Friday, October 28, 2005

Again, maybe I am reading the indictment wrong, but it sure seems Fitzgerald is placing a lot of faith in the testimony of Miller, Cooper and Russert.

For example, (#3, Page 16) refers to what Libby is alleged to have said to FBI agents:

"Russert asked Libby if Libby was aware that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. Libby responded to Russert that he did not know that, and Russert replied that all the reporters knew it. Libby was surprised by this statement because, while speaking with Russert, Libby did not recall that he previously had learned about Wilson's wife's employment from the Vice President."

(that statement was false because)

"a) Russert did not ask Libby if Libby knew that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, nor did he tell Libby that all the reporters knew it; and

b) At the time of this conversation, Libby was well aware that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA."

It seems as if (a) is going to come down to a 'who's telling the truth' between Libby and Russert. Libby says the conversation transpired in one way, Russert says it went another way. Absent a tape recording, I don't know why Fitzgerald would choose to believe that Russert was telling the truth, and not Libby. And I discount the value of any notes Russert might claim to have made of the conversation as (1) there's no proof that the notes were made contemporaneously, and (2) there's no proof that Russert was, how to say, truthful in what he wrote down.

And I don't understand (b) at all. So what that Libby knew Wilson's wife worked at the CIA at the time he talked with Russert? As I read the allegation, it's not clear that Libby was telling the agents that he didn't know where Wilson's wife worked at the time he had the conversation with Russert, it seems possible that Libby was telling the agents that he had told Russert he didn't know where Wilson's wife worked... and, if this is what Libby was doing, then I fail to see the problem. Libby was under no legal obligation to tell Russert the truth about his already knowing where Wilson's wife worked... and Libby's misleading Russert in no way ought to compromise his testimony that he had in fact learned from Russert about Wilson's wife.

Finally, I didn't see any reference to allegations that Libby told Russert of where Wilson's wife worked. Assuming Libby did in fact not tell Russert anything about Wilson's wife, and operating under the assumption that Libby is a relatively smart guy, why would Libby want or need to lie to the grand jury about what Russert supposedly told him? Libby would have to have assumed that the investigators and the grand jury would interview those who would report that Libby knew where Wilson's wife worked... so there would be purpose in lying to investigators about where he learned of the information. That's why I keep coming back to think that what Libby testified to is what he told the reporters, not that he had actually learned of anything from the reporters.

I apologize if this isn't very clear. It's clear to me, I'm just having a hard time getting it right on paper. I'll keep working at it.