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Shorter Judge Walton: Let the Appeals Process Begin!


As some of you have noted, Judge Walton released a whopping 48-page opinion explaining his evidentiary decision-making in the trial. I think he did so for two reasons. First, his clerk, who has been involved in this case from the start, had his last day Friday. By getting all this on paper now, Walton makes sure that the clerk who worked with him on these rulings works with him on the opinion.

But it also lays out where we might be heading for the appeals process. After all, in the very first days of this trial, Ted Wells said we were "probably … maybe" going to be arguing these issues after the trial. If the Lead Defense Counsel thinks an appeal (and therefore some convictions) are probable, then the judge might well take note and prepare for it.

The scope of the opinion provides some unsurprising guidance about what Walton believes Team Libby might appeal–two of the three issues relate to Russert (Walton's ruling to exclude the Andrea Mitchell self-impeachment, and Walton's ruling to exclude some information that might have impeached Russert). No doubt Team Libby and Walton, like everyone else, recognize that the Russert charges are much stronger (more…)

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