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Libby Live: Libby Grand Jury Testimony, Seven

Libby's theme song

Fitz explains that the reason for the break was, the GJ testimony on tape was about to discuss David Sanger, and in reading ahead ("because I have no patience") Fitz had realized some material that should have been redacted was not.  So they're fixing that right now. 

And away we go…


NOTES: (1) This is not an official transcript — just a very loose paraphrase, at best — so don't treat it as one. Even exchanges that look like verbatim dialogue are just the gist of each question and each answer, with any key phrases or pauses included as best I can. (2) My own notes will be in parentheses and/or italics. (3) I'll tell you the time at the end of each update; expect about 15-20 minutes before the next one. The hamsters that run the servers will appreciate it if you don't refresh excessively in the meantime. (4) I didn't write the book on the Valerie Plame outing — but you should buy it, if you haven't already. If you're wondering who this "Swopa" character is, my previous writings on Plamemania can be found here.


(Fitz brings up Libby talking with David Sanger of the NYT on July 2nd.  Shows note saying "talking points – Hardball 7/14, wrong statement," along with others saying "Shapiro – Adam Levine knows," "Eric Sorenson," and "fax a station")

F: Can you clarify these talking points for us

L: First three were points Matthew got wrong, fourth was that Wilson report wasn't definitive, fifth is unclear, maybe that Hadley was told (what?), not Tenet

F: Have you talked to Russert since July 14th & Novak column about uranium/Niger

L: (pause) No

F: Have you talked to him about leak investigation

L: Once, to ask if he would talk to my lawyer

F: Did you talk to him about substance of investigation

L: No

F: Did you talk to him about whether he would testify

L: No

F: Have you talked to people other than your lawyer about what happened in GJ last time

L: (pause) no 

F: Have you talked to VP about any of your interviews or testimony

L: Only told him that I would be absent for this general matter

F: Have you spoken to Karl Rove about the investigation since it began?

L: No. 

F: Getting back to Russert, you mentioned that you felt you were learning about Wilson's wife for the first time.  Any reason why you wouldn't have told VP about this new fact?

L: No. 

F: Any recollection of doing so?

L: Question is, did I have time to mention it, didn't have any private time until Air Force Two when we were focused on uranium matter

F: When you spoke to Rove, you remember it being the 11th

L: Yes, was later in the day, I was checking to see if Tenet statement was locked down

F: Being later in the day makes it likely that you didn't talk to VP

L: Yes, private time is usually in AM, don't see him later sometimes

F: Why would it have to be private?

L: (I was distracted and missed this answer)

F: If you were told that Rove left on vacation the morning of the 11th, would that make it more likely that conversation was on 10th or morning of 11th?

L: Probably, WH is indoors, time can run together

(walks through Cooper story)

F: Did Cooper say he had heard about the wife before, when you told him

L: Don't think so

F: Did Miller?

L: Don't think so.

F: Did Kessler?

L: Don't know if I told Kessler that day, but whenever it was, don't think so.

F: So no reporter told you they had already heard about it when you told them?

L: (pause) No.

It's 11:08. 

(long discussion of who might have been present during each Libby call on July 12th.  Fitz brings up October 12, 2003 Washington Post article.)

F: This article mentions WaPo reporter was called on July 12.  You had spoken to Kessler of WaPo on July 12. Did you think article was talking about you?

L: No.  Did realize I had talked to reporter on July 12.

F: You didn't think you had told him (quoting from column) that Wilson trip was boondoggle set up by his wife.

L: No, because I said the opposite, we discounted report because findings weren't definitive, nothing about boondoggle

F: But VP had expressed concerns about this, as you say.

L: Our main concerns were other points.

F: I'm not concerned about other points.  Was boondoggle one of the points, among others?

L: Actually, Kessler raised it with me (hubbub in media room) Asked me, "was this a boondoggle?"

F: Did you agree?

L: Felt it might have been a boondoggle in the sense of wife arranged trip, but not really in a bad way, we had not discounted report because of it

(Libby then gets very vague about when he had this conversation with Kessler — was it in the van, was it at a later time, was it a later date, was it even Kessler.  Nothing is certain.)

It's 11:23.

(Tangent about whether Libby told FBI about his phone call — calls? — to Judith Miller; missed his answer)

(Tangent about Andrea Mitchell at Ford birthday party)

(Fitz pulls out WaPo 1x2x6 article)

This article mentions Time magazine story talking about Wilson's wife, and WaPo implied you were a source for the Time article.  You showed this to your staff?

L: Yes.

F: And you had spoken to Mr. Cooper, right?

L: Yes.

(Walks through Libby having Cathie Martin chew out Cooper for not using full quote, causing separate July 17 web article — Libby had 1x2x6 article sent to Time with note saying "Have you seen this," but Libby says was just regarding use of full quote)

F: So, three articles — WaPo 1x2x6, and you had talked to Cooper, Miller, and perhaps Kessler before the 14th.  And you had spoken to Russert, who had told you about the wife.  And you had spoken to Rove  Did you think this article — "two WH officials leaked to six reporters" — might be about you?

L: I thought it might be mistakenly referring to me. 

F: Around this time, WH spokesman Scott McClellan made a statement that Rove was not involved in this.  Asked about you and Elliott Abrams, McClellan drew the line and stopped at Rove.  How did you learn about this?

L: I was at WH and this came out, and I spoke to WH chief of staff Andy Card and McClellan and they said, we don't want to go down a whole list.  I didn't think it was fair since I hadn't talked to Rove, but I accepted it.  Then later it became clear there was no "list," really just me and Karl.  So I wanted something said about me.

F: Did you tell Card and McC about Rove speaking to Novak?

L: No.

F: Why not?

L:  Was more focused on having something said about me, also Rove said Novak had told him, so neither of us had told it to Novak

F: As you sit here today, is anyone in WH aware that you and Rove talked about Novak?

L: I don't think so.

F: Did you seek VP's help to have Card & McC clear you?

L: Yes, at some point (discusses what he said to VP)

F: Recall if VP ever called Card & McC to make this happen? 

L: I hope he did.  He may have told me that he did, but I don't recall.

F: Did you tell VP that you had talked to Cooper about Wilson's wife?

L: I don't know that I did.

F: So when October comes around and headlines are saying two officials may have called six reporters, did VP understand that you had called reporters and discussed Wilson's wife?

L: (quietly) I don't recall 

F: In late September or October, did you bring it to VP's attention? 

L: Went to him and said I didn't talk to Novak, added I learned about it from Tim Russert.  He tilted his head a bit.  I may have said that I talked to other reporters.

F: You're not sure?

L: I don't recall.  What was important was telling him I did not leak to Novak, and I heard it from Russert, who said all reporters knew it.

It's 11:42. 

F: You say VP tilted his head when you said you learned it from Tim Russert.  Did he say, "No, you learned it from me, remember?"

L: No.

F: Did you tell anyone else about talking to those reporters?

L: Well, Cathie Martin knew about Cooper.

(Fitz brings up the haiku Libby wrote for McClellan — "it was ridiculous about Karl, it is ridiculous about Libby," etc.)

F: Why deny leaking classified information, instead of talking about Wilson's wife?

L: Because that's what was being talked about.  Perhaps I felt that was what people thought I had done.

F: Did you tell McClellan, "So you're not surprised, I spoke with Cooper, Miller, Kessler," etc.?

L: No.

F: Why not?

L: Thought it was more important to deny being Novak source, and leaking classified info

F: Did you tell President?

L: No. 

F: As far as you know now, does President know you talked to those reporters?

L: I don't think so 

F:  And you never told VP?

L: I'm not sure.

F: You were precise in telling him you weren't source for Novak, but not precise saying you weren't source for others

N: I'm not sure

F: Did you think this was something Pres and VP would want to know?  (Fitz continues to grind Libby into the dirt over why he didn't tell VP or Pres.  Libby says at some point he asked if Cheney wanted to know more, and VP said, "I don't need to, I know you weren't a source for the leak.)

L: Did tell VP when investigation began

F: What did he say?

L: Didn't say much.  Something like, "From me?" and tilted his head.

F: Did you tell him about Cooper, Miller, Kessler?

L: No.

F: And you had another conversation after this?  

L: Yes, and again offered to tell him everything, he said he didn't want to know

F: Was this before you were interviewed by FBI?

L: Yes, think all conversations were.

F: Was investigation why Cheney didn't want to know details.

L: Not what he said. 

(Fitz shifts to Cheney notes on McClellan haiku… Libby slow to accept that "this Prez" is crossed-out part)

F: What is meat grinder?

L: The fact that press was talking about me

F: And incompetence of others?

L: Uranium claim getting into SOTU in frist place, then early in July, backing off.  One or both.

F: Maybe the delay in issuing Tenet statment?

L: I wouldn't have speculated on that. 

Time for a break, both on tape and in real life.

It's 12:09.  New thread when we come back.  39 minutes of tape left.

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Swopa

Swopa

Swopa has been sharing prescient, if somewhat anal-retentive, analysis and garden-variety mockery with Internet readers since 1995 or so, when he began debunking the fantasies of Clinton-scandal aficionados on Usenet. He is currently esconced as the primary poster at Needlenose (www.needlenose.com).

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