Jan 31, 2007

Cheney's Smokin' Gun Pointed At Bush...

Cheney's Handwritten Notes Implicate Bush in Plame Affair
Handwritten notes by Vice President Dick Cheney, introduced at trial by defense attorneys for former White House staffer I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, would appear to implicate George W. Bush in the Plame CIA Leak case.

Bush has long maintained that he was unaware of attacks by any member of his administration against [former ambassador Joseph] Wilson. The ex-envoy's stinging rebukes of the administration's use of pre-war Iraq intelligence led Libby and other White House officials to leak Wilson's wife's covert CIA status to reporters in July 2003 in an act of retaliation.
But Cheney's notes, which were introduced into evidence Tuesday during Libby's perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial, call into question the truthfulness of President Bush's vehement denials about his prior knowledge of the attacks against Wilson. The revelation that Bush may have known all along that there was an effort by members of his office to discredit the former ambassador begs the question: Was the president also aware that senior members of his administration compromised Valerie Plame's undercover role with the CIA? <more>

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Full Court Press...

Libby Live: Matt Cooper One

Zeidenberg. These are from Libby's notes, dated July 10. He can't be held accountable for what she said. Mr Libby called Matalin for advice. On July 8 he wrote down notes in which Rove said, people are taking Wilson as a credible expert. 2 days go by, he calls Matalin for advice. She tells him, she gives him strategy. We need someone who can sum it up. This is fitting into Democratic story. It has legs. The story's not going away. We need to address Wilson motivation. The President should wave his wand. "Call Tim," Mary Matalin, he hates Chris, he needs to know it all. Underneath, Mr Libby's notes, Wilson's a snake. As a result, he calls Tim Russert. The fact that he would write that down goes to state of mind. Govt was interested in responding on the merits.
Libby Live: Matt Cooper Two

Buckle Up...

Keep you hands and feet inside the cubicle at all times, please.

Libby Live: Judy Four

Libby Live: Judy Five

Judy Miller Weathers Cross

Dick's Vapor Rub...

Trial Reveals Wilson Smear Began Far Earlier

One by one, the witnesses testified: what they knew and when they knew it.

Speaking under the threat of a perjury penalty, the witnesses admitted for the first time that they had played a role in assisting the Office of the Vice President to attack the credibility of a staunch critic of the Iraq War.

The government officials conceded that a coordinated effort to discredit the man who dared to publicly question the Bush administration's rationale for war was hatched long before his name first entered the public record in July 2003. They said they dug up information about his wife's employment with the CIA, knowing that one of their colleagues would leak it to the media in what is believed to have been a retaliatory act against the war critic.

That is perhaps the revelatory aspect of the week-old perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial involving former vice presidential staffer I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

The list of officials linked to this case runs from Vice President Dick Cheney right on down to one of his low-level press officers. Testimony has revealed that a coordinated effort was put into place beginning in June 2003 by Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Libby, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, White House communications director Dan Bartlett, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, and as many as a dozen other officials to go after Wilson. In doing so, Wilson's wife's undercover CIA status was compromised, and a possible crime was committed. <
Artwork by Stephen Pitt

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The Handwriting Is On The Wall...

<---Libby / Cheney notes
Libby notes June 12, 2003

Office of Vice President document production materials

Veep In Deep - No Peep...
"Tim, Scooter Libby is, he's a good man. He's a friend of mine. He's somebody -- one of the most competent and capable people I've ever known. He's entitled to the presumption of innocence. But there is a legal matter pending, there is going to be a trial next year, I could well be a witness in the trial, and much as I would like to talk about, and I certainly have strong opinions about the case, I think it'd be totally inappropriate for me to do so. "

Mr. Vice President, it is next year, you will be testifying, and all Americans are anxious to hear your strong opinions on this matter...not to mention yours and the President's involvement!

Jan 30, 2007

The Way We Were...

Judy Miller’s Note-Triggered Mem' ries
The main attraction, of course, was journalist and former New York Times reporter Judith Miller. She looked stunning, very pretty and impeccably groomed. The reporters in the courtroom all turned to watch her stride into the courtroom, chin up. Her lawyer, Washington powerhouse Bob Bennett, took a seat behind the Government’s table. She was calm as she took the stand.

Fitzgerald did a crisp and clean direct examination, taking only 40 minutes to go through her career, how she hooked up with Libby, their meetings, her legal fight over being subpoenaed, her 85 days in jail, and her two subsequent grand jury appearances. Judy and Fitz were like a well-oiled machine. Unlike Ari who played to the jury, Judy directed her answers to Fitz, occasionally turning to the jury to explain a term, but then returning her attention to Fitz. The jury hung on to every word. <
Mem'ries, light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories
Of the way we were

Scattered pictures, of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we, could we

Mem'ries, may be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
Even under oath

So it's the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were
The way we were


All You Can Eat Pancakes...


What You See (in the Media) is Not What You Get (in the Libby Trial)

"In the wake of the first week of the Libby Trial, Patrick Fitzgerald's soufflé has turned into a pancake. Of course, if you are getting your news of the trial from the press you're certain to believe Libby is in trouble. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reporting is as bad as I've ever seen."

"With his own witnesses taking the air out of this thin case, the prosecutor's soufflé of an indictment has turned into a pancake when it came to trial." <


Sketchy Characters...


Take The Stand And Deliver...

Libby Live: Judy One

Scooter's letter to Judy while she was in jail for 85 days.

F Discussion about Mr. Wilson's wife on this occasion?

M Two streams of reporting on uranium and efforst by Iraq to aquire uranium, first stream reports like Wilson, –then made an aside, Wilson's wife works at WINPAC Weapons Intelligence Nonproliferation and Arms Control, specifically focused on WMD.

F Before June 23, had you ever heard that Wilson's wife worked at CIA?

M Not before that meeting

F On July 8, any new info?

M WINPAC was new.

Judy back. Looks like she's doing breathing exercises, pouring herself water. Got out of chair and is now back. Gets more water. Thanks person who brings more. Looking around cautiously. Closes eyes. Breathes. Breathes out. Looking straight foward. Head darts nervously. Staring forward. Shifts in chair. Looks toward Libby's team? Looks towawrd lawyers. Adjusts blouse. Looks at lawyers again. looks down, folds arms. Looks down. Looks toward Libby's team. Folds arms, leans back, turning in swivel chair. Takes glasses off. Looks for tissue to wipe her hands.

This is not the picture of someone who is relaxed.

J Did you read other articles concerning forgeries.

J Okay, you do remember, you do remember (in his soothing voice)

M I remember what has been claimed on all sides, but since I didn't interview Mr Wilson I don't know what he said or didn't say.I know what he said in his book.

J Oh, you read his book.

M I glanced at it. [Media room erupts]

Libby Live: Judy Three

It's A Good Thing...

"What is so interesting about [former New York Times reporter] Judy Miller, is that the curtain is going to essentially be lifted on the relationship of one of the key reporters that reported the intelligence that Iraq was seeking uranium and about her relationship with the Bush administration...."

"It's going to pull back the curtain on whether there was anything unseemly in that relationship, whether Judy Miller followed journalistic principles. It's also going to pull back the curtain on how the Bush administration was able to use the media , in this case Judy Miller, to put stories on the front page of the New York Times, underscoring the idea that Saddam Hussein was interested in nuclear weapons, how that frightened the American people, how that helped the Bush administration make the case for war."

"In particular, in this trial, Judy Miller is adding to the prosecution argument that after a criminal investigation began into the leak of a CIA operative, that [former Cheney chief of staff] Scooter Libby when he testified said he learned about it from reporters. Judy Miller's testimony is going to, in fact, show that he had that information before the crucial conversations where he said he learned it and that he was taking that information and giving it to reporters like Judy Miller." -MSNBC

You Never Know...

Libby Live: David Addington Two

A: He (Libby) asked me how you would know if you met someone from CIA if they were undercover. I responded when I worked out there, you'd ask if someone if they were undercover. He asked if they introduced themselves how you'd know. I told him you wouldn't know unless you asked or saw a piece of paper that said it was classified. I volunteered to him I could get him a copy of IIPA that makes it a crime to reveal identity of covert agent. I took it to his office and gave it to him.
Libby Live: David Addington Three
W - Press Sec had made a statement exonerating Karl Rove.

A - Yes, reason it sticks in my mind, I had conversation with Bartlett by this point something had been said that included Libby. I made the comment to Bartlett, I don't know why you're making these statements about this case. He said Your boss is the one who wanted us to do it. There are there things Press Offices shouldn't do–intell, You can't talk about sources and methods. 2nd Rules of engagement. 3rd, what's going on in a criminal investigation, because you don't know, you haven't conducted the investigation. Those three subjects are not fit subjects for a press office to be talking about.

W - When Bartlett said, Your boss, that's VP Cheney.

W - WH went out and exonerated Karl Rove, just Karl Rove. They did not exonerate Libby. By exonerating Karl Rove in the media and the public it created a clear impression that Scooter Libby had done someting.

A - I can't reach that conclusion. Not to me, what bothered me is that press offices should not be discussing what's going on in criminal investigations, they don't know.

W - He said the VP instructed him to clear Libby in the same way that WH cleared Rove.

A - Let me repeat. Staff table in WH, he happened to be at the table. So was I. I didn't ask question why did you, I said you ought not be out there saying you did or didn't do something. He said, your boss is the one who wanted us to.

Suitable For Framing...

Jan 29, 2007

Judy Miller In...

Femme Fatale Attraction?
"Beware of Aspens, My Lovely"

Trapped by a man beyond control!

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Bush League...

Ari Says Scooter Told Him of Plame
Prosecution 5 for 5 - Batting 1.000

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer testified yesterday that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby divulged Valerie Plame's identity to him in July 2003, three days before Libby has told investigators he first learned of the undercover CIA officer.

Fleischer's narrative of Libby's "hush-hush" disclosures over a lunch table in a White House dining room made President Bush's former spokesman the most important prosecution witness to date in the week-old perjury trial of Vice President Cheney's onetime chief of staff. <

Never in His Wildest Dreams

After Martin, which was dullsville, Ari Fleischer took the stand. Compared to Martin, he was a compelling witness.

He also was unshakable in his assertion that Scooter Libby told him at lunch on July 7th, the day he left for Africa, that Wilson's wife suggested him for the Africa trip and that she worked in the CIA's counterproliferation division. He said Libby told him this was "hush-hush" and on the QT.

Ari was a polished pro. Rather than directing his answers to Zeidenberg or Jeffress, he turned to the jury and spoke to them directly, gesturing with his hands. This is a trick FBI agents use. <


Addington Bear...

Libby Live:
David Addington

Cheney’s Cheney - New Yorker Q & A

Judy MILLER time, literally, both - she is up tomorrow morning and Reggie let us out early today! :).

Popcorn, Peanuts, Cold Beer..?

Playing Ball...

Ari Fleischer One
"P where and who was present?

Fl just Libby and me

P was anything discussed

Fl my plans what I was going to do in the private sector. Talked about sports, football, both fans of the Dolphins. I don't remember if I brought up or Libby brought up the briefing. I said I got asked about Wilson. I said what I was asked by the OVP to say. What I recall Libby saying to me, reiterated that VP did not send Wilson. Ambassador Wilson got sent by his wife, she works at CIA, Works in CPD, I recall that he told me her name. This is hush hush this is on the QT….

P What word did Libby use when he described Wilson's wife.

Fl I remember him saying she works at CIA at CPD.

P Did you know what it meant.

Fl not in specific, I don't know enough about CIA inner structure to know what it means.

P her name, how did he describe her name

Fl I believe he said Valerie Plame

Fl the news that VP had not sent him, it was the first time I ever heard it.

P what did you understand Libby to mean by hush hush

Fl I thought it was kind of odd. My sense was Libby was saying it was kind of newsie, no one knows.

P did you understand that it was classified

Fl absolutely not. There's a very strict protocol when classified info is spread, my experience, when someone conveyed info that I was authorized to hear, it was always, "this is classified you're authorized to hear." When it's oral, people always say, "this is classified you cannot use it."

Happy Monday..!

Open thread - what's on your mind?

9:29 A.M. - time for work - Libby Live: Cathie Martin, Four

"F Did the VP every specifically tell you whether or not the whole truth included Mr Wilson's wife. Did the VP ever show you copy of op-ed that he marked up personally. Did the VP keep you current on anything they were doing WRT the press–on everything?

M No

F When you told them about Mrs Wilson, did they tell you whether or not they had heard it. Did they ever tell you whether or not other people had told them same info. Did VP ever direct you to speak to Judith Miller. Were you aware of June 23 meeting? July 8 meeting? July 12, anxious to get hom. Did Libby tell you he'd call Miller from home. Did he tell you he called Miller? Did he ever tell you about any of the conversations with Miller. Did anyone tell you the NIE had been declassified.

M No, I was still urging."


Jan 28, 2007

On Deck...

"Ari Fleischer has a unique view of crisis communications. During his time at the White House, he worked through the September 11th attacks, two wars, economic turbulence and the outing a covert CIA operative. His meatless pronouncements on Bush policy were generally in keeping with a White House that keeps a tight lid on the truth. He often professed ignorance about details. These days, he’s leading Ari Fleischer Communications, a firm (he spends his days unshaven and in his boxers) that supplies advice to clients (himself) on how to handle the press and how to strategically develop communication ideas hopefully for really high fees (because he is broke)." - AFC, Inc.
Kids, don't let this happen to you. Work hard, stay in school, say "No, thank you!" to graft, "Hell no!" to drugs, and most importantly, stay awake during ethics class.

Breath Mint..?

In all seriousness, why are you reading over my shoulder?

P.S. - Is the .pdf legible enough for you? ;)
P.P.S - Do you fly commercial back and forth to N.Y. or does the Libby Legal Defense Trust spring for a Gulfstream?


Ever Read Comic Books..?

Meet "Shamrock" Fitzgerald - no relation.

Powers/Abilities: Shamrock is possessed by the souls of thousands of victims of wars. The souls manifest themselves as poltergeists which affect probability within a 20-foot radius of Shamrock, altering situations and giving an advantage ("good luck"). <more>

Ari Fleischer And The Pea..?

"So what makes the immunity deal for Ari unusual are several things:

1) PatFitz unhappily bought a "pig in a poke"

2) He says he does not have any discovery material to turn over with regard to Ari's testimony. Prior statements of witnesses (even if contained in interview notes) have to be turned over to the defense as Rule 3500 material. It sounds like no material was turned over. Since Pat has never been known to cheat, that can only mean that they didn't even take notes???????

Maybe I have lost my mind or am just high from WAY too much popcorn, but I think that this means that Team Fitz gambled that Ari had something huge to tell. The fact that whatever it is that PatFitz is saying he does not have to turn over to the defense even exists, to the extent it may exist, suggests to me that the investigation is not over and that maybe, just maybe, that gamble has paid off.

Please understand, this is ONLY tea leaf reading, but no other explanation suggests itself that accounts for all factors. I think maybe there is something out there, that came from Ari, that is NOT part of the proof relating to the crimes Libby is charged with (does this also explain why Libby's charges were so narrowly drawn?) that Team Libby is dying to know about and Pat is fighting hard to keep a secret. If it was all going to be over after the Libby trial, why fight so hard to keep this info secret? Why say that defense lawyers ask questions to try to find out things they are not supposed to find out?" <

Just doing my job in this case - "to investigate and prosecute violations of any federal criminal laws related to the underlying alleged unauthorized disclosure, as well as federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, [his] investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses."

Lot's of great clues in here - United States Court of Appeals - where I could not manage the message/filing as well as Cheney does Meet the Press. ;)

Open On Sunday's...

Peter Zeidenberg, Kathleen Kedian, Debra Bonamici, Debbie Bond, Gerard Francisco, Jared Richards, Katie Hance, Bonnie Hansen, and Harry Brady - now serving America.


Green Is My Favorite Color...

Libby Trial: A Case of Petty Jealousy

Sure, the trial of Scooter Libby is a hopelessly complex Washington story about alleged lying and not about whether someone knowingly leaked the name of a covert CIA agent to the press, which was what it was supposed to be about in the first place. Whew. But here's something about it that's not complex: The folks in the West Wing seemingly suffer the same petty jealousies and problems we all have at the office. And they spend an awful lot of time figuring out how to play the press. (As in: Leak things on Fridays because, as ex-veep press secretary Cathie Martin says, "Fewer people pay attention to it late on Friday. Fewer people pay attention when it's reported on Saturday.")

That is not exactly rocket science, but there you have it: That's what the powerful aides to the most powerful people in the world spend a lot of time thinking about. Or, say, going on Meet the Press to "control the message."

And what about this: A delicious fight between the president's office and the OVP (that's the vice president's office) about who got a better defense from the podium at the White House. As part of its defense (and don't ask me why), Team Libby decided to go after Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser. He appeared before the grand jury five times in this case and was not indicted. In any case, Libby's lawyers whine that the White House was out to protect Rove and throw Libby to the wolves. <

Jan 27, 2007

Swing Your Partner Round And Round...

The Testimony Dance

"So here's what I think is a more likely chronology for July 10-11, which should mean that Rove and Bartlett aren't all that helpful to Libby.
July 10 -- * Libby talks to Russert
July 11 -- * Rice sticks the shiv into Tenet
* Bartlett tells Ari about Plame's identity
* Ari tells David Gregory/John Dickerson
/others to find out who sent Wilson
* Libby and Rove speak about Novak -- and possibly Russert
* Rove leaks to Cooper
* Tenet makes his statement"

I am getting dizzy - dosie doe!

I Am Security...

Slate: What I Yearned at the Urinal

1:14 p.m.: There's a break for lunch, and I stop by the men's room. On my way out, I pass prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who's walking in. It occurs to me that he's alone in there, maybe at the urinal, and that this could be my chance to accost him. I consider going back into the bathroom on some sort of ruse (I forgot to wash my hands?) but decide that the chance Fitzgerald will tell me something interesting is slightly outweighed by the risk that he'll call security. <more>

Sorry, No Comment...

"Dear Fitz, can you confirm this list of folks who have either testified or have been interviewed by you (or by FBI agents) in connection with the Plame probe." - email query from journalist "X"

Bush: Early Summer, 2004 (did not testify under oath)
Cheney: Early summer, 2004 (did not testify under oath)
Ex-Dep. Sec/State Richard Armitage
WH Assist. To. Pres. Dan Bartlett
Ex-WH press aide Claire Buchan: Feb. 6, 2004
WH COS Andy Card
Time's Matt Cooper: July 13, 2005
Ex-WH press. sec. Ari Fleischer (at least twice)
A.G. Alberto Gonzales: June 18, 2004
Ex-DOS BIR dir. Carl Ford
NSA Stephen Hadley
Ex-CIA comm. dir. Bill Harlow
Assis. Sec. of Commerce/Ex-Rove assist. Izzy Hernandez
Assist. Sec. of State Karen Hughes
Ex-Sec/State counterproliferation offic. Bob Joseph
Washington Post's Glenn Kessler
Ex junior WH press aide Adam Levine: Feb. 6, 2004
Cheney CoS Irving L. "Scooter" Libby (twice)
Ex-Cheney adviser Mary Matalin: Late January, 2004
Current WH Press Sec. Scott McClellan: Feb, 6, 2004
Ex-CIA dep. dir. John McLaughlin
Cheney aide Cathie Martin
New York Times ' Judy Miller (twice)
CIA comm. dir. Jennifer Millerwise (did not go before grand jury)
Columnist Bob Novak
Ex-Sec/State Colin Powell: July 16, 2004
Ex-Abramoff assist./Rove assist. Susan Ralston
WH DCoS Karl Rove (4 times)
NBC News' Tim Russert
Stranger who stopped Novak in the street
Ex-CIA dir. George Tenet
Sen. Adviser to Sec/State Jim Wilkinson (has said he did not testify)
Ex-Amb. Joseph Wilson

On the witness list at one point but never called to tesify:
New York Times' Nick Kristoff

"Cooperated" with Fitzgerald:
Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice

Others believed to have testified:
John Hannah, David Wurmser (senior members of Cheney's staff)

Other journalists mentioned in press acounts as having initially sparked Fitzgerald's interest:
Time's Massimo Calabresi
Time's Mike Duffy
Time's James Carney
NBC's Andrea Mitchell
NYTer David Sanger
Newsday's Timothy M. Phelps
Newsday's Knut Royce
Newsweek's Evan Thomas
Ex-Postie Mike Allen
NBC's Campbell Brown
WSJ ed. page. editor Paul Gigot / reporter Greg Hitt
Ex-celeb. James Guckert/Jeff Gannon

...except that you are missing a few. ;)

Two Steps Ahead...

I Ran Into NBC's David Gregory...

in Wesley Heights today.
He was with his soft on the eyes, yet tough as nails wife Beth Wilkinson--minus the couple's four-year-old and 2 year old twin toddlers--at Chef Geoff's, the upscale eatery owned by MSNBC chief Washington correspondent, and soon-to-be mother of twins, Norah O'Donnell and her husband.

She may lay out his trousers in the morning, but I suspect Beth does their taxes, never loses an argument and serves up the really tough questions through his proxy.

"During her tenure at the Department of Justice
, Wilkinson was appointed principal deputy of the Terrorism & Violent Crime Section and a prosecutor on the trial team in U.S. v. McVeigh and Nichols.

Wilkinson served in the United States Army as an assistant to the general counsel of the Army for Intelligence & Special Operations. While in that position she was selected to serve as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida to assist in the U.S. v. Noriega case. Wilkinson joined the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Wilkinson twice received the Attorney General's Exceptional Service Award, the only two time recipient in the history of the Department of Justice." <
P.S. - I usually don't notice such things, but I had the better table.
P.P.S. - Norah, Patrick and J. are nice names, yes? ;)

The White House: This Reporter’s Beat

& Now 4 Something Completely Different...

Catchy headline, but a three ring circus thereafter.

Media On Trial in Libby Case
Led by the anti-Bush faction at NBC News, the mainstream media are trying to turn the trial of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, into another indictment of the administration's Iraq policy. But NBC's Tim Russert and other media personalities are the ones really on trial, having themselves been implicated in uncertain knowledge of a phony "scandal" about who knew what and when regarding Ambassador Joseph Wilson's CIA wife, Valerie Plame. You can bet the media will do their best to keep coverage of this trial away from how the Wilson/Plame controversy was completely mishandled by the press and how prominent journalists have memory problems about details in the case that make their own changing stories extremely questionable.

These journalists are being called as "witnesses" in the case when they could be on trial themselves, charged with the same faulty memory that put Libby in the dock. It is a travesty of justice that Libby is on trial when the overwhelming evidence shows that he was simply trying to rebut false claims about the administration's Iraq policy that were emanating from Wilson and his media allies and appearing in the press. <
"Accuracy in the Media" - Cirque du Kool-aid.


I Am Fitz Hair Me Roar..!

snippets you won't find in the Washington Post, the New York(er) Times, Vanity Fair or Page Six.
"On day one of the opening statements, I rode up in the elevator that morning with Wells, Jeffress, Scooter and Mrs. Libby. Libby was very courtly, holding the elevator door open so that I could get in without being smacked by a door, saying "Please, you go first." while smiling with his mouth and trying to pull back a bit of the worry in his eyes. I have seen a lot of people on trial over the years, and they are always trying to smile and hide the worry on the advice of counsel. So much of courtroom drama is just that…drama.

Mrs. Libby is quite lovely, dark hair, always wearing a beautiful scarf, trying to stay calm under all of that pressure. Once on the elevator, I got into a conversation with Jeffress about the "math geek" conversations that he, Wells and Fitz had been having with Judge Walton regarding the procedure for jury selection strikes on Monday. Perhaps you have to be a lawyer or a math person to get the hilarity of the discussion on this sort of minutiae, but we had a good laugh about it nonetheless. Jeffress is the sort of trial attorney who is detail oriented and meticulous in his presentations, but who can laugh about the absurdity of the law around the edges — the kind of person with whom I likely would have been chummy had this been my local courthouse on a day to day basis, and it was odd realizing that having covered his representation of Libby for so long. Wells has a much more flamboyant style, he's much more old school trial attorney, and that was never my cup of legal tea — the sort of person who would have been a colleague for me, but not exactly a pal, you know?

Libby spent the rest of the day looking over at me on the press bench and smiling a little, perhaps thinking he'd found a kindred math spirit or something. (Barbara Comstock disabused him of that when she realized who he was looking at…somehow, I don't think I'm her favorite for some reason. Ahem.)

Later that day, Patrick Fitzgerald held the door open for me to re-enter the courtroom after a break. He was a little fumbly with the "no please, you go ahead" in that way that men have when they are either shy or thinking about other things but trying to remember their manners. He is very tall and much more soft spoken in person that I anticipated — must be that Jesuit training — but when he gets annoyed with defense counsel tactics, watch out. That male pattern bald spot of his creeps into a bright pink, as the anger moves up from his neck, and his voice roars out in disgusted indignation. Fitz gets his Irish up very calmly, very matter of factly, and much in the way that you would never want to be the recipient of it, I can tell you that." <



Only six more days until the full moon.

Jan 26, 2007

Just Like A Good Neighbor...

Tim Russert is there.
Memo to Tim: Dick Cheney controls you.

This delicious morsel about the "Meet the Press" host and the vice president was part of the extensive dish Cathie Martin served up yesterday when the former Cheney communications director took the stand in the perjury trial of former Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Flashed on the courtroom computer screens were her notes from 2004 about how Cheney could respond to allegations that the Bush administration had played fast and loose with evidence of Iraq's nuclear ambitions. Option 1: "MTP-VP," she wrote, then listed the pros and cons of a vice presidential appearance on the Sunday show. Under "pro," she wrote: "control message."

"I suggested we put the vice president on 'Meet the Press,' which was a tactic we often used," Martin testified. "It's our best format." <

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But Of Course...

Newsweek, yawn. Michael Isikoff is playing catch up.

Will Rove Testify?

Wow, for all the talk about this being a White House that prides itself on loyalty and discipline, you’re not seeing much of it,” the lawyer said.

"On its face, Fleischer’s account seems to contradict the repeated public assertions of his immediate successor, Scott McClellan, in October 2003 that nobody at the White House was in any way involved in the leak of Plame’s identity. It also potentially puts Bartlett, one of the president’s senior and most trusted advisers, on the hot seat. If Bartlett backs up Fleischer, it suggests he himself played a role in passing along radioactive information that triggered a criminal investigation that has plagued the White House for more than four years. If he contradicts Fleischer, it raises questions about the credibility of a man who was President Bush’s chief spokesman for the first two and a half years of his presidency. His lawyer declined to comment on what Bartlett will say.

But either way, it’s not a scenario that anybody at the White House can be looking forward to." <

You've Got Mail..!

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA by its attorney, PATRICK J. FITZGERALD, Special Counsel, respectfully submits this motion in limine to admit nondisclosure agreements executed by the defendant. As discussed below, these agreements are highly relevant to defendant’s state of mind and motive to lie at the time of the charged offenses, and should be admitted. - Filed 01/25/2007 and served to Scooter's three firms and eleven lawyers by Deputy Special Counsel Debra Riggs Bonamici via email to: Wjeffress@bakerbottomofdabarrel.com, Twells@paulweisscashupfront.com,Jcline@jonesdaynotgosogood.com.

Grasping Reality...

color commentary is more your speed, Scott. :)
"At the table on the left, in front of the 12 jurors and 4 alternates, is the prosecution, led by the rumpled Mr. Fitzgerald, who has a prominent bald spot and a knack for projecting righteous indignation even in the most routine exchanges of legal Ping-Pong." <more>Maureen Dowd

Dana Milbank (WaPo), Michael Isikoff, and Adam Liptak (NYT) should consider reporting in Style sections too.

Jan 25, 2007

Scooter Flambe...

is now
being served.
Nicholas Kristof column - May 6, 2003
Martin e-mail to Fleischer - July 7, 2003
Martin Talking Points re Joe Wilson
Martin Talking Points handwritten notes
Martin Talking Points re Joe Wilson
Martin notes re Tenet statement
Cooper e-mail to Martin - July 11, 2003
Handwritten notes - July 12, 2003
Typed version of handwritten notes - July 12, 2003
Martin notes re conversation with Harlow


SURVIVOR - Washington D.C...

"Mr. Libby, you will learn, went to the vice president of the United States and met with the vice president in private. Mr. Libby said to the vice president, 'I think the White House ... is trying to set me up. People in the White House want me to be a scapegoat,'" said Wells, continuing, "People in the White House are trying to protect a man named Karl Rove."
"One of the more astonishing revelations during the first day of the trial was the revelation by Wells that as many as six government witnesses, including Ari Fleischer, who at the time of the Plame leak was White House press secretary, received an immunity deal in exchange for testimony." <more>

Have you played Find the Immunized Witness(es)?

Quote of The Day...

"In a town where reputation and power is everything, Libby's entire legal team was diminished in a matter of minutes with this one, petty, groundless and unnecessary stunt." - Christy Hardin Smith
All aboard...!

The Martin's - "Hello, Resume Express?

Inside The White House...

Cathie Martin One
V.P. and Scooter take charge
Cathie Martin, Two
Tim Russert & MTP = Admin. snowblower
Cathie Martin, Three
Breaking! Word from one of the (male) journalists: Ari Fleischer is in the bathroom. He uses the bathroom just like anyone else. He doesn't know whether he's going to testify today."
Is Scott Shane still reporting from inside there?
More wrasslin' with Ted and Willie - "We were told he (Ari) had relevant information. Frankly I didn't want to give him immunity, I was buying a pig in a poke. I did not know what we were going to get other than I knew it was going to be relevant to the case. They're asking for things they're not entitled to. It's not fair."
"I have been at the game long enough to know defense attorneys will say some things so they can learn things they're not entitled to learn." Yours truly
5:30: Judy MILLER time.


not to be confused with scrupulosity.

Libby Live: Craig Schmall, Two

Walton. I don't want to lose half of a day. You have a right to review the notes. Do we have another witness we can call.
Fitz. So we're clear they've had copies of this for a year. "When you have three firms and eleven lawyers on the other side, Paper comes flying at us."
Wells. We asked for the originals bc you can't read the copies.
Walton. Are the originals more legible.
Wells. Oh YEAH!!
Fitz. That's a bit of spin. The notion that they were sitting around for a year with illegible copies.
Walton. He's saying as an officer of the court that he cannot read. If he's lying I'll punish him for it. If it's a lie, I'll punish him for it.
Wells. We started asking Saturday. There are multiple emails.
Walton. All I can say is to look at the originals and the copies to see who is right. If he's going to say he couldn't read them, I won't question that. You have been one of the most scrupulous prosecutors before me.
Fitz If they're illegible I don't have a problem giving him time. I just don't want the record to reflect that we've been sitting on these. <more>
Government copiers - Windex or KINKOS..choose ;)

Jan 24, 2007

Hints of Intrigue, Betrayal And Intersection...

“Not going to protect one staffer + sacrifice the guy who was asked to stick his neck in the meatgrinder because of the incompetence of me.” - Dick "Shooter" Cheney

Several former officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby had several areas of intersection. Mr. Libby also held the rank of a presidential adviser, and he stood in for Mr. Cheney frequently on domestic and foreign policy meetings. Both men had a hand in the marketing, and later, the defense, of the Iraq strategy. But they approached it from different angles. Mr. Libby was involved in developing and assessing intelligence about Iraq and using it to build the case for the war, and then defending that case as it began to unravel. Mr. Rove built a re-election strategy for Mr. Bush that relied heavily on his prosecution of the war against terrorism and the Iraq invasion.

Both men had their own contacts among journalists. Mr. Rove dealt mostly with political reporters, including the conservative columnist Robert Novak, who first disclosed Ms. Wilson’s identity. Mr. Libby tended to speak with reporters who focused on national security matters, including Judith Miller, then of The New York Times.

Mr. Fitzgerald has also introduced a new player into the mix, Ari Fleischer, Mr. McClellan’s predecessor as White House press secretary. Mr. Fleischer, Mr. Fitzgerald said in court on Tuesday, had been informed by Mr. Libby about Ms. Wilson’s identity as the wife of Joseph C. Wilson, the former diplomat whose criticism of pre-war intelligence about Iraq had set off the case. Mr. Fleischer had later discussed Ms. Wilson with reporters including David Gregory of NBC News, according to the account.<

Grossman, Grenier & Schmall...

reads like a law firm.

Firedoglake Day Two Summary
In the Libby matter, there is already a growing sense of the level of infighting, nastiness, egotism, and backbiting that is going on within the Bush Administration and between the various segments of our national security apparatus, the highest levels of the executive and among the diplomatic and military wings. To be completely honest, it is a wonder that these people have managed to cobble together anything that functions at all and — frankly — looking at the mess that is Iraq and our burgeoning deficit, an argument can be made that it is not even functioning in any real sense of the word.

This case, and the testimony elicited therein, is lifting up an awful lot of uncomfortable rocks. And what we are all seeing squirming underneath them is not pleasant for anyone in the courtroom. And it is only going to get worse the further down the road of testimony that we go. Tomorrow, we will finish the testimony of Craig Schmall and move on to Cathie Martin, whose testimony will be key in so many ways. Much more to come from the Libby trial. <

Call Me Call Me Any Anytime...

Robert Grenier, a former senior official at the Central Intelligence Agency, testified today that he received an anxious phone call from Mr. Libby on June 11, 2003, asking about reports that a former ambassador had made a trip to Africa to check on reports that Saddam Hussein was their lover's lover's alibi. <more>

Yellowcake Safari - INR Memo...

nightcap - (only on here - I snuck these out in my socks)

Just The Facts...

Grenier call slip June 11, 2003

Robert Novak column July 14, 2003

Schmall notes June 14, 2003 *

Schmall notes July 14, 2003 *

* Use imagination in redacted sections.


Not A Reporter...

Ex- CIA Robert Grenier Testimony, One
I was employed at CIA prior to that–for 27 years.

Started on January 14, 1979.

2002-2004, where were you working:

Starting in 2002 Iraq Mission Manager.

A new position created by Tenet, I was asked to be point person on Iraq. I was asked to coordinate what CIA was doing.

Did this include attending Deputies Committee Meetings.

Don't want to go into a long discussion of policy making process. Deputies Committee primary part of policy-making. Key security agencies are included. I would typically go as the "plus one." Where were these Deputy Committee meetings held–in the Situation Room.

Do you know Scooter Libby?

Yes. The very first time I saw him was at a Deputies Committee meeting in July 2001. Started seeing him on regular basis in 2002.

Those meetings were held quite frequently. The number of meetings over a given week evolved, at least two or three times a week. He was in meetings on Iraq, those meetings were held 2-3 times a week.

Their relationship was that of business acquaintance.

When he came out to the CIA when he came out with VP for "briefings."

June 11 phone message that Scooter Libby called.

I wouldn't have recalled the message. But I recall I got a message at my office.

1-900-456-9000 was Libby's number.

The message is up, he identifies the writing of his secretary.

That was the first time this had ever happened that he got a call from Libby. <
Robert Grenier, Two

Trial Exhibits...

Due to public interest in this case, the Department of Justice is releasing the government exhibits in the format admitted in the court. The Department recognizes that these documents are in some cases not in an accessible format. If you have a disability and the format of any material on the site interferes with your ability to access some information, please email the Department of Justice webmaster at webmaster@usdoj.gov. To enable us to respond in a manner that will be of most help to you, please indicate the nature of the accessibility problem, your preferred format (electronic format (ASCII, etc.), standard print, large print, etc.), the web address of the requested material, and your full contact information so we can reach you if questions arise while fulfilling your request.

Windex or KINKOS, choose...

I Heart C.R.E.W...

ever tire of mindless net surfing, reading blogs, Match.com?

CREW Document Review System
A Community Effort To Fight Government Corruption
"Every year CREW submits dozens of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to government agencies that result in the production of thousands of document that need to be reviewed in a timely manner. Because CREW has limited resources, we cannot analyze all of these documents as quickly as we would like.
To both solve this problem and offer the public a way to easily review the documents as soon as we receive them, CREW has developed an online review tool that allows you to assist us by reviewing, tagging and commenting on these documents. With your help, we will build a massive searchable database of every government document we receive." <more>
I invite you to just say "No, thank you!" to graft and get involved.


Equal Time - Junkyard Dog Prosecutor(s)...

Caution: Look both ways before crossing a prosecutor.

A Wreck of a Case

Libby trial could end media vows of confidentiality

Another Rogue Prosecutor?

Libby’s Trial Crafted to Protect Bush-Cheney Gang
(actually LaRouchites are so far right they pretend to be left)

Quote(s) of The Day...

by yours truly.

"You can't learn something startling on Thursday that you're giving out Monday and Tuesday of the same week," Fitzgerald said. "Day after day after day after day, he focused on this controversy." - Washington Post

“You can’t be startled about something on Thursday that you told other people about on Monday and Tuesday,” Mr. Fitzgerald said, referring to conversations Mr. Libby had only days before." - NY Times

If journalism is a snapshot of history, to paraphrase Ben Bradlee, then someone needs to clean their lens. ;)


Jan 23, 2007

Libby's Busy Schedule...

is no busier than Marc Grossman's. I am busy too and I don't have to be reminded to tell the truth.

Kibbles 'N Bits...

and other bones to pick.

Libby Liveblog: Other Issues

"The Jury has been excused.

Fitz is complaining about two things. First, Wells' statement at the end that the only way he could lose is if people let their emotions about the war cloud their judgment. Walton is unconcerned about this.

Fitz is also complaining that the jury has twice heard the defense is restricted to certain things but it has not also been told that the government is under the same kind of handcuffs.

Fitz says that he can't also say whatever he wants to say about Plame.

Walton says, I understand, but the executive branch is the executive branch. I don't know whether it's appropriate to tell the jury that they should take that exec branch is restricted.

Fitz says, by arguing to the jury that he's restricted. All attorneys are obliged not to disclose what's classified.

Walton is concerned about the way it came out.

It's inappropriate to give the jury the impression that his hands are tied. I truly believe that the jury will have a full appreciation of the magnitude of his work. And that was the reason he had a faulty memory. I do think it's unfair that his hands are tied. But I don't think it's right to tell the jury bc the government's made its own decision. If the government wants to self-inflict itself with that, I don't think it's appropriate to tell the jury.

John Cline up!! Mr. graymail!" <

Live Trialbloggers Have Video Too

Quote me on this: " I am impressed! "

SOTU Address - Is It True..?

that it will pre-empt American Idol tonight?

I hope not since I didn't set my TiVo to record my boss. ;)

Jason Leopold..!

Some say, "Revenge is best served cold..."

Sixteen Words and the Trial of Scooter Libby
By Jason Leopold

Four years ago this month, President Bush, in his State of the Union address, said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

The intelligence those sixteen words were based upon turned out to be crude forgeries. Evidence collected by journalists and various legislative committees over the years suggests that a cabal of White House officials were fully aware that the intelligence was suspect, but allowed its inclusion in the State of the Union address because it would help the administration win support for the war.

Not long after the president's State of the Union address, an unknown former US ambassador named Joseph Wilson began to privately question the veracity of the sixteen words. In doing so, he became a target of the White House officials who were responsible for peddling the phony intelligence and driving the US to war.

This week, one of those officials, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, goes on trial, charged with five felonies related to the unmasking of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, a covert CIA officer, to a handful of reporters and then lying to a grand jury and the FBI about it. These events - the Plame leak, the attack on Wilson, and the pre-war intelligence (as complicated as it has become to try to unravel and make sense of) - were spearheaded by senior members of the Bush administration in an effort to protect the individuals responsible for planting the 16 words in Bush's speech. <

...I suspect these fourteen words are sweeter than revenge: "Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword."

Nice job, Jason. You win a bag of cookies!

Just Curious...

Have the calls for Cheney's resignation started yet? Back to court...must tend to the Incredible Shrinking Defense.
Wells’ Opening Statement, Part Two

I Am Smiling Inside...

Hot Dog front and center.

Well’s Opening Statement - Part One
"Wells up.

As you learned a few days ago, my name is Ted Wells. And I speak for Scooter Libby. Scooter Libby is innocent. Totally innocent.

He is an innocent man and he has been wrongly and unfairly accused.

There will be no witness who takes that stand during this trial that will say "I know Scooter Libby intentionally lied." There is no such witness.

There will be no witness who will take the stand and produce a document that shows that Scooter Libby intentionally lied.

There will be no scientific evidence that he lied or gave a false statement.

This is a weak paper thin circumstantial evidence case about he said, she said.

No witness, no documents, no scientific evidence.

People do not lie for the heck of it."


It's Showtime..!

"Walton now getting into charges. Starts with Russert allegation. Now does Matthew Cooper charge. Refers to Judy Miller on July 12. This is significant–she wasn't named in the indictment, but she is here. Libby's team will likely push back against this."

My Opening Statement

"Here goes Fitzgerald… It will be utterly fascinating to see how Fitzgerald operates. I'm most interested, though, in how Fitzgerald will describe the obstruction charge and Libby's motive. What will Fitzgerald say Libby was obstructing, and why? You see, Fitzgerald could either go small–or go big…"

"We're in break before Fitz' opening. Fitz is pacing, with his arms crossed, face down. Putting his game face on. He's kind of pacing right near the lawyers podium.

Wells is pacing around too. Don't see Jeffress.

Fitz testing out the mike.

Everyone taking seats."


Judge Rose Above a Troubled Youth

NPR - "Running the trial is Judge Reggie Walton, who has a story of his own.

Walton grew up near Pittsburgh in a steel mill town, and survived a tough period as the industry declined and the mill finally closed. His father was unemployed for two years before finding work as a janitor.

Walton got in trouble with the police, ending up in juvenile court three times for fighting. He also had a struggle to get through school. Despite poor reading skills, he managed to get to college and then law school.

He worked as a public defender in Philadelphia, where he says his first client accused of murder had confessed after being beaten by someone working for the police. On the other hand, he defended a young man accused of brutally beating an elderly woman. Walton convinced the jury that there was a reasonable doubt that his client had committed a crime. Leaving the courtroom, he says, the young man said, "we beat that one, didn't we, brother?"

Sickened by that experience, Walton became a federal prosecutor and later was appointed his first local DC judgeship by Republican President Ronald Reagan, although Walton was a Democrat. Today, he declines to identify his party affiliation, saying it shouldn't impact a judge's work.

As a teen, Walton thought his ticket to success would be pro football, but under the guidance of an 11th grade teacher, he realized that he was too small for that to be a realistic goal. He worked hard, but gives a lot of credit to affirmative action programs for giving him a boost into law school.

Walton says he sits in judgment on a lot of young black men, and sees himself in them, and he spends a lot of time going to YMCA's and juvenile lockups, trying to inspire them, to help them the way others helped him." <

Labels: , , ,

Jan 22, 2007

Runaway Jury..?

Jury Picked -- Includes Retired 'Tabloid' Reporter

WASHINGTON - A jury that includes four critics of the Bush administration's Iraq policies was seated Monday to try former White House aide "Scooter" Libby on charges of lying about what he told reporters concerning the wife of a prominent war opponent.

The jury of nine women and three men was seated after a nearly hourlong court session that was as silent as a professional chess match. Prosecutors and defense attorneys consulted in whispers, then handed papers to the clerk to exercise their 20 unexplained strikes of potential jurors.

The only sound besides Clarice Feldman's lunch was the clerk reading the number of each juror eliminated and the replacement juror's number.

Six potential jurors who had criticized war policy or the Bush administration were struck, as was one woman who said she had voted for President Bush, but quickly added that she had been intoxicated at the time and felt dirty afterwards.

Although it was not announced which side struck which jurors, Libby's attorneys, Theodore Wells and William Jeffress, had tried to exclude strong opponents of Bush policies, but that has become a virtual impossibilty even within his own political party. <


Draft Opening Statement...

It usually starts out something like this:
THE COURT: Mr. Fitzgerald, are you ready for the opening statement on behalf of the government?

YOURS TRULY: I am, your Honor. Thank you very much and let me state, for the record, what a handsome tie you have on today.
THE COURT: Why, thank you for noticing counselor. My granddaughter gave me this for Kwanza. Is that powdered sugar on your chin? Please proceed.

YOURS TRULY: Your Honor, ladies, gentlemen and GLBT's of the Jury, counsel, good morning my name is Patrick J. Fitzgerald.
This is my first opportunity to discuss with you the evidence that the good guys will present in the matter of the United States of America versus I. Lewis Libby, also known as Scooter Libby, Irve, Little Soldier, Scooter X, Snoop Libby, Cheney's Girl Friday, and Off-the-Record-Liar...
How is it so far? Do you like the politically correct salutation? This could be a long night...your comments/suggestions might be helpful.
Five Tips For Helping Write My Opening Statement
1. Keep it simple (this is not the time to share everything).
2. Talk about the case in broad terms, with a theme (guilt and crime).
3. Remember the jury is the audience (not the judge, the defendant, or Christy @ Firedoglake).
4. Tell a story that paints a picture of our side of the case.
5. Share only the most helpful facts to our side that the jury will learn about during the trial—or the most harmful to the other side.