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February 11, 2007



BREAKING--Ts says 2 new filings which I haven't seen yet and will put up as soon as possible-- "But one is Ammended offer of Proof for the purpose of impeaching gov
witness Russert is biased and motivated to testify in a manner
against defendents interest"


Is this an attempt to keep Mitchell off the stands? Or they knew that their efforts in keeping Mitchell off the stands are futile?


This appears to be a Libby filing. Looks interesting but I haven't seen it yet.



I spent years and years in litigation. My typical trial prep was 5-7 years. At that time I could give you chapter and verse of every case I was working on. There was no minutia that escaped my peering eyes. I really think in litigation you often outthink your opponant.

A few years ago I switched gears. At this point in my legal career I cannot stand to read all that stuff you wade through. I hate legaleze. My partner now does all the litigation. I spend my time negotiating and acting as an arbitrator and mediator.

Talk to me and I get anything. Make me read it on a piece of paper and my mind starts wondering what is happening on JOM. SO all I can say is thank goodness for you.

JM Hanes


How does one go about attending this trial as John Q. Public? Do you just show up in the morning and get in line, or do you have to make arrangements of some sort?


I know what you mean. And I am too old to continue to endure the disruption to life and the constant adrenalin surges of litigation--better to write about it.


Sorry to keep beating a dead horse, but I still can't get away from this exchange that occurred last Thursday between Wells and Russert:

W: Do you remember telling FBI that a general buzz was going around Joe Wilson?
T: Yes.
W: Isn't it true that a "buzz" might include rumors that are circulating?
T: We try to stay away from rumors.

Wells is interested in what the buzz was inside the NBC newsroom...he's not asking about "rumors" being reported outside the newsroom...

Russert is clearly parsing here as far as I'm concerned...


JMH I think you just go and wait--perhaps the overflow room is also available to people w/o media passes but I'm not sure of that.


Part of Libby's defense is that he didn't have motive to lie. Partially because he didn't think he'd done anything wrong, and partially because he knew someone else had done the thing that set off the investigation.
His defense should be able to bring out, via Novak and Woodward, that this part of his defense is true. Someone else did do it.

Another part of his defense has been lack of understanding about what the investigation was about. We've seen that in the Bond and Addington testimony- with Fitz and the Libby team going back and forth about whether it was about the Novak/Newsday leaks...or more.

So Woodward as a witness can help the defense argue that whatever the investigation was about, it wasn't thorough. Even if Fitzgerald wants to argue that it wasn't only about Novak, his failure to find Woodward (and who else) proves that he was perhaps not interested in Novak much at all. Libby thought a thorough investigation would clear him, and he needs to be able to show a thorough investigation was not done.

JM Hanes


His failure to interview Woodward...when he already had Armitage in hand at the outset!


f impeaching gov
witness Russert is biased and motivated to testify in a manner
against defendents interest"

heh. I hope it's something really exciting, but it could be the defense watched the Kurtz and Russert show, and noticed the whole bit about not wanting to look like they're willing to tell the admin's side of the story.


exactly, JMH.
Not even just his failure to interview Woodward- but his apparent failure to even look to see if there was someone out there to interview!



Did email number 2 work?

JM Hanes

I suppose it requires showing up at what our Jane would call the "best part of the day"?


If anyone would like the new filings emailed let me know, alas it is just easier when the eventually get put up on the net...

Tom Maguire

Incorrect! There are several problems with a Rove-Novak alone scenario for Libby, but one of them is that if it were just Novak, there's no necessary element of reporter gossip - Novak could have gotten the information just from another government official, which would leave Libby more vulnerable.

I agree that the more the merrier, but is it really worth adding an obvious, likely-to-be detected element of perjury to get it?

There are also plausibility problems - Libby said the conversation with Rove probably happened late on July 11, when in fact Rove was already out of town, and so on.

Groan - in one live-blog version, IIRC, Libby said it was late in the day on the 10th or 11th and the Fred said, well, it must be the 10th becasue Rove had left town.

Per the AP and Waas, Rove did testify to a chat with Libby on the 10th, an dhe was open to the possibility tha tLibby mentioned reporter gossip to him (since the Feds were reading Linny's testimony to Karl, I got the impression that Rove had not volunteered Russert's name.


The 1st motion is permit state of mind testimony in even if Libby doesn't testify
Def notes govt has put in such evidence (newspaper articles) wants to be certain that stmt admitting relevant facts (which was never conditioned on Libby's testimony goes in);testimony by those he worked w/ in OVP about his work load; morning intel briefings.

2d motion to show bias and motive (against Russert and Mitchell if necessary)
and to impeach--10/3 stmt; 11/10 Imus;11/22 Russert on Imus and 11/23 Mitchell on Imus.


Please forgive me everyone, this is quite OT at the moment, though still has to do with our press/media --

I just watched Q and A with John Burns of the NYT (w/Brian Lamb). I am not ashamed to say he moved me to tears when he spoke of journalists and what their jobs are and are not, and in his quiet, softspoken way spoke about the celebrity journalist who themselves become the story rather than the observer of the story.

Please, if you have the chance, do not miss seeing and hearing from one of our truly great journalists. And, he works for the New York Times, EVEN!


I'm trying to find how the defense is structuring the case or the theme. The prosecution seemed to go chronologically.

I believe the prosecution followed a basic chronological story because the chronology is somewhat difficult to follow but it is essential to the notion that Libby perjured himself. The story is basically this: all these people claim they told him about Wilson’s wife/Plame/CIA and then repeated it so how could he testify that he first learned it from Russert? The prosecution argues that this was a lie and he knew it was a lie. Libby said this in order to ????----let’s say, 1)keep the prosecutor from following the lead to the VP? 2)make the prosecutor doubt that Armitage was the leaker? 3) make it more difficult to find the leaker? 4)make an inconsistent statement that would give an angry young man an opportunity for revenge?

[You can see I have a hard time finding the relevance and importance of this charge. At least Martha has a miniscule financial interest. This is where Fitzgerald uses the law of perjury, i.e., there is no requirement to show motive, to cover his lack of a reason for the inconsistency. Another of my now worn out examples of how a lawyer can abuse the law if he is careful and clever. Remember, in order to avoid considering this, one has to attribute to Fitzgerald a state of mind the historical facts seem to refute. Of course, he could be a most forgiving man.]

In my view, the defense should never follow the prosecution’s outline. In this case, I would think they would focus on the issues that not only contradict the prosecution case but support his theory. And that theory is ????1) I forgot. 2) Russert did so tell me. 3) Fitzgerald hates me and he is a bachelor.

4) My favorite. I am a busy man, but I’m not stupid and I do recall things that are meaningful to me. I understand that witnesses have testified they mentioned Ms. Plame, Mrs. Wilson and Valerie Plame to me at about the time they say they did. In fact, some witnesses have testified I told them something to the effect that Wilson’s wife is CIA. This all could have happened. At the time I would have heard this, the fact that Wilson had a wife and that wife had a job in the CIA would have meant nothing to me. I was interested in countering the Wilson piece not in his marital status. Many people have spouses in the CIA.
Later, when I was on the phone to Russert, he made it clear that not only was she CIA, she sent him. That was the important part. No one has testified that I said that to them. I didn’t. Until that fact was revealed, she became highly important. I didn’t leak. I had no reason to hide anything. I testified correctly and honestly in the GJ.

The jury will accept that, if there is evidence in the record for it. It draws from every part of the record and reconciles every incongruity.

The VP should be the last witness.


I suppose it requires showing up at what our Jane would call the "best part of the day"?

Oh good! I'll bring the coffee!



Where did you get the pleading?


OT: Did you hear The Police? Wow.



Online Court Filing system Pacer.

Carol Herman


I saw Woodward on TV, when he 'very low key' to Larry King, said Libby wasn't first, because he got the leak, himself, before the date Fitz stipulates.

Then, on TV, he said, He didn't want to be subpeona'ed. Which is one reason so many other journalists would just like to remain quiet.

Woodward is very nasel. Very understanded. And, precise. He chisles out answers, almost in a monotone. Without looking like the ball leaves his hands, and goes up in the air.

But the testimony we see is TYPED out at Maine Blogger. The "sound" is not there. And, because Woodward talks slowly, I think his testimony will flow from the fingers, easily.

What Woodward provides is the "how to" manual on how access to see the President is obtained.

And, I think he'll be asked about Pincus. (Not just because Pincus was at the Wilson's 4th of July party; but because if you want to describe a "media node," in DC. Who better than Woodward? Who has the center court?

I don't think Woodward will come off partisan though! I think he wants to stay in DC. And, he knows Fitz goes home to Chicago.

Woodward is not a "big card" in Well's hand. But an articulate one. With insider knowledge.

Now, will Wells ask Woodward to compare Ecken-dreck-in the road, with Mark Felt?

You think I'm kidding?


A few of your links aren't showing up properly in the post. The Arianna link, and the Seth link.

I especially love the Seth article, because he is describing Libby's defense (or part of it) without even knowing it.


The jurors, if they are not zombies, came to this trial with a narrative in their heads. That narrative is all about the outing of a CIA agent, and Libby was somehow involved. Despicable stuff.

The truckload of trivia they have heard to date confuses them, but so far the narrative remains the same. Woodward, the preeminent DC story-teller, will begin the process of reframing that narrative. While he is part of the media, he is more decent, trustworthy and patriotic than 99% of his "peers". We'll see tomorrow if Wells is as good as his street cred . , he will use The Raporter to torpedo the media juggernaut and .


phat phinger syndrome (oops)


Libby testified on March 5, 2004 that he talked to Rove on July 11, 2003 in Rove's office.

Other Tom

Clarice, I have no doubt whatsoever that all the questions you suggested for Wells to ask Woodward are appropriate, and will be allowed. However, I am skeptical as to whether he will be allowed to testify as to why he came forward, which would be the avenue for him to mention the press conference, etc. I just don't think it will happen, and if it does I don't think he'll unload on Fitz.

Any idea why we haven't seen any Rule 29 papers?


Apparently the count or counts 33(c) and ? were dropped w/o it.


However, I am skeptical as to whether he will be allowed to testify as to why he came forward,

OT: Can't the defense get to that by asking Woodward: did you receive a call from the FBI? Were you shown any waivers from admin officials giving you permission to testify?
By bringing up the way other reporters have testified they were brought into the case, could they not make Woodward's story relevant?


They'll find a way.

Tom Maguire

Since this post is all about speculating - er, hypothesizing - have you considered the hypothesis that Libby chose Russert because he became aware of Mitchell's October 3, 2003 comments on Capital Report?

Speculating, hypothesizing, flinging feces - who can tell? But if Libby knew of Mitchell's Oct 3 comment, why not name her - he had spoken with her that week, or in a relevant timeframe.

we can all imagine him digging himself in deeper from then on, but it seems to me that if he had mentioned anything on the subject to Libby, he would simply have told the FBI about it.

That is a point which I wanted to expand. Matt Cooper negotiated a deal for his Libby subpoena, admitted during that testimony he had another soucre, and got another subpoena.

Walter Pincus admitted he had a source and got a subpoena.

Bob Woodward kept quiet for two years and never got a subpoena.

The general pattern (and Woodward explained this as his motivation) was that the best way to protect a source was to stay off the investigator's radar.

Tom Maguire

Pofarmer, that just doesn't strike me as a plausible motive to lie to an investigator, particularly when, for all Russert could have known, any lie might well be found out. For example, he couldn't have been certain that his conversation with Libby was recorded--not likely, but not worth risking committing a felony.

If Russert said "I didn't know her name or that she was a CIA operative, so I could not have told Libby", which is roughly what he said in his press release and affidavit, then he will never get busted for perjury.

1. What is the meaning of "know"? One unconfirmed rumor from Andrea Mitchell? Russert was truthful in sayng he didn't "know" anything.

Same for not knowing her name or that she was an operative.

Besides, considering all the heat the Feds were getting for even subpoenaing reporters, the idea that one would be busted for a perjury case the government could not win was deeply unlikely.

I think Russert felt safe enough, and was safe, until his recent court testimony - under the proposed hypothesis, he has finally perjured himself.

Tom Maguire

Maybe Wells plans to recall Russert AFTER he questions Mitchell/Gregory about what "pre-Novak" buzz THEY heard.

Good point - Russert was quite clear on Imus that he might be called back.

On the one hand, that is trial boiler-plate and true of every witness.

OTOH, if Mitchell blows up, calling him back so he can call her a liar or recant will be Must-See Court TV.


Ts--I did get it Thnx--Sorry I wasn't able to respond earlier.

Tom Maguire

Based on NBC’s prior strategy, these would be my (heavily qualified) predictions: Gregory will not remember. No impeachment. No way to prove he does remember. He can say his (known) actions don’t suggest that he knew.

I concur.

It does not seem that Libby has a witness who can prove that [Mitchell] knew (in a civil trial it seems likely one could be found), so she will say she was wrong and that she corrected the misimpression as soon as she could.

She is the weak link - I have serious doubts as to whether the wife of Alan Greenspan can let her own lies send a *POSSIBLY* innocent man to jail (and I am not sure that I would say this of Russert, who has more to lose).

SO - she may "remember" having a source but forget whether she told Tim or her producers or anyone at all (Tim was on vacation the previous week, so maybe she learned while he was out, waited for him to come back, and never told him).

Back when she recanted, the stakes were arguably lower - we were a long way from trial, and lots could have happened.

And if she admits now that she knew but can't remember if she passed it on, well, heck will break loose. But if she testifies she definitely remembers telling Russert, then hell breaks loose.

But if she lies... I don't think she has it in her. Not to save Russert, anyway.

But very dramatic. Of course, the truth might be, she had no source. I really think her demeanor if/when she says that will be critical.

In legal terms, her opinion lacked foundation. She could then go on, with this mental reservation, and claim she was drunk, silly stupid. It could be true, because, literally, she cannot know what “everyone’ knows.

My very similar theory is that the lawyers asked her to tell the full truth, but to keep in mind - there were no documents or other evidence to support a memory of having a source; conversely, there was no evidence to contradict her if she denied it.

And memories are ephemeral - folks make mistakes all the time, confusing dates, names, etc.

And if she makes a mistake with her memory here, she could expose her colleague Russert to disgrace, NBC News could be disgraced (this makes Rathergate look tame), and her source could be jeopardized.

So, Ms. Mitchell, with that in mind, tells us what your REALLY, FIRMLY, UNSHAKEABLY remember.

And the answer was, well, nothing.

Just my guess, of course.

Sara (Squiggler

25 Questions and Answers on Plamegate


But her notes--- don't forget her notes!
What if they say "Armitage" or "Winpac" or something similar.
They wouldn't have to say very much for the defense to hang their hat on, even if she doesn't remember what that note might mean.




Thank you SD, here are the 2 new filings--
http://members.cox.net/liinda/277.htm (motion to allow state of mind evidence in even if Libby doesn't testify)

http://members.cox.net/liinda/278.htm(amended offer of proof to let in the Mitchell 10/3 statement and the various Russert and Mitchell appearances on Imus)

Both are worth a read and since SD kindly put them in html format you can cut and paste them

Thanks also to TS who got them off pacer.

Tom Maguire

Here's my explanation: Cecil was right and I was wrong. Does that count?

Geez, between Mr. Turner's non-victory strut and that quick gulp of crow, this is like no show at all.

I am taking the example under advisement, however - "I was wrong" remains high on the list of things I may be writing (100 times on the board) in the next few weeks.

Neither does Andrea Mitchell on July 8, later in the day than the Miller conversation.

Good point, but - back in this hearing the conversation was not dated - are we sure it was the 8th?

To me, looking at the circumstances of Libby’s call, Russert would have tried to mollify this important source and high official by telling him something that would sound like he was sympathetic to the Administration because he knew the fix was in on the Wilson report. It doesn’t seem impossible to me.

I don't think I have heard that before, but what a great idea - "Cool down about 'behest' and the VP, Scooter, everybody knows Wilson's wife was involved."

Wilson lied repeatedly about the provenance of his trip to gullible people like Nick Kristoff.

May lightning strike me, but Wilson may have been told by folks eager to stroke his ego that the VP was interested in his trip. Especially since it was sorta kinda true.

And it was nice of the Missus not to puncture his balloon (to bad it got her outed...)

The fact that Libby sourced to Russert with both Rove and Cheney after the call seems to back up this claim.

I think Libby says that - I don't think we have any evidence that Rove or Cheney remembered it that way during the investigation.

I agree with Wind-an-see. Cheney's note is definitely dated the 13th. And, Val's request to have her husband sent to Niger was written to her boss (was it Alan Foley?) ... oh February 12th. ONE DAY APART.

Favors Cheney. And, the White House recollection.

I am not in charge of Cheney's calendar, but... my impression is that the CIA briefer is one of his first morning meetings. Which would suggest that Cheney would have gotten wind of the circulating DIA memo on the 12th but after the CIA guy has left.

So Cheney asks him about it on the 13th, and CIA sends back their next-day memo on Valentine's Day.

He probably even imagined his debriefing was hand delivered to Cheney by George Tenet in a gold embossed envelope on a fluffy pillow carried by a giant steed.

that Cheney knelt before the report and asked God for 1,000 Joe Wilons to save America, etc. etc.

LOL. No, I think Joe believed his report got the EXTRA-special treatment.

I'm intrigued by the suggestion someone made about Woodward's possibly being asked "why did you decide to come forward?"

IIRC, Woodward nudged his source, Armitage. *After* Armitage contacted Fitzgerald, Woodward agreed to talk to Fitzgerald.

Not exactly "coming forward" - Woodward had waited in silence for two years.

I want to hear Woodward say that he came forward after he heard Fitzgerald lie in the presser.

Good point - that may be the best thing he says. Unless he admits he may have told Libby, but even there, it would be in June, so a bit early for Libby's memory refresher.

Now I don't Fitzgerald will get much positive out of Woodward. I expect cross will be short.

I'm starting to forget things. Was Armitage Woodward's only source on this?

Well, Woodward says he told Pincus, but Pincus didn't hear it.

This may open a whole new line for the defense - seeing as how Dickerson, Gregory, and Pincus got a Plame leak but missed it, maybe Libby figures these reporters are all deaf, so telling them about Plame isn't really telling them anything they are capable of hearing anyway.

Or, he told Miller three times knowing the first two didn't count. Just a thought.


Okay can anyone fill me in on this. I saw the posts on Russert where he said he didn't remember. But I'm still unclear on some details. Did the defense lawyer ever establish what Libby's and Russert's converstaion was about - ie did it include Wilson. And did the defense lawyer make sure he named Wilson's wife in every possible way - ie Wilson's wife, Ms. Wilson, Ms. Plame, Valerie, etc. so that Russert couldn't weasle out of it?


TM-----But if she lies... I don't think she has it in her. Not to save Russert, anyway.

Tom, you could be right, and. after all, I have to pander to you as the Master of this Universe. Your theory of the benign Mitchell could be the reason for the heavy fight of the subpoena. She may have told those shared NBC lawyers that despite her public retraction she cannot say such a thing under oath. They would have known this long ago, though, and it seems to me that rather than let Russert expose himself (ugly thought) they would have constructed a different testimony for Russert. I can’t remember what was asked about Mitchell, but they could have told him she recalled speculating about it. So, he didn’t know, but in the now famous to me answer he said he “tried to avoid gossip” He did not say he never heard gossip and never heard gossip about Plame. It may be that the appropriate question was not put. I just don’t know and I won’t guess. That gossip story and his non-answer can cover him.
But, if the NBC lawyers wanted to be careful they would have had him, if forced, disclose that it was possible that he had heard gossip about her but it was unimportant at that time, because it was not linked to the fact that she sent him. That he did not say so leads me to believe that Mitchell will stick with her recantation.
You see, she made a choice when she went on Imus. That choice most likely was not made in a closet. She would have discussed it with her husband (privilege) and her lawyer (yup, privilege) and the lawyers would have vetted it with the Corporation. You’re a savvy guy. You know she did nothing without serious consideration and much counsel from everone who could not be compelled to testify.

Rick Ballard

No. No one can fill you in. The void is simply to great. We're only human here.


TM, As I recall Woodward's public statement--he said he called Libby on the 23d of June with his notes (from Armitage on his deak ) and told him what he wanted to talk about and then set up and met with him (again with those notes in front of him). He thinks it is possible he mentioned the details to Libby even though he has no special recollection about doing that. He did not believe Libby said anything to him on that because had he it would have been in his notes and it wasn't.

I expect he will also talk about in this regard how impossible it is for ANYONE toremember such details after time .

Carol Herman


On the stand Russert said he remembers Libby's phone call. (Or at least one of them.) Because Libby was "agitated." And, was calling from the Office of the Vice President about a show he saw Chris Matthews do on Hardall.

Russert is the "managing editor" at NBC. And, news shows, if you want to call them that, fall under his umbrella.

THE TOPIC OF THE HARDBALL SHOW was a WILSON hit piece on the President, about his mistake on accusing Saddam of "buying yellow cake from Niger."

SYLVIA: Notice that the TOPIC was about WILSON. And, was was getting the White House upset. While they were trying to counter with "WHO SENT WILSON?"

WHEN RUSSERT SAID "EVERYBODY KNOWS" ... came from Russert. It dealt with something Russert said TO LIBBY. This gave Libby his V8 "moment." This is what alerted Libby that the press was moving away from the White House. And, where, instead, picking to amplify Wilson's lies. (With eveybody talking about HOW Wilson got sent to Niger; it is now OBVIOUS that his wife "recommended him. To her boss. And, the White House was kept in the dark about how that whole trip got set up.)

Russert said he never spoke to Libby at all. He just "listened to a viewer complaint." HE happened to pick up the "viewer complaint" line. So the call wasn't covered by the usual rules between Russert. Who always respects keeping things secret. Like he did with Eckenrode. Another place where he kept using "hats."

Someday? Russert will take a shit in that hat. It's a hat like Kerry's. From Cambodia. Does that "halp?"

Tom Maguire

cboldt has the new filing on Mitchell/Russert , and they make a good point:

Mitchell came on Imus on Nov 10, was awful, and came back on Nov 23 to try again.

But in between... Russert came on on the 22nd. Imus asked him about the case,asked him about Mitchell, and told Russert her answers were unconvincing.

Russert said, well, you'll have to ask her.

And the next day, there she was.

Does not show bias, but does show they are a team, both representing NBC News.


Thanks Carol. I knew the defense was claiming that about the show topic, but I hadn't heard exactly how Russert responded to that. So I guess Russert remembered it was about a "show" but he says he didn't remember the topic of the show. Well that seems a little strange to me. I'd think if you remembered enough of a convo to remember it was about a "show", what would come with that memory would be the rough topic associated with the show. It's a little like remebering you had a sandwich with peanut butter but forgetting that there was jelly on it too.

And he said he happened to pick up a "viewer complaint"? Is that really what he said? He didn't remember it was Libby he was talking to? Now that is not believable. I must look up the transcipt on that because I can't conceive that Russert would even say that like that. If he did, that's messed up.


Okay, if Russert says he doesn't remember the topic of the show - did the defense at least establish that the phone call came right after, ie within a few days, of the Hardball Show, in which case it would be the most likely topic of conversation? And did the defense establish that between that Hardball show airing and the conversation with Russert, that there was no other topic more relevant to the VP's office so that it would also lend credence to the fact that that topic was discussed? I guess I really just need to find a link to the transcript.


Wells knows exactly how NBC has lawyered this.


It seems like Wells knows everything. He sure knew there was something being held back about Russert. He must have some very good investigators.


Yes, Mark , he does.

Sara (Squiggler

No. No one can fill you in. The void is simply to great. We're only human here.

Posted by: Rick Ballard | February 11, 2007 at 08:32 PM

What a piece of work you are Ballard. Gag!

Rick Ballard


The argument against the NBC lawyers having been told by Mitchell that she cannot 'say' such a thing is the motion to quash, is it not? Their argument in that motion is based upon a representation of what she will say if questioned:

Your honor, very briefly, three points. . . . Number one, I am representing to you as an officer of the Court that Ms. Mitchell, if called to testify on these matters, would testify that she heard no rumor, that she had no information and no knowledge about the wife of Ambassador Wilson prior to the Novak column. I'm representing that.

Rick Ballard

"What a piece of work you are Ballard. Gag!"

Go back and read sylvia's posts on the durham case. She's trolling.

It's really not that hard to recognize timewasters and trolls.


I agree with Rick on that. Timewaster.

Sara (Squiggler

It's really not that hard to recognize timewasters and trolls.

Like you bring anything of value to the discussion. Sheesh!

I don't know what she said about Durham but if it went against the conventional view of JOM, then more power to her.

Sylvia, pay no attention to Ballard, he has problems.



I think "proffers" of evidence are really nothing but an opportunity for a witness to avoid testifying. Why believe the NBC lawyers. And, should she take the stand and testify differently, they will say that's the first they heard of it.

Let's try this with a different name to it. There is "probable cause" to believe that Mitchell may have probative testimony based on currently available information. The Court should never accept a lawyer's proffer in that circumstance.

OK. That said, watch the judge overrule me.


sorry lefties...no code red for you!

Drudge Cheney report bogus


I don't know what she said about Durham but if it went against the conventional view of JOM, then more power to her.

save it Sara...you have a grudge on this we don't wan to know about

Sara (Squiggler

First sentence in the WaPo article:

It can't be said often enough: Don't mess with Andrea Mitchell.

Much will depend on just how pissed off Andrea really was and whether she has gotten her revenge since 2003 or is she one to bide her time and then hit them where it hurts. Remember she is also the reporter that was forcibly removed from a pseudo press conference, Dharfur or Sudan, I think. She didn't go quietly as I recall.


I don't know what she said about Durham but if it went against the conventional view of JOM, then more power to her.

save it for a Lacrosse post..and don't impugn other POVs because of your personal issues






Why do you suppose Armitage cut off all contact with her in July 2003?

Sara (Squiggler

Windnsea, I have no grudge. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and that is why I never participate in any thread having to do with Durham. My position has been from the beginning that we'll have to agree to disagree and leave it at that and wait to see what happens with the legal system.

Sara (Squiggler

Why do you suppose Armitage cut off all contact with her in July 2003?

Because he knew she knew too much and he couldn't count on her to keep it to herself. Remember Woodward said Armitage would hang up on him if he tried to bring up the Novak column.


Imagine where this investigation would have been if Russert, Cooper, Miller who all refused to testify had not been challenged in court and forced to testify.

That is what would have happened under Ashcroft.

So Libby's decision to point to Russert isn't that startling.

And emptywheel provides another nugget about Libby and Russert: Oh--and there's one point that Clarice seems to totally overlook! You see, according to Libby's second GJ appearance, he called Russert between his two GJ appearances, personally. Want to talk about impropropriety? You might start there. Because it sure sounds like Libby realized he needed Russert to protect him, Russert made a college try at doing so, and now Wells is using that to try to impugn Russert.

Short of perjuring himself Russert did everything he could to protect Libby. He resisted testifying, and he did not disclose poilitically damaging information about the Bush administration (which he could have) before the 2004 elections.


She's 61. She's rich. She could have a good life--a better one than legaphoning leaks and sitting around with Matthews--c'mon Andrea..go out with honor..



Sara (Squiggler

Oh and Windnsea, someone's POV on Durham has nothing to do with my remark. But for the record, your statement implies that if that POV is different from yours, then it is unwelcome. I'm sure you don't want to leave that impression, now do you?



Thank you for letting me join you for the weekend. I have followed this case through you and find your comments cogent, interesting, and, of course, coded.

This case, viewed through the prism of trial strategy, has a great fascination for me. However one feels about the politics of this episode, the case itself is thin. It will not reveal anything about the War. It demonstrates the wiles and machinations of high priced and brilliant lawyers. It also demonstrates the corruption of the system, even when following the rules. As I’m certain you know, the one who knows the rules best, wins.

Thanks again for doing all the hard work on this case.


Thanks Mark..I enjoyed reading your posts .



Thank you. I've enjoyed reading your comments a lot.


jinx, you owe me a coke Clarice.


Everyone is entitled to their opinion and that is why I never participate in any thread having to do with Durham.

don't make me embarass you with archived quotes


Okay no wonder I didn't know about this as the NYT, my source of news, had nothing on it. And it seems that JOM had covered a lot of side issues but hadn't emphasized this. But the WaPo did- here's an excerpt for those who hadn't follwed it last weekend:
In 11 minutes of direct testimony, Russert offered a vivid description of his telephone call with Libby, and said it rapidly "evolved into a consumer complaint." Russert said Libby, who was then Cheney's chief of staff, was upset that "Hardball" host Chris Matthews had said in two broadcasts that the vice president was responsible for Wilson's mission to Niger for the CIA and had made negative remarks about Libby....In addition to testifying that he had not mentioned Plame to Libby, Russert said that Libby did not bring her up, either. Russert said he first learned about Plame and her CIA job from the Novak column.... Russert said that he had not, and that he had been "in listening mode" during the call.... Russert said. "I did not know" about Plame. "I did not talk about it."

Okay the defense established for the record the topic of the show was about Wilson. Well after reading this, Russert would have lied, if he did, out of paranoia that receiving a classified leak is also against the law, and although he probably wouldn't have been caught up in that, he didn't want to tempt fate. The successful types are always the most paranoid -which sometimes gets them in more trouble - the olde coverup problem. I think this way because Russert went out of his way to say that Wilson's wife was not discussed in any way, neither from Libby to Russert or from Russert to Libby -which seems a little overkill.

This of course strains credulity. Libby is calling to complain about Wilson's trip. Russert, as a human being would say -"well you and Dick sent him didn't you?" Libby would then say - "No we didn't". Then Russert again, as a normal human being, would ask -"Well who did?"

We and jury are supposed to believe that Libby complained about Wilons trip, but the basis for Libby's complaint was never asked by Russert - as in why don't you like Wilson, what was wrong with Wilson's credentials, if you didn't like Wilson's credentials, why did you send him? We are supposed to believe Russert just sat there on the phone, listening like a sphinx to one of the hottest news stories around without asking nada?

That doesn't make sense. Again, if you read Russert's words, he never really denies ASKING about Wilson's wife. He says, well I couldn't have told Wilson because I didn't know. But as I've seen speculated here, "asking" about a rumor is not "knowing", nor is it really "mentioning", or "bringing it up". All those other terms imply some knowledge of a subject - "Asking" does not. So still an escape possibility there.

Rick Ballard

"OK. That said, watch the judge overrule me."

Thanks Mark - you certainly brought more to the table than just an appetite.


Thanks Sara. For a debate blog- we seem to have a lot of people who get very anxious if you go against the zeitgeist here. Instead they should welcome you for your opposing viwepoint as an opportunity to think about things in a new way, or at least to sharpen their own defense of their opinion.


ts--I owe you much more than a coke for all the hard work you do picking up the pacer filings and for your intuitive genius at picking up so many things the rest of us miss.

Sara (Squiggler

Sylvia, most do.


And still, I have to catch up on Libby's latest. Is he still holding firm that Plame was discussed at all with Russert- or has he rescinded that? His latest defense escape would be to maybe claim he got Russert confused with another reporter- maybe Woodward.(if he actually did talk to Woodward earlier about anything remotely related) However he could not specifically SAY it was Woodward- he would have to fudge it skillfully, lest he get in the same trouble again. I think that might save him as they could date Woodward's knowledge to an earlier time, closer to the time Libby found out through his job.


your concern is so touching Sylvia

Sara (Squiggler

Sylvia, what boggles the mind is that Russert wants us to believe that he treated the Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States just like any other riled up viewer. Libby was said to be complaining about Matthews antisemitic remarks. This would be taken as a pretty serious charge by most, I would think, and most especially so when considering the complainant and the need for a network to tread carefully when hate speech complaints are lodged. I think it inconceivable that Russert just listened.


Thanks Clarice. ::wink::


Okay wait- I reread the WaPo article. A transcript would be best of course, but this is what I saw- lots of ways for Russert to fudge:

"In addition to testifying that he had not mentioned Plame to Libby, Russert said that Libby did not bring her up, either."

Russert ASKING about Plame is not technically "mentioning". Mentioning means more like "bringing it up". If Russert asked about Plame first, that would mean if Libby answered, that Libby did not "bring her up", as in bring up FIRST.

"He testified that if Libby had mentioned to him during their phone call four days earlier that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, he would have pursued it, asking questions about how Plame's job might relate to Wilson's accusations against the White House."

Fine. But if Russert asked FIRST, that does not describe the above scenario, where IF Libby "mentioned it" first, then Russert would have asked. That doesn't discount Russert asking first before Libby mentioned it.

"I did not know" about Plame. "I did not talk about it."

"Asking" is not knowing or talking about it technically.


You know now that I think more about it, these seem to be very legalistic odd ways for Russert to deny the conversation on Plame. Why doesn't he just say -"Damnit. We did not dicuss Valerie Plame or Joe Wilson's wife at all, in any way, shape, or form!" Why is he doing this verbal dance of no one "bringing it up" "mentioning it" "knowing". It seems strange to me. Why isn't that defense lawyer trying to pin him down more? Maybe he will on the defense's case.


FYI, from Dictionary.com

mention (n.)
c.1300, from O.Fr. mencion "call to mind," from L. mentionem (nom. mentio) "a calling to mind, a speaking of, mention," from root of Old L. minisci "to think," related to mens (gen. mentis) "mind," from PIE base *men- "think" (see mental).

"Call to mind" implies to me introducing a topic into a conversation, not responding when asked.

Sara (Squiggler

Sylvia, I am not entirely convinced that either man "brought up" da wife in any form. But something Russert said suddenly resonated with Libby and gave him his V-8 moment where he heard "something" that suddenly reminded him of things in the Wilson story that he knew but had not given much import to or paid any attention to when heard the first time.

Someone here likened it months ago to the geeks vs the gossips. LIbby had been pursuing the geek side of the Wilson trip for several weeks and the gossip was sailing right over his head (because let's face it, he is kind of a geek). Russert or any of the reporters were pursuing the very same story, same set of facts, but far more interested in the gossip side. Suddenly the geek gets it and sees the gossip and that the press is not really interested in the geek story at all.

I think it is a perfect microcosm of how the mainstream media has deteriorated down to tabloid journalism in the last 15 years or so.


That seems like that could be a good defense to me Sara. Libby could claim that hearing Russert ask him about Plame in some way surpised him so much that other reporters knew about her already, that he felt like he was "hearing it as if for the first time". He could maybe say that he never really pictured Wilson's wife as actually "sending" Wilson, like Russert may have said, and instead just pictured her just "recommending" him. I don't know, he could try it at least.


Hey, I missed this...this is Dobbs, CNN September 29, 2003

DOBBS: And, David, as you know, there's been at least one report suggesting that it was known that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA. Do we know how extensive that knowledge was?

ENSOR: How extensive where? I'm not quite sure what you mean.

DOBBS: A report in "The National Review," as I'm sure you're aware, suggesting that there was every indication that some people knew that she worked for the CIA.

ENSOR: Well, there certainly were some people who knew the family, who knew of where she worked.It was perhaps not a top-secret matter. But, technically, there's a law against revealing in public in the media, for example, the identity of a covert operator for the CIA. And that is what apparently occurred in this case.


Want to talk about impropropriety? You might start there. Because it sure sounds like Libby realized he needed Russert to protect him, Russert made a college try at doing so, and now Wells is using that to try to impugn Russert.

Hmmmm...sounds a lot like Armitage's phone calls and home visits to reporters and co-workers.
I would say that Russert telling the FBI agent on the phone that he didn't tell Libby about Wilson isn't a college try at all. The FBI already knew what Russert would say before Libby ever got to the Grand Jury.

Sara (Squiggler

Why is he doing this verbal dance of no one "bringing it up" "mentioning it" "knowing". It seems strange to me. Why isn't that defense lawyer trying to pin him down more? Maybe he will on the defense's case.

Remember Wells was limited in what he could ask on cross by what was brought up on direct. But, I agree on the verbal dance.

The only explanation at this point that would make any sense to me would be Russert admitting that when someone rants at him, he holds the phone away and doesn't listen at all. That's what alot of men do when their wives start ranting at them, maybe Russert is like that. Just let the caller vent and get off. But, then why did Libbt almost immediately take the Russert stuff to Rove and Cheney. He even asked Cheney if they should add the part about "wife sent him" to the statement being prepared. Cheney supposedly says, no, let Tenant handle it in his statement.

Maybe all Russert said was "hey Scooter, have you checked the advance wire yet?" or something equally as innocuous.

Sara (Squiggler

Or maybe Russert said, "I just got back from vacation and haven't had a chance to check the advance wire yet." We don't know for sure, but I am going to assume that the White House gets the advance wire too.

Sara (Squiggler

Oops, hit send by mistake. Should read "haven't had a chance to check the advance wire yet that everyone is all a buzz about."


Yeah, I forget the actual wording now by Libby. It was something like "and Russert is telling me about this and I remember hearing it as if for the very first time."

I wonder now how Fitz actually even asked Libby if Libby ever heard about Plame from official channels. Did Libby deny that he ever did, or say that he got it from official channels, but only after he got it first from Russert.

He must not have denied the official channels, and just said he heard it later - or he would be indicted for those statements as well. But if he admitted hearing about it at some point from offical channels, did he deny having any notes or some calendar dates about those mentions from the offical channels that would specify roughly around when those occurred? After all, such notes would let him compare the dates on his own and let him see which was first.

I don't know, I'm kind of wondering why Libby doesn't have MORE charges if Fitz believes he is lying. Charges related to denying specific meetings and conversations with the officials already in the prosecution case. I suppose it's kind of hard to prove a negative.

Sara (Squiggler

LIbby said from the get go that Cheney told him, but that until whatever Russert said, he hadn't really processed it. Hence, the "as if for the first time." I don't think LIbby ever denied or tried to hide that he was talking to lots of people about the geek side of the Wilson story. Remember that the info about Plame was in the INR memo that Grossman asked for when Libby first asked his geek question of "who is this unnamed Ambassador and why is he saying the VP sent him on some trip to Niger?


Oh, how interesting is http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9851404/>this?! The first Meet the Press after Fitzgerald issues his indictments, guess who one of Russert's guests was:
Ken Duberstein.

Carol Herman


Nope. Cheney told Libby. It's in the record.

What got to Libby was that the level about Wilson's wife was so high, among the cognicenti, it was as if the subject was a Pope's BULL. And, the President would not get in a word, edgewise.

The word? The president did not lie in his SOTU speech. (If you remember? He got complimented, sky high, on that one, too.)

Marlon Brando mumbles less than Bush. And, on par with sounding just as coherent when they try to give speeches.

Sara (Squiggler

Libby Believes NBC News Could Clear Him...

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