Libby Liveblog: Robert Grenier, Two
We're all in back.
Libby's team has loaded up some super redacted memo to show on the screen.
Grenier, btw, is very dapper. Greying, nice suit, blue tie. His delivery was VERY credible (even if he didn't say anything about Plame for 2 years, the delivery of it was impressive). I think it was David Corn who said "you can tell he has done a lot of briefing." He's in the box, frowning a bit.
Jeffress is up with questions. He got Grenier's name right the first time.
J: You have never met with me or anyone. And that's because you declined to do that before this trial, is that correct?
G: I guess there was a request.
J: Do you know Valerie Wilson? Do you know Joe Wilson?
J: "The war in Iraq had been over … Saddam Hussein had fallen six weeks earlier." There was a problem arising with those who had relied on intelligence before the war. We had not found WMD, correct? The intelligence agencies had predicted that the WMD were there.
G: Referring to the NIE then yes.
J: There was some finger pointing going on.
G: At various points there was a lot of finger pointing.
J: The press was writing a lot about this in June and July.
G: This has been a point of controversy. Yes.
J: Do you remember Pincus' article in the WaPo?
G: I remember that article, yes.
Introducing article. Jeffress has a really accusatory, nasty tone.
J: Do you recognize this article?
G: I would have to read this.
J: Well, why don't you…
He's reading this.
G: Given the conversation the day before I understood where this was coming from.
J: Didn't you tell McLaughlin that this was an effort by the WH to put the blame on the CIA.
G: trying to recall…
J: Can you answer my question?
Walton says he's trying to answer.
J repeats question in more detail.
G: I may very well have said that to the Deputy Director (McLauhglin)
G: My belief at the time was that the Admin was trying to suggest that "had they only known" that it was Wilson, they, the WH would have felt that was very compelling. The fact that this was not highlighted to them was a failing to the CIA. Which I thought was unfair, btw.
J First time you were interviewed December 10, 2003.
G I recall being interviewed, I couldnt' say it was the 10th.
J does this document refresh your memory
G It says January 5
J Look at the bottom, where it says date of investigation.
G This would indicate it happened on December 10 and I have no reason to disbelieve it.
J Turn to page 2 of that interview. If you would read the next to last paragraph on that page to refresh your memory about Pincus.
G: I don't think anyone would have blamed OVP for sending Wilson.
G: I thought this was an effort to place blame that no one had warned them that there was compelling evidence against Niger.
G: I would not have considered the report compelling evidence.
J: You're talking about the report on Wilson's trip.
J: That's because in the report it said an Iraqi trade delegation went to Niger. [this misstates what the report says]
G: I don't recall that part of the report.
J: You did not regard it as conclusive for what reason.
G: I never read the report. Explains this report wasn't going to be compelling bc the Nigeriens knew the Wilson report coming back.
G: Absent some indication there was some privileged relationship with these subjects, I would have found this report suspect.
J: You would not have figured this was the best way to collect the information.
G: When I first heard he went, it struck me as odd.
J: As this information came out was some of this information embarrassing to the CIA, about the tradecraft related to the report.
J admitting article into evidence. Walton giving warning that the article is hearsay. Jeffress is trying to argue that the CIA was embarrassed they had sent Joe. Note Grenier doesn't seem to be aware that Wilson DOES have a "privileged" relationship with the subjects, since he coaxed them to return to democracy.
J is summarizing the article, saying the CIA failed to share what it knew.
G: I'll let people read the paragraph for themselves.
J: The fabricated evidence refers to forged documents, the CIA had possession of those in 2002.
J: The CIA failed to discover that those were forged.
G: There are others who know a whole lot more about that situation.
J: You do know that the IAEA discovered they were forgeries in a matter of days.
J: That occurred some two months after the SOTU.
G: I'll take your word for it.
J: The CIA had failed.
G: In the case of this particular report, I've already explained that I didnt' think that was a fair criticism.
This is not working, IMO, because Grenier is not falling into Jeffress' traps.
J: Look at paragraph, CIA's decision to send an emissary.
J: Was it this statement in the article that caused you to have an opinion that WH was pointing a finger at the CIA?
G; Where it says the CIA did not share—that's the finger pointing part.
J: Do you recall believing that Novak article was finger pointing on the WH.
G: That signaled a
shit shift [updated: oops–not a transcript] in the PR strategy. Earlier suggestion that Wilson was reputable. At the time of the Novak column it seemed that there was a different tack, quite the opposite one, why should anyone believe Mr. Wilson.
J Did you discuss the Novak article with Harlow
G I don't recall if it was on the day it appeared, but I did discuss it with him.
J Did you say it was trying to avoid responsibility for Wilson's trip.
G They were trying to avoid responsibility for the truth about Iraq and Niger. Who was responsible for Wilson's trip wasn't really a question.
J pushing on "avoiding taking blame for Wilson's trip" again–he's trying to put words in G's mouth.
G I would like to state, I have the greatest respect for the FBI, but the FBI agent may not have gotten what I said exactly right. What is important is that my belief that the WH was throwing blame on the CIA–not for Wilson's trip–but for not having provided proper warning to the WH on this issue of Iraq's attempt to buy nukes.
J You talked about the nepotism issue.
J You interpreted that the source was in the WH.
G I strongly suspected it was someone in the WH.
J admits into evidence.
J Wilson's article caused some consternation with the CIA.
J Was it your belief that someone at the WH must have leaked this to Novak?
J Conversation with Libby. Do you recall that about two weeks after the column. July 31, you were interviewed by IG at CIA.
G I couldn't vouch for date.
J Have you see this before.
G is reading.
G I don't believe I've seen this report before.
J does that refresh your recollection.
G dates are a problem. I vaguely recall talking to someone from IG. I was interviewed by them on a number of issues.
J You discussed your conversation with Libby.
J You didn't tell them anything about telling Libby about Plame.
G I don't see it reflected in here.
J You can stop reading that now. [he's putting dates up on the board]
J You did not mention to the investigators about Mr. Wilson's wife.
G I couldn't have told you either way. The thrust of what they were after, I don't think that was a particularly relevant issue.
G I don't think there's any reason why I would have mentioned that.
J You don't remember either way.
G I have no reason to think I did.
J Does it strike you that your recollection of these meetings is a lot more vague than your conversation with Libby on June 11.
G My recollection of a lot of conversations from that time is vague. My recollection of my conversation with Libby has vagueness attached to it.
G What is true about this is that I've spent a lot of time thinking about that conversation.
J The first time you were interviewed in this case was in December 2003.
J Do you recall that you met with a CIA lawyer, named Nancy to prepare for that interview.
G It's quite likely I met with one of the lawyers before I met with the FBI.
J Before meeting with the FBI, did you meet with CIA counsel.
G I don't recall. I don't remember if they came to me first or if there was an appointment. It's hard for me to recall.
J But you remember your call on June 11 but you don't remember whether you talked to a lawyer.
G It wouldn't be significant to me, if I did.
J Did you review any documents you could find to prepare for that interview.
G No, the only thing I reviewed was that message.
J You told the FBI that you did not recall telling Libby that Wilson's wife was married to a CIA officer. You told the FBI that you didn't discuss Valerie Wilson.
G I told them I didn't mention the name. I told them I couldn't recall clearly whether I said that or not.
J Look at the 302 (FBI report)
J Did you tell the FBI that you did not discuss Valerie Wilson.
G I think that there's some confusion in this report from the FBI. It says did not discuss Valerie with Libby. I think it's referring to my not telling Libby her name. Tries to show that the report is confused.
J tells him to stop reading, he's not allowed to read it.
G I believe I reported that in my conversation with Libby I couldn't recall clearly whether I told him that Plame was working in unit that dispatched them, that I may have, but didn't have a clear recollection, but that I didn't tell him Valerie Wilson's name, because I didn't know that. I learned of it at a meeting (points out that the meeting is referenced in the report).
J Do you remember my question. If you let me ask the questions and then you can answer them. [boy Jeffress is a big dick!]
G Can I testify that part of what I read is incorrect.
Walton: Not if you're not asked that.
J Turn to page 2. Do you recall telling the FBI that you did not recall telling Libby that Wilson was married to a CIA employee.
J You didn't recall telling Libby or you didn't recall whether you had told Libby.
G Not sure of the distinction, but either would be correct.
J Between FBI interview and GJ, you did not remember whether you told Libby.
G Did you tell the GJ that you had no clear recollection whether you told Libby it is possible that you may have done so.
G I was being conservative. I knew of one way that Libby may have learned of Plame.
J So you had a "growing recollection."
G my growing conviction was based on how I felt afterwards.
J none of this recollection happened between FBI and GJ testimony.
G Meetings I had did not discuss my upcoming GJ appearance or what I might say.
J you didn't recall hearing about Plame from CPD.
G that's what is reported. I will tell you that right now. It's hard for me to account for that. You may recall that when I appeared before the GJ the second time. I was startled.
J You testified that you hadn't heard of Plame
G No, that's not what I said. I didn't have a clear memory of whether the person from CPD had told me that.
J When you were read that testimony, that surprised you.
G I had a very clear memory of having been told that. What I couldn't remember was whether I conveyed that info to Mr. Libby. As I sat there, I remembered that and thought I had always remembered it. I was surprised. As is reflected in that transcript, I asked them to read it a second time.
J Testimony is wrong?
G [missed his response–but basically says he knew he was right the second time]
J When you went before the GJ a second time.
J your testimony was I would definitely want to change that.
G the part I would want to change is the part that's not up there. I wanted to change not having a clear recollection about CPD telling me of Plame. This part, no, I knew I had said that before.
J Look at page 10 of transcript of January 29. I'm sorry I meant July.
Interruption! Grenier lost his glasses. Everyone is running around the courtroom looking for his glasses. Someone found them. Jeffress says "It's a trick, I do that to all the witnesses." Everyone is still milling around. Fitz and Wells checking in. Fitz says, "would everyone check their papers." Fitz on his knees looking. "What is that laying right on the desk?"
It's unclear whether he has the glasses or not, though I think they're right there on the witness stand.
Here we go.
J Directs him to his July GJ testimony. You asked Mr. Zeidenberg at the time to read back your testimony.
G It's a different individual, but yes I asked him to read it back.
J I'm sorry, it's a different prosecutor.
J Your response was you would want to change that. You now had a clear recollection that the person in CPD told you about Plame. The second thing you would change was –were you asked the following question. You still have no recollection. No, I do have a recollection of having discussed that with Mr. Libby.
J does your memory get better with time?
G It depends.
J did you find a note?
G what improved was what I remember thinking and feeling afterwards. That only came to me afterwards. What triggered it and why, I don't know.
J And when did you forget that feeling?
G I didn't recall it.
J What triggered that feeling?
G I wish I could tell you.
J You read newspapers that said that someone learned of reporters. Was that Karl Rove?
G I'm not sure.
Jeffress introduces another article. Yup. Grenier has his glasses, now reading the article.
J Is that an article you read just before you went back to the GJ.
G What I read pertained to Mr. Libby.
J look at the last paragraph as well.
J Did you still have the opinion that someone in the WH was the source for Novak.
G What's significant here is that there was some dispute about what Libby knew. Which indicated that my recollection might be significant in the context of the investigation.
J This memory that you had. Where were you when that recollection came to you.
G reviewing how he recalled, feeling guilty. Admits his recollection was weak.
J were you sitting with someone McLaughlin or Harlow?
G No, they wouldn't have helped me remember.
J What prompted you to think about it?
G I would have thought that relaying the information would have been a mistake. I think we're confusing the issue.
J You would agree with me. You found no note. Still have no note. You didn't go talk to somebody who was participating in the conversation. You have no corroboration other than your memory.
G That's right.
J Do you recognize this document
G I believe it was described by the Prosecutor and he may have seen me
J Did you have an assistant
J Was your title the ADDOPS
J This email was sent by your executive assistant
G I believe it was, there are no names.
J It is agreed that this is your executive assistant
J Do you recall asking your EA to gather information on the story that Iraq had sought uranium in Africa
G There is reference in this to Joe Wilson. I KNOW I didn't ask her about that.
J Did Deputy Director ask you questions regarding whether Iraq sought uranium?
G I can say absolutely not
J where would your EA get information that the DDCI had asked you about Joe Wilson
J You have every confidence that you did not tell your EA that the DDCI had asked you about the Wilson trip
G I have no such recollection
J Do you have a recollection about SSCI asked you questions about the same issue
G Let's be careful of the broader issue. There's this more narrow issue on Joe Wilson. Did someone on SSCI ask me about the Wilson trip, before June 11.
J What had they asked you about?
G I made appearances on a lot of occasions. I don't recall having appeared before them in the days before June 11.
J Did you tell your EA that Congress is beginning to point fingers
J Did you type your own emails?
G not as much as I should have. I was well known for not keeping up with emails. Both EA and secretary had an instruction to review my emails and put the important ones in front of me.
J did your EA work for anyone besides you.
G Sure. Would take tasking from one of other principals' EAs. That used to happen frequently.
J Would your EA carry out tasks on your behalf, and would your EA do that by email.
Defense Exhibit 72.
J You were the Iraq Mission Manager in June 2003. When the forged documents were discovered there was an internal investigation and an inquiry from Congress.
G Yes, may have been a Congressional investigation.
J Did you read Congressional notification on Iraq in April 2003 regarding the purported Iraqi uranium deal on Niger.
J You probably don't recall the question.
G (restates the question perfectly) No.
J You saw Libby shortly thereafter.
J You described it as primary policy meeting. You only attended the ones on Iraq. Mr. Libby attended all of them.
G That wouldn't surprise me.
J When you did see Mr. Libby, did you say something to him about maybe I shouldn't have mentioned Wilson's wife the other day.
G No, I don't think I did.
J You didn't mention the name of Mr. Wilson's wife. You didn't mention anything to Mr. Libby whether Mr. Wilson's wife was covert.
J Covert in simple terms means undercover.
J CIA has lots of employees who are not covert.
J You heard she was a "staff person" correct?
G No, I heard she was working in that unit. Could have meant staffer, an analyst on loan, could have meant a number of different things, didn't ask for clarification.
J Would you turn to your second GJ transcript.
J Did you tell GJ that the she was a staff person
J that didn't testify that you learned that she was covert
G Staff person has a number of different interpretations. Could be staff person from DO working in CPD.
J THe person you talked to gave no indication that Wilson's wife was covert. Correct?
J You testified you spoke with someone named Cathie.
J You're certain that this conversation with Harlow and Cathie happened on June 11.
G I believe so, I know it was a female press person.
Fitz' team again
Z [I think this is Zeidenberg so I'll use Z] What was the point of the investigation when you had a meeting with IG.
G about the Niger forgeries.
Z Did it have anything to do with Wilson
Z you were asked about an email from your EA, whether he'd make inquiries on your behalf. Did he ever get taskings from other EAs?
G I believe he did–they'd be asked questions by their other principals' EAs.
Z If the person at the CPD that you spoke to did not tell you Wilson's wife was covert. Why were you feeling uncomfortable.
G Because I knew that that person could be undercover. We were talking about a unit in DO the vast majority of whose employees are undercover.
Z Nothing further.