Libby Live: FBI Agent Bond, Six
Aha, we're not done with FBI agent Deborah Bond yet. She takes the witness seat.
The jury comes in, and Judge Walton apologizes for the long delay, asks to make sure they haven't seen any media reports on the case, and reminds them of the importance of not doing so — adding that media coverage is likely to increase (see the earlier thread), so be extra careful.
Wells: Last week, you testified about Mr. Libby's lunch with Ari Fleischer on July 8th.
Bond: I think you have the date incorrect. It was July 7th.
W: I apologize. You were asked about Libby's testimony that he adamantly denied discussing Mr. Wilson's wife at this lunch.
W: I want to turn to the notes that were taken during the November questioning of Mr. Libby
(Speculation among the press of more mis-written letters — using a "t" instead of an "f", etc.)
B: Those are not my notes. (Oops, hold everything. Sound is turned off, and everyone starts milling around.)
To summarize a few minutes of back-and-forth… Wells' point is that the November notes don't mention Libby's denial of discussing Plame during the Ari Fleischer lunch. Bond explains to him who took those notes, that she only skimmed them, and that an FBI summary isn't a verbatim transcript.
Wells belabors the point that the notes say "Libby does not recall" discussing Wilson's wife. He says that in writing up a report of the interview, the FBI agent said Libby "adamantly denied" discussing Wilson's wife.
Bond says that they asked the FBI agent and verified the report. Wells says, but that's not what's in the notes, right? Bond admits this is true.
Wells displays the notes Libby took about being told by Cheney that Plame worked in the Counterproliferation Division of the CIA.
Now he says he wants to talk about Libby's July 12 conversation with Judith Miller. Plays it up as a "very important" conversation with regard to the indictment. But says it's not mentioned in the FBI summary of Libby's interview.
Wells is now picking apart Bond's notes from her own interview with Libby, and says they don't mention the July 12 conversation with Miller either. Bond agrees. She's not happy with this.
Wells: The first time Mr. Libby was asked about the substance of this conversation was in the grand jury, nine months after he spoke with Ms. Miller.
W: Now I want to go to a different subject…. the November 2003 interview of Mr. Libby about the flight of Air Force Two. (Puts up a transcript of Bond describing the interview — her grand jury testimony, I think.)
Wells walks her through her answers as shown in the transcript — that Libby said he "may have discussed" Plame with Cheney on AF2 after supposedly hearing about her from Russert.
Now Wells pulls out Bond's notes, about which she was testifying. (Uh-oh…. Walton says, "These are your notes?" and then an objection. Pause.)
Wells points out that Bond testified that Cheney was "frustrated and upset" over the uranium issue in talking to Libby, but her notes just say "frustrated." ("'Upset' is your word, correct?")
nitpicking detailed dissection of Bond's notes — Wells is trying to create doubt that Libby talked about Plame with Cheney, and establish that the only thing Cheney "wanted out in the press" were the talking points he wrote out for Libby.
Wells is now walking Bond through notes that say Libby "may have mentioned that the VP, do you want me to get something out on Wilson's wife. Libby does not recall." Wells says this was just an "anything's possible" statement based on FBI agent repeatedly asking, "Is it possible…"
Bond: Well, it's only in there once.
Wells: Let's move on.
Wells says, Libby doesn't explicitly claim that he didn't know anything about Wilson's wife between June 12 (when Cheney told him) and July 10 (when Tim Russert supposedly told him). Bond says, he said when he learned from Russert, that it was as if he learned for the first time.
Wells keeps hammering on, but he didn't specifically say he didn't know anything in that time period. Bond fumbles, trying to find a polite way to tell Wells that he's inventing a discrepancy that doesn't exist. Wells turns to a prosecutor and says, "Mr. Zeidenberg, you practiced her testimony, didn't you?" Gasps from the media room at that (implying that Bond should know what she's going to say).
Now Wells goes back to the "didn't recall" versus "denied" issue, emphasizing that just because Libby said he didn't recall any pre-Russert conversations about Plame doesn't mean he was denying them. He's doing this in a really painstaking and not-especially-nice way. I'll bet the jury is squirming more than agent Bond is (she's just stoically waiting for all this to be over).
The kicker on the above discussion: Wells cites part of Bond's own testimony where someone asks if she denies something and she replied, "I'm not denying it, I just don't recall it."
Wells wants to talk about Libby's conversation with Karl Rove (around July 11th), when Rove told Libby he had spoken with Bob Novak, who was writing an article on Wilson and knew that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. After this, Libby told Rove about his own
miraculously similar conversation with Tim Russert.
Wells catches Bond in a misstatement from her previous testimony regarding that conversation, and has a good time playing with it. ("People make mistakes, right?" Bond said something wrong that she needed to see documents about, etc., etc.)
W: So, even if the Tim Russert never took place, Mr. Libby told you that he understood as of July 11th that Robert Novak knew Ms. Wilson worked at the CIA.
W: So there's no reason for Mr. Libby to make up a conversation with Tim Russert, since he already knew of a reporter — (Objection. Sustained. Change of subject.)
Wells walks through Libby's testimony that Colin Powell said during a Situation Room meeting, "Everyone knows Wilson's wife works for the CIA," and other information about Niger and uranium, on September 30, 2003, just two weeks before his Oct. 14th interview. More repetition of Libby's testimony on a few subjects. All Bond says is, "That's what he said."
I have no idea where this is going. Someone in the court says something unintelligible, and Wells says it's a good time for lunch. I agree.
It's 12:26. See ya in a new thread.