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Libby Liveblog: Craig Schmall


Bonamici and Cline up (B and C).

Preparing for Schmall. Bonamici explaining that Libby's team wants to question Schmall about stuff relating to Libby's memory defense.

Cline. Schmall will talk about June 14. Wants to cross about briefing on that day. He doesn't recall any of the briefing on that day. He's still not going to recall them. Not putting documents into evidence. I want him to read the documents to the jury so they have context for the briefing.

B We don't object to the Defense asking him if he recalls the content of the briefing documents.

Walton He remembers the Wilson related stuff. But he doesn't remember the briefing items. 

B Exactly, he just doesn't remember the particular items.

W You're saying that Libby would not remember this alleged conversation? (To Cline)

C It goes to both their memories. That there were 27 intelligence items.

W I have no problem with you bringing up the number of items.

C I'm not offering them for the truth, I'm offering them for the impact they would have.

W I assume govt is not disagreeing that he was briefed on those items.

B We're not disagreeing that.

W if this is going to memory defense, the more appropriate time would be defense case.

C We could call him back. This conversation happened during this briefing.

W I think it's fair game if the suggestion is going to be made that he can't be believed that he told Libby about the items from the briefing.  He can be asked whether he remembers having briefed Libby on these things. I don't know that you can introduce the substance of what he was briefed on.

C We'll keep the substance for our case.

W Govt have a problem with that?

B No objection to that.

W Second item?

C We have substitutions for a number of things for June and July. This is the witness through whom they can come in.

[Hey this is a way for them to get it introduced without Libby–I wonder if they're getting cold feet on having Libby testify?!?!?!?]

Discussion about Tuoey rights–have to provide notice to agency, so the agency can assess whether there are any problems with the employee giving notice. I don't know if the Defense has complied with Tuoey rights.

W Does the CIA know what he's going to be asked by the Defense.

C They're briefings for which there are substitutions agreed upon.

Fitz: It may be during the period when he was the briefer.

W He'd only be competent on those areas where he actually did the briefing.

5 minute break


Cline and Fitz having a somewhat animated discussion.

Schmall looks kind of rat-like. He has a very small chin. Dark hair. A rust? color tie. Biggish ears. (What is it with these big-eared people).

Fitz is doing the questioning.

Schmall mger in Directorate of Intelligence.

F What job you held in 2003?

S Libby's morning intell briefer, later on became Cheney's morning intell briefer.

S Mr Libby's MIB Summer 2002 until Fall 2003.  Cheney until May 2004.

F for the one year and change did their come a time when the practice you had included VP at same time.

S Prior to that time, brief Libby in office, 5 days, at home on Saturday AM.  Around winter, 2003 VP asked Libby to sit into VP meetings. Worked out schedule with VP briefer. Schmall on Monday Tuesday, Libby alone on Saturday.

F When you briefed them together where was it?

S usually at VP residence, occasionally at office. Begin at 7 AM, last about 40 minutes.

F What would you bring?

S 3 books or binders. (MIB for VP and Libby) plus my background book.

S Briefing like this: analytic articles up front. Then a tab. Behind tab, stuff of specific interest for VP.

F And you also had another tab for Libby, 

S In Mr Libby's book I would often have a third tab.  I would get the books back the following day. The materials woul dgo into a burn bag. We'd destroy them properly. Table of Contents. VP Briefer developed a template for the briefing book. Breifing was mostly reading. Talking I'd do would be to tee up items. Here's why it's in the book. Once they started reading, we'd let them read. VP tended to do more of the talking–it was really his briefing session. VP did more of the talking. I'd make notes in the TOC. I'd note reaction to reading the items. I'd mark off if they'd read the item or if they skipped it, so I could provide feedback to HQ.

F What if they asked questions you felt comfortable answering on the spot.

S answer.  If I didn't feel comfortable answering, I'd mark it down to take back to HQ.  Things where they wanted a formal answer, I'd mark with T with a circle around it. Made it easier to find out which needed a tasking. I'd write it down right after the question was asked. I'd never offer my personal opinion, only if I was invited to.

F We have a stipulation that June 14 was a Saturday.  Have you looked at a redacted TOC for your briefing.

S Would have involved Libby at his home.

Govt exhibit.

F Have you looked at that document. Are there 3 questions or statements indicated on that document. Do you remember some of that indepdendent of the document. Turn it over so it's not a distraction? Describe the two you remember. 

S The first one was a visit by Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz Cruise [update–oops, not a transcript].

S Mr Libby told me about it–he was excited about it I was excited about it. Tom Cruise was there to talk to Libby about how Germany treats Scientologists.


S would have remembered the Tom Cruise conversation.

F Second one

S He was pretty annoyed about this. He told me that a reporter had talked to him and this reporter told him that a direct source had told him—the reporter—that analysts were feeling pressured and bullied at one of the recent briefings that Libby and Cheney had participated in. He was annoyed that someone was talking about this to a reporter.

F Would that be proper—someone talking to a reporter about a briefing.

S no 

S I talked to a manager who was present at the briefing. I asked her if she or her folks felt pressured. She said absolutely not. They were happy to talk directly to Libby and Cheney about their topics.

F Do you refer the third part?

S Not an independent memory.

F has introduced this TOC, We've gone over the Tom Cruise and complaint about the briefing

Schmall reads from the TOC: "Why was the [ex. Schmall explains] Amb told this was VP office question? Joe Wilson Valerie Wilson." 

S Just Libby and myself were in the room that day.

S No recollection of this conversation independently.

F Stipulation July 14 2003 was a Monday.

F Are you familiar with the Novak column from 7/14

F Can you remember the conversation without your notes.

Fitz puts this into evidence. On screen. Shows notes.

"Did you read the Novak article. — Not your problem."

Has a circled T for Tasker for something underneath this. 

F hadn't read the column yet.  


S Had VP and Libby on TOC

F Can't identify who asked the question. 


F can't say who said the words "Not your problem"

S No. 

S Can't reconstruct the conversation.

Later read Novak article.  

S During a time when the issue of the leak was being talked about by the press and pundits. Took place at Naval observatory. Libby and VP wearing suits. What info does it give you about dates. Rules out August–Jackson Hole Wyoming.  

F What was said about Novak article.

S Invited to offer opinion about leak

F Did you know Plame

S No

F Have you ever met her?

S No

F Had no idea about damage caused by her being named.

S Noted that the press and pundits talking about Valerie Wilson and her career, People were saying this was no big deal. I thought there was very grave danger to leaking name of CIA officer. Now that Valerie Wilson's name in press foreign intell in countries she worked have an opportunity to investigation all the people she worked with can be harrassed, lose their jobs, arrested, tortured, or killed.

F did anyone say anything in response?

S No

F FBI interviews–had you interviewed any documents.

S Poor state of memory. Hadn't reviewed the two documents.

Fitz is done. 


Walton new instruction, No evidence will be presented to you as to Valerie Wilson's status and whether or not disclosure posed a risk of damage to security. Her actual status, or damage, are totally irrelevant to your assessment of defendant's guilt or innocence. You may not speculate or guess about them. You may consider what Mr. Libby believed about her status. 

Cline up for Schmall.

C The goal of these MIBs to provide Libby and Cheney with the most significant intell available.  Part of your job to select intell.

S Yes, Some of it. 

C Some that would be routinely in there.  And some they were interested.

C You'd get to work at 2:30 AM, correct? 

S Yes. 

S Four hours to prepare books. 

C You're review latest intell and put together these briefing books.

S Yes

C Libby's book would have everything VP had, plus some

S Yes.

C Over time you developed a good undestanding of what issues he found important.

C Terrorist threat information. Was there a name for that?

S Yes.

C Listing of terrorist threat best current intell on terrorist threat.

S It listed every terrorist threat we were aware of.

C Change and updated over time. 

S Yes.

C Some on well-known terrorist groups, like Al Qaeda and some less well known.

S Yes.

C Reviewing the schedule for briefing. Familiar with the content on the other briefing books.

S on days he did the briefing I'd come in at a normal hour, say 8

S feedback session on what counterpart presented. Generally speaking, wouldn't attend all the feedback sessions.

C Part of it to coordinate to not duplicate or follow up.

C VP and Libby would read through materials. An interactive process. Sometimes you could answer on the spot, sometimes you would have to have an analyst ask about it.

S Yes [to all questions]

S we had a database where we'd list the materials, that database had space for taskers. The DI in general would be able to look at the Tasker that one or another shop needed to answer. 

C Those are the anlaysts, not the people in the field.

S Breifings end at 7:40, I'd get back to HQ a little after 8.

C Would you prepare briefing book. 

S Would prepare briefing report–it's the database. 

C Would you put important info there?

S A lot of times it would end up on my TOC.

C Any other place you'd record what happened in briefings?

S Not formally or regularly. If it's something taht isn't really  tasker, I might send an email or call them up.


Talking about briefers' meeting pooling what had happened during the morning meetings.

C You'd take notes in the TOC. You'd use those notes to talk about this briefing at the DCI briefing.

C You'd remind yourself to set taskings. 

C wrote notes you'd like to share with Libby or VP. 

S Things I could pass on, but didn't have an analytical report worth putting in the book. I'd pass on either first thing or maybe at the end. Just wanted to remind,something like a bombing in Indonesia about which we had no information.

C Took your work seriously.

S Yes sir.

C Allowed them to address very serious issues. Terrorism, terroist threats, homeland security, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Middle East.

C Going to the stuff that was blacked out.

C Want to take you through those topics, to see if you can recall. Say yes or no.

C Bomb defused in W residential compound

C POlice arresting someone in terrorism in country can't be identified

C Nearly simultaneous explosions

C East AFrican terroist group

C Al Qaeda plot in US

C Specific vulnerability

C Middle East security plan

C Country's security measures hampering AQ

C  A country's nuclear program

C Iraq's porous borders present security threat

C Violent demonstrations in Iran

C A total of 27 items that day

[No to all these questions.]

C review underedacted TOC

S I didn't pay that much attention to specific items in briefing

C This was very important stuff.

C Challenge posed by Palestinian something 

C Libby asked some of them returned to him 

S That did happen

C You don't recall any of them.

C list of terrorist threats, but we can't name them. A concern over suicide operations in an international airport by AQ?

C concern about terrorists providing support to AQ business gig

C Suicide attacks in Iraq by terrorist group

C About potential attacks against US embassy in Kenya

C 11 pages of terrorist threats

S It's not clear whether I gave that to him on that day–it wasn't listed on my TOC — there was a time we stopped putting it in the briefing book. 

C Unspecified group videotaping something at a university? [The Quakers!!]

No on all counts.

C You don't recall anything that happened on June 14.  

C Those types of items kind of items briefed to Libby 6 days a week.

Shifting gears. 

C You knew Eric Edelman 

C He left to become Ambasador to Turkey

C You would occasionally stop by and brief him too

S Yes, when I was briefing Libby at EOB

C May 2003. An article came out by Kristof.

S Yes I recall.

C You discussed it with Edelman. 

S I don't have an independent memory.

C You faxed a series of items. 

C You addressed them asked them to be taken to Hannah and Libby.

C Hannah took over after Edelman left.

S Not sure, I don't know who took over for Edelman

C You sent this to Edelman to be directed to Hannah and Libby.


C shows him the documents

S The handwriting is not mine

C you had someone fax these.

C Put them to one side.

C June 14 notes, July 14 not your problem, risks of exposing CIA employee

C you became aware of investigation and asked to provide interview to FBI

C First interview January 8 2004.

C First time in trial 

C interview lasted about an hour

S It's in the ballpark 

C Aware that Libby was one of the people they focused on

S I don't know I was aware

C Aware they asked questions about Libby, Edelman, and Cheney

C durng that interview, didn't say anything about that "not your problem" note

C Or about Joe Wilson Valerie Wilson note

C You had no memory of those notes or events

C told FBI that the first you heard of Wilson's trip was around the time of Novak's article.

C Told those FBI agents that you heard about the trip from a CIA employee, heard it from DDCI

C you testified about thsi "dangers of exposing Wilson"

C First time you discussed the Wilsons to Libby

C Your best memory that the first time you discussed Valerie Wilson was after Novak.

C Agents asked you to review any notes– Calendars and notes and official databases.

C January 9 2004, send an email describing that interview 

C You said your memory was quite poor, which probably extended the session.

C End of that email, after the interview, you remembered that Libby expressed irritation about conversation with reporter about Cheney's direct visits to the Agency.

C Mr. Libby and VP would come out to CIA to be briefed. Sometimes involved Iraq and other topics. Would be an exchange of views.

C Your understanding was that both sides viewed those sessions as valuable. 

C Libby's concern was that someone at CIA said Cheney was pressuring the  analysts, Libby was upset because those weren't true.

S Libby also upset because CIA talking to the press about conversations that shouldn't have been revealed.

C Didn't say anything about Joe or Valerie Wilson.

C Direct you to second page, review that see if you said anything on January 9 about the Wilsons.

C THere's no mention of the "not your problem" conversation

C Another interview on April 22 2004, about 9 months after the events, at CIA HQ, two FBI agents

S Don't know how many were there.

C CIA lawyer there

C Who else was there from the govt. 

C Asks if one of the people at Fitz' table was there

S maybe Debra (Bonamici)

C You don't remember that Fitz and Zeidenberg were there?

S No, I don't remember that 

C You're teling me Mr. Fitzgerald is forgettable.

S I don't want to go that far. 

Showing him the interview notes.

C does that refresh your recollection of who was present

S No, I don't have an independent memory, sir

C Do you recall that Federal prosecutors were there

S tell you the truth, no.

C you're meeting for the second time, you knew it was important to get things right, you were determined to give your best memory.

C You again didn't mention this June 14 Joe Wilson Valerie Wilson mention in TOC or comment on July 14, "not your problem"


C you were doing your best, but you didn't recall those two conversations

C CIA lawyer asked you to follow up on some items

S That's plausible

C Review your files, see what triggered your memory about Libby's complaint about the Cheney pressure

C mentioned that since the interview you had recalled the Libby complaint

C You provided that info about Libby being irritated

C CIA lawyer asks you to follow-up to see if you could figure out what triggered your recollection of that

C You emailed back to that lawyer, still looking for notes.

S Sounds plausible.

C going over his email

C take a look at the first sentence in your email, April 23 2004, you hadn't located those notes

C You say in that same email you have found anote in July 14 that VP or Libby had asked if you read the article. THis is the first time in the interviews that you made any mention of that TOC item. Mention it in your email only because you had just found that TOC.

Now reviewing how he keeps these TOCs

S laughs

C is there a story there?

S No, I throw them in a binder

C you'd shred the contents 

S except for the TOCs.

S I'd put them in another binder

C You still have it today

C does it have the original notes that you took

C You'd make it in pen

S in whatever pen I had

C Do those TOCs still exist

C Has anyone ever asked you for those.



Walton recessing the jury. Ragging on one of the jurors for being late.

The sidebar seemed to be about the "original" of Schmall's notes from these days. I'm guessing Cline has an original that doesn't include it? Or that one of these didn't have the original?

Cline and Fitz talking.

Schmall, then Martin, we'll have a witness behind Ms. Martin. It seems like he's going in order of their chronology.

BuhBye. It's beer thirty! 

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