Pardons anyone?

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Interesting gambit.

Rings of fire

Libby Asserts He Was the Fall Guy - Lawyers for Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president's former chief of staff on trial for allegedly lying to federal investigators, moved to muddy the prosecution's case by alleging a White House effort to protect Karl Rove and make Mr. Libby the fall guy

The defense strategy shows that Mr. Libby is willing to part ways with his former colleagues at the White House. In opening arguments in federal court yesterday, Mr. Libby's attorney alleged that White House officials singled out the former aide to Vice President Cheney to take the blame for leaking the identity of a Central Intelligence Agency operative in an attempt to take the heat off Mr. Rove, President Bush's top political adviser.

As both sides laid out their strategies yesterday in federal court, it became clear that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's attempt to simplify a case that ended up far afield from its beginnings as a CIA leak investigation could be hampered by the defense's strategy to put the case in the context of the sharp-elbowed politics of the White House and the Iraq war. The trial is expected to provide a glimpse into the inner workings -- and infighting -- of a White House known for being cohesive and tightly managed. In addition, the strategizing behind the run-up to the Iraq war may get a public airing at the same time as a Democratic-controlled Congress is stepping up its scrutiny of the Bush administration's war policy.

Mr. Fitzgerald displayed to the jury a detailed timeline listing dates when Mr. Libby talked to reporters and to others in the White House about Ms. Plame. He suggested that Mr. Libby's misstatements to investigators about when he discussed Ms. Plame's identity and with whom weren't about “bad memory” but an effort to mislead investigators because he was afraid he would lose his job. In court yesterday, Mr. Fitzgerald played excerpts of tape recordings of Mr. Libby's testimony before the grand jury. In one segment, Mr. Libby told investigators he was surprised to learn that Ms. Plame worked for the CIA during a conversation believed to have taken place around July 10, 2003, with Tim Russert, host of NBC's “Meet the Press.” But, Mr. Fitzgerald said yesterday, Mr. Libby knew of Ms. Plame's status, as he had learned it from others in the administration, including the vice president, and had passed along the information on July 7 to then-White House spokesman Ari Fleischer and on July 8 to Judith Miller, then a New York Times reporter.

Mr. Wells showed jurors his own timeline, emphasizing how Mr. Libby was asked by investigators about conversations with reporters many months after they occurred. He quoted from a handwritten note by Mr. Cheney, made after a conversation with Mr. Libby about the leak investigation, that read in part: “not going to protect one staffer & sacrifice the guy that was asked to stick his neck in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others.”

The person being sacrificed was Mr. Libby and the incompetence was on the part of the CIA, Mr. Wells told jurors.

I wish I had more time to parse nuances of the trial, but I assume Murray Waas, TalkLeft, Firedoglake, David Corn and others are on the case.

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1 Comment

A puke bucket is needed to read this story about I. Libby and Judy Miller and all the others. "A young couple were about to get married when lightening struck and killed them. as soon as they got to heaven, they asked Saint Peter if they could get married in heaven. Saint Peter was moved by the request and went to check it out. Three months later he's back telling the couple they can get married in heaven. They say now they were uncertain. If things didn't go right, could they get a divorce?
Saint Peter got angry, "It took me three months to find a priest. How long will I need to find a lawyer in heaven?"

Good night. []

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on January 25, 2007 1:58 PM.

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