Skip to comments.Libby Live: Mystery Witness
Posted on 02/12/2007 8:30:00 AM PST by Bahbah
Libby Live: Mystery Witnesses By: emptywheel
NOTES: (1) This is not a transcript It's the blogger's approximation, and no one really knows what that is yet! But I do know you shouldn't quote anything not in quotation marks. (2) I'll timestamp the updates and will update about every 15 minutes, servers willing. The hamsters that run the servers will appreciate it if you don't refresh excessively in the meantime. (3) If you're not having enough fun just reading along the liveblog, consider buying my book on this case.
Good morning Firedoglake. I've had a bracing week away from the liveblog, shivering through Michigan's 25 below windchills all last week. Thanks to Swopa for doing such a great job with the liveblogging so I could go home and freeze. I'm using this leftover question mark from Fitzgerald's unused mystery witness because well, we have no idea what Libby is going to throw at us this morning. I've heard verying reports as to the first witness, including Cheney, Novak, Woodward, Sanger, Mitchell, Even Thomas, or Pincus (so I spent about 2 hours loading slugs up to ancitipate any possible witness; if I had to guess, it'll be some of the journalists). My best guess? We're going to spend the morning arguing motions and I'll have plenty of notice as to who is up first.
Walton up (jury not here) to deal with motions. We're going to start with the motion to quash Andrea Mitchell's subpoena.
Wells: We wish to call Ms. Mitchell, and elicit testimony at a minimum that would show how intensely she was working on the Wilson story. When this story started, Russert was on vacation. Gregory is on the record as knowing Plame's identity. We have the right to show how intensely NBC was covering this story from which one can infer that she learned Plame's identity. "We think this case presents a different factual model" than any of the cases the government has cited.
Walton: But you want this to go to the truth.
Wells: No, what I want, to the extent that I have a wish list, my extreme wish is that your honor would treat it as residual evidence. But I have also said that if it is not treated as substantive evidence, it still should come in as impeachment evidence with a limiting instruction.
Walton: Impeaching her on what?
Wells: Impeaching her on her testimony that she can rule out that Plame worked at the CIA.
Walton: Assuming you can ask that, then what are you planning on doing with that, just argue it for that purpose? You're not going to seek to do the other, which is to suggest that she would have had conversations with Russert about it?
Wells: I could not do that if your honor limits it. I've made it clear that I have a more extreme argument that you treat it as residual evidence.
Walton: You've said a lot more in Chambers.
[Pachacutec is heresays he's doing Eddie Haskell]
Wells: I have every right to use it for impeachment. I want to start at that beginning, which makes it very unique from Johnson.
Walton: I don't buy the argument that it can be used for substantive purposes. But I'd like to hear what govt says about impeachment.
Bonamici: The question to be asked is what purpose would be served by impeaching their witness? Defense intends to ask about an unrelated subjectwhat Libby said to Mitchell, we presume that Defense would want her to be credible. This is a ruse to present the non-admissible testimony. They've got no reason to impeach, they're setting up a straw man so they can impeach.
Walton: How is this different than Buffalo.
Bonamici: The Buffalo case is an outlier. There's not much case law that says the defendant should be in a different position than govt. It's a completely different situation. As your honor pointed out earlier, the statement was corroborated by other evidence, it's hard to imagine a statement more untrustworthy than this one? [not sure which statement she's referring to] A statement that even if it were offered for the truth, it would only serve as source of speculation to the jury. They're just trying to pile speculation on top of speculation. We would say that even if this had not been denied by Mitchell, it would be inadmissable under 403.
Walton: 403 doesn't require evidence is substantive. If they only wanted it for impeachment purposes.
Bonamici: Even if this didn't pose the problem of Johnson, there's no reason to put this hearsay before the jury.
[unknownmaybe it's Mitchell's lawyer?] The Buffalo case is not the rule of this Circuit, even if you go to Buffalo,
Wells: Let's assume that if Russert and Mitchell worked at NBC but they were entertainment reporters. [Yeah, let's just say that, huh Wells?] If they said I didn't know about it bc I was covering the grammys, that would be plausible. NBC was one of the lead networks covering this story. They started with Mr. Wilson. The jury could conclude based on intensity of this story, that there was such a possibility.
Walton [fed up]: So you want to put this before the jury for the truth!
Wells: the point I want to make is this. If she had never made the impeachment statement of 10/3, I could still call her.
Walton: But you couldn't argue from that she would have heard it.
Walton: To say that you're working on a subject and then to ask the jury to presume that you had heard about Mrs. Wilson,
Wells: If she's working on the story, covering the State Department, where Armitage worked [but of course he wasn't returning her calls].
Walton: I don't think it's logical to assume that Harlow told her.
Wells: Harlow told Novak, he confirms it. [he says he'll call Harlow]
Walton: In a roundabout way, you want to get before the jury this statement that maybe she knew using a roundabout basis.
Wells; She was the lead investigative reporter, she was out working on the case.
Walton: You want the jury to infer that because she was working on it, she would have heard about Mrs. Wilson. The only basis for assuming that is the inconsistent statement. You'd be asking the jury to speculate that just because she was working on this, he would have heard it.
Wells: Russert says there was a buzz. We've already got on the record. The 302 states, I cannot rule it out as a possibility.
Bonamici: That is a quote from the 302, but you recall that when he was questioned, immediately after that, he pointed to the passage that he believed this was after the Novak was published. He was standing there looking at the 302, "Well, Counsel, it also says right here" that it was after the Novak column. This is contradicted by every bit of evidence.
Walton asks for the 302.
Walton: [Referring to the 302] This seems to say different from what you say.
Wells: I'm going to call the Agent [Eckenrode] tomorrow. This is the one instance bc the notes cannot be foundthere was a diligent search for the notes.
Walton: but you're still trying to ask the jury to speculate.
Wells: I am allowed to present this with an instruction.
Walton: I agree, if there is a reason to show this in the first place. You want the inference to be drawn that because of the intensity that she was working the story, she would have heard of this.
Wells: Analytically we have a different perspective. It's a team. Russert and Mitchell and Gregory are a team.
Walton: I've heard all that, counselor, and I just don't buy it.
Well: For the govt to put Russert on, they created a situation for the jury that he's out by himself, and Ms. Mitchell is the reporter working on the ground.
Walton: We have one other issue, then I'll come back and rule. Have you reached an agreement regarding GX###,
Fitz says yes, they'll introduce something with instruction.
Walton: proposed instruction regarding dismissed instruction of obstruction count, it seems to be consistent with red book. We're talking about dismissal of a count,
Fitz That's what I think the appropriate distinction is that by separating out language from the indictment. There were 33 paragraphs or more form part one, the Judy Miller conversations are still an important part of the evidence in this case. It says that Libby misled and deceived the GJ as to the manner by which he acquired and disclosed, so the essential tenor of charge is about when he got it and gave it out. A juror hearing this that Miller was dismissed from the case would be highly inappropriate.
[As I suspected, Libby's team is trying to go after the July 12 conversation, and with it dismiss the importance of Judy as a witness that on July 8 that Libby knew Plame's ID]
Walton: Does anything that has happened at this point impact that statement (About Libby's lie). My only concern is if I said anything in my preliminary instruction if that's been left out.
Fitz: We'd like to look at preliminary instruction in context.
Wells: I strongly disagree with Fitz' characterization of what took place. The obstruction count was based on three false statements. We wanted it clear that on terms of the obstruction that there was nothing wih Grossman and Miller, What the obstruction count was predicated on was that obstruction was based on three-prong statement. I opened on it. The Jury can consider June 23 and July 8 in terms of what Libby knew.
[YupWells is trying to hide the what was obstructedthat Libby was trying to hide his conversation to Judy. Clever move, utterly dishonest, but clever. I think they emphasized the third false statement charge (which there was none) so by dismissing it, they could dismiss the obstruction charge.]
Fitz: I'll briefly respond, The vice in taking language out, as opposed to a count is that you're asking them to rule beforehand. I think the jury could find that the description of July 12 was a lie, but not using the language in the count, the jury can use that evidence against Mr. Libby, they can also use that evidence that when he said the first time he told her on July 12, that that was a lie. This proposed instruction would focus on July 12and the language in the indictment, even though they were never going to see the indictmentwould lead them to focus inappropriately on July 12.
Wells; We're not going to address that conversation. It has been dismissed. The jurors should know that it has been dismissed.
Walton: I'm going to have to I'll have to go back and re-evaluate the evidence to see whether I don't want something before the jury that could be prejudicial. I need to go back and review the indictment.
Taking a short break.
Apparently the clock upstairs in the courtroom is now working.
Fitz is in his seersuckery grey suit againprobably wants to wear it before it starts to snow heavily here this week. Jane's upstairs with Sidney Blumenthal and Pachachutec. And Jeralyn is here blogging for Arianna.
To explain a little more a little more about what I think happened. Originally, there were two alleged lies: the lie about Russert, and the lie about Cooper. Somehow, Judy got put in there in a way she wasn't from the start. I think she testified differently than what the charge said. So Wells got that charge thrown out (not that there was a charge on it). But now he wants to say, effectively, the Judy charge has been thrown out, even though, as um, questionable a witness as she is, she is a central witness of Libby's obstruction. That is, Wells has manufactured a very clever way to suggest everything about Judy is irrelevant, even though he only got the July 12 conversation as a lie thrown out. Now if that doesn't make sensebetter ask Christy if you've got questions.
Walton: [about Wells' ploy to call Mitchell] I've thought about the issue and went back and looked at Johnson It seems to be wrt how you want to dress it up, you only want to bring that out has no relevance. It doesn't help the defense case whatsoever, the only reason you want to bring it out, you're going to do exactly what Johnson says you cannot do. I think there's a lot of mischief that comes with that. If you were to do that, it doesn't add to your case, it seems to me once you do that and you throw that before the jury, the jury may draw the inference that she knew about it, Russert knew about it, I just don't think Johnson permits that. I can hear from her, so we have a record, you can ask the questions of her, I'll do that outside of the presence of the jury, I am prepared to live with the ruling. Maybe the circuit will find a distinction between this and Johnson. You can dress it up as much as you want, but all the rest of this is purely done to get that prior inconsistent statement in.
Wells: Tomorrow afternoon can we have a hearing, just so the record's clear, it is our position that the questions I would ask her about her involvement in the story would be relevant.
Walton: What would that relevance be?
Wells; This is a situation where NBC team was working intensely on the story?
Walton: What relevance would that have unless you trying to impute something to Russert?
Wells: There's no question that I'm trying to impute something to Russert.
Walton: I appreciate your candor. The only way you can have that imputed is if there's truth given to her statement. If she's just impeached on it, you can't use it.
Wells: The issue is, bc of the intensity, could the jury decide, doggonit, they're working on it so hard, maybe it's not sure.
Walton: You have a chance, with the FBI agent, you have a chance arguing it from the FBI witness.
Wells: Where we do differ is on relevancy. If Russert had said, that particular week I was in Russia on vacation.
Walton: everything you say, counselor, has a ring of asking the jury to infer.
Wells: The intensity with which she's working on the story, is independent evidentiary that she may have learned.
Walton: As the law exists you can't do this.
Fitz: Three small things. I assume Pincus is the next witness. Pincus co-author on article about Mitchell possibly knowing, I assume there won't be any question about Pincus.
Jeffress: that article was put in evidence by the government over my objections and certainly there will be questions on it.
Fitz: Is he going to ask Pincus about it. WRT Woodward, we have an issue to discuss, but I don't want to hold the jury any long. And we need to flip the flip chart.
Dear Mod, I see this topic has been going into Bloggers & Personal but I did not know how to get it there, so please move it if that is appropriate and forgive my lake of knowledge.
Howlin, do you have the ping list for this? If so, HELP!
Thanks...Actually everyone...she is helping ME out..since I couldn't figure out how to to this!!
Howlin...could you ping your list, please??
The proceedings continue with Woodward, I think.
I am finding this somewhat confusing. Can you tell (LOL)
To explain my point in the last thread about Fitz catching Libby in a lie
WP testified that Libby was one of his sources for the claim that "an aide to VP Cheney" asked for more information, which eventually led to Wilson being sent. But in fact, Cheney was the one who asked for more information. So Libby lied to Pincus to distance Cheney from Wilson's trip.
Now onto Woodward. Anyone remember who broke the story of Watergate? You think the guy who broke that story would sit on his knowledge of a leak for over a year?!?!? Nahhhh!
One big question I have on Woodward is whether Fitz will be allowed to point out that Libby leaked to Woodward exactly what he said he had to get Presidential authorization to leak to Judy Judy Judy two weeks laterbut that when he leaked it to Woodward, he had no idea whether it had been declassified or not.
Fitzgerald up, objecting to putting Cue Card into evidence, particularly since it has been redacted to include just Wilson's name.
Jeffress: This is the document as it was redacted by Woodward to Fitzgerald to us.
Walton: That's all they were provided.
Fitz: That's all we were provided.
Walton: I think you can bring out that there was a lot of other information on it.
Waiting for the jury.
Jeffress up calls Woodward.
Woodward: Aqua tie. I do, loudly,
J: What do you do for a living.
BW: Assistant MG Editor for WaPo, and a book author.
BW Starting with Watergate most about Presidents or CIA or SCOTUS.
J Recipient of any Pulitzers? [Hey, how come Jeffress didn't ask this question of Pulitzer prize winner Judy Judy Judy??]
BW Shared in two
J June 2003, what were you working on
BW: Plan of Attack.
J How many sources
BW: Several hundred and 75 primary sources
J Was one Libby? When did you speak to Libby?
BW Lots of times?
J June 17 2003? How did that interview get arranged?
BW June 2 [note, Woodward never mentioned THIS meeting before], I was trying to interview VP Cheney, it looked like it had been arranged. 4 days before the June 27 interview, on June 23, I sent 16 pages of questions to Libby.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
BW On June 23 (I think) Libby told me I had overplayed my hand, sent in too many questions.
J terms of this book?
BW Background, deep background. Post had given me a year to work on this book. I was going through questions to see if he could do the questions on deep background.
J Did you interview VP for book?
J If it makes you uncomfortable, I'll withdraw that
BW Thank you.
J If a source told you info off the record, could you use info using that source?
BW You shouldn't. You know what somebody has told you, Off the record, but it should no be in the story.
J Condition of Deep Background in which Libby spoke to you on June 27, is that uncommon.
J Before you met with Libby on 27, had you received info on Wilson's wife.
BW Two weeks before on June 23 [fucks up] I was doing a lengthy interview with Armitage.
J Can I interrupt, you said June 23.
BW, Sorry, June 13. On June 13 I interviewed Armitage for the book.
J Do you recall there was an article in WaPo by Pincus that discussed a former ambassador?
BW Yes, I read the article.
J Did you raise the subject, or did he.
BW I raised it, I knew it was Wilson [doesn't say how], so I asked Armitage why he had been sent.
J going to introduce tape from interview.
BW Could I just say one thing. This was a background interview, since this arose, Armitage has released me, he said I could testify about it, He has gone so far as to request that I present any info on it.
Tape and transcript.
Woodward drinking water. He looks much greyer
BW What's Scowcroft up tp
A Looking into yellowcake
BW What happened there
A CIA is not going to be hurt by this one.
A Hadley and Bob Joseph know.
A We've got our documents
A George [Tenet] personally got it out of the Cincinnati speech.
BW How come it was in the SOTU.
A Condi doesn't like to be on the hotspot.
A Why doesn't it come out. Everyone knows.
BW Why did they send him.
A Because his Wife's an ANalyst .
BW Oh, she's the chief WMD?
A No, she isn't the chief no.
BW High enough she can say, oh hubby will go.
A Not to my knowledge. His wife is a WMD analyst. HOw about that [redactedshit?]
J You didn't write about this did you?
BW For the WaPo, no.
Now puts up the Q Card card.
BW A list of potential questions I did with Card on June 20,
J A week after your conversation with Armitage
J What does that say
BW Joe Wilson's wife
J What's the nature of what's in redacted portions
BW I'm trying to find out why Bush went to war in Iraq.
Somehow this reminds me of the Clinton impeachment trial ...Lets not have any witnesses or evidence ,it might cloud the jury's judgement
Sleuthie, woofie...does the thread get updated as new testimony appears? I can do that if that is how it's done.
The judge obviously doesn't want the poor jurors to have to put 2 and 2 together.
Yes...I was told to go back and refresh at firedog every 20-30 minutes...and then transfer here.
I dont know for sure but it makes sense to me
More coming up. (Woodward talks alot...surprise.)
Here is the Libby trial notes...do you all know anyone else that we should ping??
Did you ask Card about Wilson's wife?
BW I did not, This interview was taperecorded. It did not come up.
J Did you take this list of questions for Card with you?
BW I believe I did
J What time did it start?
BW On 27, a week after Card interview, I have it as 5
BW It was clearly the end of the day, we had the Q Cheney questions to go through. What I do is take questions from earlier interviews and bring them to interviews that I'm doing, and in my Cheney-Libby file, this full list of questions from Card was in there, along with the Q Cheney 18 pages, 16 pages and maybe other list of questions. The subject of the NIE came up. I don't recall specifically whether the 16 words were discussed. I don't think there was public controversy beyond what had been appearing in the WaPo.
J Did uranium from Africa come up
BW yellowcake, which is a form of uranium oxide, did come up
J Did you ask any questions about Wilson's wife
BW Not that I recall
J is it possible you did
J Did Libby say anything to you?
BW THere's no doubt that Libby didn't say anything, I dictated a memo. I would have written it down. This was an interview where we're going through questions on the Cheney list. I'm seeing where we're going to go. Hopefully I'm going to be able to talk to Cheney. I'm also seeing what I can get from him.
J Going back to Armitage. When Armi said CIA not going to be hurt and we're clean as a whistle. Was he referring to 16 words?
BW Speech Bush gave October 7 in Cincinnati, what he told me was that Tenet got the reference to uranium, Africa removed.
J That removal of claim was being raised.
BW that's what I asked Armitage. How come if it was removed a version was in SOTU?
J Why did you get into Wilson's trip
BW We were talking about Cincinnati speech and NIE and this and other subjects. I'm interested in what was the intell. Why did the President go to war.
J You mean NIE October 2002. Some of which had been released and some was still classified.
BW I had a sense of what was in NIE.
J What Armitage told you, did that indicate to you she was covert.
BW Just the opposite, in that portion you played, you've redacted words that are offenseive. "In the raw it has a little more fire." What he said specifically was that Wilson's wife was an analyst.
Pass the witness.
Fitzgerald: When you were first interviewed, appeared in Lawyers office? Because member of media?
BW Not sure the reason, you and your lawyer arranged that.
F Nothing about testifying in lawyers office affected the substance. Two questions about tape. Is it fair to say all redactions are the firey words. They don't relate to covert nature of someone's employment.
F You say, why doesn't that come out, everyone knows.
BW Pincus' article did not name Wilson, I knew it Armitage knew it, and I was wondering why it was not disclosed at that time.
F Did you know that Wilson's wife was alleged to work at CIA? Were you referring to her CIA employ when you said everyone knows it?
BW NoI was referring to Wilson.
F Turning to doct in front of you, Q Card, one page or more?
BW Just one page.
F A number of other entries.
F You believe you brought Q Card with you to interview with Libby
BW Yes, we went through the Q Cheney card of questions.
BW I am certain I brought Q Cheney, I believe I brought Q Card, it is my habit to bring list of questions from one interview to the next.
F New exhibit.
BW Identifies Q Cheney questions, "that goes on and on and on."
F In this list of questions there's no reference to Wilson's wife.
F Do you recall that during interview on June 27, 2003, Libby was extremely defensive and protective of Cheney.
BW In my notes, when we got to the NIE. 4 months after invasion, no WMD had been found. Pres and Admin had said with great certainty we know WMD, part of the basis for this was the NIE, as I went through that with Libby, he was taking the position that the CIA had insisted that there were WMD. He was defenseive about things Pres had said publicly.
F Did you note that he went on and on and on about defending the VP?
BW I believe you have a copy of my notes, Libby released me like Armitage. And it says that when Libby talked about NIE he was very defensive. And one of the lines says he went on and on and on.
F This was for a book?
F And any articles would be released when the book was published. And you have no recollection of talking about Libby.
F Was it your understanding that all the reporters knew about Wilson's wife?
BW I have no idea.
Jeffress Would you expect someone who works for VP to defend boss?
Jeffress goes back to transcript, focuses just on two lines of the interview.
J It's not you saying, "everyone knows it." That's him speaking.
Oops, looks like this blogger may be finishing (see last line). I'll see if I can figure out where to go from here.
You are doing a good job...
The testimony is confusing...but that is my problem, I am not up on all of the dates and stuff.
TESTIMONY OF DAVID SANGER BEGINS:
Thanks, sleuthie. They've go to a bench conference at the end of this bit.
" introduces notes so he can identify time, how long?
DS Under an hour?
J His request, or yours
DS Mine, I believe I had spoke to Cathie Martin.
J Did you give any indication of subjects you wanted to cover. Did those subjects include 16 words controversy? Did you cover that subject? What did he say to you about Wilson's wife.
DS Nothing. I don't believe her name came up.
J You're certain of that? You also continued to write articles about VP.
J You recognize that article? Does it refer to 16 words? Was anything in this article based on what Libby said in interview on July 2.
DS Not to my recollection. This was a spot story that came out of revelations that come from WH the day before.
J Do you recall that was a statement by George Tenet?
DS, that was a response to it.
J Did you mention anything about Wilson's wife?
DS I believe I probably did not know it at the time. Almost quite certain of that.
Fitzgerald: I believe you're the third pulitzer prize winner to testify. Has Judy shared any pulitzers?
DS I believe she has
F Was the focus concerning the presentation of Powell to UN
DS I was trying to understand the sources of data that went into the presentation. As I understood it, Libby was one of the people who had provided info to Powell.
F What was the concern about the Powell presdentation.
Ya gotta be a lawyer to understand a lot of this stuff but here is my question on limiting stuff.
The prosecution has to proove that Scooter intentionally lied ...
Why cant the defense call in anyone they want to show what Scooters intentions were .
If there is no motivation to lie ....doesnt that mean he didnt intentionally lie?
I would put it this way...if he had no motive to lie, then we don't really have a lie at all, but rather simple forgetfulness. Only people like the Clinton's lie when there is absolutely no reason to do so. Libby is a lawyer and a smart one. The hue and cry was that the identity of a covert agent had been revealed in violation of a statute. A quick look at the statute would reveal that Plame didn't fall within it's protection...hence, no crime. There was no reason whatever for Libby to lie since, even if he had leaked her name, it was NOT a crime.
HOORAY, we have the ping list.
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