Feb 19, 2007

I'm All In...

The Defendant Isn’t the Only Player With a Personal Stake in the Libby Verdict

Peter Zeidenberg, a Justice Department prosecutor, is to begin the summation case for the government. He will be followed by Theodore V. Wells Jr., Mr. Libby’s chief defense lawyer. As is customary in federal criminal trials, the prosecutors will have the last word, and it will be by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the chief prosecutor. Each side will have a total of three hours.

While there are numerous lawyers on both sides, it is Mr. Wells and Mr. Fitzgerald who have emerged as the leading adversaries. They have argued dozens of legal issues before Judge Reggie B. Walton, politely jostled each other at the lectern and less politely complained about each other’s tactics.

The stakes are obvious for Mr. Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, who faces five felony charges for allegedly lying during an investigation of who leaked to reporters the name of a C.I.A. operative, Valerie Wilson. But there are significant stakes as well for Mr. Wells and Mr. Fitzgerald. <
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28 Comments:

Anonymous teak said...

Mr. Fitz, Team America.

We know what is at stake. We are praying for the jurors to have courage and wisdom, a whole lotta common sense, dignity and honor.

Knock it out of the park, Mr. Zeidenberg and Mr. Fitz. Non-media and unenablers are behind you and believe in you.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous teak said...

BTW, not a word on CBS morning show about leak case today. It's all about Britney and Anna. :(

Maybe global warming is caused by that big fat elephant's gas sitting in the country.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous teak said...

"Americans for the first time since Nixon have "reason to doubt the future of democracy and the rule of law in our own country."

"Conason says there is growing public anxiety and anger about the Bush administration's use and abuse of power. Two events that particularly have raised public concern were "the misbegotten, horrifically mismanaged war in Iraq to the heartless mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster." He notes that "we do not know the full dimensions of the scandals behind Iraq and Katrina, because the Republican leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives abdicated the traditional congressional duties of oversight and investigation."

http://www.rawstory.com//news/2007/
Columnist_Authoritarianism_can_
happen_in_United_0219.html

10:11 AM  
Blogger PrissyPatriot said...

In his opening statement, Mr. Wells said that Mr. Libby had been made a scapegoat by unnamed White House officials who wanted to protect Mr. Rove because of his political importance to Mr. Bush.

But Mr. Wells did not present any testimony to support that thesis, and will probably be barred from repeating it in his closing statement.


Libby is the scapegoat and a fool to take the fall for the rest, considering his role was nearly minor in comparison.

It was clear to see in Russerts testimony, he was telling the truth -THIS time...Good pic of the real Fitzgerald;-)

10:32 AM  
Anonymous hesikastor said...

Fitz -

I've followed this trial ever since I googled you and found your site. May the wind be at your back, a good, stiff, Chicago blast to sweep you on to victory.

The pic's a great one: enough to send a chill through Libby's entrails. I'm glad it's not me!

10:40 AM  
Blogger jan said...

hot..hot photo. Should be named 'The Man with a plan'.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Defendant Isn’t the Only Player With a Personal Stake in the Libby Verdict


By NEIL A. LEWIS
Published: February 19, 2007
WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 — As lawyers for I. Lewis Libby Jr. make their final argument to the jury on Tuesday, they face the daunting task of raising sufficient doubts about the government’s assertion that Mr. Libby lied to a grand jury and federal investigators.

The prosecutor, Patrick F. Fitzgerald, is expected to take a plain approach.
Prosecutors have built a detailed case to support their charges, presenting several plausible witnesses whose testimony conflicts with Mr. Libby’s sworn statements. Still, the prosecution has the burden of convincing the jurors of Mr. Libby’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, an imprecise concept that makes the outcome of most complicated criminal trials unpredictable.

Peter Zeidenberg, a Justice Department prosecutor, is to begin the summation case for the government. He will be followed by Theodore V. Wells Jr., Mr. Libby’s chief defense lawyer. As is customary in federal criminal trials, the prosecutors will have the last word, and it will be by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the chief prosecutor. Each side will have a total of three hours.

While there are numerous lawyers on both sides, it is Mr. Wells and Mr. Fitzgerald who have emerged as the leading adversaries. They have argued dozens of legal issues before Judge Reggie B. Walton, politely jostled each other at the lectern and less politely complained about each other’s tactics.

The stakes are obvious for Mr. Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, who faces five felony charges for allegedly lying during an investigation of who leaked to reporters the name of a C.I.A. operative, Valerie Wilson. But there are significant stakes as well for Mr. Wells and Mr. Fitzgerald.

At the end of 2003, Mr. Fitzgerald, the chief federal prosecutor in Chicago, was chosen as special counsel to investigate the leak of Ms. Wilson’s identity. Her name was first disclosed in a July 14, 2003, column by Robert D. Novak only days after The New York Times published an Op-Ed article by her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV. Mr. Wilson, a former ambassador, had accused the Bush White House of knowingly distorting intelligence about Iraq’s efforts to obtain material for its nuclear program in order to bolster the case for going to war.

Mr. Fitzgerald successfully pressed reporters to give evidence about their confidential interviews, even sending one, Judith Miller of The New York Times, to jail for 85 days before she agreed to testify to the grand jury.

Mr. Fitzgerald discovered who leaked Ms. Wilson’s name to Mr. Novak — Richard L. Armitage, a deputy secretary of state and Karl Rove, President Bush’s top political adviser — but did not bring criminal charges against them. He did, however, charge Mr. Libby, who he said had obstructed justice and committed perjury by giving untruthful answers to the grand jury and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It was a serious crime, he told reporters, because it was like “throwing sand in the umpire’s face,” impeding the prosecutor’s mission. For Mr. Fitzgerald, the outcome of the trial will in part be a verdict on his decision to seek Mr. Libby’s indictment.

Mr. Wells, a renowned defense lawyer, has characteristically thrown himself into his work. He has bested prosecutors in the past in defending public officials, and in this case he has battled over every sliver of an issue. Mr. Wells, along with William H. Jeffress Jr., put on a short defense last week; much of their strategy was based on discrediting Mr. Fitzgerald’s witnesses during cross-examination.

Lawrence Barcella, a former federal prosecutor and experienced white-collar defense lawyer in Washington, said that closing statements were important but often not as crucial as nonlawyers might think.

“Actually, opening statements are more important,” Mr. Barcella said, saying that studies and conventional wisdom among trial lawyers showed that jurors typically made up their minds early in the trial.

Dan K. Webb, also a prominent defense lawyer who was the chief federal prosecutor in Chicago, disagreed. Mr. Webb said in an interview that he thought closing statements were often “the most important part of a trial” because a lawyer could weave a persuasive closing argument as well as a favorable factual summary of the case.

“It’s a combination of skilled closing argument and effective cross-examinations that win most cases,” he said.

In their closing arguments, both sides will strive to project believability, but with markedly different styles. Mr. Wells’s closing speeches are filled with emotion and motion, as his arms wave and he strides about in front of the jury, expressing indignation at the government’s case.

Mr. Fitzgerald, along with Mr. Zeidenberg, is expected to offer straightforward and unemotional presentations.

The prosecution wants to offer a streamlined and simplified argument that Mr. Libby lied in two grand jury appearances and two F.B.I. interviews when he said he had not discussed Ms. Wilson with two reporters. To believe that, the jurors will be told by prosecutors, they will have to disbelieve several witnesses, including the two reporters.

In addition, they will have to discount the testimony of several officials who said Mr. Libby knew of Ms. Wilson’s identity before he said he learned it from Tim Russert of NBC News.

Mr. Wells will probably focus on inconsistencies he and Mr. Jeffress exposed in cross-examination, demonstrating that nobody’s memory is perfect.

In two days of cross-examination of Mr. Russert, for instance, Mr. Wells nicked and slashed at his credibility and character. But it was unclear if he had cast doubt on Mr. Russert’s essential testimony, that Mr. Libby was lying when he swore that he had learned about Ms. Wilson from Mr. Russert.

In his opening statement, Mr. Wells said that Mr. Libby had been made a scapegoat by unnamed White House officials who wanted to protect Mr. Rove because of his political importance to Mr. Bush.

But Mr. Wells did not present any testimony to support that thesis, and will probably be barred from repeating it in his closing statement.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Truth shall set us free.
May the Force of the Light be with you Fitz!
D

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting Dan Webb would comment. He defended former IL governor Ryan, and lost. And he works for one of the dirtiest law firms in Chicago. He is no fan of Fitzgerald. But he might just like to see his name in print :).

11:30 AM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening folks!

Happy President Day (except for the Gerbil)!

Well, we now know how much time each sides will have. I got frustrated with the changes of the schedule for the closing arguments and Wells bellyaching for more time. So, each sides gets 3 hours and Fitz gets the last word in. I think that is fair on both sides. Have plenty of coffee or energy drinks handy tomorrow. It will be a very long day tomorrow.

It doesn't matter how long or short the closing arguments are for both sides. The point is how effective both prosecution and defense are making their points across to the jurors based on the evidence that they presented and how strongly and successfully their opening arguments were to present the evidence. Both sides have to make sure that what they presented in their opening statements were delivered/promised to the jurors.

That's my 2 cents!

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to social psychological research, people tend to believe the first person and the last person they hear from in a group the most. Fitz wins on both counts.

11:46 AM  
Blogger GEEZERPOWER said...

We are with you in Oregon.
Godspeed..(:

Teak: some news from google

Huffington Post

WaPo Gives Platform For a Partisan to Mischaracterize the Libby Trial ... Again


Baltimore Chronicle

Shame on the Washington Post, Again


And the spinmeisters GOP USA

Media Guilty In Libby Trial By Roger Aronoff February 19, 2007

11:48 AM  
Blogger GEEZERPOWER said...

Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...
Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening folks!

Happy President Day (except for the Gerbil)!
-----------

Thanks, I forgot to salute the presid'aint. Couldn't I just remember Ike?

11:57 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Fitz your tie look real GQ Judge Reggie has nothing on you. As for Wells take a back sit this trip to the real man in the blue tie.

Peter explain it to the jurors like their 5 year olds, simple is best. Hit each point in the opening remarks and counter with points left out in the short defense. Make know the phase used by all witnesses " a low level aide", as that was used by Libby. Point out all the Pulizters for Defense with lip service. Don't forget the trip on Saturday to the zoo with total concentration to business during the same time period Libby now can't remember. One witness said Libby was brilliant with total recall yet has memory lost. Tom Cruise he can remember. So busy with 2 hour lunches with Judy.( time frame) Look right in the eye of the jurors and hit every one with bulls eye. Go over your closing with my Little Angel for check points. Then Tuesday morning strike the final blow to Libby. Don't worry about Wells he's got to do some Harry Potter magic to get out of this one and Reggie is wise to the appeal plan. Oh if you didn't know Harry Potter is make believe so Wells has nothing.
Hi Randall now you job is going to get harder this week. Just keep doing what you do best. " No comment", the sharks will be all over you before the jury brings in the verdict. As for the rest of the team support Peter and make sure his tie is correct. For some reason when a lawyer is standing in front of you, you can see little errors and it make take away from your concentration.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Peter I thought of something else too.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

words by William Ockham ( occam razor )

12:12 PM  
Blogger S-Q said...

Fitzie & Peter:

You guys rock and I know you will kick a$$ tomorrow! :)

I'll be singing this song while you're putting the Heat On

:)

12:21 PM  
Blogger S-Q said...

Fitz:

P.S.
I love that photo! :)

12:26 PM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

"According to social psychological research, people tend to believe the first person and the last person they hear from in a group the most. Fitz wins on both counts."

That's true Anon to a point as long as both Fitzgerald and Zeidenberg present an effective closing argument that will leave no doubt in all 12 jurors' minds that Scooter Libby is guilty beyond the reasonable doubt based on evidence and witnesses provided by the government that was outlined from the opening arguments. You can't have one prosecutor give a strong closing argument and the other prosecutor give a weak closing argument. Both have to give an airtight closing arguments that leave the defenses' closing arguments doubts...

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SPB: Do you doubt that they will give strong summations? I don't. Both Z and F are known for their summations.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

"SPB: Do you doubt that they will give strong summations? I don't. Both Z and F are known for their summations."

Anon:

I never said that I doubted the summations of Z and F. I am confident that they will give strong summations. I never read any of Z's filings of any of his cases. So, I am sure under Fitz's guidance that will be equally effective at Fitz's final closing arguments. But, you can't underestimate Wells, Cline, and Jeffress either. Remember, we are talking about a defendant who is attorney also. Libby may have given a sorry ass excuse of memory loss to the public, media, and the court when he committed perjury but Libby is not dumb. Of course, he is covering for his boss and the rest of the WH who are involved in the Plame/Wilson affair. These are high price attorneys that had a uqite a number of high profile clients and cases. Libby and his henchmen attorneys are looking one juror who will doubt. So, I am saying that you never nothing to chance with Libby's defense attorneys.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

Forgot to add: To answer your question: No, I don't doubt that Z and F will give a weak summation.

1:24 PM  
Blogger S-Q said...

Zeidenberg is known as the prosecutor who, in the longest criminal trial in D.C. history, brought down the infamous K Street Crew, a gang of marijuana dealers known for killing witnesses.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

Last Dance......

Mr. Fitzgerald, please proceed:

Go Do that Voodoo
that You do so Well!.......

Best Wishes to You and your Supporters-----

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

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Don de Drain said...

Fitz--

I'm not telling you anything you don't already realize, but thought I would put in my 2 Euros worth of comments. There is enough evidence in the record in this case for your team to crush the arguments made by Team Libby. And you can, without ever directly commenting on the failure of Libby and Cheney to take the stand, make it very clear that their failure to testify in this case is a result of weakness on their part, not because of a failure of your team to prove your case.

This is exactly the type of case where the closing argument is critical. You can lose the case if your team is not at its very best in closing argument. But if your team is at its very best in closing, then you will make Team Libby's closing argument almost irrelevant.

I'm looking forward to seeing you and Z perform at the very top of your your abilities tomorrow.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous bluedogs said...

Fitz: The truth is on your side, you will win.

And I should say, the American People will win.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Quzi said...

Fitzie and JBs,

I haven't had time to read any posts this weekend. However, I wanted to stop in and say:

Fitzie -- The angels are with you. Go in there and give the best d@mn closing statement you have ever given...my gut tells me the jury will do the right thing...and the truth is with you. I will be praying for justice in the courtroom for America and for Team Fitzie!

God bless you Fitzie and Team America! ;)

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river.
—Abraham Lincoln

Scooter was soaked before he ever got on the horse.

8:48 PM  
Blogger jonathan said...

We are praying for the jurors to have courage
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12:59 AM  

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