Libby Live: Matt Cooper Three
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.
Cooper leaning back, with eyes closed. He just doesn't seem flustered by this. I think he is just plain annoyed. As if, you know, maybe he wants to be done with this long ordeal. Cooper faced left side of courtroom. He has this disdainful look which makes him look worried. Now spinning around in the swivel chair.
Walton Apologize the delay, but I had to review a consent decree in voting rights issue.
Approach for one moment.
Sidebar. Cooper flipping through some papers.
Looks like he's trying to listen to sidebar.
Jeffress back up.
Walton Let me just give you a slight schedule change for tomorrow, one of my former clerks is leaving, so that's at 10. Ceremony is only a half hour, so I'll go to swearing in. We'll start at 10:45. I'm being told that they've already got breakfast for you. I'll ask counsel to be here by 10:30. I apologize for delay. I guess if you want to come in later, you can, but your breakfast will be cold. We need to coordinate with Marshalls, too, so you need to let us know.
Cooper arranging mike.
Jeffress: Do you remember call with Libby was actually two calls.
J Record of phone calls from Edwards AFB. You see it reflects a pair of calls to your cell. Those calls are July 12, 2003. First one at 14:24. Lasted 13.25 minutes. Over 14:38.
MC Uh, yeah.
J Another call at 14:40, lasted 4.6 minutes.
J In fact, there were two, it was interrupted, and then he called you back. Do you remember what that interruption was.
MC I really don't. It was on his side, not mine.
J The first part was the on the record part of the call. The statement about Wilson's wife came in the second part of the call.
MC Came at the end.
J I'd like to show you your notes again. Looking at
had somethine and about the wilson thing and not sure if it's ever
J Reads through note. Teasing about Cooper taking notes in his bed. You leave a lot of things out. If you had a question for Libby you'd probably type up what Libby said. If he said he had heard. You have the word "had." Is it possible you would have typed the word had instead of heard.
MC I might have. That's not my recollection of what he said.
J You type the word and and when people aren't saying it.
MC Not sure I'd accept your characterization.
J Let's look at your note-taking habits. [looking above, Speaking too fast for court reporter] We've seen many times you don't get to finish. You make a lot of typos, you said it's not SOTU. And the end of that paragraph. You meant to finish that sentence. He finished that sentence. It's just not in your notes. Look at next paragraph. We were not invovle should probably be involved.
[he's just ragging on Cooper's typing and sprawling on bed]
J So this is your best effort in a conversation taking place quickly to get down what you need, it's by no means complete or accurate in terms of what person is doing.
MC I wouldn't say it's unaccurate. I'm getting down as much as I could.
J Remember you have the note "notable." That's not what he said.
MC I can't recall whether he said, I believe it came from him.
J Let's look down here, see how you have "not sure it's ever."
MC I don't sir.
J Do you ever type an r when you mean to type an n?
J I don't need to introduce these, but I do need to display them.
J Brings up page.
[Jeffress has found a note where MC clearly typed r instead of n]
J were you typing notes while you were talking to someone.
J You meant to type erroneous but you hit an "r" instead, so it became "erroreous."
J Shows him typing "eregy" instead of "energy" [on an aluminum tube story]
J Back to the Libby notes. If you had asked him if Plame had sent him on the trip, you could have referred to the Wilson thing.
MC That's not how I remember.
J Suppose you hit an r instead of an n
J Isn't it possible that Libby said, "I'm not sure if it's even true."
MC That's not my recollection
J What did he say next.
MC I don't know.
J I's like to ask you some questions about. After you testified to GJ and as a matter of a fact, as you testified to GJ about Rove in this case. After you testified the second time a year later, you've talked many times on television about what you said. You've been asked many times about what you said to Mr Libby. Each time you said Mr. Libby said, "I've heard that too."
MC I've always qualified it to the effect of
J Did you write an article about it. Did you discuss what you heard from Libby.
J New exhibit.
J You wrote, Yeah, I've heard something about that,
MC I'm sure I did but I don't remember literally typing it.
J New exhibit.
Email to Bambi Wulf, change Libby quote to Yeah,
I've heard THAT TOO.
J Did your memory of the conversation change.
[this is the "slight discrepancy" Walton was referring to.]
MC My memory of the precise words has been cloudy. The "I heard it too" has always been more prominent.
Cooper now looking up, leaning back. Looks a little bored.
Note to file. Is it a note that appears to have been typed at 2:44 at home. You typed this, probably on laptop at home, just after you spoke to him.
J This says to Nation.
MC This story ran in the "Nation" section. Duffy was one of the primary writers in this story.
Walking through the details in this.
On Deep Background, in the Strict Kissingerian Definition, You can Use in you Voice but without Quotations.
Denies emphatically the reports that the Brits handed intel directly to Veep.
In other words the administration is putting out the line that Wilson has omitted a key fact in his recent op-ed and public remarks and that even his own report allowed the possibility that Iraq was pursing uranium from Niger.
Doesn't know chain of custody.
The pissing match with Wilson is where the whole story could be by Mon or Tues so suggest we play it with prominence. At home if you have quesiton.
Makes MC read last sentence.
J Insofar as Libby, the pissing contest was whether Wilson got it wrong or not.
MC If I may elucidate. What struck me as a contradiction, on one hand, after Wilson published op-ed, the Admin did something that it rarely does, which is acknowledge a big error. That was a big deal, I was very struck by that. But then I was struck all week by statements that seemed to be disparaging Mr Wilson. They were saying you're right, it shouldn't have been. Then they were saying, he's a momma's boy, his report was bad.
J Who said he was a momma's boy
MC That's my paraphrase about the statement about the wife.
J starts to talk about forgeries.
Walton Before I forget, I'll just miss the swearing, we'll start at 9:30. The Marshalls have already ordered the food and if we don't get here, it'll be wasted.
J Do you recall the Admin saying that
MC quotes back 16 words.
J You remember after SOTU, the IAEA discovered documents purporting a deal had been forged.
MC Yeah, I remember that
J Remember Tenet released a statement on July 11 Do you remember Tenet saying the line shouldn't have been there in there.
J is that line, not sure if it's ever–is that the only line you don't know what it means. Shows his notes. You know what all that means
MC that's the on the record stuff.
J is walking through this paragraph, you put it into the note to the file
MC where it says "in a particular subject," I don't know what that refers to.
MC In years since, I've asked could that be the line about the wife, That's not the way I remember it.
J Next paragraph
MC refers to the whole thing with the Nigerien PM.
MC I htink that's referring to the thing with the PM. Saying that's consistent with president.
J "some piece he saw that was circulated."
MC Another thing I can't account for.
J If the "he" is the VP, would it be referring to
MC I wouldn't want to speculate, I don't know origin of those 7 words.
J Remember being asked about that sentence.
MC I think I got asked in that lawyers office meeting.
J You're right to correct me about that.
MC I think I was asked if that was the reference to the wife.
MC I can't remember what I said at the time, but I think I said that was not the wife.
MC My recollection is that the wife comes up at the end.
J that note is consistent about that
MC that's not really at the end, I'd say that's 2/3 of the way.
J Let's put the whole thing up.
J All that would appear in first 13 minutes.
J Can you show what happens after that.
(Does a side by side)
J I didn't know we could do that. You don't know whether you said that Wilson quote in the first or second one.
MC My recollection is that it was the last thing before some pleasantries.
J Your recollection could be mistaken.
MC I seem to recall it that way, he was trying to get me off the phone. I squeezed a few more questions. I remember this being the last thing I was asked. That was how I described it.
J Do you remember being asked that you don't know, you're not sure.
MC I don't remember what I said in lawyers office.
J You were asked if you know what it refers to, you said you were not sure, you said, "This sentence feels a little out of context to me."
MC And that's true as you sit here today. Yeah, I cannot account for that sentence. I do have a distinct memory of what he said.
J There's not a word in your file having to do with Wilson's wife. You knew this info and that's why you asked.
MC I was hoping to hear more about it, I wouldn't say I was asking for a confirmation. I was trying to find out more about it.
J remember when you were really excited about it and you thought it should be included.
MC I wouldn't characterize it that way
J Isn't the fact that in the lengthy memo, note to file, everything that you've described is in this memo, except anything about Wilson's wife.
MC The Wilson's wife thing is not in the file.
J That means it was not confirmation
MC What I remember
J Are you answering my question or some other memo
MC What I remember is that I took it as confirmation.
J Why not in memo
MC I didn't write it down, but it is my memory, it is what it is.
J Let's compare what you did
Another email chain, Ignatius, editor at Time
J Concerns Rove.
MC Yeah, and others, it's sort of like your file wrt the Libby conversation
J A strartling charge from an SAO that we need to handle with some caution.
J We find that, don't get too far out. Wilson was not sent. [Jeffress reading from email]
J When I pressed the official, he said it was someone involved with WMD, his wife.
MC I sent this later in the day.
J You said Rove himself. Adi Ignatius responds. Interesting
J That's not a name you used earlier.
Walton, please approach.
J remember when we talked before about off the record.
MC I said off the record.
J Someone says something off the record, you can use that as confirmation
MC I took it to mean that, in this case.
J When they tell you something off the record.
MC YOu can't quote it, use it directly in a story, to try to elicit it, and I did take it to be confirmation of what I'd heard from Rove.
J What you'd heard from John Dickerson wasn't off the record.
F You believed your conversation with Libby would be exculpatory.
F on July 12, would you have taken it as confirmation if Libby had said that reporters were telling him that Mr Wilson's wife, and that he didn't know it was true.
MC No. I Would not have taken it as confirmation, on the contrary it would have stirred by competitive juices that other reporters were writing this.
F When did you learned Novak wrote this.
MC Tuesday Wednesday or THursday
MC Oh, it's out there, do we want to do a follow-up
F Did you ask follow-up
MC I should have
F WHy not
MC He was very anxious to get off the phone. I bid adieu and said goodbye.
F Did you also tell GJ that the conversation was at the end of the GJ
F What did you tell them about timing.
MC I believe I said it was at the end.
Walton: One of the questions I'm not going to be able to ask, if I don't ask, don't speculate about what response would have been.
Walton: did you ever investigate by whom and why those documents were forged.
MC I think others did. I never looked into Niger forgery question in any detail. I cover WH this sort of had more to do with Italian embassy. For whatever reason it fell out of my purview.
Walton during the conversaton with Dickerson, did he relay any information to you that he had received over there.
Walton Did you think about substance of conversation with Libby before subpoena
MC No, I focused on it well before subpoena, once to write war on wilson question mark piece, and once when the disclosure of this CIA agent became a big deal, I had many conversations to reflect on my conversations with Libby and others.
Walton The response that characterized Ms Wilson as CIA agent, you'll have to discount that, it's not an issue in this case, therefore you can't speculate about that.
Walton regarding 7/11/2003 email from you to Duffy one of the lines indicated Rove/P&C,
MC privileged and confidential. I thought it'd keep him from forwarding that to others.
MC A reference to Timothy Burger, the correspondant for handling intelligence issues.
Walton, Anything else
Fitzgerald No your honor.
Walton We're going to break, I've got issues to deal with. I'd hate having you wait around. You'll need to be at the designated point. Breakfast will be here when you get here. I'll get here as soon as I can. I'd ask counsel to be here at 10:30
[Stick around for legal fight]
Walton Regarding video. I've had an intern review Libby's testimony, nowhere did he say that he saw those statements. He knew about them or heard about them. It doesn't indicate that he viewed himself.
Fitz, ones he saw, and ones we admit through a person that authorized him. 801D2C. Start with statements before he asked for the clearing. GJ transcript. He admits he knows about public statement from McC, Mr Libby's aware of failure of WH PS to clear him BC one of the times he fails to clear him, the first time he tries to get cleared he's told the WH is not going to go down some list. As he watches it, the list is only about him. At a certain point, during this time, he is aware that his name is being asked and his name is not being cleared. When things explode in October, and being played, the WH is ordinarily circulated. the notion that he's the one person in teh world not watching McC making comments about him.
Walton That may be true, but he may have gotten written documents.
Fitz I don't mean this facetiously. Your experience is different than someone going on TV
Walton there's an assumption
Fitz they're asking, are you going to clear Mr Libby. The notion he'll keep track of hardball in July but he's not watching when the WH PS is not clearing him. It defies common sense. the notion that Libby would not be aware of Press Conferences.
Walton, It's clear, but we don't know the way he's keeping abreast.
Wells in GJ he had ample opportunity to ask Libby whether he watched these videos. Nobody has or will have Libby watching TV. There's no evidence. He's saying, let's make a leap. I don't want those very prejudicial videos on the screen. When you do look at them, it has a different image than looking at transcript. He had every oppty. Mr. Libby didn't watch them.
Fitz. It's not a limit on evidence that you can only introduce evidence asked about in GJ. Mr Wells opened that this is all about Libby being scapegoated, and thrown under the bus. People in the WH are trying to scapegoat me. Note shows him saying I did not leak classified info. I'm concerned people are trying to use me as a scapegoat. Mr Libby tells a source I never want to see my name in print. He's squirreled away with VP, and he says, I'm getting thrown under the bus, but he doesn't even watch. I think that defies common sense. We had no indication in GJ, that he thought he was being thrown under the bus. That defies common sense.
Walton I try to stay abreast of all the statements that are made in this case. A lot of things are made while I'm in court. So I have a news service that sends this to me, so I can stay abreast of what's going on in the case. HOw do I know that that's not how LIbby stayed abreast of it.
Wells it's a very different image. Fitz wants to creat an image that's not based on factual image.
Walton there's also potential argument that if someone is sitting in front of TV. Without there being clear evidence that he was watching the TV.
Fitz There's no denial he spent time paying attention. Mr Libby was also
Walton You've got his own words, as to what the situation was.
Walton, I'll think about it.
Fitz, If I could switch to the other two. Ones involving the clearing. Libby clearly describes in GJ, describes how he goes through with a statement that he wants McC to say. He says I spoke to mr McC and McC issues the clearing statement. If Libby had made statement himself, there's no question it'd be admissible. He deputized someone. Not hearsay if offered against a party, authorized by a party.
Walton. Anything on that one.
Wells Threshold for keeping them out.
Walton does he have to see them if he does something that is genesis for what was said. If subsequently, McC says that.
Wells, no it didn't work that way. McC does nothing. Libby has to talk to VP of the US, VP did whatever he did. McC is not Libby's agent. doesn't take
Walton VP has become his surrogage.
Wells, I don't know you'd have. … you'd have to
Walton, we'd need VP testimony
Wells, whatever he did he did not do it as Libby's surrogate. That's what I'm drawing a distinction.
Walton if I go to Chief Judge to have a statement disseminated, doesn't that become my statement. And Chief Judge CLEARLY is not my agent.
Walton, I'll have to review transcript.
Wells, I think you'll have to talk to President BUsh bc he's probably somewhere in that chain.
Fitz introduces opening statement. We already have evidence from Addington that when Bartlett responded, Bartlett responded, "that was your boss." No dispute that Libby asked VP to intercede, and Libby asked McC to respond.
Wells I don't think evidence will show that VP was his agent.
Fitz We have evidence already, if Wells ever calls VP, we can ask him about that. Statement issued by McC came from VP.
Walton if you could provide that to us.
Wells, he volunteered that
Walton. It's still evidence
Wells, Bartlett said, it's your boss that wanted it. I don't believe the facts–it's a link.
Walton, I'll have to look at transcript, and LIbby's testimony. To see if this was made at behest of Libby. It seems at least circumstantially that the statement made consistent with what Libby requested. One other matter.
Wells if theres a tape it should be the snippet of what was authorized.
Fitz There were questions from the press to which McC responded. Your honor, Libby's request was that he answer questions coming from him.
Wells, there's another issue I've agreed to put it off until tomorrow. I'm going to want some briefing and discovery.
Walton What is it
Wells We'll raise it in the morning.
Fitz Tomorrow: The videos, then Bond, then GJ, then another witness we need to discuss, then Russert, Conclude case late Monday or Tuesday.
Wells we could start on Wednesday
Walton if Govt will start Monday, I'd ask you start right away.
Jeffress, We're going to call Abramson from NYT, I think it'd be more convenient if we could know definitely tomorrow.
Wells a rule 29 conversation, the July 12 conversation, given the way she testified, we're going to take the position that that prong of obstruction cannot stand.