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Some Rove News, A Little Libby, And A Fitz Fix…

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The authors of Bush’s Brain are working on a sequel.  And they apparently have some inside sources to meetings that Karl Rove had with Jack Abramoff that have proved very interesting…to Karl Rove.

…Just as he did with "Bush’s Brain," Rove managed to acquire an early galley version of the new book. He is disturbed about several matters but appears most deeply troubled about how the narrative proves he has had a complex relationship with convicted felon Jack Abramoff. Information provided to us for the book by an eyewitness and participant in Rove and Abramoff meetings gives lie to Rove and the White House’s claims that Abramoff was barely known by the administration. Karl has always known who has money to spend on politics and how to use those people. Our witness, who also told the same story to federal investigators, details meetings between Rove and Abramoff that show the two were using each other for their own political ends.

After reading the galley, Rove called Slater and denied the meetings ever occurred. He wants us to believe that our source simply made up the events and also lied to federal investigators. Of course, Karl Rove is the same man who claimed he did not speak to reporters about Valerie Plame’s identity until her name was published by Robert Novak and he is the same person who told the world Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. I do not believe anything he says nor should anyone in our country….  (emphasis mine)

Interesting that evidence regarding the associations with Abramoff would trigger such a swift CYA response from Karl Rove, isn’t it?  I was especially intrigued by the mention that the book’s source was also a cooperating witness for the DoJ in their ongoing investigation of corruption associated with Abramoff throughout the Republican power hierarchy in Washington, D.C. and beyond.  And I started wondering what that tantalizing little tidbit could possibly mean in terms of Karl’s level of…say…cooperation in this and other matters which are still under investigation.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave…

I found the HuffPo piece via yesterday’s Froomkin column (which was, as always, well worth the read), and it reminded me that there are a number of smaller matters that have been floating out there regarding the Traitorgate investigation, the pending Libby trial and other issues that I just haven’t had time to cover the last few weeks. (We HAVE been busy here at FDL, haven’t we?)

Libby has filed his Rule 702 disclosures on having a memory expert testify on his behalf at trial.  Jeralyn covered this well here, and she has graciously uploaded both the motion and a copy of the letter that Team Libby sent to Patrick Fitzgerald for your reading pleasure.  As Jeralyn says:

The expert only should be allowed to explain the principles of memory and memory failure to the jury. He should not be allowed to render an opinion as to whether Libby’s memory failed since that’s the ultimate question for the jury to decide.

This is absolutely correct. The expert witness ought to be allowed to talk about potential memory issues and the circumstances under which Libby was operating. But the jury will have every fact in front of it — including Libby’s obsessive note taking, the multiple meetings that he had on the subject of Joe Wilson with various memebrs of the Administration and the Vice President himself, and every scrap of paper (including Wilson’s op-ed from the NYTimes, covered in Cheney’s handwritten marching orders — see here and here) — and the jury will be able to make up its own mind whether Scooter’s attempted tap dance is at all believable.

If I had to guess, I’d say that the memory expert is going to be put to use as much for attempts at discrediting other witnesses in the case as he will try to be useful to the Team Libby defense team as a bolster to Libby’s "my Swiss cheese memory made me lie about outing a covert CIA agent," but that may be because they have switched experts from Daniel L. Schacter, a scholarly type at Harvard, to Robert Bjork of UCLA, who appears to have a special interest in short term memory issues.

Meanwhile, Patrick Fitzgerald, who has been flanking Lord Black at pretty much every turn of late, got a recent mention from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales:

Asked if he planned to leave U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in place in Chicago, Gonzales said, "I think he’s doing a fine job. I’m not aware of any changes . . . in the status of Mr. Fitzgerald. As far as I’m concerned, he’s doing a good job."

While it sounds good, in the "up is down" administration, you never can tell. But I’ve e-mailed the reporter to see if I can get some clarification on the whole quote — whether there was a pause or whether there are a few more words missing.  I will, of course, let you know if and when I hear anything back from the reporter.

There is a closed-door hearing in the Libby case today with Judge Walton, to determine some of the CIPA issues with regard to classified materials.   I will of course update if I hear any news out of this hearing — but it is likely to be only a first step in a series of hearings with regard to document admissibility, redactions and all sorts of other legal haggles over what can and cannot be presented publicly at trial or discussed even privately among the lawyers and parties involved.

Amb. Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie have picked up new attorneys in their civil suit.  The Muck has details here.  And in an amusing aside, Dick Cheney has lawyered up for the civil suit as well — hiring the same lawyers that worked for Bill Clinton during his impeachment.  (I’m sure there is a joke there somewhere.  H/T to TheOtherWA for the links on the two Muck stories.)

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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

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