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Libby Live: Matt Cooper One


This is NOT Cooper on the stand. It's him speaking at Georgetown. In any case, here are some groundrules. I timestamp my posts–that will let you know when you should update (please err on the side of saving the servers). Also, treat this as a liveblog, not a transcript; I'm no court reporter! And finally, please buy my book.

Matt Cooper up now.
[I'm using MC]

MC Matthew Cooper.

MC Editor for Conde Nast portfolio, hasn't started publication yet. Used to work for Time, summer 1999, June 2006.

MC Began year as DPTY Wash Bureau Chief, then moved to WH correspondant. Moved to WH in June. At the time, it went to press on Saturday nights. Generally we took Sundays off, Mondays as well.

F When a mag went to press, when appear

MC On monday

MC Mag dated one week ahead, so on newsstands 14, it'd be 21st

F Writer v. Contributor

MC Many stories put together by a number of people. Many more might contribute to a story. Assemble files, sent off to writers, who would put them together.

F What would a file look like?

MC Electronic, the work from the week.

F Summer 2003 controversy involving Wilson

MC Watched Amb appear on MTP, Read op-ed on NYT

MC Became a big story. Also, as soon as WH, said 16 words should not have been in SOTU.

MC I had recently bc a WH correspondant. Set about finding out as much as I could. How did it wind up in speech thoroughly checked and vetted

F Mr Wilson's wife

MC Friday July 11, with Karl Rove, a member of WH staff.

MC Put in a call to Rove's office routed to office, at first, he wasn't there, was busy, but then put me through, we talked.

MC Ah sure, we're interested in Wilson story. And he immediately said, don' t get too far out, don't lionize or idolize him. He said a number of things would be coming out. He said DCI had not sent him. He said VP had not been involved. THen he said, it would come out who was involved in sending him. He said his wife. I until that point didn't know Wilson had a wife. I said the wife. He said she worked in WMD at the Agency, I took the CIA, not EPA. We talked a bit more, at the end he said, I've already said too much.

F HOw long

MC couple of minutes.

F Statement

MC Yes, I paid attention.

F Speak to Libby

MC THere'd been a lot of interest in VP, Wilson had said in oped that CIA asked him to do trip as a result of inquiry. Did he know about these 16 words. what was the behind the scenes story. made great effort to reach people in OVP. Cathie Martin said she'd hook me up to speak with Libby I did communicate some in advance. Spoke on Saturday July 12.

F Circumstances about that day

MC On deadline. They like to have these stories done on Friday. Going into Sat is exception. Secondly, some friends had invited us to Chevy Chase Country Club. This club prohibits blackberries or cell phones. I kept running out to parking lot, Libby was down at Ronal Reagan christening. My now late father in law was Reagans Amb to Austria he was at ceremony. Events are quite vivid.
MC We spoke by telephone. He called me on my cell phone.


MC Describes statement. Varying degrees of confidentiality. First on background. Was your office involved in 16 words into SOTU. No, his office was more focused on other aspect of SOTU, project bioshield. Had it come up, had Wilson come up on visits to CIA HQ in Langley, VA, he said he didn't recall that. I asked what he had heard about Wilson's wife.

MC Mr Libby said, "Yeah, I've heard that too," or "Yeah, I've heard something like that too." Pleasantries at the end, maybe another question or two in there.

F Groundrules?

MC I said on background, before I said Langley. Just before Wilson's wife, I said off the record.

F Did he say covert status?


F Did he indicate her affiliation was classified, Did Libby say who he had heard it from. Did he say he heard from reporters? Did you type notes?


F Following that conversation, was there a column

MC cover story: Untruth and consequences.

MC No mention in that story.

MC Only a truncated version of statement appeared in magazine. Got a call from Libby, I believe Tuesday, complaining that full statement had not appeared, told him I'd look into it. Sent them emails, I said I'd talk about it with them (editors). Did you end up doing something. In online version, we inserted the full statement. I think with notation that full statement hadn't appeared in printed version, then I subsequently, co-authored a piece called "A War on Wilson" in which we included the whole on the record statement.

12:30 recess for lunch

If FDL is up, I'll go back over there after lunch, otherwise I'll start a new thread.

Oops, there's more.

Wells Two evidentiary issues following conclusion of exam. Govt wants to play video clips of press secty McC making certain statements. We object to the playing of clips. McClellan, and agent bond, there will be an objection—the only relevance of those clips could be wrt Libby's state of mind. No evidence that Libby saw those clips, or reviewed those transcripts. They're lengthy.

Walton your concern. Libby not privy, no evidence of state of mind

Wells wrt one clip, where I believe McC cleared Karl Rove. Libby is asked a question, but I believe except for that there's no evidence that Libby saw that clip or any of the three others.

Walton essence of what these say.

Wells, let govt.

Walton What do these clips say

Fitz Clips aren't just clearing Rove. McC declining to clearing Libby. Mr Libby testified that he was aware that Rove had been cleared and he was aware he was not cleared it caused him to have conversations about why he should not be cleared. He was aware that McC was being asked. There are emails that when the name appears in the press, or circulated in VP. There are emails showing that they discussed references to Scooter. To say there is no evidence that Libby was aware of this. WH PS is being asked questions about him. And PS refuses to clear him. Notion that he wasn't aware. As a result, it's how we get to the so-called meat-grinder quote. I did not leak to Novak. VP endorses that note. It's the whole context of having McC clear him publicly. When he sits down on October 14, he has gone to VP who has had the PS tell the world that he did not leak this, it goes to his state of mind. It couldn't be more probative. Then he would have every reason to do what we allege that he did.

Walton, BC WH exonerated him it would show that he wasn't guilty.

Wells, In terms of core story. There's no dispute, I think facts show the opposite, that's what I opened on. What I’m objecting to is playing transcripts,

Walton I'll have to look at testimony to whether this suggests whether he was aware.

Wells he was aware. There's no testimony that he watched a 20 minute clip. They could infer it. There's a big difference from watching the clips. Basic facts will be before GJ testimony. That's only WRT one clip. There's one that says I think I heard it.

Walton I haven't seen it. I need to look at it. I could see how one may know what's taking place w/in White House. That doesn't mean they would have viewed what McC is saying on TV.

Wells the story is in the GJ.

Walton I would assume that WRT the one clip where he seems to say he did see it.

Wells he said he heard about it. I'm objecting. It's no different if you went to lunch. Chief Justice said something

Walton, hopefully it's about a raise.

Wells, This goes to Libby's state of mind.

Walton, I would agree for the actual clips to be relevant, I have to believe there is at least circumstantial evidence that he saw them.

Wells Second issue.

Fitz He wasn't asked, He was in DC, they failed to clear him. He wasn't asked exhibit number by number.

Walton if he's just being told about it—it would be what he has seen or

Fitz if Libby is aware of what happened on Hardball, it defies logic that he's not aware of this. Some of the statements, he's

Walton, Is McC going to say that.

Fitz, that note, VP, it was when he complained to Bartlett. Defendant testified when he went to VP, Mr. Wells opened as meat grinder. That it was an effort by Rove to throw Libby under the bus. For him to turn around and say we can't see it. If he has VP to tell PS

Wells He's mixing up what's going on. When you look at those tapes.

Walton, I'll have to look at GJ transcripts. Just bc you know about it, doesn't mean you saw it. I could see. I'll have to look at it.

Wells Somewhat easier, more traditional, Govt wants to introduce note that Libby took while conversation with Matalin, who used to be PS at OVP, during the conversation Matalin stated that Wilson's a snake, Mr Libby wrote it down.

Zeidenberg. These are from Libby's notes, dated July 10. He can't be held accountable for what she said. Mr Libby called Matalin for advice. On July 8 he wrote down notes in which Rove said, people are taking Wilson as a credible expert. 2 days go by, he calls Matalin for advice. She tells him, she gives him strategy. We need someone who can sum it up. This is fitting into Democratic story. It has legs. The story's not going away. We need to address Wilson motivation. The President should wave his wand. "Call Tim," Mary Matalin, he hates Chris, he needs to know it all. Underneath, Mr Libby's notes, Wilson's a snake. As a result, he calls Tim Russert. The fact that he would write that down goes to state of mind. Govt was interested in responding on the merits.

Walton a statement Matalin made, not Libby That's extremely prejudicial. [You think?!?!?!] That would buy into govt's theory that defendant had motive to harm Wilson, and that one of the things that he could do, It's very prejudicial that someone else's mindset.

Zeidenberg. Libby makes clear that in course of conversation, it is telephone conversation he tells FBI that Matalin has a colorful way of speaking. To the extent that they want to argue that that's what Matalin writes, an ad hominem attack about critic.

Walton Marginal probative value. Jury has to speculate that he was adopting her thought.

Zeidenberg. The question is if it's unfairly prejudicial

Walton If I believe someone's a snake.

Zeidenberg. The fact that he would write it down.

Walton. You ain't going to win that one.

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