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Libby Live: A Gaggle of Journalists (and Others) One


graphic courtesy Monk at Inflatable Dartboard

NOTES: (1) This is not a transcript — It's the blogger's approximation, and no one really knows what that is yet! But I do know you shouldn't quote anything not in quotation marks. (2) I'll timestamp the updates and will update about every 15 minutes, servers willing. The hamsters that run the servers will appreciate it if you don't refresh excessively in the meantime. (3) If you're not having enough fun just reading along the liveblog, consider buying my book on this case.

Walton: Tomorrow we'll have to break at 3:30. I've got a plea I need to make.

Glenn Kessler is up. I'll use GK for him.

David Corn says he went to high school with David Sanger and Brown U with Glenn Kessler. He voted against Sanger taking over the high school newspaper after he left.

New Defense lawyer.  (I'll use D for him)

GK 9 years at WaPo, Diplomatic correspondant, travel around world with SOS, talk with anyone involved in foreign policy.

D Covered since you've been at post.

GK Almost five years.

D Have you won any awards.

GK laughs, Yes I have, twice part of groups that won Pulitzer. I've won awards.

D Direct attention to July 2003. What subjects.

GK What I cover now, US foreign policy.

D What were some of the issues.

GK a rather full range involving foreign policy. North Korean, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iraq.

D More specifically week of July 7, 2003. Did there come a time when you interviewed Libby.

GK Spoke to him on July 12, also July 18.

[they're constructing a timeline of all the journalists with whom libby spoke without leaking.]

GK helping a colleague who asked me to bounce some things off of Scooter.

D Did you contact them

GK No I contacted them, I also sent an email.  My colleague had 5 specific questions he wanted to raise. These were the things we're hearing. Cathie gave partial answers, said Scooter would follow up. 

D How did he follow-up

GK Telephone. He called me, I had heard from Cathie to expect call over weekend, I was at zoo with children, on a Saturday, on CT Avenue, the National Zoo. I had taken the questions of my colleague, they were in my pocket. I had my 3 children, who were 2, 6, and 10, I had received the call when I was in the elephant house

D What makes it memorable for you. [note, this guy must be the good genial cop on the team. He's chatting away like it's a cocktail party.]

GK I hadn't taken many calls in the elephant house, I had to sit on a stool in the middle of the elephant house, and I had to direct my 10 year old to make sure my other children weren't absconded.

D You were able to focus.

GK With occasional pausing to yell at my son to keep an eye on the others.

D Groundrules?


GK I had had instructions from Martin and Mary Matalin that said that when Scooter says Off the record, he means Deep background. I have never discussed the topics of this subject with Fitzgerald. Libby is a confidential source. Since you're asking me, do I have permission to speak about this?

D Did you conversation have to do with Iraq and OVP?

D Did Libby say anything about Wilson's wife? Did you say anything to him.

GK No I did not. 

D Are you certain about that?

GK I'm certain.

D Puts up the October 12 WaPo article.

Fitz Objection.

Kessler looks like he could be an ex-military guy, conservative hair cut, pretty big guy. He's looking around inquistively. Just saw someone and smiled big.

D Puts up the July 12 column with Libby's frantic underlines.  This is an October 12 article written by Pincus and Allen. Reading from it. Did you ever discuss, were you a source for Pincus for this article? Did Libby discuss with you whether Wilson's trip was a boondoggle? Did you suggest to him in some way it was a boondoggle.

Fitz up

F Do you recall when your deposition outside GJ took place? 

GK June 24?

F You appeared under oath in attorney's office, rather than before GJ? 

Objection sustained

F You understand arrangement had to do with you as rep of media. You were asked qusetions limited by scope of Libby's waiver. You testified there were questions about planning for war in Iraq. In June 2004, you were not asked to testify about what the conversation was, only about whether Wilson and wife came up. Is it fair to say that arrangements did not affect truth in deposition.

F You're very clear that you did not discuss this with Pincus. Part of this is the unique memory of taking a cell phone call in the elephant house.

GK From memory as well as contemporaneous notes.

F Did you also check notes.

GK the actual notes were lost. Since I was doing a favor for a colleague, once I came back from Elephant house, I wrote up note and sent it off.

F Is it fair to say that you did nothing in terms of working with colleagues on story about Wilson's wife.  You had a reaction when you read about Wilson's wife.

GK I read it in newspaper on 14th.  I said Boy this is interesting.

F There's no way you had a conversation two days before.

GK I said, oh, this is news to me.

F And so that reinforces your memory that you had not conversation about this.

D Did you have an opportunity to review your notes.

GK It refreshed what the issues were, I was doing it as a favor for a colleague, they were his questions, not mine.  I was able to remember what we talked about.

D This refreshed your recollection as to what you did not discuss.

Next witness–don't know who yet I'll stay here unless it is Harlow.


Fitz' line of questioning was to set up that Kessler testified under the exact same conditions as Russert, and he knew he hadn't talked about Plame since he was surprised when he read it in Novak's column.

Evan Thomas, Newsweek 

Jeffress up, I'll use J and ET

ET Newsweek, 20 years, editor at large. 30 years as journalist

J Particular area of expertise?

ET No, mostly national security, politics, national news. 

J Do you appear on television.

ET Sometimes.

J In July 2003, covering any particular stories?

ET We were writing about a variety of stories having to do with Iraq.

J did the issues concern pre-war intell.

ET [seems unsure] Yes, that summer,yes.

J Asks about 16 words and allegatoins.

J Do you know Scooter Libby, how many times did you talk to him?

ET A dozen times,

J all while he was ib OVP.  And also Cathie Martin.

ET Originally about 9/11, then having to do with terrorist threats and invasion of Iraq. 

J Do you ordinarily work on Saturdays? Do you recall taking a call from Libby that day?

ET Yes. No.


J You would return a call to Libby

ET Yes

J You have no recollectoin of doing so.

J Did you have any conversations about Wilson.

ET No.

Pass the witness.

No questions.

Next witness.

(It's like a speedway in here today)


New Defense Guy (we're joking this is like emptying the bench at the end of a game)

Carl Ford  (I'll use CF and D), I have a one-person consulting company. It doens't sound very good just to say Ford, so I call it Ford and Associates. Had been working at Cantor Partners. I was EVP of Cassidy and Assc. It's a lobbying firm. I was Asst SOS 2001 until 2003.

D What is Intelligence and Research 

CF It's part of intell community, but we're part of state. Take info from intell community and provide it to people at state.

D What were you duties.

CF Manage and minister office of 300 people.  Primarily doing analysis for senior leadership for State. Powell, Armitage, Grossman,

D You were head of that section. To whom did you report?

CF Powell?

D Informal reporting  

CF Most of my reporting to Powell, Armitage, occasionally to Grossman.

D Direct attention to June 2003, did there come a time when Grossman requested you provide info on issues relating to Iraq's attempt to acquire yellowcake. Precise date?

CF First week or so in June.

D Impersonal request?  Anything to fix date.

CF It was an unusual request, I'd had a handful of requests, never about WMD and Iraq, just the fact that he asked about that meeting,

D Senior staff meeting,

CF Grossman chaired, SOS normaly chaired himself, on those occasions when he was traveling, Armitage took his place.  Armitage not there, I was not privy to where he was at that point.


Putting up calendar.

D Taking a look at June 9, Monday, does that help refresh the date he asked you to provide information

CF  It was Monday June 9

D Did Grossman tell you why he wanted it.  Did he recall asking you because Libby requested the information? Is that the kind of info you would recall. After Grossman asked you to find out, what did you do?

CF Called people in INR responsible for following WMD issue. Neil Silver, I gave him the assignment I just received. 

D Was a memo created to capture that info?

CF Yes.

[gives him a memo; btw, just a reminder, Ford is the guy who said Bolton was a knock down drag out guy.]

CF memo created in response to Grossman's request. Grossman didn't request you put it in memo.

D Top corner, date.

CF June 10, 2003.

D How long did it take you and your staff to prepare this

CF less than a day

D Do you know who Walter Kansteiner is

CF Asst SOS for Africa

D How long had you known him,

CF We were in many of the same meetings.  There were at least one or two occasions in which we worked with Africa Bureau and I went down and talked about the project. We had more than just recognizing name relationship. 

D Was Mr. Kansteiner, did you have any meetings or relations with Kansteiner in doing this memo

CF No, I did not.

D Was there a point when Grossman indicated to you that the info was somehow incomplete?

CF I don't recall anything of that nature. I don't recall him saying anything about the memo after it went to his office.

Pass the witness.

Zeidenberg up for Fitz

Z Fair to say this report would have been delivered to Grossman, either on June 10 or July 11. 

CF It would have been hand-carried to his office.  As soon as we could get it to him.

Witness dismissed


We've run out of witnesses for the day, I guess all the Pulitzer prize-winners who spoke to Libby and didn't speak about Wilson are done.

Now we've got to continue the memory issue.

Cline up, 3 categories of evidence. 2 potential categories of witnesses. One category, Witnesses from OVP. A representative witness, this witness is current NSA to VP [John Hannah], at the time we're talking about Mr. Libby's deputy. This is a person who took direction from Libby, met with him, briefed him, knew as well as anyone the issues Libby was grappling with. We want to put him  on to describe nature of Mr. Libby's duties at the time, volume of info, the range of issues, AFAIK, govt has no problem with that. We would also want to ask him about specific issues about the 9 topics, he and Mr Libby were focused on. To covey to jury a sense of volume he was dealing with.

Bonamici. That's a pretty broad description. It's not clear to us from that description, there's no way to determine the info they want to elicit from Hannah. In the general sense, the volume of info, in terms of pages and numbers of issues, and a general sense of the range of issues.  We can't tell what that means, or whether Hannah would be competent to testify.

C WRT Mr. Hannah, there were certain areas, IE middle east, where he was Dpty in charge of that area. For those areas, I'd walk though the details in form of leading questions. Other areas, where he's well aware of what was responsible.

Walton He has first hand knowledge about that first area. 

C He was doing the ME stuff every day.  For areas personally familiar with but did not have principle responsibility. We'd ask what the issue was, was it a focus of OVP

Walton You'll have to be more specific than OVP

C Mr Libby, that would be his testimony

Walton so long as he has first hand knowledge.

C He does, we'll lay that foundation before we move into it.  The other cateogory of witnesses, morning briefers, we'd like to elicit from the briefer the items during the two weeks in June and July and the June 23, which is the Miller conversation. We're not getting into any details, bc we don't have them. We're not even going to elicit all the items, we're going to pick the ones that were in the 9 topics. With the exception of June 14, Schmall's briefing, the info that may or may not have been transmitted. for that one, I'd like to have him testify to topic summaries, so jury has range of information, so they know that if those words were spoken how it is he may have missed or forgotten about it. One line topic summaries. The brief descriptions that were in the terrorist list.

Bonamici. Back to Hannah's list. What precise topics, both generally and specifically. There was a huge amount of info covered in the 2.5 months of CIPA. There's no practical way to include everything. It seems to us that it's reasonable to get. This is something that is really brand new.

Walton, maybe you can discuss them.

C I don't have a problem describing what they'll be in some detail. Iran, Iraq, ME, Turkey. Small piece of Topic one, terroist threats.

Fitz Can I make a suggestion. When we went through the 2.5 months about what was coming in and what wasn't. Your honor gave deference to let in more levels of detail when it was let in bc the defendant was going to testify about that level of detail. All we're asking, since the narrative is laid out, if these are going to be leading questions, can we know what the questions are going to be. Cline could circle what he would cover. We can look to see if anything was only let in because your honor only let it in bc Libby was going to testify that he was consumed by it. It's not fair to us, having spent 2.5 months slogging through it, to suddenly say the outer limit is okay. 

Walton, it would be appropriate for you all to meet, and go over what he intends to bring out.

Fitz nodding, Bonamici nodding.

Our level may be very small or large.

Bonamici. Back to the discussion that we had before. Evidence already come in about MIBs and they lasted half hours and a number of topics. WRT specific items that were covered you previously found there was a lack of foundation to explaining the importance that Libby attached to these briefings. The CIA made a decision  to put this in, other than the issues that Libby requested f-up, there's no evidence that suggests Libby attached ANY importance on items he did not request f-up on.  WRT June 14, that's something that your honor has not yet ruled on CIPA, so that would need to be addressed.

C In terms of foundation Schmall testified on Cross that he would select items that were of interest to Libby. With that evidence, along with evidence that Libby would read this, I think it is a fair inference that this was important to him.

Walton I don't know how it can be classified of significant to him unless he says that out of his mouth. If his deputy says he worked on the matter that he worked and spent X amount of time on it, the mere fact that he was briefed on it, it seems to me, it can't be done.

C The deputy will testify that the 9 topics were day in and day out of significance. Each of the topics falls within the 9 topics. 

Walton if he was briefed on those topics, if his deputy says they worked on it.

B The morning intell briefings carry dates. There may be some dates that the deputy can talk about on which stuff was worked on. What we're trying to do is draw an inference that Libby received  a briefing on a particular day, that w/o asking more, with none of that evidence to draw a link between that briefing and what was important to Libby. We're asking the jury to infer that he was CONSUMED by this.

Walton If at that time they were working on it on a daily basis.

C These were the issues. that's why back in the CIPA process, these really were the ones.  

B We would suggest that only if there's additional foundation.

Walton, it depends on what the deputy says, if he can say that even though he may not have been briefed, he can say this was something that was higher on our agenda. I think that's probably sufficient for the jury to infer.

B We would ask for an opportunity to assess what Cline will give us. We need to know in advance.

Walton, I think it will probably be a sufficient foundation.

C One suggestion on statement. May I suggest you table the statement until you've heard from the other witnesses.

B We object. We can always address it later.

Walton My concern, if a party is going to be held to agree to submission, it's unfair. we want juries to decide cases based on facts. If a party will agree to facts with an understanding of how that evidence will be presented, that's fair game. My understanding was that Mr. Libby was going to testify. That would be the predicate for the vast majority of the information they jury is going to hear. To put his mental state before the jury is just unfair. I'll defer the ruling. I don't necessarily agree with govt's arguments in second paragraph, but the third paragraph I do agree with their redact re the last three paragraphs. They do indicate what defendant's state of mind was. In my view it wasn't clear that they were being asked to make that concession.

B The truth is we did assume that Libby was going to testify, and we did so because Mr Cline asked us to assume that.  Everything we did was based on the asumption and it would be fundamentally unfair to hold us to an agreement we made based on those assumptions.

Fitz, May I approach for one minute.


Walton Seems to me that it's proper to bring out the fact that she did not work with WINPAC

Fitz Here are the simple facts January 2000 forward, she worked at CPD and not at WINPAC. If the defense were to ask them, did you check whether she worked at WINPAC, we would ask if she worked at CPD.

Walton The defense inquiry was to show the accuracy of the info that he alleged to relay to others. 

F We've alleged that he's also relayed CPD to other people, Mr Fleischer. There's no classified info involved. We're trying to show that some of the info was sometimes accurate. Even if it was also inaccurate.

Jeffress. As we've discussed before, we're not entitled to discovery on what her job was. Worked out an instruction. We're trying to establish a fact. It's a very specific fact that's necessary to combat Ms Miller's testimony. If Miller heard that, she heard that somewhere else.

Walton Defense only wants to bring it out for impeaching Ms Miller. If they're only bringing out for that purpose. Why can you bring out that she worked at CPD bc Libby allegedly said that to other people.

F First, in the earlier conversation, he said she worked at the bureau, she understood that to be Nonproliferation. 

Walton if she said that she construed what he was saying as an indication that Plame worked in that division, it can only come out if it meets the force of what the Defense brings out.

F  If he told her wrong one day, the other day it was close to what it says.

Jeffress, I remember showing her that NP is in State, not in CIA.

Walton, if she's saying that he told me that, if that were not in play, then I agree, If she says that he also said that she worked in CP even though there may not be an exact name of that bureau.  It meets the force of what you're saying.

J All her notes show is "wife works in bureau ?"

Walton I'm not bound by what's in her notes. I jsut don't think it'd be fair to let you show where she did not work, if in fact her testimony suggested it gave a name to where she actually worked.

F Your honor, I can cite at least part of the transcript.


Walton Why should you be able to rehabilitate her consistent to what she thought rather than what he said?  They're going to bring out the fact that she actually said that he said she worked at WINPAC.

[Of course, this all assumes that LIbby didn't specifically tell her WINPAC so she could leak that, without quite leaking Plame's CPD employ…]

Walton She's being impeached, based on what she said. How can she be rehabilitated based on her perception of what he said. 

F He used the word bureau. She has also said she knew it was CIA. Doesn't it show that if her understanding of the conversation turns out to be correct?  Doesn't that rehabilitate her memory.

F She based this on a conversation that she participated in. Understanding that wife worked in nonproliferation.

Walton, she specifically said he said WINPAC.

F We did bring it out, as to what her understanding was

Walton how can you do that without info on where she actually worked

F That's the point.

Walton, you may have been able to bring this out during your case. What you bring out to rehabilitate has to meet force of impeachment.

Fitz The rule of completeness, I've never seen before where we ask someone to come and say she didn't work in one place but did work in another. Why doesn't it go to the weight.

Walton they're saying if she got it wrong, it would be inconsistent since Libby knew where she worked. They're suggesting that should be used to discredit her testimony. I'm having a hard time concluding that once they do that you bring out what she assumed they said. It just doesn't seem to me to be appropriate rehabilitation. 

Fitz the supposition is in the record.

Walton She said WINPAC but she also felt she was also saying CPD.

Jeffress What he said was that the wife worked in the bureau. She said, I thought he was using the word bureau to mean NP bureau, but I wasn't sure. And, there is no NP bureau in the CIA.

Beer thirty see you at 9:00 tomorrow. 

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