Friday, October 28, 2005
In order to sustain a perjury charge, the mistatement is supposed to be material to the case. Fitzgerald was tasked with looking into the leak of Plame's name. He talked to Libby, who supposedly told him that Libby had learned of Plame from a number of reporters. So Fitzgerald has to go to these reporters and try to learn from them where they had learned about Plame... even to the point of threatening to throw them in jail to get them to talk.... effort he would not have needed to expend had Libby not claimed to have received this information from them. And it's the wasted effort and the wild goosechase that Libby sent them on which makes Libby's supposedly false statements material to the investigation.
Now, as I've said before, Libby is not supposed to be stupid. So why would he tell investigators the reporters told him of Plame? Wouldn't he guess the investigators would go to the reporters and try to learn where they had learned what they had told Libby? And that, if they hadn't told Libby what he claimed they had, that their discussions with investigators and testimony to the grand jury would reflect that? And, if he didn't figure that out ahead of time, he sure would have learned it when these reporters came looking for waivers. If Libby truly believed he had lied to the investigators, then why would he give any of the reporters a waiver if he knew that what they would say was that Libby was a big liar?
And Miller sat in jail for the better part of three months.... all because Fitzgerald wanted to talk to her... all because Libby supposedly lied about what he had learned from Miller. Wouldn't Libby have to figure that Miller would be pretty ticked off to learn the only reason she was on Fitzgerald's list was because Libby made up some story about her? Wouldn't that have likely made Miller rather ticked at Libby? And, yet, Libby still gave her a waiver.
All in all, just more bricks in the wall separating me from understanding this indictment...