Skip to comments.Questions Raised about Tim Russert's Story
Posted on 11/03/2005 7:57:10 AM PST by InvisibleChurch
Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005 10:17 a.m. EST Questions Raised about Tim Russert's Story
NBC Washington bureau chief Tim Russert told Leakgate probers that he had no idea Joe Wilson's wife Valerie Plame was a CIA employee before her name surfaced in Robert Novak's fateful July 14, 2003 column, and that he was stunned upon learning that Lewis "Scooter" Libby claimed he got that information from him.
But an account by senior NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell raises questions about whether Mr. Russert may have known about Plame's employment well before the Novak column.
On Oct. 3, 2003, Mitchell was a guest on CNBC's now-defunct "Capital Report," where she was asked by host Alan Murray:
"Do we have any idea how widely known it was in Washington that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA?"
Mitchell replied: "It was widely known among those of us who cover the intelligence community and who were actively engaged in trying to track down who among the foreign service community was the envoy to Niger. So a number of us began to pick up on that."
Mitchell's "widely known" characterization flatly contradicts assertions last Friday by Leakgate Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, who repeatedly insisted that Plame's association with the CIA "was not widely known."
But perhaps more importantly, if Plame's work was an open secret in media circles [according to Mitchell], how is it that her boss, Mr. Russert, who - as NBC Washington bureau chief was presumably monitoring developments in "the intelligence community" as they related to the Wilson story - would have been oblivious to this same "widely known" information?
In fact, according to the text of Fitzgerald's indictment, Libby's version of events more closely matches Mitchell's on the subject of who knew about Plame's employment.
Fitzgerald said Libby claimed:
"During a conversation with Tim Russert of NBC News on July 10 or 11, 2003, Russert asked LIBBY if LIBBY was aware that Wilsons wife worked for the CIA. LIBBY responded to Russert that he did not know that, and Russert replied that all
the reporters knew it." [Page 11 of Libby's Indictment]
None of this means that Mr. Libby actually told the truth and that Fitzgerald's star witness against him, Tim Russert, perhaps didn't.
But Mr. Russert might want to clear the air and explain how he managed to stay in the dark about key information in a case that was the talk of the town in early July 2003 - while the same information was "widely known," according a senior reporter who worked under him.
And, Fitzgerald's report doesn't point out that the ONLY proper response from Libby to Russert's question was to deny he knew that, because if he confirmed it, then he WOULD be guilty of divulging classified information!
So if I know it, but you don't KNOW that I know it........
Note: Andrea Mitchell is Alan Greenspan's wife.
Russert has to be a big-time witness in the Libby trial.
Look for the LSM to start downplaying the Libby situation, paving the way for it to quietly go away before they all get snared up in it.
All the MSM rant is about WH people being called to the trial, I wonder what reaction they will have when half the Washington pressitutes are called as witnesses, and 99.9% of them plead the 5th.
Joe Wilson on Larry King,
"Now, I'm prepared to think the worst of Karl Rove ever since he told Chris Matthews that my wife was fair game. And that's tough for me because Karl and I go to the same church. We go to different services, we go to the same church. I know his wife's name because we get a church newsletter. So, why he wouldn't know my wife's name, perhaps he doesn't read the newsletter."
I believe there are also reporters and other inside the beltway politicians that go to this church.
If it's Libby's word vs. Russert's, then why did they not indict Russert?
"Presstitutes" -- "LSM" -- great new words.
Russert, Miller, Cooper, PLame, Wilson, are all going to by called to testify in Libby's trail. And...they won't be asked the softball questions they got from Fitzgerald. IMHO there will be no trail. Fitzgerald will accept a plea bargain and make this whole thing go away. Fitzgerald, the MSM and the Democrat Party will want to make this go away. Give it a couple of months and watch is evaporate into thin air!!!
The Grand Jury indictment prepared by Mr Fitzmas specifies that Valerie Plame's employment by the CIA was classified "Secret" until July 14, 2003 (date of Novak's column).
So anyone who knew it or talked about it before then.......
Except for the thousands of people in Washington DC and in State Department and its embassies all over the world... who may be considered part of the "intelligence community" of course....(which does NOT include no-clearance Joe Wilson, who has screwed his own pooch by bragging that he shared his poor wronged wife's identity with the Kerry campaign before Novak's story broke....ha ha ha)...
broke the law.
What a joke.
Fitzgerald's report may want to plant that seed, but the indictment doesn't depend on that at all.
Libby could have told investigators that he knew Plame worked at the CIA, and that he told Russert, Cooper and Miller that Plame worked at the CIA. In fact, the indictment asserts that - but guess what, no crime! Libby didn't disclose classified information, or out a covert agent.
He didn't want to admit telling reporters (but he should have admitted that), because doing so would be spun like a political dirty trick. Well, that water is over the dam - it is being spun. But the dicussions with reporters were perfectly legal.
It's looking more and more like a ...Vast Left Wing Conspiracy!
As potentially important as this info is,it would be useless to present it to a DC jury.If this matter goes to trial and the trial is held in DC,Libby doesn't have a prayer.
Mitchell's "widely known" characterization flatly contradicts assertions last Friday by Leakgate Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, who repeatedly insisted that Plame's association with the CIA "was not widely known."<<
Fitzgerald has indicted his ham sandwich, now a defense can be presented. No one was indicted for outing Valley Girl Val. Maybe because no one could, she was already out.
Agree. with. every. single. thing. you. said.
This will evaporate faster than the Clintoon "War on Terror."
Does Libby have to say "that's classified"? to Tim? Of course not. That's just like saying: "Valerie is an agent for the CIA just as you've indicated. I know it and you know it. My question is (by Libby) How did you know it Tim?
This whole Plamegate is a total waste of taxpayers' money and time.
Any "beat cop" in America could have determined in a day that Plame WAS NOT A COVER AGENT.
Instead, Fitzgerald fattens his personal bank account at taxpayers' expense for two years chasing his tail and all he has to show for it is a lame indictment for lying about a so called "crime" that wasn't a crime in the first place!
and they say this clown Fitzgerald is some kind of legal genius...yea right...he's like the rest of the clowns in DC...getting fat at taxpayers' expense!!!
Libby has issues, I won't deny that (mostly regarding his notes).
But the idea that these media witnesses told the truth when they all claimed not to know who Wilson's wife was, is laughable. they all knew.
BTW, it's actually too bad (for the country, not for Libby) that this thing probably will never go to trial.
Russert, Plame, Wilson, Mitchell, Miller, Cooper and slews of others need to be subjected to stringent cross-examination so that the truth can come out.
"Plame was NOT A CIA COVERT AGENT"
Find a way to find the law firm Libbey is using and send your analysis to them.
Nice to see the MSM might be getting some of their own thrown back at them! Rathergate, Mapegate, and NOW Russertgate!
Pray for W and Our Troops
Libby and the administration are not going to plea bargain this away, if Libby is telling the truth. Fitzgerald better be prepared to prove his allegations.
Victoria Toensing has called for an investigation into the CIA role in the Wilson affair, saying that the CIA was either conducting a brilliant covert attack on the Whitehouse or more inept intelligence tradecraft.
J'oh's wife's name was in their church newsletter?
If this goes to trial, part of Libby's defense should be to undermine the MOTIVE for lying by undermining the spin that the WH was trying to punish Wilson for telling the truth. This would involve calling Wilson and members of the Kerry campaign to the witness stand, and introducing as evidence the Senate Intelligence Committee's findings that Wilson had misrepresented virtually everything about his trip and the WH response to it. A trial - if anything - might finally get the real facts out to a wider public, and expose Wilson as the real liar and the real hit-man.
Eva, I hope and pray you are right, and I am wrong.
Is Andrea finding it *sport* or trendy questioning the validity of the Russert sot?
Questions, so many questions. :o)
Man-oh-man would I relish [seeing] the bloated Russert's head on a pike.
...*&* going the way of Danny "Boy" Rather. :o)
To finish my thought: if I were Libby's attorneys, I would announce publicly their intention to call Wilson, Lehane, Kristof, Cooper, Novak, and Pincus, among others, as witnesses. I would love to see how that would reverberate in DC.
And you know this beyond a metaphysical certainty, how?
If a reporter were trying to identify Wilson and everything about him in order to understand why the CIA would send him on a mission to Niger, one thing the reporter would explore would be Wilson's wife and her occupation and political ties. Wilson's Who's Who entry gives his wife's name. A political contribution database gives her political donation info and the name of her company. Novak was quick to identify her company as a CIA front. Was he told about it? Was it easily discernable to those familiar with CIA operations? I would like to know these things.
"I've heard about this entry before, but I don't see that the inclusion of her NAME is in any way related to releasing her clandestine occupation."
My view is that the law states that in order for an agent to be considered covert, then the government must be actively trying to conceal his/her connection to the US government.
Married to a former ambassador, and NSC member, and a man who writes an NYT op-ed piece saying he worked for the CIA on a mission to Niger. Was there any activity by the CIA to conceal her connection to Joe Wilson?
well in Cooper's case, because he was asking Libby about "Wilson's wife". what reason would he have had to even ask that, imagine if Wilson's wife was a bartender, what sense does the question "did his wife have anything to do with the Niger trip?" make if Wilson's wife is known to be a bartender? none. The question only makes sense, has any context at all, if Wilson's wife was known to be who she was, by the person asking the question.
R-U-S-S-E-R-T.....is right my friend.
Timmy and the other liars of the MSM, who testified at this witch hunt for Rove could be in a lot of trouble re perjury in upcoming criminal cases and financial trouble in civil cases.
I guess it never came up in dinners with the R-U-S-S-E-R-T-S and the Wilson Plames and the Mathews then right??? What fun those dinners must have been?????
Or can you acknowledge that you don't?
They are all linked at the hip...R-U-S-S-E-R-T-S/ Mathews's/ Coopers/ Wilson Plame/...its really the untold disgusting tale.
>>>"But perhaps more importantly, if Plame's work was an open secret in media circles [according to Mitchell], how is it that her boss, Mr. Russert, who - as NBC Washington bureau chief was presumably monitoring developments in "the intelligence community" as they related to the Wilson story - would have been oblivious to this same "widely known" information?"<<<
I'll give that one a big WOW!
Well duh, Rove admitted that he told Cooper. So of course he knew enough to confirm with Libby. Recall that Rove released Cooper from protecting his identity as source just before Cooper was about to go to jail.
Tim Russert's wife is a well connected author- Maureen Orth.
Read her bio at http://www.maureenorth.com/ and tell me with a straight face, that Mrs Russert would not have also known that Val P ! (that's what she liked to be called, per 60 Minutes ) worked at the CIA.
BTW- Was I the sole viewer who watched Olbermann interview Wilson last night ?
Olbermann asked Joe W ! " Did Mr Fitzgerald ever contact you ? "
Joe W ! : " I spoke with Mr Fitzgerald early on in his tenure. I went to meet with him at his request.
I laid out the details of my trip to Africa for him..."
Joe W ! " I spoke to him one other time " - the same day as Judy Miller testified, but Joe W ! said that what he spoke to Fitzgerald about-had nothing to do with Miller.
And then Olber called Sean and Rush " reactionary parrots " for daring to question Joe 's veracity and motives.
It appears that Fitz was reading off the script that Joe W ! provided and had tunnel vision.
Must indict Karl Rove. Must indict Karl Rove.
Too bad Fitzgerald didn't have Zell Miller on his staff.