CommunityFDL Main Blog

Libby Liveblog: Robert Grenier Testimony, One

the-scale-of-justice_thumb.jpg

Fitz's lawyer mispronounces Grenier's last name, then corrects himself.

I'm employed by Kroll Incorporated in consulting group.

We're a risk consulting group, we provide info to business to help them manage their security risks.

I started there July 2006.

I was employed at CIA prior to that–for 27 years.

Started on January 14, 1979. 

2002-2004, where were you working:

Starting in 2002 Iraq Mission Manager. 

A new position created by Tenet, I was asked to be point person on Iraq. I was asked to coordinate what CIA was doing.

Did this include attending Deputies Committee Meetings.

Don't want to go into a long discussion of policy making process. Deputies Committee primary part of policy-making. Key security agencies are included. I would typically go as the "plus one." Where were these Deputy Committee meetings held–in the Situation Room.

Do you know Scooter Libby?

Yes. The very first time I saw him was at a Deputies Committee meeting in July 2001. Started seeing him on regular basis in 2002.

Those meetings were held quite frequently. The number of meetings over a given week evolved, at least two or three times a week. He was in meetings on Iraq, those meetings were held 2-3 times a week.

Their relationship was that of business acquaintance.

When he came out to the CIA when he came out with VP for "briefings."

June 11 phone message that Scooter Libby called.

I wouldn't have recalled the message. But I recall I got a message at my office.

202 456-9000 was Libby's number. 

The message is up, he identifies the writing of his secretary.

That was the first time this had ever happened that he got a call from Libby.

1:15 PM on 6/11.

He learned he got the message shortly thereafter.

I placed the call to Mr. Libby.

He told me that there was an individual by name of Wilson "was going around town speaking to the people in the press" and claiming that he had been sent by the CIA. What else did he tell you.

He also said that Wilson was "claiming" that Wilson had been told that the only reason they were dispatching him was bc of interest expressed by OVP. 

Did he tell you what he wanted.

He wanted me to verify for him whether or not there was truth to that story.

And whether it was true that CIA had done so was because of interest expressed by VP. 

How did Libby refer to individual. By name or title?

By name. Joe Wilson, as I recall.

Did he say what Wilson's basis of knowledge for claim that VP had sent him.

People in CIA had told him this.

What was Libby's tone of voice?

Even, serious, concerned about this.

He sounded a ltitle aggreived. A certain accusatory tone when he stated this.

11:57 

Libby sounded like CIA was complaining.

Libby mentioned that Wilson telling this story to the press.

Libby wanted me to verify whether or not this story was true. 

What did you know of the trip.

It was the first I had heard of it.

Libby didn't say, but it was clear he wanted answers right away.

This was the first time he called me, it was probable that I would see him in the next day or two. To me it was the way he reacted when he said Wilson was speaking to the press, it suggested that he needed the info sooner rather than later so he could get out in front of this story.

I attempted to call an info who I thought would have info.

This individual was working in CounterProliferation Division.

Who was it?

Kevin (using just first name)

There was a unit devoted to Iraq WMD. Keving was Deputy Chief of that unit.

What happened when you called Kevin.

I spoke to someone besides Kevin. Since I also knew the Chief of that unit, I may have asked to speak to him. I asked this individual to convey these questions to Kevin. I don't recall who I was speaking to, I don't think it was anyone I knew.  

I got a response shortly thereafter. 

I'm very wobbly on sequence in time. 

It was probably within a couple of hours.

I don't recall who I spoke to when they called back. I didn't know that person either. The person was fully knowledgable.

This person explained that in fact we, CIA, had sent Wilson to Niger to get info to determine whether or not Iraq attempted to purchase uranium.

Did they give any more info?

Explained in a fair amount of detail when he went where he went, those kind of details.

While in fact OVP had been very interested in this, interest had been expressed also by State and Defense.

I felt I had all the information and more to respond to the request by Mr. Libby.

The individual at CPD, did they also bring up Wilson's wife.

Mentioned to me that she was working within the unit at CPD that had sent Wilson.

That's why they knew about Wilson and why he was sent. [not sure on this phrasing, sorry Jeff]

Did the Ambassador's wife's name come up?

No, I'm certain that person did not tell.

Was that info that was new to you? 

Yes. 

I didn't speak to Libby right away, I may have attempted to call his office. I had a following meeting at 4:15 that afternoon. I didn't get through to him.

What type of meeting. One of our regular Iraq update meetings where we briefed DCI the latest from Iraq. 

12:05 

I was concerned about not getting back to Libby before my 4:15 meeting.

What happened at the meeting.

Someone came to the door and beckoned for me to come out. Had a note from Libby to call him right away.

I had never been pulled out of a meeting with DCI before. 

I thought oh dear, I had wanted to initiate the contact. I wanted to appear forthcoming. 

Two reasons to be concerned about getting back to him.

1) Senior Admin official, want to be as forthcoming as possible.

2) it appeared that Libby thought CIA may have behaved badly wrt Wilson trip.

Called him back.

Got him on the phone.

Told him that it was true, CIA had sent Wilson.

How much else I said I don't recall. I may have mentioned debrief was written up.

Second major point I made the people had verified that not only OVP, but also requests as well from State and Defense. 

What was his response to hearing that State and Defense had also been interested.

Asked if CIA would be willing to release that publicly.

I believe I did mention only in passing about Wilson's wife. In fact Wilson's wife works there and that's where the idea came from.

When in the context of the conversation. Pretty certain that first thing was that yes, we had sent Wilson, sequence after that was very difficult.

Why did you feel that that was a piece of info that should be passed to Libby.

I wanted to be as forthcoming as I could be.

It was an explanation as to why we had done this in the first place. 

How was it germane to the story that Wilson's wife got sent.

Not only was she working at CPD, she was working in the specific unit that had sent Wilson.

If there was a question why him was because his wife worked there.

12:11 

Libby's only response was asking whether CIA could reveal the interest of State and Defense publicly.

Told him I had to ask Director of Public Affairs. He was in the meeting I just left. I may have said I could get him right away. I led him to believe I could get access to Director of Public Affairs right away. Director of Public Affairs was Bill Harlow.

I believe I hung up-did not keep him on hold.

Whispered to Harlow I needed him to come out, asked whether we could reveal it publicly to the press, he thought yes we probably could release it publicly to the press. We can publicly work something out. Work out language that CIA would be able to use with the press.

When you told that to Libby what did you do next.

Libby said that someone who deals with press would deal with Harlow on that issue.

Did Libby talk about the name or identity of the press person. It was woman. The name was Cathie.

What happened next was I put Harlow on the phone. I thought that he would be speaking with Libby. As soon as he got on the phone, he was speaking with a female press officer. I don't recall how I inferred it, it may be that he called her by name. I was a little bit surprised. 

Is it fair to say that all of these conversations, the note and phone calls with Mr. Libby all occurred on June 11.

A few days later did you see LIbby at a meeting.
I remember seeing him at a meeting, I believe it was a deputies meeting.

He thanked me for the information said it had been useful.

When were you first interviewed.

Fall 2003

When to grand jury?

January 2004

When you were first interviewed by FBI. Were you asked if you had discussed Wilson's wife with Libby. I'm sure the topic came up.

My response was that I didn't clearly remember.

I believe, thinking back that I probably had said I relayed this information to Libby. But I couldn't say for certain.

In connection with your GJ testimony 2004, do you recall what you said what your memory was about saying about Wilson's wife.

I said I may have.

Some time after you testified in the GJ in January 2004. Did you continue to think about that question?

I was going over it in my mind. I was hoping that I hadn't mentioned anything to Mr. Libby, I really didn't remember anything new. But what I did remember was the way I felt immediately after.

I briefly felt guilty, that I had relayed too much information. I was going through a mental justification about why it was alright to have relayed this to Mr. Libby.

What part were you having concerns about. Having mentioned that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, revealing the identity of an agency officer, although it was indirect.

I didn't know her name, so I didn't give her name, but by saying Joe Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, I was revealing the identity of a CIA officer. It wasn't absolutely necessary, that is information that we guard pretty closely, and if we don't have to say it, we don't.

You went through a mental justification. Senior Govt official, has every security clearance known to man. He may have met this person in the course of his business, this person may have briefed him.

Did you come to any conclusions. It wasn't as if one day I had a revelation. But as I thought about it over time, as I remembered specifically I developed a growing conviction that I had said it, I said to myself wake up and smell the coffee.

What did you do. Initially, nothing.

I was very interested in whether I had relayed that info or not–I didn't think it was significant in the investigation. As I understood it, it was about passing classified info the press. How people knew what they knew was a moot point.

At some point did your understanding change?

At a certain point, Spring 2005, I saw stories that what Libby knew and how he knew it was an open question. Accounts he may have learned about it from the press rather than the other way around.

When I saw that it seemed to me that my info was potentially relevant.

Got in touch with lawyers at CIA, relayed info to them. Asked whether we should call Special Counsel.

Were you subsequently re-interviewed and go back to GJ.

12:23 

What were you going to reveal?

We weren't worried about revaling that Wilson went on the trip–he had outed himself.

We also released info on State and Defense's interest.

Break for lunch–see you in an hour. 

Previous post

The CIA Got the Niger Documents!!!

Next post

emptywheel

emptywheel

47 Comments