Libby Live: Zeidenberg’s Prosecution Summation Two
(Photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst via Yahoo.)
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.
Russert treated exactly same as Woodward, Kessler, Pincus. Why would the lure of this be so great with Russert, but Woodward, Kessler and Pincus could resist. BC of feud? Bad blood? You'd have to believe that when Russert got call from Eckenrode, and he told Russert that Libby said Russert told him, that would have been his chance to stick it to Libby. He'd have to continue that lie. Evidence of the feud is completely absent from Trial. Wouldn't you think that Libby would have known about the bad blood when he went before GJ? Woudln't you think that Martin who said Russert was [an easy mark]? It's a sign of how desperate the defense is to discredit Russert that they would even suggest such a thing.He doesn't remember any of those other conversations. But this one, he says he remembers it perfect.
What's next. Cooper.
You remember COoper said at end of conversation. He said What have you heard about Wilson's wife sending him on the trip. Libby's response, "yeah, I've heard about that." Wells suggested that differences between LIbby's version and Cooper's version, is just difference between a few words. Cooper said, I heard that too. And Libby said, I heard that too, but I don't know if it's true? But is that the evidence in the case. Do you remember what Libby ACTUALLY said what occurred in that conversation? I'd like to play portion of what Libby said he said to Cooper.
Libby, then Cooper said, why did Wilson say it?
[Libby's GJ tape: I would have thought, off the record, that CIA wouldn't tell, who asked about it. Conversation VP has is supposed to be confidential. THey'd have said that CIA tried to do it. I wouldn't have thought that he heard this, but if it's possible he heard something unofficially, it was wrong. In that context, I said, off the record, reporters telling us that Amb Wilson's wife works at CIA. I don't know if true. But if it's true, it may explain why Wilson got some bad information at agency.]
By anybody's count, that is not a few words. By any account, that is not what Cooper said Libby said. He never told Cooper, I don't know if it's true. It's made up, made up out of whole cloth. Ladies and gentleman, Cooper could never have taked as confirmation the things Libby had told him. Cooper took this as confirmation. How could he have taken it as confirmation?
Mr Cooper corroborated by Cathie Martin. Martin was present. She never heard ANY Of what you heard Libby just hear it. She never heard, "I don't know if it's true." If she had heard it, she would have said something, because SHE knew it was true. Finally you heard from Cooper that this was a conversation that kept playing through his head. It was significant. Confirmation for a story that got a lot of attention. He is sure about what he testified. No reason he would say it if he weren't sure.
Some comments about charges. You're going to hear the term "materiality." Remember Agent Bond, talking about inevstigation. Remember nature of comments. Libby has tried to obscure where he learned this information. Doing an investigation into spread of classified info, if you learned about through classified channel, then spread it, it can eb a violation. If you heard about it as gossip, then it's not a crime. Think about how hard it is to investigation these charges if you hide how you found out.
Three separate statements. Want to make clear three things. [puts up three charged lies]
1) You can convict if you find any one of these three statements. You don't have to find that all three were false beyond reasonable doubt. You have to unanimously agree on any one.
2) Don't consider JUSt Russert's testimony. Consider all the testimony. When Libby says he was surprised. Consider all of them, From Martin to Grossman, all of it is relevant, and all should be considered.
Count Two, two counts of false statements. Just like with the first count, you just have to find either one of them is false. Not necessarily on both, though obviously, we think you should find him guilty on both.
Count Three, one statement.
Count Four, perjury count, that language is underlined. in instructions, you'll get underlined language.
Count Five four separate statements, all of which alleged as false. Just as with other one, you only have to find unanimously any of the four.
[Playing GJ testimony. In my mind, I didn't know if it was a fact. I said, reporters are telling that, I don't know if it's true. As I said, I don't know if he has a wife. F:DId the fact that you knew that the law could turn on this, that you said your source was a reporter. L No, it was a fact, it was a fact. It was important for what i was saying. F Next set of questions, if you did not understand it to be classified, why were you so deliberate that you told other reporters that reporters were saying it. L I didn't know it was true. I didn't want reporters to know that I said it. I didn't know if he had a wife, I didn't know if he;s married.]
[Libby's looking at screen behind him with the language on it, immobile. Jeffress passes Wells a note.]
[More GJ, Talking to the other reporters, I don't see it as a crime. I was telling other reporters what htey told us, I don't see that as a crime.]
Zeidenberg. Thus far, I talked about govt case. I want to talk abotu Defense testimony, and whether you should consider it credible.
In opening and cross, they've said that Libby was so busy that it's unreasonable to expect that he could remember snippet of conversation. Is it fair to ask him to remember that?
Want to come back to testimony he told about another conversation he had, with Karl Rove. This was end of week, horrible week. Wilson op-ed. All the questions, the firestorm starts. Next day, admin says 16 words shoulnd't have been in there. Pres in Africa, Libby has to deal with this. 11th is Friday. Libby talks about conversation he had with Rove about Novak. I want you to think of all the details that Libby is able to recall, w/o benefit of notes, that occurred at end of that week.
[GJ testimony: wasn't sure if we were going to get everything we wanted. During conversation, Rove said to me, conversation with Novak. Sense was it was recent. Told me that Novak had told him that, Rove, Novak had told Karl Rove that he was going to be writing–my sense was that weekend. He had run into Wilson in Green Room, the room that people sit in waiting to go out on television show, fruit and coffee, waiting for turn to go on the air. Rove told me Novak had run into Wilson, had a bad taste in his mouth. I've forgotten exactly what it was. Wilson turned him off. Also that NOvak had concerns how Wilson chosen. BC Wilson and Novak's view, Wilson had, might not be a fair and impartial reporter. Third thing, Novak told Karl that Wilson's wife worked at CIA. Confirmation of sort from what I had heard from Russert, that all reporters knew. I told Karl that I had heard from Russert the same thing.]
Consider how amazingly sharp the details are? Libby can remember 8 months after, every detail of conversation that Rove had with Novak and what Novak told Rove, but he can't remember out of 9 conversation sthat he himself has about Wilson's wife, bc it's a trivial detail? The same trivial detail he learned from ROve, and yet he can remember it with no difficulty and no notes.
When you consider Libby's testimony, there's a pattern of always forgetting about Wilson's wife. He remembers Ari conversation, talk about future, Miami Dolphins, Remembers the Dolphins, doesn't remember talking about Wilson's wife. Remembers talking about NIE iwht Judy. Not abotu wife. Remembers talking about declassification with Addinton, but not the wife. Convenient pattern. Is that purposeful.
Libby can remember with specificity what he DIDN'T talk about. [Cheney's op-ed] "or did his wife send him on a junket?"These are questions Cheney wrote in his own hand. Those are the questions VP is asking. Ask yourself. VP has these quesitons Who is he going to ask about them. Isn't it obvious he's going to be working on them with his right hand man. And when Fitz asked, "didn't these come up that week?"
[GJ testimony: Keeps columns for a while. I don't know when he wrote them. You have to ask him about them. F You're saying these would happen much later. L ONly that part about the wife, that wouldn't occur that week. The part about the wife, I don't recall discussing with him, prior to learning again, about the wife. ]
Isn't that remarkable that he can remember that far back what he didn't talk about. The wife, He can remember that they didn't remember.
Want to talk for a moment about Mr Novak. Libby confused Russert with Novak. [Puts up the faces of Russerr and the MOST UNFLATTERING picture of Novak I've ever seen.] It wouldn't be easy to confuse these two. [switches the two pictures, laughs in the media room]
When Libby was asked about Novak, he said he hadn't talked to Novak for a year and a half. But now he says he might have confused it. If you thought an investigation was all about who linked to Novak. And you thought you might have learned it from Novak. Don't you think you would have remembered?
Now let's go to forgetting about VP telling you this. I want to suggest it's simply not credible to believe. It's ludicrous. Here is an issue that is front and center. Wilson is spurring headlines accusing WH of lying into war and VP is in hotseat. Libby is VP's right hand man. THey're asked questions over and over. Why did they send him. Libby gets an answer. The wife. Bad skinny, he calls it. He writes it down. He wants you to believe that VP and he didn't think important. But he wrote it down. He's doing the homework to school himself about Wilson. And he so completely forgets info about Wilson's wife that when Russert tells him about it, it rings NO BELLS? no memor? L&G It's just not credible.
Want to talk about motive.
Wells told you, people don't lie for the heck of it. That's absolutely true. Is it conceivable that all 9 witnesses would make the same mistake in their memory.
Let's look at Libby's motive to lie, bc Wells told you there was no motive to lie. Think about what he was facing when he went to testify October 14. He knew investigation into unauthorized leaks. Knew he had talked to Miller, Cooper, and Fleischer. He knows those facts.
What else do we know he knows. [Oct 12 WaPo article] Newspaper article take from his files.
[reading and commenting from article] FBI Agents have begin by investigating events the month before the leak. Asking about events going back to early June. Investigators investigating how Plame's name got linked to Wilson and how it made way around govt. Govt officials had been trying for more than a month that Wilson's mission not as important. Time magazine, some govt officials have noted that Wilson's wife. That article would tell any intelligent perso, no question he is intelligent, that the FBI was looking for him. They were trying to find out who was scurrying around to find out about Wilson. That was Libby.
[Now goes to 10/04 article, with the B&J front, reading from article again] B&J leak. Talks about damange inadvertant disclosure of front company could form. Remember testimony of Schmall, CIA briefer. he told them disclosure is a serious business. People can get harrassed, people can get arrested, people can get killed. Addington testified that Libby asked him how you would know if someone was covert. Remember Addington's answer: You wouldn't know. Look at nondiclosure agreement.
[reading from it] UNauthorized disclosure of classified information can cause damage or irreperable injury to US. I understand that if I am uncertain, I am required to confirm that info is unclassified before I diclose it. I've been advised that any breach = termination of security clearance. He knows that, you can't even be negligent.
Recall what WH spokespman said, No one wants to get to bottom of matter more than pres, if someone leaked classified info, president wants to know, if someone leaked classified info, they will no longer be part of administration. Looking at that, no question that, at a minimum, he's going to be fired. Libby went to VP, said he wanted to be cleared the way Rove had been cleared.
[exhibit saying he wanted ot be cleared] He wanted to be cleared–and he got one. [shows Scottie tape] Those individuals have assured me they were not involved.
He has had WH stake its credibility on it, if they find out he was involved, he would have to retract that. Now the FBI comes. It appears that this woman was a covert agent. He can tell the truth and take his chances. Or he can lie. And L&G, he took the second choice. He made up a story that he thought would cover it. He knew he had a note learning of it from CIA. That's an official source. He had to come up with a way to account for that note, I forgot and learned anew for the first time. Russert told me that all the reporters knew it, and all I did was pass on gossip.
That is the story he told the FBI
L&G, this is a case about lying, Not conspiracy, No WH conspiracy, no NBC conspiracy; Libby not here because of bad conduct of others. He's here because of his own decision. He decided to lie to the GJ. When you consider all the evidence, the govt has established that the defendant lied to the FBI, lied to GJ, obstructed justice.
10 minutes recess–I'll start the Wells thread.