Jan 16, 2007

Game On...

Who is the defendant?

I. Lewis Libby Jr., 56, served as Vice President Cheney's chief of staff and assistant for national security affairs from 2001 until he resigned at the time of his indictment in 2005. Mr. Libby attended Yale University as an undergraduate and got his law degree from Columbia. He served in the State Department and at the Pentagon during the administrations of presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. As a private lawyer, he represented a billionaire commodities trader who was a fugitive and was later pardoned by President Clinton, Marc Rich. He was also an early participant in a neoconservative foreign policy group, the Project for the New American Century.

What is the CIA leak investigation?

The probe was launched to determine how the name of a longtime CIA officer, Valerie Plame, appeared in a July 2003 syndicated newspaper column by Robert Novak. Mr. Novak reported that a former diplomat who traveled to Africa at the CIA's behest to investigate allegations that Iraq sought nuclear materials there, Joseph Wilson IV, was sent on that mission at the suggestion of his wife, Ms. Plame, who worked in the agency's section assessing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Prosecutors said Ms. Plame's affiliation with the CIA was classified, though there are disputes about whether she was still considered a "covert" agent at the time of Mr. Novak's story.

What are the charges?

Mr. Libby faces five federal charges: two counts of making false statements to FBI investigators, two counts of perjury before a grand jury, and one count of obstruction of justice. The indictment alleges that the White House aide deliberately gave the agents and grand jurors false stories about how he learned of Ms. Plame's CIA affiliation and regarding his conversations with journalists about the issue.

Who was responsible for the leak?

While prosecutors allege that Mr. Libby discussed Ms. Plame with at least three reporters, he does not appear to have been a source for Mr. Novak's column. The deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage, has acknowledged that he was the first source for the columnist. Mr. Novak has identified his second source as a top political aide to President Bush, Karl Rove. Some of the disclosures didn't result in news stories. Before talking with Mr. Novak, Mr. Armitage gave the information about Ms. Plame to a well-known Washington Post reporter, Bob Woodward. Prosecutors allege that Mr. Libby discussed Ms. Plame with a New York Times reporter, Judith Miller, on three occasions. She did not write about the subject until she became caught up in the investigation and served nearly three months in jail for refusing to identify her source.

Is anyone being prosecuted for leaking Ms. Plame's identity?

No. Mr. Fitzgerald has indicated that a key factor in bringing charges over the leak was whether officials knew that Ms. Plame's affiliation with the CIA was classified. The statute designed to punish intentional disclosures of the identities of CIA officers and sources is narrowly drawn and requires proof that the defendant knew that the CIA was taking steps to keep secret the officer or source's identity. It's not clear whether officials outside the CIA knew of her alleged covert status. Mr. Fitzgerald considered charging Mr. Rove for failing to disclose certain facts to the FBI, but ultimately chose not to charge him, according to lawyers involved in the case. It's also unclear how much scrutiny the prosecutor gave to Mr. Armitage's conduct. The former diplomat has said he did not even hire a lawyer to advise him on the matter.

Who is representing Mr. Libby?

Theodore Wells Jr. will lead the defense team at trial. Mr. Wells has had slew of high-profile clients and was recently named lawyer of the year for 2006 by the National Law Journal. Mr. Wells sometimes wins outright victories, such as the acquittal of a former agriculture secretary, Mike Espy, in 1998 on corruption charges brought by an independent counsel. On other occasions, the defense lawyer has managed to prevent convictions of his clients by dividing jurors. In 2003, he won a mistrial for a former investment banker charged with obstruction of justice, Frank Quattrone. The banker was convicted at a second trial but the conviction was overturned. Last year, Mr. Wells won a partial acquittal of a former McKesson Corp. chairman, Charles McCall, on accounting fraud charges.

Mr. Wells, who practices out of the Manhattan office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP, is a graduate of Holy Cross College and Harvard Law School. The defense lawyer is a Democrat with close ties to a former senator and presidential candidate from New Jersey, Bill Bradley.

Other members of the defense include a Washington attorney with Baker Botts LLP, William Jeffress Jr.; a San Francisco-based lawyer with Jones Day, John Cline, and an attorney with Philadelphia's Dechert LLP, Joseph Tate.

Who is the handsome prosecutor?

Patrick Fitzgerald, 46, will argue for the government. He won the conviction of suspects in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and of the so-called blind sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman. Mr. Fitzgerald has been a federal prosecutor for nearly his entire career and was based in Manhattan before moving to Chicago to become the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. He was assigned to the CIA leak investigation in late 2003, after political appointees at the Justice Department in Washington decided the politically sensitive case should be handed over to a special prosecutor.

A Brooklyn native, Mr. Fitzgerald attended Amherst College and Harvard Law School. He has said he has no political party affiliation. His office has pressed corruption investigations against a former Illinois governor who is a Republican, George Ryan, and against aides to Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago, a Democrat.

Mr. Fitzgerald will be assisted at trial by government lawyers from Chicago and Washington, including one, Peter Zeidenberg, who helped lead the prosecution of a top finance official on Senator Clinton's 2000 campaign, David Rosen. Mr. Rosen was acquitted at trial.

How evenly are the lead lawyers matched?

Mr. Fitzgerald is considered one of the federal government's best and most tenacious prosecutors, but a former colleague observed that the prosecutor has never faced someone like Mr. Wells, who is one of the lions of the defense bar.

"That's going to be a huge challenge for Pat, who's gone up against good lawyers before, but this is a great lawyer," an attorney who formerly worked with Mr. Fitzgerald, Joshua Berman, said. "This is the all-star game."

What is likely to be the most compelling moment of the trial?

The testimony of Vice President Cheney, who is expected to be called as a defense witness.

"The highlight for everybody will be seeing Dick Cheney on the witness stand," a liberal blogger planning to come to Washington for part of the trial, Jane Hamsher, said. "That's the E-ticket ride."

"The minute he walks in he's going to suck the oxygen out of that courtroom," a law professor at George Washington University, Jonathan Turley, said. "His testimony is very likely to be key. He has the ability to rescue his friend and subordinate."

Who are the other likely witnesses?

The prosecution is expected to call several prominent journalists, including Timothy Russert of NBC, Judith Miller, formerly of the New York Times, and Matthew Cooper, formerly of Time Magazine. Mr. Libby initially claimed to have learned of Ms. Plame's CIA affiliation from Mr. Russert. The NBC Washington bureau chief has said he never discussed the matter with Mr. Libby. Ms. Miller and Mr. Cooper are also expected to offer accounts of their conversations with Mr. Libby that are at odds with statements Mr. Libby made about those conversations.

Several former Bush Administration officials are expected to testify for the prosecution, including a former White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer.

The defense has said it will call Mr. Libby to testify on his own behalf. The defense may also try to call Mr. Woodward and other journalists to establish that Ms. Plame identity was being so widely discussed in the summer of 2003 that Mr. Libby may have heard about it from reporters. It's unclear whether the judge will permit that sort of testimony.

What are the chief arguments of Mr. Libby's defense?

In court papers, Mr. Libby's team has suggested two lines of defense. The former White House aide may insist that he accurately described some of the conversations he had with reporters and that the journalists' recall of those discussions is incorrect. However, Mr. Libby's main defense is expected to be that he was so busy at the time of those conversations and when he was being questioned by the FBI and grand jury, that he misremembered some of the conversations. "He needs to simply convince this jury that these were busy and heady times and that his memory was not picture perfect," Mr. Turley said. "I think it's a winnable case for the defense."

Mr. Libby's lawyers could also argue that any misstatements he made were not material to the leak investigation because there was no legal basis to prosecute anyone in connection with leak that started the probe. The defense team has not signaled whether it will raise this in front of the jury, but has jockeyed with prosecutors over jury instructions on this point.

What is the prosecution's best rebuttal?

Mr. Fitzgerald is expected to argue that the sheer number of contacts Mr. Libby had with White House officials and reporters about Mr. Wilson and Ms. Plame belies any suggestion that Mr. Libby was not focused on the issue.

Does the prosecutor have to prove motive, or why Mr. Libby allegedly lied?

No, and yes. As a technical legal matter, Mr. Fitzgerald only has to prove that Mr. Libby deliberately misled investigators and need not prove why the White House aide did so. However, legal analysts said that, because the defense team is likely to argue that Mr. Libby innocently forgot some details, prosecutors will have to explain why the White House aide may have wanted to cover up his involvement.

"The only place where motive doesn't matter as something to be proved is in law school and at the court of appeals," a former prosecutor who once worked alongside Mr. Fitzgerald, Andrew McCarthy, said. "Where the game actually gets played, to convince a jury and prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, you have to give them a credible narrative."

Mr. Fitzgerald has agreed not to argue that Mr. Libby committed other crimes, but the prosecutor can still point to the political trouble that could have arisen if investigators found the White House had any role in leaking Ms. Plame's identity. "It would have been terribly embarrassing," Mr. McCarthy said.

What about the judge?

Judge Reggie Walton, 57, was appointed to the federal bench by President Bush in 2001. He spent most of the previous 20 years as a superior court judge in Washington. From 1989-2001, he served as the deputy drug czar under President George H.W. Bush.

Judge Walton has a reputation for protecting the right of defendants at trial, but sentencing them harshly if convicted. He is a graduate of West Virginia State College and American University's law school.

Where will the trial take place?

The trial will take place in Washington at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse, which houses the federal district court and the main federal appeals court in the city. The courthouse has hosted a number of high profile trials including that of John Hinckley Jr. in the assassination attempt on President Reagan and that of the former mayor of Washington, Marion Barry, on drug charges.

How many people will be able to view the proceedings?

The trial will take place on the sixth floor of the courthouse, in Courtroom 16, which can seat about 100 people. Video and audio of the proceedings will be relayed to an adjacent courtroom, which also seats about 100 people, and to a press room on the first floor, which has the capacity for about 50 journalists, according to a court spokesman.

Can the general public attend?

Yes. Several rows of seats in the main courtroom and all of the gallery seating in the overflow courtroom will be available to the general public. During jury selection, the public will probably not be permitted in the main courtroom.

How long will the trial take and when will it be in session?

About 6 weeks, according to various estimates. The trial is to begin each day at 9:30 a.m., with a lunch break from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The trial will not convene on Fridays, when the judge will attend to other cases. This week's proceedings are expected to be devoted to jury selection and preliminary issues. Opening arguments are set for January 22.

Will the trial be broadcast?

No. In keeping with federal court rules, no press photography or video cameras will be permitted inside the courtroom. A group of press outlets sought permission to broadcast audio recordings of the trial after each trial day concludes, but Judge Walton rejected the request. Video cameras and microphones will be present in the courtroom, though, to provide the closed-circuit broadcast to the overflow courtroom and press room. Television outlets will stake out arrival and departures of the participants from an area in front of the courthouse known as Hinckley Beach, because of the encampment that developed there during the trial of John Hinckley Jr.

Will the attorneys involved recap the courtroom action each day at a news conference?

Highly doubtful. Judge Walton has threatened contempt proceedings against prosecution and defense lawyers who speak publicly about the case. The judge even chastised Mr. Libby's team for giving reporters a letter from Mr. Fitzgerald to the court correcting an error in one of Mr. Fitzgerald's public filings.

How much will the trial cost?

The investigation and prosecution cost an estimated $1.44 million through August 2006, according to figures released to the Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act. A spokesman for Mr. Fitzgerald, Randall Samborn, said about $1.1 million of that amount was an accounting for the work time of personnel already on the government payroll. "We do believe we were very conscientious with the expenditure of taxpayer funds," Mr. Samborn told the AP. The costs to the court and for Mr. Libby's defense are not publicly known, though the $3 million raised by his defense fund gives some indication of the legal fees he has racked up.

What is the penalty if Libby is convicted?

In theory, Mr. Libby could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and fined up to $1.25 million, if convicted on all five counts. However, judges generally observe federal sentencing guidelines, which would call for a much shorter sentence for a defendant like Mr. Libby, who has no criminal record.

How much has Libby's legal defense fund committee raised and from whom?

The Libby Legal Defense Trust has taken in more than $3 million from hundreds of donors, according to a person involved with the trust. The trust advisory board is populated primarily by prominent Republicans, including an antidrug activist and former ambassador to Italy, Mel Sembler; a former president of the Public Broadcasting Service, Richard Carlson, and a former Port Authority chairman, Lewis Eisenberg. The panel also includes a former Middle East negotiator under President Clinton, Dennis Ross.

Will Ms. Plame or her husband, Joseph Wilson IV, attend the trial?

Probably not as spectators, though the defense has called Mr. Wilson as a witness. Mr. Wilson has moved to quash the subpoena, but last week Judge Walton rejected that motion as premature.

Why has the case taken so long to start?

When the trial convenes on Tuesday, nearly 15 months will have passed since Mr. Libby's indictment in October 2005. The delay was due to a variety of factors, including a scheduling conflict on the part of Mr. Libby's lead counsel and quarreling over the use of classified information in the case. The defense has said it was pleased to have the additional time to prepare.

How many journalists are expected to cover the trial?

About 60 to 70 news organizations have been accredited, according to a court spokesman, including about half a dozen bloggers. Bloggers and other journalists will be permitted to post written material to the Internet from the press room in real time. A blogger for the Huffington Post is also scheduled to fill one of the print pool slots during jury selection.

Could President Bush pardon Mr. Libby, and how likely is that?

The White House has refused to comment on the possibility of a pardon, but Mr. Bush has the authority to pardon Mr. Libby at any time before, during, or after the trial. Mr. Libby has not sought a pardon, probably because he and his allies have described the trial as an opportunity to clear his name. If the former White House aide is convicted, he stands a decent chance of winning a pardon, since people close to the president, including Mrs. Cheney, have described the prosecution as unjust.

What key questions about the case will likely not be answered by the trial?

The trial is unlikely to explore details about how the investigation was launched. Some conservatives have asserted that the report the CIA sent to the Justice Department, triggering the criminal inquiry, must have misstated Ms. Plame's history at the agency. These critics believe that the CIA's referral falsely claimed that she had been in covert status overseas in the past five years. Only leaks about agents who have such a record could result in a prosecution under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

Mr. Libby's defense team sought access to the referral, but prosecutors resisted and the judge deemed it irrelevant to the pending charges. The Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal are pressing for a copy of the referral, which is in the sealed records of an appeals court in Washington, but it's not clear when or whether the request will be granted.

97 Comments:

Blogger Quzi Formerly CC said...

Good Morning Fitzie and Justice Bloggers!!!

It's hard to believe this day has finally come...

JBs there is a good thread this morning on FDL outlining some sources that will be covering & discussing the trial.

Link

Dear Fitzie:
A Checklist for Court:

1) Wipe off all KK crumbs from your face & tie before entering the courtroom
2) Stand straight and look the jurors in the eyes
3) Be yourself. You know how to relate to the everyday person, and that's what the jurors will respond to -- its a winning style
4) Don't worry about the opposition, you have the angels on your side.
5) And as our beloved Jackie always says, Smile! Use that beautiful smile of yours.
6) Know that the Justice Bloggers are with you in spirit!!!
7) Go get 'em, Fitzie!!! And God Bless You

9:53 AM  
Blogger Quzi Formerly CC said...

I know most JBs know the link; however, here it is for anyone that might now know FDL:

FDL Link

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning Everyone! :)

Happy "Libby Trial" Tuesday to ya!! :D

Fitz and team ROCKS!! (I'll have to write a song about that! hehe)

Darth must be packin' his heart pills and Scooter has his disposable diapers on... LOLMAO

We're here for ya Fitz! :D

Have a great day all!

10:05 AM  
Blogger GrandmaNuk said...

"May the force be with you!"

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How long will the trial take and when will it be in session?

About 6 weeks"

So, with that estimate...it should end in late February.

10:13 AM  
Blogger calamityjane said...

Good morning to all.
Q,
good advice.
Fitzie, Q is right, we're with you in spirit. Good luck.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Quzi Formerly CC said...

"Who is the handsome prosecutor?"

I caught you trying to sneak that one in on us, Fitzie!

You forgot that you are "dashingly handsome"!!! LOL

10:19 AM  
Blogger Quzi Formerly CC said...

Hi S-Q, Grandmanuk and CJ!

Let's get this show on the road!

I'm at my desk working for a few hours before an appt....it will be hard not to check blogs today.

10:21 AM  
Blogger GrandmaNuk said...

OBAMA ANNOUNCES EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE!...Straight from his website.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Q!! And, Hi to Grandmanuk and CJ and all my friends in "My Neighborhood"! LOL

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, is Grandmanuk in DC for the trial?

10:30 AM  
Blogger Quzi Formerly CC said...

For S-Q:

Ms Rogers sings:

"It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?..."

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q:

You picked up on that real quick! LOL

ROFLMAO

10:36 AM  
Blogger Quzi Formerly CC said...

The most interesting part of this NY Sun article to me was: that the trial will unlikely explore details about how the investigation was launched.

"Some conservatives have asserted that the report the CIA sent to the Justice Department, triggering the criminal inquiry, must have misstated Ms. Plame's history at the agency....

...The Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal are pressing for a copy of the referral, which is in the sealed records of an appeals court in Washington, but it's not clear when or whether the request will be granted."

Interesting to see if it is released by the Judge for this case.

The other thing that has been on my mind. Even though this case is supposed to be tried on narrow grounds: did Libby lie and obstruct justice, if Fitzie needs to show intent and motive to the jury of why Libby lied and obstructed justice, then I do see a wide opening for Fitzie to get many facts in of how the White House strategized and maneuvered to keep the "flawed intelligence" out of the public domain, etc...and those facts ultimately will shed some light on how we did go to war and possibly about "by who and why" we were lied to...

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grandmanuk:

I Have A Few Of My Friends Standing By

hehe

10:50 AM  
Blogger Quzi Formerly CC said...

S-Q,

Mr Robinson's Neighborhood

LOL

11:01 AM  
Blogger calamityjane said...

Hi, Q, s_q, Grandmanuk.
The energy today is amazing.
Grandmanuk,
I couldn't find the committee announcement on Barrack Obama's website. What was it about?

11:02 AM  
Blogger Quzi Formerly CC said...

S-Q LMAO @
Cops theme
"I like the small-town feeling"
Stolen droids...

CJ said
"The energy today is amazing"

It's only getting started CJ...Let's Roll!

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q:

New word for the day is "PAIN" !!

You hear that Libby?

OMG! ROFLMAO!

11:09 AM  
Blogger Quzi Formerly CC said...

(PAIN)X 1,000,000 = Scooter Patootie

11:17 AM  
Blogger calamityjane said...

Just a little payback.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck Fitz today. Today is the day. I will check out the various blog sites for the latest.. Oh, and Waterflake is cheering you on all the way from the UK. I will be keeping Waterflake posted as well..

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally,

Go get 'em, Fitzie!

Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde.

Saint Brigid

11:42 AM  
Blogger Quzi Formerly CC said...

Good Morning SPB!

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From TalkLeft.com:

Jury Selection Underway in Libby Trial

The Judge has read the jurors the list of potential witnesses. Here they are:

Floyd Abrams Spencer Ackerman
David Addington
Mike Allen
Michael Anton
Kurt Armfeld (?)
Richard Armitage
Daniel Bartlett
Robert (Bob) Bennett
Deborah Bond
Massimo Calabrese
Andrew Card
Jay Carney
VP Richard B. Cheney
Matthew Cooper
John Dickerson
Jack Eckinroad (?)
Eric Edelman
Douglas Feith
Jennifer Feild
Ari Fleischer
Donald Fierce
Allen Foley
Carl Ford
Jared Francisco
Paul Gigot
David Gregory
Robert Grenier
Marc Grossman
Steven Hadley
John Hannah
Bill Harlow
Deborah Hayden
Seymour Hersh
Richard Polk ?
John Judis
Glenn Kessler
Walter Kransteimer
Nicholas Kristoff
Deborah Kuntz
Emily Laramour
Adam Levine
___________
Lewis “Scooter” Libby
Cathie Martin
David Martin
Mary Matalin
Chris Matthews
Jennifer Mayfeild
Scott McClellan
Dean McGrath
John McLaughlin
Judtith Miller
Jennifer Millerwise ?
Andrew Mitchell
Robert Novak
Neil Pateo
Timothy Phelps
Walter Pincus
Colin Powell
Dana Priest
Condoleeza Rice
James Risen
Karl Rove
Newt Royce
Tim Russert
David Sanger
Craig Small ?
Hannah Seimers
Bruce Schwartz
William Taft IV
Joseph Tate
George Tenet
Evan Thomas
Larry Thompson
Paul Valery ?
Joseph Wilson
Valerie Plame Wilson
Paul Wolfowitz
Bob Woodward

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning to you Q:

How are you doing this finde morning?

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey SPB:

That's quite a list!

Fitz, don't breathe the same air as Darth does!

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, not all of the peopke on that list will be called by the defense and prosecution. But, it is quite a long list which tells you how many people were either directly or indirectly involved in the case...

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great article from Jason regarding the Libby trial.

Opening statements in the criminal trial against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, are still a week away, but the special prosecutor has already provided a preview into the government's case against the ex-White House official accused of lying to the FBI and a grand jury about his role in the leak of a covert CIA operative.
According to court documents, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has said he plans to focus on the week of July 7 to 14, 2003, during which Libby allegedly told several reporters that Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the CIA and was responsible for convincing the agency to send her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, to Niger in 2002 to investigate claims that Iraq had sought 500 tons of uranium from the African country.
"I'm not going to argue it was the most important issue consuming the Bush administration," Fitzgerald told US District Court Judge Reggie Walton during a February 24 federal court hearing, a transcript of which was obtained by this reporter.
Fitzgerald said, according to the transcript, that he will argue that Mr. Libby was consumed with Wilson more than he should have been during that week. "But he was, and you can look at the time he spent with people," Fitzgerald added. "When talking about Mr. Wilson for the first time, he described himself as a former Hill staffer. He meets with people off-premises. There were some unusual things I won't get into about that week. At the end of the day, we're talking about someone who spent a lot of time during the week of July 7 to July 14 focused on the issue of Wilson and Wilson's wife."

Last year's hearing also shed light on the defense strategy that will be employed in an attempt to prove Libby's innocence. Instead of focusing on the obstruction of justice and perjury charges their client is charged with, Libby's attorneys have attempted to downplay the importance of Plame Wilson's CIA status and work with the agency. That strategy has been carried out in recent court filings as well.
By devaluing Plame Wilson's work and status with the agency, Libby's attorneys said they hope to prove to a jury that their client had no incentive to lie to investigators and the grand jury about how and when he found out she was a CIA employee as well as Ambassador Wilson's wife.
Proving how adept the defense can be in circumventing the facts related to the perjury and obstruction of justice charges filed against Libby, at one point during the hearing, Wells suggested that Plame Wilson's undercover status should have been declassified five years ago, but wasn't because of a bureaucratic error.
"I need to understand, is she covert or not," Wells said. "If she's classified, is she really classified or is [she] just classified because some bureaucracy didn't unclassify her five years ago when they should have? I just want to know the facts."

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.eatcrow.org/


http://judithmilleranddrdavidkellyand
wmd.blogspot.com/2006/10/joseph-
goebbels.html

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Fitzgerald has agreed not to argue that Mr. Libby committed other crimes, but the prosecutor can still point to the political trouble that could have arisen if investigators found the White House had any role in leaking Ms. Plame's identity. "It would have been terribly embarrassing," Mr. McCarthy said.

Fitz doesn't need to argue this point. No need in accusing him of the facts. It's common fact , they endanger the lives of agents and informants they do not like.

Is it deliberate ? Yes.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Quzi Formerly CC said...

I'm doing well SPB...How are you doing this fine morning?

I would love to see Fitzie cross-examine Mary Matalin and Chris Matthews...what a sight that would be! LOL

I have to run for an appt. I will be back in awhile to check in...

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Aaaaaaaaaaaah, this is the Day!!!"

:D


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q:

I'm mad that David Brooks wasn't on that list for witnesses.. Oh, Tweety on the stand would be priceless.. I just want to see Tweety's face if Fitz cross-examines the asswipe.. Tweety has been spreading the GOP lovefest too long. Hope Fitz knock the douchebag down a peg. Matalin should be worrying about panhandling more money for her buddy Scooter.. It will be interesting how day one of the trial goes!

Cheers!

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quzi Formerly CC said...


Dear Fitzie:
A Checklist for Court:

1) Wipe off all KK crumbs from your face & tie before entering the courtroom
2) Stand straight and look the jurors in the eyes
3) Be yourself. You know how to relate to the everyday person, and that's what the jurors will respond to -- its a winning style
4) Don't worry about the opposition, you have the angels on your side.
5) And as our beloved Jackie always says, Smile! Use that beautiful smile of yours.
6) Know that the Justice Bloggers are with you in spirit!!!
7) Go get 'em, Fitzie!!! And God Bless You



Beautiful things to keep in mind. Thank you, Quzi. :)




(Except that I still think traces of donut would be cute.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

12:40 PM  
Blogger calamityjane said...

Hi,Stephanie. How's it going?

Spb, thanks for the insight into the trial.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous t said...

Hi JB's,

Special Prosecutor JB's have your back:-) Can't wait to watch

Nice list SPB!

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's lunch time at the court. But, here is some information on FDL:

Team Irving filed a motion this morning to try to ask jurors about their exposure to particular news accounts about this case, or Fitzgerald's press conference. Fitz argues this is a way for the defense to purposely expose potential jurors with information about this case of their choosing. This is being wrangled in court out of the presence of the jurors as I type this. UPDATE: I haven't seen this get sorted out yet, but Walton seems inclined to find a way to allow Team Irving to find a way to ask its questions.

Questioning of specific jurors is now beginning. Team Irving is asking further questions about their views on the war or the decision to go to war, if they have any problem with it or strong opinions, or just general attitudes about the Bush administration or VP Cheney. Fitzgerald says this has already been covered in the opening voir dire review, and is repetitive in individual questioning, and actually beyond the scope of direct questions about the ability to be fair. Defense is arguing people sometimes miss their checked boxes, and that this is no ordinary case and we need to probe for anti-administration biases.
Walton's audio is really bad right now, but he's saying he will allow some latitude. The Libby people are also asking memory questions, repeating some of what was in the initial phase of voir dire, basically, do you think people can forget stuff?

Questioning of individual jurors is proceeding, very slowly, because there are a lot of questions and probing, mostly by the defense. At this rate, jury selection will take many, many days.


It will be very interesting what questions will be ask to the jurors. This sounds like both of sides are still debating on what questions will be ask to the jurors. As the bloggers indicates, this will take days for both sides to come to a compromise...

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

S-Q said...

Fitz, don't breathe the same air as Darth does!




Ha ha .....

One time, when I was staying at my great aunt's house, and she was sick with a cold, I tried just breathing shallowly, and as little as possible, so I didn't get her germs.....

It backfired on me though, because what I was doing, was not allowing my tissues to be saturated with oxygen. And so I ended up getting sick as a result. :(


(I'm older and wiser now. I don't deprive myself of oxygen anymore ............)

-----------------------------------

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quzi Formerly CC said...

"Who is the handsome prosecutor?"

I caught you trying to sneak that one in on us, Fitzie!

You forgot that you are "dashingly handsome"!!!




He didn't forget --- That's just his humility coming through!

:D

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Folks:

Marcy Wheeler put together the potential witnesses and occupation for this trial. Some on the list you are familiar with and some on the list are not familiar.

Here is the list.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the list.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BYE everybody, for now!

I'm off to FIREDOGLAKE.com!!!!!

:D


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1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the comments at FDL and interesting about the potential jurors..

Fitz, I hope you're having a good lunch! :)

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...
Q:

"I'm mad that David Brooks wasn't on that list for witnesses."

Twould be nice to see the wishy washy pussycat put on the stand.
I think Bill Kristol would be a candidate too. The pnac might have something to do with it, and the jury would be impressed with his Ipana smile. He too is a pussycat, but the Alice in Wonderland type.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm..

An initial group of 60 jurors will be asked to fill out a 37-page questionnaire when they arrive Tuesday morning. U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton then will question prospective jurors about their answers, with lawyers listening for responses that might prompt them to strike someone from the jury.

I certainly would have a headache with just 5 pages!

2:12 PM  
Blogger patriot girl said...

Good afternoon justice bloggers.

Jury Selection Update

Iran & Venezuela Team up in Oil Market

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strike 1 for the defense! hehe

2:19 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Fitz I clicked the wrong post sorry.

Hi guys I'm running a little late today.
As a member of the DOJ Flygirls I always have Fitz's back. Yes I do worry about how the press treats him but never about his ability to win this case. I read a little about the jury pool and that's might be a problem for the defense. Let's face not many minorities like the racist remarks coming from the White House. Tony Snow might now regret that Tar Baby comment. I saw Libby interning the court not looking good. The list of witnesses is interesting. I know each day I'll get the bottom line from SPB he's good at that.
Yes all smile like my little angel and have a great day.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Patriot Girl:

Thanks for the questions that will be asked to the juror. I downloaded the pdf file.. I hope that jury selection goes smoothly...

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jackie,

You have to wait for my bottom line toward the end of the day since court is still in session. But, so far, we know what potential witnesses that will be called to the case and now 37 questions that will be asked to the jurors.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The presidents of Venezuela and Iran have called for a cut in oil production by the members of the Opec oil cartel.

A deadly relationship that will bite the Gerbil in the butt. Thanks for sharing the article, Patriot Girl...

2:25 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

SPB good luck in questioning jurors who don't think this so called war is right. Look at the poll numbers. The defense might have to go nation wide as it's only about 19%. Good luck in finding one or two who believe lying to Americans to invade a country to steal oil and let 3000 plus soldiers die in the Iraq civil war. Oh the media showed Libby and his team going in court and Libby looked like the little kid trailing his father and uncle with his nanny there.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pachacutec of firedoglake wrote:

"Team Irving filed a motion this morning to try to ask jurors about their exposure to particular news accounts about this case, or Fitzgerald's press conference. Fitz argues this is a way for the defense to purposely expose potential jurors with information"


Those Bastards!!

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2:56 PM  
Blogger calamityjane said...

Any news updates on the the jury selection? Nothing in on FDL or talkleft.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Quzi Formerly CC said...

Just got back...

This from the FDL coverage cracked me up:

"One juror said she had three children. Fitz said, “I assume these are young children?”

She was very quick, saying with a southern inflection, “Oh, aren’t you sweet!”

The whole press room busted up laughing."

That's our Fitzie!!! He's already won this woman over!

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pachacutec of firedoglake wrote:

Team Irving is asking further questions about their views on the war or the decision to go to war, if they have any problem with it or strong opinions, or just general attitudes about the Bush administration or VP Cheney. Fitzgerald says this (sic) is beyond the scope of direct questions about the ability to be fair.



AMEN.

(I bit my tongue on what I was going to say yesterday.....)

-----------------------------------

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Defense is arguing (sic) that this is no ordinary case and we need to probe for anti-administration biases."



I'm glad I'm not in that courtroom, I'd be banging my head
on something hard right now.

-----------------------------------

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pachacutec wrote:

"Questioning of individual jurors is proceeding, very slowly, because there are a lot of questions and probing, mostly by the defense. At this rate, jury selection will take many, many days."



OH, brother .....

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3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pachacutec wrote:

We’ve covered maybe 4 jurors in the last hour, still on the fourth.

The third was very animated, very funny, really. She kept complimenting Fitz and Jeffress on their questions. Like almost patting them on the head, but no condescending. If she makes it to the jury she’ll be a post trial press conference favorite.



Well if she's bright, we Want her!!!

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3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stephanie:

Pach at FDL did a great job! :)

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Day One down..and how many more to go? Poor Fitz.. he must be shaking his head at the defense's tactics!

Fitz will win this case..no doubt about that in my mind! :)

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jerlyn Merritt from TalkLeft.com had live bogging with some Q and A

And keep this date:

Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Monday, January 22.

Wow, very quick...

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off the topic folks. I saw this piece of information:

WH Moved Swiftly to Replace US Attorneys

The administration is replacing U.S. Attorneys throughout the country. How'd they get that power?

It was an obscure provision in the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act, and it didn't take them very long to use it. The president signed it into law in March of last year -- by June, they were already moving to replace unwanted prosecutors.

We know of seven who have left during the last couple of months, many under unusual circumstances. Here is our list:

San Francisco - 1/16/07 - Kevin V. Ryan - unclear

Nevada - 1/15/07 - Daniel Bogden - pushed out

San Diego - 1/12/07 - Carole Lam - pushed out

New Mexico - 12/19/06 - David Igleslias - pushed out

Arizona - 12/19/06 - Paul K. Charlton - unclear

Seattle - 12/15/06 - John McKay - unclear; likely pushed out

Little Rock (Ark.) - 12/15/06 - Bud Cummins - pushed out

There is an eighth recently-departed U.S. attorney we know of, which some readers have noted: Debra Wong Yang, the former U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, Calif. Yang was overseeing the investigation into Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA). She announced her resignation in October 2006, but to date there hasn't been evidence that her departure was forced.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christy Hardin Smith of Firedoglake wrote:

"Pach at 28 — That’s a very typical dance between the lawyers and the judge on voir dire. No one wants to have to waste one of their own strikes if they can get the judge to use one of his unlimted ones for apparent cause. Judges are always skeptical and reluctant of the push from the lawyers and the lawyers are, understandably, constrained from pushing too hard because you then risk alienating a juror that, ultimately, might end up on the jury if you need to use one of your limited strikes on someone far more egregious. It’s a very intricate tap dance through voir dire, and much of it is based on first impressions and suppositions that have to be made on the spot."


This is all so interesting!!!

I am thankful to have Christie's explanations, which I know will be SO helpful to me (and anyone else not in the know about legal stuff).

And how many strikes are the lawyers allowed, does anybody know?

-----------------------------------

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stephanie:

Defense-- 12

Prosecution-- 6

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S.

I believe the defense lost their first motion to strike one juror. hehe

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Mr. Bush has the authority to pardon Mr. Libby at any time before, during, or after the trial."


I just about crapped when I read this earlier, then I got caught up in the excitement of "live time in D.C." and I forgot to comment on it.

Someone blogging at firedoglake just suggested that a pardon was likely (gasp). So I came back here to make my comment.

I know that Presidents can pardon, but I don't understand when or why they were given that authority.

And the fact that a President can in essence just Call Off a trial is shocking to me. It's totally un-American!

Are any of you historians who would like to explain how Presidents were given this authority?

-----------------------------------

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh this was too funny on FDL blog on some of jurors. Enjoy Jackie:

Comment 123:

In regards to Libby’s tie, I think it’s supposed to be ethnic to appeal to the potential jurors. As a woman of color, it doesn’t work for me.
I ordered Marcy’s book last night & mailed my contribution this morning. Already I can tell it was well worth it!


ETHNIC?????? Ha! Ha! Is Libby trying to win over African-American jurors???? LOL! Man, I fell out of my chair on that. Fit,z you got to tell us what tie was Libby wearing...

Comment 141 and 162 :

The next juror:
I am completely without objectivity. There is nothing you can say that would make me feel positively about President Bush.

She was immediately excused, mid-20’s African American female.


Bhaaaaah! Love it!!!!

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck, Scooter on your jury pool!!

LMAO!

So far, no good for the defense.. Some of the jurors so far express their negstivity of Bush....

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SPB:

I think approx 80% of Americans don't approve of Bush!

LOLMAO

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, S-Q:

Since the jurors are majority African-American, the odds of Scooter getting a majority of that juror pool to like the Gerbil is little to none. And the Hurricane Katrina certainly didn't help the Gerbil.

4:40 PM  
Blogger patriot girl said...

today from RAW:

Iran Strike Imminent??


Russian Missiles Delivered to Iran


Democratic presidential candidate Kucinich warns, 'If Bush attacks Iran, all bets are off'

you're welcome Biloxi

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it looks like the Gerbil is trying to push his agenda very rapidly on attacking Iran (thanks Patriot Girl). Also, wiping out certain U.S. attorneys out of a job.

And I wonder if Libby is going to bring bean pie or sweet potato pie for lunch to win over potential jurors tomorrow.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I wonder if Libby is going to bring bean pie or sweet potato pie for lunch to win over potential jurors tomorrow.
--------------------------------
SPB:

ROFLMAO!!

Gotta run...bbl..

5:05 PM  
Blogger patriot girl said...

Thanks for the 'Attorneys' one too SPB. At least Feinstein caught that one before it slipped by.

here's another one:

Bank warns investors: Iran attack 'looms'

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pachacutec wrote:

Walton believes the totality of her responses says she can be fair, and has denied the motion (by Team Libby) to strike for cause.



YEAH!!!

:D

-----------------------------------

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patriot Girl:

Another blogger has asked me scoop about the U.S. Attorneys being booted out by the Gerbil. The scoop will be on my blog. But, in a nutshell, all of the U.S. Attorneys mentioned was nominated by the Gerbil and are being pushed out because the Gerbil is pushing the Patriot Act. And one U.S. Attorney that resigned was replaced by a man who Bush snucked in on Dec. 20 w/out a Senate confirmation... Bush is a piece of work...

5:28 PM  
Blogger jan said...

So that's it, SPB? They get pushed out replaced and nothing happens?!

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wells: could you put VP Cheney on the same footing under oath as another witness, or would he have a strike or more against him in your mind.

(potential juror) "He’d have a strike against him."



Boo hoo.

Is honesty always the best policy or are there exceptions?

(SORRY I'm asking that .........)


-----------------------------------

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jan:

They are getting bullied out. Now the man that replaced Bud Cummins that wasn't confirmed at all by the Senate can be challenged. But, many of them just resigned or got booted out. I would suggest to notify your official in your area because this is certainly powrr of abuse by the Gerbil. Fitz, better watch his back.

Oh, I did hear that Rice and Rove may be witnesses in the Libby trial. Will be interesting.. Got an appt. BBL...

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pachacutec said:

"This guy has just been excused by Walton."

140 LBrowne says:

"‘Cause he’s gone out seeking information instead of passively taking in whatever was given him. I’m not sure Libby’s lawyers want jurors who can think, even if some of their info sources lean right."



Of course..... They need people who don't think for themselves.

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6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

141 Pachacutec says:


The next juror:

"I am completely without objectivity. There is nothing you can say that would make me feel positively about President Bush."

She was immediately excused, mid-20’s African American female.




"Bye Bye.........."


I wonder how much publicity these comments (made by potential jurors) will get.

-----------------------------------

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't looked at posts on this blog, so I'm sorry if this is redundant, but anyway check this out:


What's the White House Doing to Prosecutors?

By Justin Rood - January 16, 2007, 1:50 PM

During a floor speech on the topic moments ago, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said the White House has told her it was replacing from five to 10 Senate-confirmed U.S. attorneys with its own interim appointees.

We know of seven who have left during the last couple of months, many under unusual circumstances.


Link to the article:

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002347.php

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6:10 PM  
Anonymous e said...

wonderful statement by someone on Tucker...asked why this is so important...
"well Cheney cannot control these questions.." :)

wounderful thought

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fitz must have been too busy to make this "Game On" post.

At three and half feet long it could only have been Anthony right?

6:35 PM  
Blogger jan said...

"White House has told her it was replacing from five to 10 Senate-confirmed U.S. attorneys with its own interim appointees."

Why (I guess I know why) and how, if senate approved, can they just yank these people and put in thier own?

I keep feeling that the Consitution was torn in half 6 years ago and we are just know figuring it out.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous G.W. Bush said...

"I hate the G*****m Constitution!!!"

yes i really did say that too.

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

G.W.--What really matters is what your daddy said about Americans chasing you all down the street and lynching you if we found out what you've all done.

Well, guess what? Us dumb asses are figuring it out, got a rope? The truth marches on, MF.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous G.W. Bush said...

Well...uh...at least you referred to me as "My Friend"...right...?

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

calamityjane said...

Hi,Stephanie. How's it going?



Hi Calamity!

Going pretty good.

I'm seeing that I'm gonna have to exercise some self control in the weeks ahead .....

It would be easy to spend too much time on firedoglake, know what I mean.......?

-----------------------------------

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

S-Q said...
Stephanie:

Pach at FDL did a great job! :)



Yes, he did.

Hope he's taking care of himself, getting enough rest, drinking water, etc.

(We need him!)

-----------------------------------

7:31 PM  
Anonymous t said...

Good Evening Everyone,

Interesting posts, thanks for all the updates JB's and associates. Looks like things are going along well.
I return to dc again next week and will be there for a while, plan to see some of this trial during that time or next month maybe too.

What a charming young man you are Fitz, regarding the remark to the lady with children. Much more approachable than that stuffy Wells. I can't wait to see him in bs mode

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

STANZAS TO ERIN

by J. J. Callanan

The Poetry and Song of Ireland

Still green are thy mountains and bright is thy shore,
And the voice of thy fountains is heard as of yore:
The sun o'er thy valleys, dear Erin, shines on,
Though thy bard and thy lover forever is gone.

Nor shall he, an exile, thy glad scenes forget -
The friends fondly loved, ne'er again to be met -
The glens where he mused on the deeds of his nation,
And waked his young harp with wild inspiration.

Still, still, though between us may roll the broad ocean,
Will I cherish thy name with the same deep devotion;
And though minstrels more brilliant my place may supply,
None loves you more fondly, more truly than I.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

t said...

things are going along well.
I return to dc again next week and will be there for a while, plan to see some of this trial during that time or next month maybe too.



You Lucky Dog!!!

-----------------------------------

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max, where are you?

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max,
Chief said we are to get our shoe phones ready for some real action soon.

7:53 PM  

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