Feb 16, 2007

The Right Stuff...

Walton does D.C. proud in Libby trial

WASHINGTON - A slight man with gray hair and familiar craggy features walked out of the witness room on the sixth floor of the federal courthouse Wednesday. I did a double take and approached. It was I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

“I’m interested in your thoughts on Judge Walton,” I said. He just smiled and walked away. Two years ago, Libby was a master of the universe, helping to run the government as Vice President Dick Cheney’s top assistant; now he’s in the dock in Courtroom 16 on charges of lying under oath to a grand jury investigating who might have leaked the name of a spy.

But I wasn’t all that interested in Libby or the leak case we have come to know as Plamegate, or the roster of Washington media celebrities who have been called to the witness stand in the past few weeks. I came to see presiding U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton in action.

How would he handle high-powered prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and high-priced defense attorney Ted Wells? Would he favor Bush officials? He was chief crime adviser in the first Bush White House in 1991; President George Bush appointed him to the federal bench in 2001. Would he let Libby slide? Would he become our version of Judge Lance Ito, who allowed the O.J. Simpson trial to become a media circus?

No way. Walton has ruled against Libby on numerous occasions. He has run the case with patience, precision, fairness and even warmth. As for the Ito example, Walton denied a motion to allow reporters not directly involved in the case to testify because it might bring in “O.J.-type of evidence.”

Walton qualifies as a Washingtonian. Born in 1949 in the steel town of Donora, Pa., Walton came up tough and survived teenaged brushes with the law. He first came to Washington in 1971 to take classes at Howard Law School and got a law degree at American University. Except for a short stint as a prosecutor in Philadelphia, he’s been here ever since, as a prosecutor, appointee and judge on the Superior Court and federal benches.

“He’s a tough sentencer,” NPR legal reporter Nina Totenberg told me. “He doesn’t put up with a lot of claptrap.” For instance, Libby’s lawyers led the judge and prosecutors to believe Libby would take the stand. They changed course. They then asked Walton to let others testify about how busy Libby had been during the time of the leak, to show how he might have forgotten what he said, rather than having lied.

You can’t “play coy,” Walton said, by offering Libby then pulling him. “It’s become too much of a game now; it’s supposed to be finding the truth. It’s not fair. I won’t permit it.”

Libby’s lawyer suggested Walton was violating his client’s constitutional rights.

“If I get reversed on that one,” Walton said, “I guess I’ll have to hang up my spurs.”

That would be a shame. Washington would lose the one hero in the sordid Libby affair.

Labels:

31 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fitz and Walton!!

10:01 AM  
Blogger Quzi said...

Good read...

It is exactly what I've concluded from following this trial. I had real reservations about Judge Reggie in the beginning...and this author sums up what I was thinking too:

"Would he favor Bush officials?... Would he let Libby slide? Would he become our version of Judge Lance Ito, who allowed the O.J. Simpson trial to become a media circus?

No way. Walton has ruled against Libby on numerous occasions. He has run the case with patience, precision, fairness and even warmth. As for the Ito example, Walton denied a motion to allow reporters not directly involved in the case to testify because it might bring in “O.J.-type of evidence.”"


I think Judge Reggie has tried to be fair, steady and consistent in his rulings. Give that man a Krispy Kreme!

10:32 AM  
Blogger Semanticleo said...

I think he gave them a pass on the bamboozling of Cheney and Libby testimony. He let sensitive material in the record contingent upon their taking the stand. Then they pulled the plug. Surprise.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous naschkatze said...

I don't agree with you, anonymous. Putting "Fitz & Walton" in the same breath makes it look like a set-up just as if you said "Wells & Walton". And, frankly, though I'd like to see the whole lot of them caught--not just Libby--, I think Walton's remark could serve as grounds for appeal.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naschkatze at 11:30:


Just a wild impulse on my part. Not fully awake when I made that comment. I desperately need more coffee.

From the Anon at 10:01.

11:51 AM  
Blogger S-Q said...

You can’t “play coy,” Walton said, by offering Libby then pulling him. “It’s become too much of a game now; it’s supposed to be finding the truth. It’s not fair. I won’t permit it.”
-------------------------------

I have to agree with Judge Walton. The purpose for a trial is to find truth and justice. Is the defendant guilty or innocent?

What Team Libby did was quite underhanded. Asking for classified information, based upon the idea that Libby would be testifying. Also, suggesting the possibility that Cheney would testify.

After all their argument for classified info and then not putting Scooter or Darth on the stand.. that wasn't fair!

11:53 AM  
Blogger S-Q said...

Anon @ 11:51:

Didn't you know there is a rule on this blog that states you can't post any comments until you've had at least 3 cups of coffee?

LOLMAO

11:58 AM  
Blogger GEEZERPOWER said...

Right on SQ

And lets hope that the jury pays attention to this.

Also that the jury doesn't read articals by .Ann woolyer

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

S-Q

Not aware!


LOL!

12:03 PM  
Anonymous naschkatze said...

Anonymous, May you never have to testify against yourself! (Old Irish Blessing)

12:09 PM  
Blogger S-Q said...

Hi Geezer!

Well, good thing "Dirty Harry" wasn't a Judge! He would have been the hanging Judge for sure!! LOL

Well Do You Punk?

ROFLMAO

12:12 PM  
Blogger GEEZERPOWER said...

S-Q said...
Hi Geezer!

Well, good thing "Dirty Harry" wasn't a Judge! He would have been the hanging Judge for sure!! LOL
----------------
Harry was the man back in the day, but I don't know how he would fare with Ann Woolyer, or Clarice for that matter...G;

Heeheeehe

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Fielda said...

Constitutional Rights?

Everyone knows the only people who have "Rights" in the USA are criminals.

Let's all get a legit security job, go down to the border, shoot a foreign drug runner enroute to prosper by poisoning American families and children, and see if we have any "rights" when we're put in prison.

In the meantime, hustle for the war machine, and the prosecuting, investigative attorney gets fired.

(Oh Geesh. What's Next? STALIN?)

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Naschkatze from sleepy Anon.

1:24 PM  
Blogger PrissyPatriot said...

Yes good read, I was impressed with Judge Walton,still wondering WHY he gagged Melanie S and Sibel E...

Check this out bloggers/goodie makers
Make your own KK's from scratch (not you S-Q heehee-I'll make extra's for you;-)

Krispy Kreme Kopy Kat
Recipe #153665
These are better than the original! Be very careful with the dough as it is very delicate.

http://www.recipezaar.com/153665

1:26 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Hi everyone thanks for the V cards.
As for Judge Reggie well he's nice to look at as far as Judges go. The comment about Fitz all an powerfull I think is wrong. When your doing what's right it's not hard at all. As for Wells he's trying to get a guilty man free. Once Wells used scapegoat it was all over. After Fitz and his team finished with witnesses Wells started working on the appeal. He knew from the questions that the jurors asked that Libby was guilty in their minds. All the Pulitzer Journalist in the world couldn't change the guilty finding. Now as for Judge Reggie, he knew Wells was working on away for the appeals court to overturn this verdict. Fitz and Wells are smart lawyers yes, but remember Reggie is just as smart and maybe smarter. As for Reggie being appointed by Daddy Bush, well don't forget Supreme Court Justice O'Connor who was appointed by a Repubican President but didn't vote the way Republicans wanted her too. Once your a Judge you work for the people, if you honor the oath no don't side with any party. That's why Lady Justice is blind.
Great job Randall !!!!

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Friar Tuck said...

play another mans game

and you become the same

tis far better to don the robe

and take up the beggers bowl

1:30 PM  
Anonymous teak said...

http://www.alternet.org/
waroniraq/47913/

U.S. and Israeli hopes of forging of a Sunni Arab alliance to contain Iran and its regional allies may be misplaced, at least at the popular level, according to a major survey of six Arab countries released last week.

The face-to-face survey of a total of 3,850 respondents in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates found that close to 80 percent of Arabs consider Israel and the United States the two biggest external threats to their security. Only six percent cited Iran.

Imagine that, Condi.

1:52 PM  
Blogger GEEZERPOWER said...

Teak

Here's a poll from Marine Corps News that shows a large majority are against escalation in Iraq...

Quick question: The U.S. Surge in Iraq

President Bush has put in motion a controversial plan to deploy 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq, most of them to Baghdad, in an effort to quell the sectarian violence that continues to rage there. What do you think of this plan?

It will turn the tide16.79 % (837)

It's worth a try26.66 % (1329)

Too little, too late53.02 % (2643)

No opinion3.53 % (176)Total votes: 4985

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/

2:04 PM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening folks!

TGIF!

I'm late getting on the blog. I am glad that Judge Walton kept this case under the control unlike Judge Ito in the O.J. Simpson case. It was a bad move by Libby's attorneys to hoodwink the Judge as well as the prosecution team into thinking that Libby would take the stand in his own offense. Walton stuck his reputation on theline when he allowed the defense team to have over 100 + classified documents for his defense. And the judge and the prosecution wasted 2 2 1/2 months debating with the defense over classified documents when the defense bullshitted the judge and the government. I have read every single filings from the defense since day one of this case and it pissed me off as a professional to see how far the defense when with this lame duck case. And many of the defense filings did indicate that Libby would take the stand. Of course, Fitzgerald knew that the defense had a dead horse and knew that they would try to pull the greymail strategy (as used in the Iran/Contra trial) with him. Libby knew that he hired the very smart like Ted Wells and John Cline and expensive attorneys who handled high profiled cases to bail him out. But sometimes smart attorneys are not always as smart as they seem. And expensive attorneys doesn't necessary win all cases.

I have always said on this blog an old saying that a rat sooner than later has to return to his rat hole. In the case of Scooter, Fitz gave Libby what he wanted and fought over: the classified information. And what Libby wanted and got, killed his case big time. So, be careful what you wish for. And now that the defense team pissed off Walton big time, when Libby is convicted, don't think that Reggie Walton is going to be a "nice" judge and give Libby some breaks for a man whi never had a criminal record. Duping Walton will damage the defense.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

Folks,

I found this piece of information on Talk Left.com:

Libby attorney Ted Wells told the Judge he wants four hours for his closing argument.

Now, last night, an anon gave a breakdown of the hours from both sides for closing argument. I simply don't know how many hours both sides are giving for closing arguments at this point. Also, defense revised a their theory of defense instruction yesterday. Here is the revised Theory of Defense instructions.

I have a feeling that there may be more changes...

2:22 PM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

P.S. Wells and the rest of the defense team can have 8 hours of closing arguments. The bottom line is that Libby's defense and Wells' opening arguments left holes like swiss cheese..

2:23 PM  
Anonymous fauxfitzcourtobserver said...

scooters team should have known Judge Reggie would put the smack down on them for trying to play fast and loose. still judge r runs a welcoming courtroom-no one harassed me for wearing purple panties, for instance

pros team was ready to do battle and they plenty of ammo.

more scooter testimony wouldnt confuse only be another nail and hes got enough for easy guilty conviction

2:29 PM  
Blogger patriot girl said...

Happy Friday all...

Just popping in while I have some time. Well said at Biloximan and FFCO .

Wells has no hope for redeeming his client, so I don't know what the heck he thinks he's gonna get accross in a 4 hour closing statement. Way to piss off those jurors again Wells.

LOL! (=

No OJ in JRW's courtroom please. ( ;

2:46 PM  
Anonymous hesikastor said...

I came late to this whole court scene. But I remembered Ito's circus and cringed. When I saw how Walton set the tone for the trial, with civility, and a very human grace, I felt the trial would be a fair one. I recall the story of his early days in law. He set out to be a defense lawyer. He defended a black criminal successfully. After the trial, the man turned around and said something like: Yeah, Bro. We sure fixed that one! Walton fairly scooted (oops!)to the government side.

I liked his human side. "I have to go pick up my daughter." "My wife's away, my daughter's calling me"

Like Fitz, he has no huge ego, no axe to grind other than that of justice. And he did get mad with sleaze Wells, and make a point of saying that Fitz was one of the most, quote, scrupulous, unquote, attorneys to come before him. He tried to be fair, and I'm sure went Fitz's way (the rightful way) every time he could.

I wrote FDL right at the beginning of the trial when everybody was praising everybody else to put in a vote for Walton. The vote still stands.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

"still judge r runs a welcoming courtroom-no one harassed me for wearing purple panties, for instance"

Purple panties?? Ha Ha! Oh my, are you The Artist formally known as Barney?

Hello Patriot Girl:

Seems like nothing is written in stone about the schedule of the closing arguments. Now Wells wants four hours. He is going to wear out the jurors that day if only he had a strong opening argument.

This would be my own closing argument on the prosecution side. It would not be 4 hours. It the Biloximan bottomline. I would do the closing arguments after the defense:

Ladies and Gentleman of the jury. You have head the defense's Alice in Wonderland and hole of swiss cheese of the defense of Scooter Libby. Questions left in Scooter's defense:

1. Where is the proof of Scooter being a scapegoat for Rove?

2. Where is the story that Libby has a story to tell of his innocence?

3. Why didn't the three amigos: Libby, Rove, and Cheney take the stand? Is it because of my cologne?

4. Why did he waste the government and the court's time?

Simply this, ladies and gentleman, Libby's case and defense are hosed. It was hosed then and it is hosed now. Hang the baby cojones! Peace out!

3:07 PM  
Blogger patriot girl said...

hee hee Biloximan...

I think he's just trying to get more pay at his hourly rate. ( ;

By the way, do you know if Libby hire Wells personally, or did the WH pick Wells for him? (I know Libby's trial fund is 'paying' for Wells.)

4:55 PM  
Blogger Special Prosecutor Biloxi said...

"I think he's just trying to get more pay at his hourly rate. ( ;"

Yes you are right and hell of a lot.

I will check out your last comment about Wells. ;-)

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wells has a great record for getting sleezeball government honchos out from under criminal charges. But it seems Scooter's defense may have been too great a challenge even for someone as clever as Ted.

Meanwhile, the gals over at the PJFFC are, once again, spewing illogic. They think it's news that this site is satire while their site is, well, a peek inside something kind of heartbreaking.

Oh, well. At least there's a good chance justice will prevail sometime this month. Team Fitz has nothing to be ashamed of.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous shock and awe said...

Well some people at a fan site need good vibrators!


LMAO!!

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at 9:51


LOL!!!

3:41 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home