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Nope, Not Yet…


No verdict was rendered by the close of court yesterday.  Which means the jury will come back in this morning and resume deliberations on the Libby case.  And that we all get to sit back and continue to wait.

So many folks have asked about bits and pieces of what it was like watching the trial, about the people involved, about so many aspects of the case.  As I was reading back through the comments yesterday — once I got home from DC, got The Peanut settled into bed, and my laptop back out of its travel bag — a couple of comments in particular caught my eye.  I think these truly sum up what has been going through my mind through the whole trial, from opening statements all the way through summations.

First, this one from selise, who found an audio link to the press conference that Patrick Fitzgerald gave upon the indictment of Scooter Libby:

here's my (belated) contribution on something to do while waiting for the jury…

while i am extraordinarily grateful to marcy for her liveblogging… i am also sad to know that i will never hear fitz's closing. there's something lost in reading a liveblogging or a transcript of a spoken communication. i love both methods of communication – but they are quite different things, the spoken word and a written communication.

so, i went back and listened to fitz's oct, 28th 2005 press conference when he announced the libby indictment (transcript here).

here's something that stood out for me on this listening:

…the truth is the engine of our judicial system. And if you compromise the truth, the whole process is lost.

gives some extra context to yesterday's (from marcy's liveblog):

He stole the truth of the judicial system. You return guilty you give truth back.

And then there is this comment from Carolyn in Baltimore:

I expect to be out of touch by phone and email all of next week. When I expect the jury may come in. So I totally need to let go.

Christy’s remarks hit me – Valerie Plame Wilson is a victim but not THE victim of Scooters lies, at least to the FBI and GJ. Fitz may be a major victim – because his investigation of other crimes was hampered by him.

But the largest victim is all of us – we who who have been told our entire lives to trust our officials – that they may make mistakes but that republicans and democrats alike, our elected officials and their minions are there to protect us and make our government work for the people.

They are our servants and they betrayed us.
That is why I too am waiting anxiously to see that there is some justice left in the USA.

This is what I was getting at the morning of summations — but Carolyn's comments were far more succinct. Thanks so much for that.

And, in case you somehow missed these, Froomkin has been on fire the last couple of days.  I got to see Dan at the courthouse on Tuesday — he had come to watch summations as well — and he distilled the "cloud over Cheney" exceptionally well in this column, as well as hits the high points from the openings here.  Great stuff.

And Sidney Blumenthal has a great summary of the closing arguments up at Salon.  I had the pleasure of sitting with Sidney in court on Tuesday, and during breaks we spent time discussing our impressions of how the jury was or was not buying the various arguments that were made by counsel during their summation presentations.  Sidney has such marvelous insight into the political landscape within the Beltway, and he was of the opinion that Fitzgerald's rebuttal, in particular, was going to prove devastating — not just to the jury, but to the shreds of what is left of Dick Cheney's reputation.  Based on how fidgety Mrs. Libby became during the rebuttal, I'd say that, on some level anyway, she may have agreed, and that had to be very, very difficult for her to sit through, to be perfectly honest.

Do read Sidney's piece this morning.  I hope to have some more thoughts on it later, along with my own regarding the summations and the whole of the trial, because the discussion Sidney has therein regarding the implications and the dismissive tone of Team Libby toward journalists, in particular, ought to serve as a cautionary tale for a whole lot of people.  (But that discussion deserves a post all by itself, so it will have to wait until I've had more coffee.)

Finally, I want to give a huge hat tip to reader Raph Levien who took the time to follow-up on the Scott Shane mis-write in the NYTimes piece from the other day.  Thanks so much for doing that Raph, because I have not had time to track anything down between all the keeping the site running under heavy traffic, the 24-hour stomach flu that The Peanut had last week, the travel back and forth to DC, and all the post writing — and I really appreciate your efforts to get to the bottom of that, very much.  From Raph:

Final closure on the NYT blogger press credentials thing. I heard from one Scott Shane at the NYT, who says that the court official, Sheldon Snook, gave Cox the credentials first, and others later. I appreciate their attention to getting to the truth on this minor point, and am willing to give Cox the benefit of the doubt that maybe he had good reasons for waiting to announce his credentials. I don’t see any reason to flog the issue any more.

So, it turns out that Shane got information from Shelly, the court clerk who is a wonderful person (thanks again to Shelly and Jenna and all of the wonderful court personnel, including the very nice marshalls), and attributed it inaccurately to Bob Cox of the MBA.  If you missed Raph's multiple e-mail attempts to track things down in the comments, I wanted to be certain everyone saw what he was able to nail down for all of us. See, a little elbow grease, some questions and a lot of e-mail can sometimes get a good result. Thanks, Raph!

So, what's on your mind this morning?  Have that stack of magazines or some Coltrane on the CD player or something else to keep you occupied while we all wait for the verdict?

(Is the jury back yet?)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com