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February 14, 2007



Yet Special Counsel Fitzgerald never attempted to compel their testimony. Why not?

Look at the DoJ guidelines for going after reporters. Consider that Fleischer had immunity - which means that their testimony couldn't be used to pursue a crime he might have committed (other than perjury). I believe you'll find a paragraph in the 8-27-04 affidavit where Fitzgerald adverts to his respect for the DoJ guidelines, and his aversion from going after reporters who may have received a leak but didn't for one reason or another, and you'll see a redacted bit, which I strongly suspect has references to Gregory and/or Dickerson.

Ralph L.

From my small experience in jury rooms, some jurors stumble over what information ISN't provided. Rumsfeld's known unknowns.


Well consider this-

# Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus testified that Fleischer told him about Valerie Plame. Fleischer denies this.

# Bob Woodward testified that he had discussions with Pincus about Valerie Plame. Pincus denies this. {Source Media Blog @ National Review via Instapundit}

OK Now have you seen Pincus's desk?

Link to photo

I rest my case.

{Look in there long enough and you'd find the missing thirteen minutes of the Nixon tapes.}

Eric Stahlfeld

TM wrote, "So the guiding rule of the investigation became "Don't ask, don't tell" - preserving Fleischer's credibility as a witness against Libby became more important than determining whether Fleischer was in fact credible." Isn't that sanctionable?
As for whether Libby could conduct his own investigation, didn't Fitzgerald at minimum have the power to issue a subpoena (even if limited by DOJ guidelines), unlike Libby? Do we really want a criminal defendant to conduct his discovery in front of the jury?

Ralph L.

Roanoke, that leaves 5 and a half minutes unaccounted for. Must be with the WMD.


We have a scoop, a reader has dug up a transcript of one of the videos that the defense will introduce against Mr. I didn't know witnesses couldn't have their lawyers in the gj Russert:

This may be what you are looking for, if you are still interested. Comments about grand jury and protecting sources.


August 6, 1998; Thursday 9:00 pm Eastern Time


Tim Russert Discusses his Career on "Meet the Press"

GUESTS: LEXIS-NEXIS Related Topics Full Article Related Topics Overview

This document contains no targeted Topics.

BYLINE: Larry King

SECTION: News; Domestic

LENGTH: 8610 words

HIGHLIGHT: Tim Russert, of NBC's "Meet the Press," talks about his career and top stories in the news, including Monica Lewinsky's long awaited appearance before the grand jury in the investigation of President Clinton.

LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight Monica Lewinsky finally goes before the grand jury and who better to talk about it than NBC's Tim Russert, host of the longest running show on television, "Meet the Press."

He'll be with us for the full hour next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Not doing bad when you get Koppel and Russert back to back. We're honored by your presence and that your wearing your LARRY KING LIVE tie.

KING: For save the children.

RUSSERT: Save the children.

KING: I am honored you'd appear with us on this hectic breaking day to come across network channels.

RUSSERT: My real pleasure Larry.

KING: By the way before -- we have so much news happening. Tell me about the program, how is it doing?

RUSSERT: "Meet the Press"?

KING: Yes.

RUSSERT: There is nothing like it for me. Sunday morning is my favorite television venue other than 9:00 at night of course. Great competition, five great programs on Sunday morning.

KING: They're all good.

RUSSERT: Excellent. And people can watch and get a good sense of where the country going, where the leaders want to take us. It's very competitive. There's no doubt about that. And we all (INAUDIBLE).

KING: How are you doing in the rating race?

RUSSERT: Doing well so far. Number one which is a nice feeling, but every week is a new battle and a new challenge.

KING: Has it been one for a long time?

RUSSERT: It takes a while about the last year or so solid number one across the board.

KING: When you took it over it wasn't number one.

RUSSERT: No, not in terms of viewership. I always thought in terms of quality. But people change their viewer habits once they get familiar with you and comfortable with you, and thus far it seems to work.

KING: Do you feel the mantle of inheriting or having inherited an icon show?

RUSSERT: When I took over "Meet the Press" six years ago, now the first person I called was Lawrence Spivec (ph) the founder of "Meet the Press," who, God bless him, has now he's died, but alive back them -- died back at age 91. And I said how do you prepare for "Meet the Press"? How do you approach it?

He said each and every week you learn as much as you can about your guests and his positions and take the other side. If you do that every week you're going to be fair and objective and even handed. And now I realize that after 51 years, there have only been eight moderators. And it really is a national trust. I am a temporary custodian. Every Sunday I go out with that mission.

KING: We first met when you were the top aide to Mario Cuomo, then governor of New York. And although I knew you liked the media, no one had any idea -- did Mario -- did anyone know that you really wanted to be a news person?

RUSSERT: I didn't know. That was 20 years ago.

KING: How did that happen?

RUSSERT: I joined NBC as an executive.

KING: You left Cuomo for that job?

RUSSERT: In New York. My first job was an executive, basically in charge of the "Today" program, then with Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley. I worked very much behind the scenes for four or five years, then I came to Washington as the bureau chief and I was on conference calls every day. What are we going to cover at the penthouse, state department? Then Michael Gartner, then the president of NBC News, said I like what I am hearing on this telephone call, why don't we put it on the air. I said Michael look at me, I don't have a jaw, I have cheeks. I don't look like I belong on TV -- never had any coaching or training along those lines. I am a lawyer -- is my background. He said no, no, just be yourself.

KING: What was your first appears?

RUSSERT: Nineteen ninety-one. KING: Only seven years ago.

RUSSERT: That's right.

KING: Was it as host of "Meet the Press."

RUSSERT: It was a panelist on "Meet the Press," and who else was the guest, Bob Dole.

KING: Were you scared?

RUSSERT: I was nervous, sure, whole new venue. But once you -- it's like football once you have the first hit, the first engagement I felt great.

KING: What has Sunday morning in America become?

RUSSERT: A ritual. Most people that watch "Meet the Press" I find go to mass or church on Sunday or synagogue on Saturday. Then they like to get their coffee and their Sunday paper and sit back on their couch in their recliner and watch the Sunday shows.

KING: And like Rick Kaplan says about this program, which we're on, and like yours, it's an appointment television right?

RUSSERT: Absolutely right.

KING: We make an appointment to view it.

RUSSERT: And the people who watch it are so loyal. We have six million viewers every Sunday morning. They go out of their to way set their VCR's adjust their schedules because they really want to check in and see what you're saying on the top issues.

KING: The responsibility of it, Tim we'll get the that -- you have come in to some criticism lately about some breaking stories.


KING: How do you view -- you carry a couple hats you're the bureau chief, you're the host of "Meet the Press" you're also a reporter.

RUSSERT: And an analyst for the nightly news with Tom Brokaw and the today show. So you have to juggle a lot of balls.

KING: So you'll break a story here that you wouldn't break there.

RUSSERT: Invariably. In the course of the day on MSNBC, we'll break stories or on the "Today" show, in terms -- which is part analysis and part reporting. So it's tricky. I remember the day this story all broke with Monica Lewinsky, one of the president's closest advisers and one of his fiercest defenders called me up and said you know if this is true he's going to have to get out of town. I said, can I report this? He said, yes, you can. I didn't report it by name. But I said one of the president's closest advisers. Later they said, you predicted the president would be out of the town. I said I didn't predict anything. I reported what one of his friends told me. That was the mind set at the White House seven months ago Larry.

KING: Are you used to now that you get occasionally knocked?

RUSSERT: Sure, it comes with the territory.

KING: Because I'm going to read something from "New York" magazine.


KING: I'm really interested in your answer in this...


KING: ... it bothered me because you were my friend, so it bothered me emotionally.

It's a very critical article on the media and then it says "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert enjoyed a golden reputation.

RUSSERT: Stop there.

KING: Up through January 21. Since then he's given Matt Drudge a platform and has been ground into the dirt by Steve Brill. On July 15th, Russert went on the "Today" show -- told four million viewers that people close to Ken Starr were saying Secret Service agents had facilitated for Clinton. If you had a glancing familiarity with the now discredited troopergate story, you know facilitated meant pimped. Russert clearly implied that his sources were inside the investigation, they weren't. And by mid-day on MSNBC with a fraction of the "Today" audience, he'd watered it down." That's it? That's your response?

RUSSERT: No several things, one is Matt Drudge. Did I invite him on "Meet the Press" roundtable, absolutely. He was a central character in this story.

KING: Not a journalist?

RUSSERT: No. "Meet the Press" roundtable we have people from Mary McGrory (ph), Rush Limbaugh, James Carville, Mary Matlin.

KING: But Mary could be considered more a journalist that Limbaugh.

RUSSERT: Sure but there are journalists, non journalists. Larry King has been on the "Meet the Press" roundtable.

KING: Correct.

RUSSERT: And did a tremendous job. The week before you did the Ross Perot debate because I wanted your insights into what was going on. With Matt Drudge he has been on LARRY KING LIVE. KING: No he hasn't been on. He was scheduled to be here. But for some reason, there was a mix up.

RUSSERT: Been on "RELIABLE SOURCES" and an ABC special I know. I am not above the news. If Matt Drudge is the man who broke the story, I believe our viewers have the opportunity and the right to see who he is, how he approaches things. The fact is many viewers who saw him and observed him said "that's Matt Drudge?" And they had a much different perception of him.

KING: Were you offended by the Brill story?

RUSSERT: No. I think that the Brill magazine "Content" has -- can serve a very important purpose and has tremendous potential. I do think that Steven Brill should have acknowledged his contributions to the Clinton campaign and to the president and any relationships he may have had. He hired his former communications director and so forth. And he came on -- I invited him on "Meet the Press" the roundtable after the article. And he said "well you'd predicted the president would be gone." I said "no, Steve I didn't. I said I reported a close friend of the president's. Reporting is different than predicting. But I do believe that "Content" can play a valuable role, if in fact, they play the same standards to themselves as they're forcing on the media.

KING: And so we can end this. Did you water down the story? Did that story change?

RUSSERT: No. That fascinated what happened there.

KING: That bothered me the most because I've known you a long time, and I know you don't water down. You water up.

RUSSERT: I try. I try. On the "Today" show, when I said that the Secret Service agent who was in charge of the president's detail was going to be called before the grand jury and he would be removed from the detail. That's absolutely what happened.

The second part was that Ken Starr had been hearing rumors and was going to check into fact or try to determine whether or not the Secret Service, in any way, had helped facilitate the relationship between the president and Monica Lewinsky. That's what I said because that's what I was told. I said "sources close to Ken Starr." The White House immediately jumped into the spin control and said Ken Starr is leaking again.

KING: You said it wasn't Starr.

RUSSERT: They had "Salon" magazine call me. Sid Blumenthal got the transcript, White House adviser, from the "Today" show, gave it to "Salon" magazine. They called me. I said I'll make this easy. This is not a leak story. Sources close to Ken Starr -- they're congressional sources close to Ken Starr. It was not Ken Starr's office.

But the story is absolutely strong and firm. I went on the "Today" show the next day and talked about it in great detail. "The Washington Post" wrote a story -- I love "The Washington Post" it's a great newspaper, but every paper has a few clunkers. And there's a gullible reporter there who spends a lot of his time covering Hollywood who I never spoke to about the piece, and he got totally caught up in the White House spin and wrote a story saying how this whole scoop had slipped away. The fact is the "Wall Street Journal" four days later wrote a story saying Ken Starr is looking into the behavior of the Secret Service.

KING: So you stand by that story now.

RUSSERT: Absolutely. And the fact is Larry, the Secret Service -- no one has been more sympathetic and understanding than I have. I had Jerry Parr (ph) and Tim McCarthy on just like you had.

KING: They were great.

RUSSERT: I believe in them. They're dedicated professionals they put their lives on the line, but when I am told Starr is looking into something I think it showed the depths of his investigation at that time, rather than anything else.

KING: Tim Russert, host NBC's "Meet the Press." We'll talk about sources right after this.


KING: We all know that Monica Lewinsky testified today to the grand jury. Wolf Blitzer and as Ted Koppel said last night, you go by the source of who reports it. If it's Wolf Blitzer you believe it. Wolf Blitzer quotes sources familiar with the case as saying Monica Lewinsky gave a detailed account of at least a dozen sexual encounters with president over an 18 month period. The source say Lewinsky testified Clinton never directly asked her to lie. Sources familiar with what Lewinsky -- this is continuing Wolf's report -- told the grand jury she was (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in graphic detail. The beginning of November she had a certain kind of sex with the president including in his private study off the oval office, that he told her the kind of sex they had in his mind didn't amount to sexual relations and they discussed hypothetical ways to conceal the relationship." That aside, who is source? Who is this?

RUSSERT: I wish I knew.

KING: That's a good source.

RUSSERT: But Wolf Blitzer is a very good reporter. He would not go on CNN seen around the world unless he had confidence in what he was being told and by whom.

KING: And you give him that confidence, so you would say this story is true?

RUSSERT: Absolutely.

KING: Who would leak this? A grand jury member can't, right? That's a crime.

RUSSERT: That's a crime. Lawyers involved with either Lewinsky or the prosecutor.

KING: But they weren't in there. The prosecutor was but the lawyers..

RUSSERT: But they're debriefed -- court personnel. You just don't know.

KING: It could have been a stenographer.

RUSSERT: We could guess all night, Larry.

KING: Now the key question supposing it's one person -- supposing it's a grand jury member who breaks the law. You've got a friend, a grand jury member, your old buddy, your dentist because he says Tim I want to help you out, I've got a great story for you, here's what she said, do you go with that?

RUSSERT: My dentist, no. He hurts me, but if you knew a grand jury member.

KING: Let's say you do and you trust him.

RUSSERT: Have you known him 20 years, 30 years.

KING: Let's say you have enough of a relationship that you believe him.

RUSSERT: As long as I have had dealings in the past which were more than just casual and they said Tim I can go jail for this, you have to protect me on this, but this is what happened in the grand jury room. On somebody of that magnitude I would go to the president of NBC news. This is what I have been told. This is your call. I believe this story is sound and good and we should report it. I do not have a second source, but it is first hand information from a grand jury.

KING: And do you stand by your guy if he is subsequently charged with something and they subpoena you?

RUSSERT: I would have to go to prison to protect his name.

KING: Why are there so many sources in this, do you gather?

RUSSERT: Because it is a story where people will not be on the record. When Wolf Blitzer went on CNN tonight or Claire Shipman goes on NBC, they don't say Rahm Emanuel of the White House told me or Paul Begala told me or Mike McCurry told me or Plato Cacheris told me. They have to say sources close to the investigation, sources at the White House. It could be none of them or all of them. But it is a way of getting information to the public. We have to be filters. We have to be saying to the public with our own personalities and presence, you can trust us. We are telling you something that was told to us. We can't identify the person, that person may get in trouble. We have to know the agenda of the person who is our source because this is a bad town. People try to really hurt each other and we're not going to be just funnels or vehicles to put out bad information or to help one person's agenda against another's.

KING: We keep hearing about there has to be two sources and we know with Woodward and Bernstein -- Woodward is going to be on your show Sunday, he'll be on this show next week. Deep throat was sometimes the only source on some of their leads. Do you have a two- source rule?

RUSSERT: Generally yes, but for example if the president of the United States or the vice president or the speaker of the House -- someone called you in his office and said I want to tell you something. Now do you have to have a second source for that? You can say a high government official and feel very confident in what you're saying. It depends on the magnitude of the story and how well you know your source but generally you're much more comfortable with two source. For example, tonight, Claire Shipman had a story in which Janet Reno had begun a 30-day investigation into whether or not to have a new independent counsel on campaign finance. We didn't feel comfortable with just one source. Pete Williams who covers the justice department called and got a second confirmation. We had two sources, it went on "NBC Nightly News."

KING: Our guest is Tim Russert. We'll be including your phone calls, he's with us the full hour. He's the host of "Meet The Press." Up in the ratings and not only the longest running show in the history of television, but still the most popular show on a Sunday filled with very good programming. We'll be right back.


JUDY SMITH, LEWINSKY FAMILY SPOKESWOMAN: Monica Lewinsky testified before the grand jury today. She answered each question truthfully, completely, and honestly that was posed to her by the office of independent counsel and also questions that were posed to her by members of the grand jury. Monica and her family are relieved that this ordeal finally appears to be coming to an end. Thank you very much.



KING: We're back with Tim Russert. Let's say that everything we have learned today and certainly Wolf has learned a lot and last night he reported that the White House was very nervous privately over the semen and the whole thing. Let's say for -- hypothetically Lewinsky is right; the semen is there, the whole thing, what happens? What happens to this president? What happens to the grand jury if she's right?

RUSSERT: I don't know. I truly don't know. You can play out all the various scenarios. The president of the United States will testify a week from Monday. That becomes very interesting testimony. Does he stay with the story that he told in the Paula Jones deposition?

KING: If it's the truth, what's the difference?

RUSSERT: Well, Wolf Blitzer's story is interesting tonight because if in fact the president said those things to Monica Lewinsky that this kind of sex is different and doesn't qualify for adultery, the description of sex that was given to the president in the deposition was all encompassing. It included everything. And this is not a semantic game. I mean the president can't say, well, I was thinking this when -- he has to either retract that or stay with that statement.

But with all that being said, Larry, this is a really complicated story because when Ken Starr first learned of this whole situation from Linda Tripp, he had the sense that, oh my God, I have heard this before. The president of the United States and his friends using jobs and positions, to silence people, to move people around. Is this what happened with Webb Hubbell? That's why he went after it. If it turns out to be perjury about sex and there is no obstruction of justice, then people will say, what's the punishment for that crime? Do we want to remove him from office? I don't see any great appetite in Congress to remove the president simply for perjury. Now, a lot of people in the country will say, that's outrageous. If someone lied under oath.

KING: And lies a lot.

RUSSERT: And under oath no one is above the law. That's nonsense. Let's move forward. And in the end, the country will be the jury. You mentioned the White House staff. Today if you called the White House, you would get your call picked up like that. They want to talk to anybody. What do you hear? What do you hear? And they're nervous because what they have found is that about 20 percent of the electorate, independents, women suburbanites are getting soft. They approve of the president's performance as president but they're concerned about him as an individual.

KING: If truth is the best defense, if you announced tomorrow that I robbed a bank and I didn't rob the bank, I am on tomorrow night telling you where I was at the time you said I robbed the bank. Telling you if I had any involvement with that bank -- but I certainly didn't rob it. I want to clear it up. So why should he worry about what she testified today? Why should he worry about anything? Truth is on his side.

RUSSERT: That's been the unanswered question. It's one that I raised with David Gergen, former White House adviser last Sunday and he said there's no good answer as to why the president has chosen to wait until August rather than in January when this first occurred to come forward and say, this is everything I know. I want all my advisers, I want everyone to tell everything.

KING: Are you frustrated by this?

RUSSERT: Sure. I thought this was a watershed week in that you had former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta, former communications director Dee Dee Myers, former senior adviser George Stephanopoulos, former campaign consultant Dick Morris, David Gergen all saying, Mr. President, if you want to do a mea culpa now's the time to do it. The country will be forgiving. You raised the whole idea of robbing a bank -- Mike Barnicle the columnist for "The Boston Globe."

KING: We're going to talk about that in a minute.

RUSSERT: We're going to talk about that, but a good friend of mine. He went up to New Hampshire a few months ago to a Democratic event and he was talking to people about this and saying if you robed the bank, why not come forward? He said the problem is -- this is a Democrat saying it -- my concern is the president would say I didn't rob a bank. OK, you didn't? And the guy would walk away and say it was an S&L.


That's the problem.

KING: That's Barnicle. We'll be right back with Russert. Your calls in a little while. Don't go away.


KING: Mike Barnicle of the -- as an aside here before we go to your phone calls -- of the "Boston Globe," was asked to resign today because of a column he wrote, in which he did various quotes on a bunch of things. And apparently some of those quotes had appeared in exact form or similar form in a best-selling book by George Carlin, a book that previously on television Barnicle had recommended, even though he hadn't read it. He's going to have a meeting tomorrow with the publisher. I know how close you are with Mike. And Mike's been on this show a few times. He's a regular on Imus. You're a regular on Imus.

Is this a bad wrap for him, or as -- in a journalistic thing, you do anything wrong you're gone?

RUSSERT: Well, full disclosure, Mike Barnicle is one of my best friends and I'm his son's godfather, Tim Barnicle. I'm very proud of that.

KING: Can't get closer than that.

RUSSERT: But, I've looked at this as objectively as I can. And here's a guy for 25 years who has written a column, which really is the pride of Boston, and a column he wrote about 38 things he wants to see, some of them appeared in George Carlin's book. Mike says he got them from people all around Boston; they fed him information, they could have gotten from Carlin's book.

But Larry, these were jokes. This was not about public policy. This was not about nerve gas, or a truck...

KING: ... in the supermarket. RUSSERT: ... being blown up at NBC. This is jokes. I mean if we're going to say to Jay Leno and Jackie Mason, next time I hear a joke, I want a footnote. Give it up, stop. Come on, where are we going with this? I mean, there are only three original jokes in all the world and we all...

KING: Can't you also recommend a book based on -- you know George Carlin's funny.

RUSSERT: Well, when I heard about the fact that he had, quote, "recommended the book," I wanted to find out what actually happened. It was a 2 1/2 minute segment on local news show on his front porch, called "Barnicle's Summer Reading List," and he held up 17 books in a 2 1/2 minute period. He also had -- he had books he hadn't read on that list. He held up one -- the Carlin book and said this is a good read, a yuck on every page, and threw it aside and went on to the next one. And Mike's the first to say...

KING: So what's the big deal? What caused this?

RUSSERT: How many times have you hawked a book on this show that you haven't read.

KING: Oh, but I would always say, I haven't read it. No, I would always say that. I would never say I've read this book. That would be a lie to say I've read this. But on a summer show, you could say George Carlin's book had a yuck on every page; you could glance through a few pages and say that. You know he's funny.

RUSSERT: The key is, if you make a mistake, stand up, accept responsibility. Mike Barnicle did that.

KING: He did?

RUSSERT: I made a mistake. They suspended, all right, we're going to suspend you for a month. He said, "I understand; I disagree, but I'll take my licking."

KING: Then what happened?

RUSSERT: Well, because they saw -- well, there was a TV show in which you said you had read this book. But he said, "I never said I read it." It gets to the point where the media is going to be eating its own for taking a joke, reprinting a joke, and saying I didn't get this joke from such and such a source. I mean, has anyone ever told a joke where you actually told who the source was? I'm the funny guy. Here's a line.

KING: Can his -- you know the business, although it is print not broadcast -- can his -- the man who is in charge of the paper overrule the editor?

RUSSERT: That's a tough one. I mean the editor has basically boxed the situation by saying I want your resignation. Mike Barnicle has said, no. If the publisher says, Hey, I am going to give Barnicle a chance here -- there were thousands of phone calls into the "Boston Globe," then his editor has to make a decision: Does he step aside? or does he say, All right, look, maybe I acted a little bit too aggressively and too quickly. The fact is, Mike Barnicle deserves a second chance. After 25 years, and to say that because you didn't give full credit for a joke; give it up.

KING: If you owned the paper, would you hire him?

RUSSERT: Barnicle, tonight.

KING: In a second.

RUSSERT: I'd put his column on the front page.

KING: We'll be back with your phone calls for Tim Russert, right after this.


KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE. Our guest for the full hour is Tim Russert, the host of the longest running program in television history, NBC's "Meet The Press".

By the way, tomorrow night we have an exclusive with Julie Hiatt Steele, that's the former friend of Kathleen Willey. It is her first television appearance since all of that broke. Rosalynn Carter is Saturday night, and next Monday, Queen Nord (ph) of Jordan. Tim Russert is with us; we're going to go to your calls.

A couple other things in this area; the father, Lewinsky's father, Dr. Lewinsky, got immunity -- surprise you?

RUSSERT: No. Once you immunize the mother, you immunize the father. What he wanted to do, Ken Starr, was say to the whole family, I'm going to take you all out of legal jeopardy if you tell me the truth, because what I'm trying to do is find the truth. Larry, people come to me all the time from around the country and say, "Why is this situation so important?"

KING: Yes, and what do you say?

RUSSERT: What I say is as follows, if a president of network or a college or a hospital was accused by an intern of inappropriate behavior, people would be outraged and say, "we don't allow them."

KING: The board of directors would fire them? Unless he had a good answer.

RUSSERT: Well, they'd look into it and they'd give an opportunity to respond. And I think that's been lost in all of this. This is a CEO, the president of the United States, and an intern. And the CEO -- it really does have en loco parentis. They have in charge -- they are the parent in absence of the real parents when you go to a place of employment. That's the case at NBC or CNN.

And I think we have an opportunity now and obligation to examine this. However, we also have to be conscious that presidents are human beings, they have the right to personal and private lives, and where does that behavior begin to interfere or affect their public behavior.

Also, the media: Are we so driven by this, and with all the competition between CNN and MSNBC and CNBC that we're just trying to pump up the story and stay with it day in and day out. And enter four: the prosecutor, Ken Starr, has he made mistakes and been overzealous? The answer is yes.

But stepping back upon it, if the president of the United States is accused of potential sexual harassment or obstruction of justice or perjury, whether it's sex or not, we have an obligation to look into it and to examine it. We are a nation of laws. I hope, however, that we do learn from our excesses and try to improve our coverage next time, all of us. In the same vein, I would also hope that the White House realize there are extraordinary, extraordinary prices to pay for some of the tact that's taken.

Now let me just take 10 seconds on this. The next president of the United States and the one after the next president of the United States are going to have to deal with several things: Clinton versus Jones. A private individual can now sue a president of the United States. The Secret Service was forced to testify. A White House counsel no longer has lawyer-client privilege with the president of the United States. Every future president is going to have to live with these legal precedents, which severely weaken, I believe, the presidency. That is a serious issue.

KING: Your a lawyer, as well. Do you think they're legally mistaken to challenge that Bruce Lindsey shouldn't a appear?

RUSSERT: I think it's important that a president have good advice from people and honest advice from people, particularly about Bosnia, particularly about Iraq, and India and Pakistan. But, if the discussion is about trying to cover up an alleged misbehavior, I don't think so.

KING: Atlanta, Georgia, for Tim Russert, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry, hello, Tim. How are you this evening?

KING: Fine.


CALLER: My question for Tim is, how do you justify the fact that if your source is revealing secret testimony from the grand jury, you should be turning him into the law for breaking the law rather than protecting him? How do you justify this.

KING: Is journalism above the law?

RUSSERT: It's a great question.

KING: It sure is. RUSSERT: It was largely settled with the Pentagon papers case.

KING: Stolen papers.

RUSSERT: Stolen papers, which the "New York Times" and "Washington Post" both published, and the courts ruled they had a right to under the First Amendment. The president of the United States can go before the grand jury and reveal his testimony if he so desires.

KING: Anybody can. Anybody can reveal their own testimony.

RUSSERT: We are constantly given information that is privileged or secret, and we have to make a judgment as to whether to publish or not. We have many times refused to publish information that we believe would damage national security. During the great Gulf War, we had information about the positioning of American troops. If published that or broadcast that, we'd be tipping off Saddam; we'd never do it.

In a situation like this, however, where it really is a legal case and we have information that we think is relevant, we will broadcast it. It's a difficult call.

KING: Even though it's -- if you found the minutes today, that's illegal for you to have them?

RUSSERT: It's not illegal for us to broadcast them. It's illegal for someone else to give them to us.

KING: Supposing in the feed on the 17th, which is going by satellite or digital -- how's it going?

RUSSERT: Well, on August 17th, the president will testify in the Oval Office. It'll be fed by transmission to the grand jury.

KING: Supposing something goes crazy and the transmission comes through your office, and you could hit a button and put it on the air, would you?

RUSSERT: Not without consulting with the president of NBC News.

KING: Do you think NBC would?

RUSSERT: That's a tough call. That is a very, very tough call and I don't know the answer to that. My sense is the pressure, the competitive pressure would be enormous.

KING: To put it on?

RUSSERT: And if while we were discussing it CNN put it on...

KING: It's on.

KING: Las Vegas, hello.

CALLER: Good evening.


CALLER: Mr. Russert...


CALLER: ... how difficult is it for you to keep your role as reporter separate from your role as commentator. Sometimes I have a problem telling which hat you're wearing.

RUSSERT: That's a great question.

KING: He wears a few.

RUSSERT: Yes, it's difficult. What I do on "Meet the Press" as a moderator, is really try to be objective and facilitate the entire conversation, even in the round table, I kind of step back and not even offer my own opinions or predictions or whatever. On "Today Show," I am very much an analyst, where I come in and say, All right, Tim, we just heard reports from the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and Congress, where is this going? Why are people saying what they're saying?

And so to a nightly news, for example, this very evening. What I try to do in my analysis is not just punditry, Oh, stick a fork in, he's dead or he's well done. I don't like that. What I try to say is that senior advisers told me this, or people close to the investigation told me this. If it's analysis, I would try to clearly indicate -- Well, Tom, if you're asking my opinion -- Tom Brokaw, this is what I think. But as much as I can, I prefer to report, rather than simply hypothesize.

KING: More with Tim Russert and more of your phone calls after these words. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Tim Russert. Before we take the next call, do you think Lindsey will have a lot to offer if he's required to testify?

RUSSERT: Bruce Lindsey, the White House counsel, assistant counsel, and Lanny Breuer, and probably Charles Ruff, the president's counsel -- chief counsel.

KING: Lindsey is his closest one in there.

RUSSERT: Close friend, adviser. They were called to testify. They're now fighting it again, saying that they have attorney-client privilege. I think ultimately, they will have to testify under oath. They will -- they had strategy meetings with the president early on. How much they know, we don't know, but clearly Ken Starr, I believe, will have to hold up writing his final report until he gets their testimony on the record. But I don't believe that Bruce Lindsey is going to be someone who is going to change the case all that much. He has said already publicly he does not know anything about this.

KING: Janet Reno going to go to jail?

RUSSERT: Well, you know what...

KING: Hey, It's a crazy world, folks.

RUSSERT: This is a very serious issue. Janet Reno now has to decide whether to appoint another independent counsel to look into campaign finance irregularities.

KING: Number 111.

RUSSERT: I think the potential of that could be far greater than this Monica Lewinsky situation, because what it would mean is that the president and all his advisers, all his fund-raising network would once again be subject to very serious and legal scrutiny, bring back the whole notion about whether the Chinese government tried to influence our elections. And there would be fallout on Vice President Al Gore. And it would take an independent counsel, at least through '99, well into the presidential year 2000 and could very well taint the Democrats' ability to raise money for both congressional and presidential elections.

KING: And even though the Freeh and the other gentleman recommended that she appoint it, they also said to the Burton committee, don't release these, because you're going to give away evidence, right?

RUSSERT: Charles LaBella, who is the justice department chief investigator -- Louis Freeh, the FBI director, wrote memos to Janet Reno and said "we think you should have an independent counsel. It's that serious of an issue." The Republicans in Congress said, "we want to see the memos LaBella and Freeh wrote." And Reno said, "if I give those to you, you'll tip off people who are trying to investigate, and LaBella and Freeh backed Reno up on that issue. But they're still urging her to appoint an independent counsel. She has a few weeks to decide, and if she doesn't, the Republicans in the Congress will, I believe, hold her in contempt of Congress, and that becomes a very interesting constitutional issue.

KING: Senator Hatch, though, on your show said we should give her the time, though, right?

RUSSERT: Give her 21 days and if she doesn't however, he said I believe she'll have to resign.

KING: Canfield, Ohio with Tim Russert.



CALLER: I want to say I watch you religiously every Sunday and I'm very impressed by the way you maintain a neutral position as a moderator on the show. My question is have you ever been so upset with the guest that you couldn't say anything on air that during the commercial break you stated your own opinions?

RUSSERT: No, I try to refrain from that. One of my favorite guests of all time is Ross Perot. And he's been a regular on this program too.

KING: I introduced him to you.

RUSSERT: Yes, you did. And after the show, he came up next to me and put me in a fake head lock and said I hope you think you proved your manhood, and we had a nice exchange.

KING: He's a riot.


KING: He's a good American.

RUSSERT: A patriot -- a real patriot.

KING: He is.

RUSSERT: And we had a very feisty exchange, but we respect each other. I've been given enormous opportunities with "Meet the Press." People have asked me to write books behind the scenes of "Meet the Press" and what goes on in the green room, and what do I really think of my guests. I'll never write it. Because I think I would really cheapen myself and really neutralize my ability to carry on with that great program.

KING: You're the only Sunday show with an Emmy nomination this year.

RUSSERT: Our interview with Louis Farrakhan back in April has been nominated for an Emmy, which we obviously are very proud of. He's an extraordinary guest. I took, Larry, his own writings, his own publications and put them on the screen and you said if you said that if you're a member of Islam, you should be free from all federal prisons, you should not pay any taxes. He stood there every step and said that's correct. I said that and I believe it. He didn't flinch. He didn't back off one argument. I said you believe in someone called Yakkum (ph), who you said was a bad scientist who invented the white race six million years ago. "Yes I do." And as we walked off the set, he said to me you know "I could have asked you about Christ ascending into heaven and Noah's Ark." But he said "you have your beliefs, I have mine." But as much as he says things that are believable, he says a lot of very controversial things that many believe are anti-Catholic -- anti-semitic.

KING: Clinton a good guest?

RUSSERT: The president of the United States is a wonderful guest on "Meet the Press."

KING: On this show he was a great guest.

RUSSERT: For our 50th anniversary and for our 46th anniversary. He is very smart, very facile.

KING: So now, he must be going a little nuts listening to lawyers not coming forward. He is a guy who likes to come forward, right?

RUSSERT: It's been suggested by no less than the former governor of New York the other night, that now that the president has decided that he's going to testify before the grand jury, why do it in the Oval Office and why insist that his lawyer be there.?

Go into the grand jury without a lawyer, like every other American citizen, go ahead, ask me any question you want and I'll give you an honest answer. And that would turn the whole situation around in the eyes of some. That has been the most curious thing here: why has the president waited from January to August? He said more rather than less, sooner rather than later. That's when he believed that Monica Lewinsky was going to tell her story back then. When she didn't come forward with her story right away, the White House pulled back and said, let's wait, but let's wait. We have to hear what Monica had to say. We have to hear what the president has to say, and the nation has to come together and make a decision.

KING: Have you ever seen a story where no one comes out good?

RUSSERT: Not like this. The caller before talked about being an analyst. The day after this occurred I was on the "Today" show. And I was asked what is going to happen, and I said I have no clue. I don't know. But my sense is that it has a potential of imploding Bill Clinton, and or, Ken Starr.

This is about two months before James Carville declared war on Ken Starr. And now if you look back at the last seven months, I believe the presidency has been, in many ways, diminished. I believe Ken Starr has been diminished, and I think the media has been diminished. The public looks at all of us and God, we've had enough of this story, and yet, we want to know the outcome.

KING: Then explain his popularity rating which is higher than it was in January.

RUSSERT: It is almost 65 percent -- two out of every three Americans.

KING: The highest in memory?

RUSSERT: I think people have won the economy; it's doing very, very well. People are building their (INAUDIBLE) their 401(k)s are they're doing wonderful, and the president has successfully said to people, I can compartmentalize.

What happened here does not affect my ability to be your president. What happens in the next two weeks, when people hear all the excruciating details that Wolf talked about tonight, when they hear the audiotapes of Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky, perhaps even hear Monica Lewinsky before Congress, if there are hearings in November. What happens when people hear all of that collective information? Do they change their opinion, or do they say, I know all of that; we have discounted it; he is who he is and we want to keep him there and let him do his job.

KING: Back with more -- more of your calls for Tim Russert. Tomorrow night, Julie Hiatt Steele, the former friend of Kathleen Willey. It's her first appearance on television. We'll be right back.


KING: Before we take another call, I am told there is one guest who did emotionally upset you, David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan, what happened?

RUSSERT: He was running as a governor of Louisiana, he was on with Edwin Edwards, and I said to him, "what made you become a Nazi? What was it about the United States of America that you rejected and embraced something as vile as Nazism?"

And he said, "what I want to run is a economic builder for Louisiana. I'm not going to answer your question." I said OK. You want to spur economic growth in Louisiana. Who are the three largest employers in your state -- didn't know. Silence front page the next day: "Duke Can't Answer the Question." He was furious at me and he was bad mouthing me and saying I set him. I didn't set him up on anything. I was feeling kind of down. I just had started the show. I called my dad in Buffalo -- World War II veteran and I said, dad, what do you think? And he said, it was great. I said, "I think I crossed the line. I was almost like a prosecutor. I was really boring and I think I was losing my objectivity." He said, "if you're losing your objectivity, lose your objectivity with a Nazi.

KING: Susanville, California.

CALLER: Hello Larry.


CALLER: Thank you very much for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: I wanted to ask you gentlemen might think that this innocuous situation that has occurred that we're been exposed to could be diversionary for a much more important world involvement event that the president will be able to address in a way that will make this all go bye-bye?

KING: Are you suspicious of this, you mean?

CALLER: I feel that it's kind of diversionary, just the way (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Diversionary by who? Who is creating the diversion?

CALLER: Ah, I think... KING: Who?

RUSSERT: Politicians -- the political situation.

KING: Do you think this is a right-wing conspiracy?

RUSSERT: No. Monica Lewinsky was put into the White House by Democratic Party donors. But I think if the caller is alluding to one thing which I think is important to touch upon, Saddam Hussein said to the United Nations inspectors no longer cooperating, get out. The last time he did that was in January when this crisis first surfaced.

So clearly Saddam Hussein, rightly or wrongly believes he can make different decisions based upon the president's difficulties back home. I think it's a total misread by Saddam Hussein. He doesn't understand this country.

KING: Won't be the first time.

RUSSERT: President Clinton can go on television tomorrow and say, we're going to go after Saddam Hussein, and 90 percent of the people say go get him.

KING: Cincinnati, Ohio. Hello.

CALLER: Hi Larry.


CALLER: How are you doing?

KING: Fine.

CALLER: Fine, and Tim.

RUSSERT: Nice...

CALLER: I want to ask you a question.


CALLER: The president, they always talk about his approval ratings, 60 percent and so forth. My question is: and I've always wanted to ask this question: if for an example, President Clinton did not have Gore as a running mate, do you -- or -- a vice president, I mean, excuse me, would he then have a...

KING: Sir, I don't know where you're going.

CALLER: Well, in other words, here is what I'm saying: do you think people are giving, Tim, the president a higher rate, because they're afraid if something happens to him, Gore will become our president?

KING: You mean, they like Clinton because they're afraid of Gore? Why would people be afraid of Gore. RUSSERT: I think presidents are pretty much judged on their behavior as president.

KING: Clinton is popular.

RUSSERT: He's very popular as a president. What has happened over the last few weeks, Larry, again, there has been a decline in people's respect for him. Two out of three Americans now believe he's not telling the truth. In our situation in the United States of America, our president is everything. He not only is the commander in chief, he's the healer in chief, the moral leader in chief in many ways. He sets the tone for responsibility.

You want a president to talk about the fact that 25 million kids under 18 are going to be in single parent homes. You want to talk about abstinence from drugs and alcohol and sex in high school. That's part of the job of being president, and this president is being neutralized at this time on some of those things. And that's why, I think people are now pulling back a little bit. They want to be fair. They want to suspend judgment until they hear it from the president.

KING: Back with our remaining moments with Tim Russert of NBC's "Meet the Press" right after this.


KING: Back in our remaining moments with Tim Russert. You'll see him Sunday morning, of course, on "Meet the Press." Little Rock, Arkansas, hello.


KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes, I was wondering about Tim Russert's opinion on the media coverage, if you do think that it's totally necessary that we are informed on all aspects going on?

KING: Are we overdoing it, Tim?

RUSSERT: I think in some cases, yes. We have to be very careful about the tone, about the certainty of some of the reporting.

KING: We've never had -- there is no background. Have you ever discussed semen on a television show in your life?

RUSSERT: I never thought I'd hear that word.

KING: So what is the barometer?

RUSSERT: Mark Shields and I -- we're both Catholic. We say we were conscientious objectors in the sexual revolution. This is all very difficult to deal with.

It's a point now, that's when people say, you know, DNA evidence, you find code words to try to explain what happened. Is this dress important? It could prove a physical relationship with the president. The White House certainly...

KING: We have to cover it, right?

RUSSERT: We have to cover it, but I think we have to do it with some sensibility and some taste. Some people enjoy, or kind of relish, talking about in excruciating detail the different...

KING: That's weird.

RUSSERT: ... types of sexual behavior. That's kind of weird. Let's do this in a professional way and give our viewers the necessary information, but I don't think we should revel in it.

KING: We only have a minute and a half. What is your read on all of this? What happened to Bill Clinton?

RUSSERT: Such potential. He re-elected president of the United States and he had an opportunity, I believe, having worked with the Republican Congress to put a budget in balance -- had this tremendous economic recovery, having a surplus, who would have thought. And the next two programs, Medicare and Social Security would have put him in the history books as a president who presided over the last few years of this century -- brought us into the millennium with a balanced budget and Social Security and Medicare system fixed, Internet in most schools.

I think he could have been a president with a real legacy, not a war that he had won, but someone who positioned the country for the next millennium, and instead, what happened? We'll never know until August 17th. We don't know what happened. But there is a cloud over his presidency, and whether he removes it or not...

KING: All that could change it, is he'd have to clear this up completely? A lot of people would have to be doing falsehoods here.

RUSSERT: We have to hear what he has to say. In the end, Larry -- that's why these next two weeks are so critical. We're finally going to get real information.

KING: You think he'll come on and talk to the public too?

RUSSERT: I do. I think after his grand jury testimony...

KING: He'll make a speech?

RUSSERT: His has an obligation to the country to tell them exactly what, as president, he believes our course will be as a nation and why we have to put this behind us. That's his judgment.

KING: Thanks Tim, as always.

RUSSERT: Pleasure.

KING: Glad to have you as a friend.


Ralph L.-

LOL! Dang it. I knew I was going to misremember that. The minutes that is...


Consider that Fleischer had immunity - which means that their testimony couldn't be used to pursue a crime he might have committed

Then we get back to the question of why Fitzgerald gave Fleischer immunity.

RUSSERT: It's been suggested by no less than the former governor of New York the other night, that now that the president has decided that he's going to testify before the grand jury, why do it in the Oval Office and why insist that his lawyer be there.?

Go into the grand jury without a lawyer, like every other American citizen, go ahead, ask me any question you want and I'll give you an honest answer.

Ha ha ha ha ha.
Ha ha ha.

Ralph L.

Thank you, Clarice, for all that blather from two of my favorite TV personalities.
Did he say something important?
The french kiss doesn't appear on the transcript!

Ralph L.

MayBee, you're so brave to wade thru all that horsesh.


MayBee got it--there's more but that's the capper.

Ralph L.

So Russert is impeached and discredited because he thought Clinton was capable of giving an honest answer?


I'm sorry to have posted the entire thing, but w/o an url, I felt it necessary to establish its authenticity.


TM--I have to go to bed and unless snowed in I will be leaving in the early a.m. you might want to describe the doc and use MayBee's selection and post to get it in the MBA feed for the weekend.


Go into the grand jury without a lawyer, like every other American citizen

Wow right back at ya Tim.



You go little LuLu!


I love getting credit for things, but I want to make it clear I did not find the transcript. That glory belongs to someone else.




I don't know, tops. I had assumed it was you!!


On another thread I posted what we had and suggested when it had to be and asked anyone who had lexus to see if they could find it and one reader sent it to me..


On another thread I posted what we had and suggested when it had to be and asked anyone who had lexus to see if they could find it and one reader sent it to me..


I like this bit too...

"KING: And do you stand by your guy if he is subsequently charged with something and they subpoena you?

RUSSERT: I would have to go to prison to protect his name."

Christopher Fotos

Nice score on the transcript.

As others have said, after 30 years of television and the last decade or so of being carpet-bombed by Law & Order, it is not possible for Mr. Meet The Press to be ignorant of that point.

Anyway fwiw my post on WaPo's Wednesday story (front page) is up.

JM Hanes


Someone needs to send that question to Imus and suggest he put it to Russert this time around. Or even better, get Mario himself to call it in the next time Tim appears with Larry.


Good work, Chris--keep it up and you;ll get their next court reporter opening..(Maybe even the NYT will call after what TM's been doing to Neil lewis).


Who thought up this plan for Ari to get immunity for some of his leaks while forgetting others, thereby bolstering Libby's memory defense, while taking himself off the hook as the real leaker at the same time?

someones playing chess.

Charlie (Colorado)

So Russert is impeached and discredited because he thought Clinton was capable of giving an honest answer?

No, because he clearly knew at one time that you weren't allowed to bring your attorney into the grand jury, and claimed he didn't know that during his testimony. Either he was, er, dissembling, or he was demonstrating that you could forget something of importance from your professional training --- not just who said what to whom in a conversation months or years in the past.


I'm reposting the link to my last post as well Just Deserts - since it has to do with Timmy lying on this point.

Just added in this great update from the LK transcript.


Fleischer's immunity agreement doesn't protect him if he lied to the prosecution.

But I wouldn't wait to see if Fitz prosecutes him for lying about telling Dickerson and Gregory and about not telling Pincus.

Go after him on Pincus, for example, and the defense will surely show the reporter is so completely addlepated he just publishd a story confusing an IG report with a Levin screed.

Carol Herman


I know Waltoon has a cold. I also know he's jealous of Ted Wells. And, he's as confused as all get out. In other words? People have been handing him the answers to the "test." Which was to DISMISS THIS DOG long ago. But he's in the judge's chair. And, the maroon no longer has to field test questions.

MEANWHILE, The media is getting hit at NRO. And, Glenn Reynolds' (a real law professor and maven, including of the Internet); has posted to the FlameBlamePlame "prize" going to the media.



6 bullet points; (per testimony)
... Ari said it to Dickerson. Dickerson denies

... Fleischer says he told Gregory.
This is later denied by Russert.

... Woodward tells Pincus. Pincus denies.

... Russert told FBI "maybe." Later? "Impossible." Contradiction, but no FBI paperwork.

... Andrea Mitchell tells IMUS "everybody knows." Later, she claims she was drunk.

And, today, at the court house, Jill Abramson says she never heard Judith Miller ask her for permission to write about WMD's, from her talk with Libby. She also says she often "tunes Miller out." But still has no recollection of ever hearing Miller REQUEST assignment.

Your assignment, folks, is to figure out the jurors, whom you don't see. You do see Waltoon. He flew up in his chair when one juror sent a question that was asked of Novak. So, Rove was your first source, to confirm Armitage on Plame's Game. Who was your second.

The V-8 moment belonged to Waltoon. Now, he has a cold. And, he hates Libby. And, Wells. And, if he could pull strings, the jury will come back and announce "GUILTY OF SOMETHING." We're not sure of WHAT. But WHO'S ON FIRST, AND WHAT IS ON SECOND.

You got that Agent Smart? Put down your shoe. In today's environment the police will not think you're holding a cell phone.

NOw, whose reputation crashes faster? Russert's or Waltoon's?


How long do you think it will take for the jurors to convict Libby? 30 minutes? An hour? Then what will you sad miserable wretches do? I know! How about defending more of the handmaidens of death and chaos? How about defending Cheney?


--I don't know, tops. I had assumed it was you!!--

No way Jose, Clarice emailed if I was able to come up with it -- MSNBC tranny's go back ONLY to a certain time in 2003 (isn't that particularly bummerish?) -- all i could think was the tranny company or maybe C-span. IOW's i thought it was a mute on the internet point - Lexis? Good Job anonymous...you should assume a fake name and get major kudos here!)


No, because he clearly knew at one time that you weren't allowed to bring your attorney into the grand jury, and claimed he didn't know that during his testimony.

And also because his words are, "Go into the grand jury without a lawyer, like every other American citizen."

Russert knew this would damage his modest, humble image - if he was getting accorded this Presidential privilege - so he choked and lied to protect his image.


Here is the striking thing.

The defense will be able to in effect, bookend all of the reporter's testimony for the Defense with Russert.

Plenty of people have stated that they are struck by the contrast between Russert's parsing and the rather straight forward responses of the reporters that have followed him.

The Defense will get him up on the stand again-or the tapes and either he starts equivocating again, or if the transcript here is used it reinforces Russert's experience as a lawyer and the jurists will begin to scutinize Russert's responses accordingly.

It's going to leave a mark coming and going.

Russert, Reporters for the Defense, Russert.

You couldn't ask for a much better chance to highlight the contrast.


Wasn't it Rick who first characterized this as Russert's "presidential appearance"?

Carol Herman


You pick exactly the same time frame used by the OJ jury. And, that brought what else to your attention?

The idea that you put maroons on the Federal bench because their skin tone is the right color, is fading fast.

On the other hand? Waltoon may dismiss something. But first he needs to be slapped around by Abott & Costello.

Abbott & Costello have a longer "life span" in terms of name recognition, that Little Tim, or Potato Head will ever come to enjoy.

And, I predict. He will NEVER get Broder's chair. Why? Becuase the "hot seat" burned his ass off. And, should audience results force it, he's more likely to be OUT of his $5,000,000 dollar job ahead, than just about any other prediction we get to make here.

When it comes to juries; once they see a witness sound like HEE-HAW; as Russert did. And, as soon as they absorb all the contradictions of "Fits's best case" ... they'll probably talk among themselves, first trying to answer "WHY ARE WE HERE?"

You'd be surprised how trying to lynch someone galvanizes public attention. And, even DC jurors are part of that public.

Waltoon is a maroon. I'm glad I have an "M" word to substitute for the next letter; which was stolen from white people. But not from blacks.



Russert knew this would damage his modest, humble image - if he was getting accorded this Presidential privilege

Russert got the Presidential Suite.

Judy got the penitentiary.



Or maybe you will take to trying to spin the corruption case against "Dusty" Foggo?

There are soo many handmaidens of the preemptive war to preempt nothing. Soo many corrupt repuglicans. How can one possibly choose? For which will you form your feckless neocon human-shield next?

Choices ... choices.

Ralph L.

Charlie--Joke. Joke--Charlie.
I guess you aren't a Clinton hater.

I'm wondering if Fleischer is part of a Rovian plot. Something like Agatha's Witness for the Prosecution. Get immunity. Accuse friend. Discredit oneself. Make friend look good.

JM Hanes

BTW, I was interested to see that Tim's official Meet the Press home page links directly to Imus, and vice versa. Just sayin' -- everybody's in bed with everybody here.

Of somewhat more substantial note, according to Russert's MTP Bio, our non-practicing "is admitted to the bar in New York and the District of Columbia." No chance the DC bar exam includes any grand jury related questions, is there?


I think the under-medicated CAROL HERMAN would make a fine spokesperson for "maroons" everywhere.

Ralph L.

Wonder if Wonder Boy has appeared before a Grand Jury before? Clarice, get one of your readers on that.


Niters and I really mean it.. I'll check in over the next week while I'm gone..

Rajlph L.

Pete, "maroon" is the official term for commie pinko morons on patriotic American blogs.

Plame Spoken


It seems that maybe you have an axe to grind WRT black folk? It sounds like you have a barely controllable rage towards uppity blacks. Care to elaborate? Think of it as therapy.

Also, there are books on the English language available in your library which can help you with your struggles therein. Strunk & White is one recommedation. Short and sweet.



However - if Fitzgerald got the testimony of Dickerson and Gregory and it contradicted Fleischer, that would undercut an important witness against Libby.


I have been pasting the pre-trial hearing transcript where Fitzgerald goes on and on and on about Dickerson's account that Dickerson DENIED a leak...to Walton. (fitz sure loves those news "reports" when they suit him) ((RATS if I can't find the link now, I've googled it a 1000 times and can't find it today -- the transcript had to do with the "everyone know" and Fitz was arguing the "EK" was about Wilson - Woodward tap")

Fitz was bluffing and the defense knew it?

If you read fitz's crybabing today about Dickerson (EW version at least) I think he knows his bluff was called on the "Dickerson" issue and he's snowed.


Thanks for the link, Christopher.

And night from me, too.

Christopher Fotos

Of somewhat more substantial note, according to Russert's MTP Bio, our non-practicing "is admitted to the bar in New York and the District of Columbia." No chance the DC bar exam includes any grand jury related questions, is there?

Whoa. Good one.





Christopher Fotos

ital begone?


Thanks guys. I Larwyn'd the thread.

Gee, and I've been so good lately.

Carol Herman


Barnicle! The liar who got tossed off the Boston newspaper! Oh, my what a script. Brought to life.

And, the power of the Internet! Magnificent!

The best part, if Wells can show this hour long show to the jury, is that they will well-remember their own reactions to the Ken Starr investigation. When most Americans went the other way. And, supported Clinton.

I think it will make it harder on the jurors to be unfair. And, to dump on Libby.

I hope this is the tape, too! Wonderful post. Great read. Not one boring moment. And, Russert? My goodness. All the best lines to refute his testimony 'here,' is there.

WHO'S ON FIRST. WHAT'S ON SECOND. And, Libby walks home, free. Or, justice wouldn't be served.

How long does Fitz get for his rebuttle to Well's close? And, what did you mean by "it is known that Fitz does STUNTS during this time slot. Can you describe a stunt?

Also, if people make up their minds that they're not going to buy your argument, isn't it harder to "close" and make them change their minds? Isn't it more likely that the jurors would only get MORE ANGRY at Fitz than they already are? They know this clown show has cost the taxpayer millions. And, it's been a "boondoggle" for years and years.

I'd even add, that watching the jury "hang," there would be someone on the jury that would interrupt and say, "LET's STOP THIS. Let's free the PEOPLE. Let's not give this trial to another jury to get tortured some more.

Most lynchings are "passionate" events. If you can just get some distance in TIME, then the poor victim would be allowed to dust himself off, and walk away.

I just feel so sad that it could go bad. And, I'd prefer to have faith in our system, rather than not.


Too bad Wells assumed Russert would answer the grand jury question truthfully. Otherwise, he could have already done the research, and confronted Russert before he had time to rehearse an answer with his lawyers.

Ralph L.

It was a stupid lie.



"patriotic American blogs"

I guess you must consider the fascist neocon wannabe to be a patriotic american.


CONFOUND IT! I can not find that transcript of Fitzgerald arguing about questioning reporters (couldn't possibly know what all reporters know), refuting the Woodward "tape" and saying John Dickerson adamantly denied being leaked to in pre-trial hearings.

OOOOH. If I did have that quote...Fitz tried to game, be he just got lawyed and GAMED.

Carol Herman


Hello. Russert is a lawyer. He could rehearse himself in the mirror, and it still won't help.

Russert fell down the memory hole that should have had clear warning signs up: "DAN RATHER FELL HERE."

GE by the way is the "parent" of NBC.

And, Russert, when he was on Larry King Live was in a different demographic period of his life. He could refer to MTP as something 6,000,000 people did "with religion" every sunday.

Today? His show gets less traffic than Wal-Marts.

Heck, all of NBC gets less traffic than the Internet.

As to "stupid lie" Ralph L., I thought you meant Bill Clinton, when he waved his finger and said, "I did not have sex with that woman."

By the way, on the Larry King Tape? There's evidence Monica "got it more than 12 times." But now? All the claims I've seen said she only had "6 personal contacts."

So the whole thing, even going back to when Linda Tripp saved Monica's life (by telling her not to destroy the Blue Gap Dress!) The Truth itself seems "embroidered."

Meanwhile, Fitz doesn't have "embroidery skills," down pat, yet.

And, I loved the line to King that he'd "go to jail to protect his source." Isn't that something? The guy talked to a mystery voice on the telephone; and spilled the beans on Libby. Listening. And, deciding he could go from "maybe, Libby did," to "nope." "Impossible."

Impossible you. But not impossible to me.

It's also possible some of the jurors don't think Walton is the sharpest judge in the building, either.

Let's see what they can sell to the jurors? There was a time, when Nixon fell, that people said "he couldn't even sell used cars."


Oh boy he got Gamed.

Ralph L.

Plame Spoken, I recommend that you check your spelling if you're going to mock someone else's language. I always get caught.


I think Ralph is a FROM-CAROL-HERMAN sock puppet. What say yee?

Ralph L.

Does everyone else lose the personal info after posting when the comments become numerous?

Carol, I don't know if that advice from Tripp saved her life, but it was the only sensible thing Monica did in the whole affair. They would have done to her what they did to Starr instead. And I think Pete just called you a fascist neocon wannabe, whatever that is.

Ralph L.

Pete, you're almost right. You and I have been the only ones posting all night, and I'm not so sure about you.


However - if Fitzgerald got the testimony of Dickerson and Gregory and it contradicted Fleischer, that would undercut an important witness against Libby. So the guiding rule of the investigation became "Don't ask, don't tell"

Well...here is Fitz's ex parte affidavit ( i think)

More recently, Mr. Dickerson has published an online column setting forth his recollection of pertinent events which would seem to indicate that he was not affirmatively told
Ms. Wilson’s employment but that he was encouraged by officials to look into the question.of who sent Mr. Wilson on the Ui

After saying this, why would be Fitzy be worried of the defenses' obviously stinging point, the investigator didn't do his job?

Fitzy said today something to the effect "Well, *they* aren't calling Dickerson"

Hah. He got gamed!

thenexthurrah.typepad.com/ the_next_hurrah/files/fitz_response.pdf

Carol Herman


Affirmative Action was an "ideal." Marx, too, addresses "ideals.' IN the working world they turn out to be crap.

Where real opportunity exists, be it in music, dance, or sports, you can't push someone on stage who is unqualified. Here many people leapt over barriers and succeeded.

What ruins this comes from the elites. And, their fraudulent ways of working "the room" with demigods. They try to foist up their crap through PR. And, what works in marketing. But the real engineering is not funded. So, Amerians have watched a lot of stuff go kaput.

Maroons is a good universal type word. It covers what we can't say out loud when we do get mad. Mad at everybody, no?

But mad about what happened when the doors that opened in the 60's were meant to be FAIR TO ALL? I think women and blacks, unfortunately, did not have people in front, who could have "saved the day."

Yes, we had Jeanne Kirpatrick. But as an overall score, we've let the feminists control the "doorway." And, that hurts women. It also shot honesty to hell and gone.

40 years after the civil rights legislation past, we should have arrived at a better destination.

In this particular case? I think Wells will win it. Waltoon will lose. And, the jurors won't be able to stand Fitzgerald "catholicizing them." That's just the way it goes.

By the way, blacks banty about the "N" word all the time! When I first heard this, I was shocked. (Pasadena City College. On my way to the cafeteria. The conversation I heard was loud. And, in the open. Not only was the "N" word flung about; one kid complained that he brought a darker skinned girl home to his parents, and they complained about her "shade.")

It's not as if blacks aren't aware of the dichotomy. And, the bridges are down. I've seen the groups separate by color in the lunch room. WHY?

And, if you think you can fix this by being smug, fuhgetaboutit. Damage has been done.


No chance the DC bar exam includes any grand jury related questions, is there?

Sorry JMH, there really is no chance. The DC bar exam is somewhat unique in that it does not ask questions of local law (There are others, but not major jurisdictions). And they are extremely liberal on admitting lawyers with experience elsewhere in the US. In other words, he might not (and probably did not) take a bar exam to be admitted to practice in DC.

I suppose the question might theoretically arise as an exception to the Sixth Amendment (spelled right, for a change of pace in my comments) Right to Counsel (in the Criminal Procedure section of the Multi-state Bar Exam--the multiple choice part of the test). I've sat through quite a few bar review lectures (3-4 for first-year classes exam prep, & CA & MO), and I can't recall the issue discussed.

It's certainly not part of the standard coursework for the class.

I'd say that his knowledge of grand jury procedure would draw largely from the same place mine does--news accounts and anecdotes from people going through the process.

Crunchy Frog

"[F]ascist neocon wannabe"

I sooo wanted to be one, but they denied my membership, dammit!




Just a note to say that I disagree heartedly with the disrespectful reference to a Federal judge. Walton may well be overturned on appeal. But he has made thougthtful, judicious decisions--some of which have been vehemently opposed by Fitzgerald.

I disagree also with the implication that a black person can only be successful because of affirmative action. That notion runs contrary to my experience. And it is particularly counterfactual in discussions of this case given the performance of everyone involved in the court proceedings.

JM Hanes

Not sure exactly what you're getting at, tops, but your quote is Footnote 3 on p. 10 in Document 55-2, (Filed 3/1/06). It's Fitzgerald's Ex Parte Affidavit opposing Libby's Motion to Compel discovery of info on contacts "between news reporters & government officials."

If you're trying to locate stuff you've posted previously at JOM, you can always try this :) Doesn't always pick up the most recent stuff, and I suspect the idea of googling yourself is something that's occured to you before, but just in case....

Ralph L.

C. Frog, you weren't Nazi or Jewish enough. French is not enough.

Carol Herman



But then there's the Larry King Live "extravaganza" where Russert was proud of his legal credentials. And, he seemed to think it was wrong of Clinton's testimony to be taken in the Oval Office. Suggesting, instead, that it should have been in front of the grand jury, because then he wouldn't have his own lawyer present.


As far as NBC is concerned, however, Russert's show no longer gets the 6,000,000 million. (Out of an AMerican population of 300,000,000 it doesn't even sound like a lot.)

And, he SPOKE the words that contradict what he said on the witness stand. In the Libby trial.

Especially notable is the remark that "he'd go to jail to protect a White House staffer." Um. ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS.

See? We learn the best stuff in kindergarten. Timmy must'a had the best lessons beaten out of him by nuns.

Tomorrow is another day. Court is open. But witnesses don't show till 1:30 in the afternoon. Wells is calling. I guess Thursday belongs to Fitz for rebuttal?

Why no closing arguments on Monday?

Why the need to start on Tuesday?

And, at least in the interim, perhaps, Waltoon can call a few judicial buddies, and find out from them which side is a good place to jump. And, which takes this case to a whole new level.

Carol Herman


What's nice about living in a free country is that I can call an idiot on the Federal bench a maroon. That's my opinion, now.

I did give him room. But it dawned on me a better judge, aware of reasonable doubt; would have seen Fitz coming at him a mile away. And, he would not have been amused.

By the way, Ito only sits on a state court bench. But he's an idiot, too.

People should get over the idea that we really get magnificent men in government. Most times they're no better than what you see when you go to the post office.

And, I'm not the only one who uses language to express low opinions of congress critters, and their ilk. You should have heard Lincoln, or Mark Twain, or Will Rogers. They said that stuff loud and clear.

The only way Walton could'a earned a finer reputation was to have been a better judge in this case. He failed.

Will he dismiss some charges? Well, it all depends on just how rediculous he wants his post mortems to be.

Ralph L.

Carol, Monday is President's Day. Federal court, federal holiday.

Walter, have you predicted the verdict? I've been too busy typing everyone else's posts to notice.

JM Hanes


Can't say I'm really surprised. I pretty much figured that with bona fides from Cuomo, the idea of Russert sitting for an actual exam was probably a stretch. If he's recalled to the stand however, it might be worth drawing the jury's attention to the fact that he includes his legal creds on his official NBC CV don't you? He did make a point of saying, on cross, that he was non-practicing -- of course, if he let his "dues" lapse, like misc. folks have been known to do, any minor potential mileage would lead the wrong direction, I s'pose.



Fitzgerald certainly did get gamed. He's stuck with an inference that Russert knew because Fleischer told Gregory and Russert said that if Gregory knew, he would have known.


And I love his argument "But they could have called them!" Which, of course comes after several days of successful manuvering to keep Mitchell's testimony from the jury's tender ears.

I am a little concerned that Wells is a bit hamstrung in arguing that the investigation was incomplete and headed in the wrong direction for reasons completely unrelated to Libby's testimony and statements. That arguement forms the core of any materiality challenge. Maybe I'm over-reading the pseudo-transcripts and he merely is unable to make that argument using Gregory and Dickerson.

I wonder if he'll manage to work in a reference to Mitchell? "They weren't doing a leak investigation. They weren't interested in whether Russert knew. Russert said he would have known if Gregory OR Mitchell knew. They knew that Gregory knew because Mr. Fleischer told them that he had told Gregory himself. And they didn't even bother to call Andrea Mitchell!"

How can Fitzgerald argue with that?

(Not that it matters, but the quote you cited isn't the ex parte affidavit to which Jeff refers above. IIRC it refers to a letter sent by Fitzgerald to Team Libby describing which reporters knew).


Isn't that funny JMH???? - it was in an afidavit NOT in a hearing - I forgot! HEH

I could swear he said something similar in a hearing, but my memory is failing.

Nevertheless, Fitzy was **trying** to do the pretend dance with the big boyz and got faced.


Walter...did you see MayBee's find in the other thread? Russert fretting over Clinton's arrangement - why can't he go into the GJ without the benefit of a lawyer like every other ordinary citizen?



Sure, show me up with actual knowledge instead of baseless speculation...

I doubt he'll be recalled. Fitzgerald would probably prefer not to have Russert saying he doesn't remember yet another conversation be the last thing the jurors see.

If J. Walton rules that he could be recalled, I'd expect Fitzgerald to waive confrontation and let the tapes in with little fanfare.



You know what is truly spectacular about that find?

A Democratic jury is going to be awfully unhappy about Clinton's treatment by the (hmm) most recent famous Independant Counsel.

Wells wants to remind them that they really, really, really don't like prosecutors to criminalize policy differences, just before they enter the jury room.

How cool is that?

(&props to MayBee &Clarice's hidden source--In context, it is more damaging to Fitzgerald than just impeaching Russert.)


Walt. Swift weren't they?

OH, also...I am thread challlenged...it was Clarice's REALLY SUPER long paste - I thought it was part of TM's post.

Whatever. They got gamed. Fitz might have secretly preferred his star witness be equated to the defendant Libby (muddled confused memory)...but they didn't call him!

INstead he has his star witness denying he "leaked" to a specific reporter and that reporter directly refuting the immunized witness.


"yet another conversation in which Russert says he cannot recall participating in a discussion, let alone what was said during that discussion"


I'm off to bed.

Ralph--I'd be disappointed if I have accurately predicted the verdict.

Prior to the trial, I opined that I saw a conviction on at least one, but not all charges. Prior to Russert, I reiterated that opinion, but predicted aquittal specifically on the Cooper charges. If I had to guess now, I'd go with conviction on obstruction and the Russert perjury count.

But I still think he's not guilty of any charge. And there are still appeals to consider.


*****Tops: Fitz might have secretly preferred his star witness be equated to the defendant Libby (muddled confused memory)...but they didn't call him!****

I'm not getting this. Who is the star witness that didn't get called?


In the prior thread there was a question of where Ari Fleischer worked before becoming Press Secty to Bush. The answer mentioned that he had been press spokesman for the Bush Campaign in 2000, but left out that he came there IIRC from the same position with the Elizabeth Dole for President campaign (yes that was once considered a serious candidacy).

JM Hanes


Well, while I'm on a roll, the affidavit Jeff referred to in his opener above was Fitzgerald's defense of his Miller subpoena. I, personally, have always suspected Jeff rather enjoys making vague citations. Argument is so much easier when you don't waste time providing links!


Over at the Huffington Post Jeralyn Merritt has posted her view of today's actions. Quite interesting.


This transcript is a goldmine!
This part isn't about the GJ, but it's still great:

So clearly Saddam Hussein, rightly or wrongly believes he can make different decisions based upon the president's difficulties back home. I think it's a total misread by Saddam Hussein. He doesn't understand this country.

KING: Won't be the first time.

RUSSERT: President Clinton can go on television tomorrow and say, we're going to go after Saddam Hussein, and 90 percent of the people say go get him.


--secretly preferred his star witness be equated to the defendant Libby--


As it stands Ari emphatically denied "leaking" to Pincus...if he did ,he would have remembered it -- Ari said--

"Did you tell Walter Pincus, during that conversation on July 12th, that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA?" asked defense attorney William Jeffress.

"No sir, I have no recollection of telling that — " Fleischer answered.

"No recollection of telling him that at all? You would remember if it happened?"

"Sure I would. I do not," Fleischer said.

If Dickerson was called by the defense (Fitz couldn't call him), Ari would be downgraded to Alzheimer's like everyone else - and so Libby' COULD be considered worse in comparrison....Ari's in a NOT Alzheimer's category - a category no other witness is in.

And remember they can't considered status -wink, wink.



IOW's..to the Jury...Ari's "account" - is CLEANLY refuted - Ari said 'Sure i would remeber talking to Pincus...and I do not remember it' (kinda like Russert's "impossible")

Pincus says 'Ari told me" cleanly UNCHALLENGED

"memory defense" - (dickerson could have helped Fitz - the memory defense he was allergic too - but it woulda helped him)

JUST like the "pulitzer prize" Fitz forgot to establish with Judy (which is SO MUCh karma on the left). His witness can't remember crap and keeps her record crammed under desk in shopping bags. The Important Pulitzer Prize established witnesses are polished and don't have selective senior moments state Libby never leaked to them - to the reporters that matter!

Suddenly Fitzy needs ditzy Judy to be prize winning - a little too late - and then HIS questioning illicits "could be, I mostly tuned her out" about Judy. There is a word for all this and it's German and starts with an "schadenfreude"



The thing about Ari's slip up is it re-enforces the idea of selective prosecution because Pincus specificly said he went to the prosecutor after his source came forward to Ftiz. That means that Fitz had exactly the same kind of dicrepence with Ari's testemony has he had with Libby's only in reverse, yet he still let Ari slide. Ari's deal doesn't cover statements to the Grand Jury, and if he specificly denied telling Pincus, and Fitz knew Pincus was identifying Ari as a source he let Ari slide because he needed his testemony to make the Russert count work.

I don't see any way (but I could be wrong) that this makes Fitz look good to the jury.


either the "lost" notes or the MTP transcripts are destined to be known as "the Pumpkinhead Papers"

hope I'm not pulling a Barnicle

Ralph L.

Good point, Ranger. So much for the leak investigation--the leakers get immunity. Let's hope Wells points that out.


From a previous thread, but too good to pass up: Rich on Imus describing Wilson:

"they used a hammer to hit a flea".

Do you think that is worse than being called a "low level" official?



Ahhhh, I see. Schadenfreude indeed. And petard.



Let's return to Fitzs bank robbery analogy:

Fitz alleges Mr Libby robbed the bank.

Liby testifies that he didn't even have a gun, until after the robbery and that Mr. Russert had the gun.

Mr. Russert claims he never had the gun.

Mr. Russert claims that if his two cohorts, Gregory and Micthell had the gun, they certainly would have passed it to him.

Ms. Mitchell says publicly she had the gun in her possession. Now she claims she didn't and thinks she may have been drunk or something.

Mr. Fliescher says he gave the gun to Mr. Gregory.

So we have both Mitchell admitting to having the gun, and Fliescher testifying he put the gun in Gregory's hand and we have Russert saying that if either of them had the gun, they certainly would have given it to him.


1. Subpeona Mitchell, find out if she was telling the truth?? NO

2. Subpeona Gregory, find out if he really came into posssesion of the gun? NO

3. Do not get testimony from either Mitchell or Gregory for fear it will impeach your star witness who has demonstrated in the past a faulty memory about his possession of firearms.



Jeff says: ""Consider that Fleischer had immunity """

I love how you say it like it just happned, like it was ordained that Fliescher have immunity.

The only reason Fliesher had immunity is because Fitz gave it to him.

Proving that Fitzs investigation was not about who leaked Plame's identity (Fliescher and Armitage); but was about trying to get Rove or Libby.


Patton-this was about getting Rove and Libby and it started early. Wilson identified Rove and Matthews was drooling about Scooter Libby night after night on Hardball. Now these partisans can be ignored or dismissed.

But that's not what the FBI did. They went after Libby and Rove to the exclusion of the real leakers in what is essentially a trivial matter.

That's why I'm disappointed that Eckenrode did not testify. He handed over his "get Rove/Libby/Hadley/Cheney" narrative to Fitz who bought it hook line sinker. So here we are.


My goodness, I take a little 7 hour nap and I can't figure out where to post my good morning.

Wake up everyone - it's gonna be a fabulous day!


Is ekenrode still on the witness list?

Tom Maguire


Consider that Fleischer had immunity - which means that their testimony couldn't be used to pursue a crime he might have committed (other than perjury).

I know you don't want to argue that perjury is not a crime we should take seriously, so, uhh, so what?

And in this scenario, why go after Pincus? And with what - Ari had denied talking to Pincus about Plame, so how did the Feds know to wave Fleischer's waiver at Pincus? (Phone records? But surely Pincus had more than one call on that Saturday. Or maybe not, and I'll stop calling him 'Shirley').

Or, after Fleischer whiffs on Pincus, isn't establishing his credibiliy/reliablity even more important? (Stop laughing, folks).

Ari has immunity for everything but lying, he is wrong on his first reporter, so you stop checking to see if he is maybe covering up and claiming leaks actually made by others? C'mon.

Here we go - Bartlett leaked to Dickerson/Gregory but Fleischer took the fall. There is your conspiracy, Fitz - check it out.

Or not. Why not?

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