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(Photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst via Yahoo.  From left to right: Government Attorney Peter Zeidenberg, FBI Agent Deborah Bond, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, and Government Attorney Kathleen Kedian.) 

For those joining us a little late this morning, the jury note was a question that was asked and answered by the jury themselves.  It dealt with Count III, which is a Cooper count.  Jane talked about it here, and Jeralyn has copies of both jury notes here and here.  The jury is continuing to deliberate.  And we continue to wait for a verdict.

While we have all spent a whole lot of time scrutinizing every aspect of the Traitorgate investigation, and the subsequent indictment and trial of I. Lewis Libby, there are aspects of the case that deserve a bit of wider discussion.  And I'd like to bring a couple to everyone's attention — before we hear anything about a verdict.  Thought it might be a nice way to pass a little time.

First, the members of Pat Fitzgerald's investigative and trial team.  Because I have gotten so many questions about my impressions of all of them when I've been in DC, I thought I'd bring a little glimpse to all of you today through a vignette article from Legal Times reporter Sarah Kelly from way back in October of 2005.   From the article:

One convinced a jury to convict a deadly crew of drug dealers that plagued Washington, D.C., for more than a decade. Another helped nab two of the highest-profile spies in recent years. There's the lawyer who took on a Chicago mobster and won, and the young prosecutor who helped disband a ring of exotic animal poachers in the Midwest.

Then there's Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor from Chicago who has led these and a handful of other attorneys in a massive investigation to determine who in the White House leaked the name of a covert Central Intelligence Agency operative to the media….

Peter Zeidenberg, a Justice Department prosecutor with the public integrity section, brings to Fitzgerald's team experience in high-profile cases involving public officials. Despite a recent failure to convict David Rosen — the former campaign finance director for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who is accused of lying to the Federal Election Commission — his résumé includes a number of wins in other public corruption cases.

Locally, he's widely known as the prosecutor who, in the longest criminal trial in D.C. history, brought down the infamous K Street Crew, a gang of marijuana dealers known for killing witnesses.

Also from Washington is Kathleen Kedian, a relative newcomer to the counterespionage section. Her role in the case involves handling much of the grunt work, like sorting through stacks of documents, says the former DOJ official….

When reporters Miller and Cooper appealed a judge's ruling ordering them to testify earlier this year, Fitzgerald called on two key Chicago attorneys to litigate the matter: James Fleissner, now a professor at Mercer University Law School in Georgia, and Debra Bonamici, an appellate specialist in the Chicago U.S. Attorney's Office….

Bonamici made a name for herself in Chicago after convicting members of an exotic animal ring, in which nearly two dozen tigers and leopards were killed for their skins.

These are the attorneys that I have seen in court, at the government's table — but there are a whole host of other attorneys who worked on the investigative team, who worked before the federal grand jury and hand-in-hand with the FBI agents investigating the case, who also deserve both a mention and some thanks:  John Dion, Ron Roos, Bruce Swartz, Gary Shapiro, David Glockner, and James Fleissner, among many, many others — those are just the names mentioned in the article.  (Not to mention "Gene," whose last name I never did catch, who wrangled all of the government witnesses at the courthouse with a smooth and effective demeanor, and who apparently knew Fitzgerald from "the old days.")  Along with those are two big names that deserve much thanks:  Jack Eckenrode, retired from the FBI but the man who led the investigation through most of the hard slogging, and James Comey, who pushed the investigation forward.


(From left to right:  Randall Samborn, the government team's spokesperson; Kathleen Kedian and Patrick Fitzgerald.)


(Debra Bonamici — who is far cuter in person than this photograph would make you think, but it is the only picture that I could find of her for you guys after several hours of searching.)

To all of them, I say thank you — it is not often in the study of political theater that you find a group of individuals who just do their jobs, take them seriously, don't leak to aggrandize their status within the Beltway crowd and the media circuit, and who simply dedicate themselves to the pursuit of justice and the rule of law.  Just…thanks.  (And to anyone that I might have missed, my humble apologies.  But thanks to you as well.  Truly.  Especially to the family and friends of all those folks who have worked on this case — having pulled the 16 plus hour days during trial prep for much smaller cases than this one, I know the sacrifices this investigation and trial must have entailed.  So thank you.)

Additionally, there was an interesting profile of the jury's day from the AP (via Time magazine) that I wanted to bring to everyone's attention (H/T to pai for the link.).

The jury is wearing jeans! The scuttlebutt raced like a battlefront bulletin Tuesday through the five dozen prosecutors, defense attorneys and reporters camped in the federal courthouse awaiting a verdict in the perjury trial of ex-White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Most trial lawyers and reporters believe jurors dress up when they expect to reach a verdict and don casual clothes if they've still got lots of work to do….

Each morning, the jurors arrive by 9 a.m. in a U.S. marshals' van. Coffee, juice and pastries await them. Lunch is brought to them from the courthouse cafeteria, but no one knows whether they work while they eat. Cookies and beverages are wheeled in around 3 p.m., and they go home at 5 p.m.

There are lots of fun little tidbits in the AP article, so please take a little time and give it a read.  It's a little glimpse into life in the Prettyman courthouse these days, where everyone is doing the same thing — waiting for a verdict.

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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