 6 of 7

other decision of which government counsel requires the government to provide the defense with a description of every conversation between lawyers for the government and a reporter witness prior to the witness’s providing testimony for use in a grand jury investigation, irrespective of its impeachment value.

While the government strongly objects to the notion that the defense is entitled to anything beyond what has already been provided to the defense, the government has provided the Court, in a separate pleading, filed exparte and under seal, an Affidavit of Patrick J. Fitzgerald which sets forth a summary of relevant conversations with Mr. Russert’s counsel."

Jane

from the maine Guy:

Wells grilling Russert on his filing to squash the subpoena. Wells has brutally and effectively shown the hypocrisy of this filing. The filing, and NBC’s statement, says that testimony would create a chilling effect that would keep sources from talking to him, and thereby limit the access the general public has to information. This looks absurd now, since Russert just testified that he freely and unreservedly spoke to an FBI agent by phone about the entire contents of his Libby conversation, despite declaring emphatically that he understood the Libby call to be in confidence.

Russert is trying to show a difference between the Libby call and what he was talking about in the filing. Not effective in any way.
Russert is saying now that the focus in the FBI call was a focus on his words, not Libby’s words. Wells already got him to say that they spoke about both sides of the conversation.
Russert is entangled like a peanut-butter coated cat in a yarn factory right now.
—–

Russert is at once trying to justify his discussion of Libby’s call with the FBI, while at the same time backing up his request to keep the same call in confidence in regards to the subpoena.

Wells now is making the allegation that Russert lied to a Federal judge in his filing.

Judge Walton calls it a day, back to this tomorrow.

Chants

My question is whether or not Russert knew he was at risk here.

Is Russert back on the stand tomorrow?

Posted by: Jane | February 07, 2007 at 02:18 PM

Russert signed a boiler-plate affidavit for what counsel thought was a routine subpoena challenge.

I don't think he saw this coming.

Barney Frank

I may be alone in this but I think the worst thing for the prosecution today was Russert's statement that it was "impossible" for him to have mentioned Wilson's wife.
It is very dangerous to testify in absolutes unless you and fourteen nuns all saw something at the same time.
An absolute declaration like that makes a jury sit up and listen the minute something like the forgotten phone call is brought up. It discredits a witness in a way that would never occur without the pointless absolute statement.
That's risky and pointless hyperbole that a properly prepared witness would almost never say.

clarice

So the s p did turn over the notes of the FBI interview to the defense. Did they inform J Hogan, however, that the NBC pleading was false?

Christopher Fotos

[T] The focus was on my words at that time, and Libby's viewer complaint was not in any way confidential. As is my policy, I did not report on them.

Russert wants to flip a switch that only he controls: "Confidential" discussions on the one hand and "viewer complaints" on the other, even when the complaining viewer is the OVP chief of staff.

Future sources may want to make sure they get switched into the proper queue when calling in. A simple software fix will do. Press "1" for Viewer Complaints. Press "2" for confidential discussions...

topsecretk9

--entangled like a peanut-butter coated cat in a yarn factory right now.--

is this a common phrase? I've never heard it, but it's funny.

Appalled Moderate

javani:

From the standpoint of the jury, I honestly did not see much impeachment of Russert's story. (It's not the jury's job to care much whether Russert told tales out of school.) And, frankly, the memory lapse testimony did not do much for me.

jm offers the idea that Wells is after other sources who could have told Russert about Plame. That's a pathway to much more serious impeachment of Russert's story, and it looks like Wells has done a good job of it.

To be continued.

centralcal

Boy I loved this line form Maine web guy:

"Russert is entangled like a peanut-butter coated cat in a yarn factory right now."

I don't think we'll be seeing this on the NBC/MSNBC reports tonight, huh?

windansea

notes taken during this interview have not been located, despite a diligent search

?

Ranger

Main Guy's take on how Russert looks after this:

So now Russert is left looking like he is either full of crap in his high-minded filing to the court declaring the apocalyptic implications of his testimony, or a total fink who jumped on the opportunity to stick a shiv in an administration official as soon as the cops called.

Chants

There is going to be some housecleaning in NBC's general counsel's office.

topsecretk9

--That's risky and pointless hyperbole that a properly prepared witness would almost never say.--

Barney

I do believe Russert is a lawyer -- went to law school -- like Libby!

clarice

Please note in yesterday's filing that the govt has the REPORT of the telephone interview with Russert, but cannot find the actual notes of it:
"As indicated in the Government’s Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant’s Request for Disclosure of Information Related to Accommodations Provided to Media Witness Tim Russert, notes taken during this interview have not been located, despite a diligent search.


3

Case 1 :05-cr-00394-RBW Document 269 Filed 02/07/2007 Page 4 of 7


filings and orders in connection with Mr. Russert’s motion to quash,2 but not the government’s ex parte submissions, which remain under seal."

clarice

After Bond's testimony how reliable will the jury think that Report is?

Ranger

notes taken during this interview have not been located, despite a diligent search

?


Posted by: windansea | February 07, 2007 at 02:35 PM

Yeah, that's convenient for prosecution. Wonder how that happened. Either the SP's office was very sloppy, or...

MayBee

Tag line for Russert: I dont repeat gossip, so listen carefully.

Hilarious, Carol!

Barney Frank

TSK9
I do believe Russert is a lawyer -- went to law school -- like Libby!

In my experience, some of the worst witnesses on earth are lawyers.

Like doctors as patients.

Dan S

Add mishandling evidence to the complaints against Fitz here.

azaghal

BF, I'm quite sure you're not alone. I'll bet Wells wanted to do a cartwheel when Russert said "impossible."

BTW, I've always wondered what it would be like to be provided with a brand new a**hole. Does anyone know someone who could tell me?

Dan S

"In my experience, some of the worst witnesses on earth are lawyers.

Like doctors as patients.

Posted by: Barney Frank "

But newsies do a really good job of becoming the news, don't they?

windansea

uh yeah..we uh lost the script...I mean the notes

clarice

Oh, the implication is enough..

You can be sure Wells will get that in--along with Bond's admissions that (a) the reports don't meet the notes and (b) the notes aren't worth toilet paper.

windansea

does losing the notes open up putting Eckenrode on stand?

Sue

Wells did a very effective job of getting Russert to state over and over, almost arguing at times, that the phone call was understood to be confidential. And then, “Ring ring, Hi Mr. Russert we went to church together one time, listen I’m investigating this Libby guy, he says you told him about Plame..” and all the beans flow freely.

Has the Maine guy been here before? I sure like his sense of humor. And his flowery words. 'beans flow freely'

lurker

I caught a blurb on CNN news at work this afternoon. CNN said that a "Star Witness" on the stand testifying in the Libby case. I suppose this is Russert? And before Wells crossed him?

clarice

I should think so. And what a wondrous thing that should be. Fleissner may be enought though if Fitz is stupid enough to put him on the stand tomorrow to explain hos they treated all reporters the same per DoJ guidelines.

Dan S

None of the articles listed on Google cover much beyond the opening of cross. Apuzzo and Yost are premie.

azaghal

It sure would be nice to know whether Fitz informed Hogan that Russert's affidavit was perjurious. How could Russert get up there today with this hanging over him? He must have thought he'd gotten away with it, and maybe Fitz thought that "focus" argument was good enough to let him keep the judge in the dark?

Dan S

In OT news, looks like Edwards campaign is having second thoughts about the two reality-based bloggers. Salon said something about them being gone, but it's not entirely clear yet.

clarice

Reporters are not live blogging. Remember that. They listen and take notes and file as soon as they have anything to write. It'll be after midnight that the first stories appear in print on the cross.

Jim E.

This is pretty cool how Russert's being called on his supposed journalistic principles. Seriously, I hate Russert. My loyalties are somewhat divided today.

However.... Russert probably talked to the FBI agent initially since nothing of import happened on the call. Libby didn't leak ANYTHING to Russert, and for all he knew, Russert was *helping* Libby by saying that Libby didn't leak Plame to him.

Later, though, when the case becomes a bigger deal, and Russert realizes that his account of the phone is important, he clams up. In this sense, Russert clams up specifically to *protect* an administration official, not to hurt the official. In that sense, his motivation was to help the Bush White House.

In any case, though, Russert does indeed, look like an idiot. Of course, it's not fair to tar Fitz with this insofar as Fitz himself used a similar line of attack against Russert when trying to get him to testify. (Fitz pointed out that he blew Richard Clarke as a source without getting Clarke's permission.)

In any case, this is a win-win for me. Russert does, in fact, contradict Libby. Plus, Russert makes himself look like a disingenuous idiot.

Dan S

Is the sort of accusation that Wells flung about lying under oath something done lightly?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame