Last night, I wrote that I couldn’t make any sense out of Scooter Libby’s lawyer’s claim, in his opening statement, that Libby had been made a “sacrificial lamb” or a “scapegoat” by the administration. That prompted an email from a reader with a legal background whose comments on other issues we have published before. He didn’t seem to think much of my post, but I would point out that he doesn’t suggest a theory on which Libby could have been a goat or a lamb, either. It’s interesting, though:
It appears that in Fall, 2003, Libby thought that he might be scapegoated for this reason: he apparently thought that Rove may have been doing what Wilson claimed, whereas he knew that he himself had not–and yet that he was being heavily targeted by Fitzgerald. In fact, what neither Libby nor Rove knew at the time, but Fitzgerald did know, was that Armitage was the leaker.
Other interesting items from the first day:
Ari Fleisher “leaked” about the whole affair to David Gregory, who stated publicly that he had no knowledge of the matter. Fleisher was given an grant of immunity, although immunity from what is an interesting question.
Neither Gregory nor Andrea Mitchell testified to the G[rand] J[ury]. Mitchell was undoubtedly receiving leaks during this period from Grossman and Armitage, as she covered State and had closely related stories published.
Russert didn’t appear before the GJ either–he was interviewed in his office with his attorney present and the interview was videotaped–presidential treatment. By agreement, Russert was only asked about Libby, and not about any other source of knowledge about this matter.
Armitage discussed the case with Grossman the evening before Grossman testified to the GJ.
LIbby never denied hearing about Wilson and his wife before talking to Russert, but stated in his GJ testimony that he never gave the Wilson/Plame connection much thought until he started hearing about it from reporters. On Oct 14–the very first time he spoke to the investigators he told them he’d first learned from Cheney on June 11 or 12 but that it was an insignificant crumb on a giant platter and it wasn’t until reporters–he thought it was Russert first–who raised it that the fact meant something/ “I heard it as if for the very first time”
Grossman’s testimony (for the prosecution!) supports that version. Grossman stated that he and Libby met DAILY for work and that he made only one “30 second” reference to Libby referring to the fact that Wilson’s wife worked at CIA.
It seems quite clear that this whole “investigation” was designed to provoke a “process violation” that could be charged against a predetermined target. Fitzgerald knew there was no leak-related offense, and his “investigation” ignored all leads that didn’t lead to Libby (OK, he might have liked to ensnare Cheney and/or Rove, too).
This is a complicated case to analyze. I sent you a lengthy summary last September that was posted elsewhere as Path to Plamegate. If you compare it to the WSJ editorial from last week you’ll see that my work holds up pretty well. As I remarked at that time (9/06), Powerline has, unfortunately, been rather dismissive about Plamegate and has a fair amount of catch up to do. It is in fact a textbook case of the incestuous cooperation between the MSM, liberals within the Executive Branch–the war against the Administration–and probably behind it, some Democratic Senators and their staffers. The defense just may expose a lot of what has been business as usual for too long in WDC.
Well, if it’s another instance of the bureaucracy’s war against the Bush administration, it’s up our alley.
Meanwhile it doesn’t sound as though the prosecution’s case is off to a good start.
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