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Judge Issues Opinion in Libby Case


Judge Walton issued a Memorandum Opinion (PDF) today regarding Fitzgerald’s prior motion on procedural issues surrounding CIPA and classified documents review. 

To make a long legal wrangle short — Team Libby did not want Fitz to be able to send classified documents for ex parte review to the judge, they wanted Fitz to have to haggle every document out adversarily with regard to discovery issues.  Fitz wanted everyone to follow the procedures as required by CIPA, which allows for such ex parte submissions where there is a question about the danger of national security by the dissemination of the information contained therein.

Fitz won. 

Perhaps Judge Walton is just a bigger believer in the importance of protecting ALL the nation’s classified secrets than Scooter and his pals are.  The laws being what they are and all — and the information being classified for very good reasons.  You know, silly things like the names of people on the NOC list.

As reader PowWow said in the comments:

Special Counsel Fitzgerald’s elegant motion seeking clarification or reconsideration of an earlier Opinion by Judge Walton was thoroughly vindicated today. I commend the Judge for openly acknowledging and remedying his earlier Opinion so frankly and cleanly. Bodes well for future, complex decisions yet to be made in this case by this Judge, I think (even if he may need a little assist now and then from his colleagues in the area of classified information procedure).

Very well done, Special Counsel and team.

Good on ya, Judge Walton — and good on ya, Team Fitz. 

And a huge hat tip to readers Frank Probst and  Stephen Parrish, CPA for the link to the Memorandum Opinion.

(Statue of Winged Victory of Samothrace, Marble, h. 3.28 m (11 ft), found on the island of Samothrace, sculpted around 190 BC, Musee du Louvre, Paris.  Sorry, couldn’t help myself.  I’m clearly punchy on the snark today.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com