Friday, October 28, 2005

'Scooter' Libby's 'Corrupt Endeavor'

(Updated 10/29/05)

Props to The Smoking Gun for posting a pdf file of the five count indictment against I. Lewis Libby AKA "Scooter" Libby.

While this isn't the first indictment issued against a sitting cabinet official, I believe it is the first one that contains a name and alias.

Interestingly, upon first glance, in regards to this indictment (others may follow), it does seem that Fitzgerald could have made his case even without Judith Miller's testimony. Tim Russert's role has been mostly overlooked, and many of the most glaring differences between he said/journalist said accounts were Libby's conversations with the NBC reporter.

Check out the language Fitzgerald uses in this section of the indictment (I added some bold typeface to a couple of parts):

In or about March 2004, in the District of Columbia, I. Lewis Libby, also known as "Scooter Libby," defendant herein, did knowingly and corruptly endeavor to influence, obstruct and impede the due administration of justice, namely proceedings before Grand Jury 03-3, by misleading and deceiving the grand jury as to when, and the manner and means by which, LIBBY acquired and subsequently disclosed to the media information concerning the employment of Valerie Wilson by the CIA.

It was part of the corrupt endeavor that during his grand jury testimony, defendant LIBBY made the following materially false and intentionally misleading statements and representations, in substance, under oath:"

I guess that means that when some of us were busy calling the Bush Administration corrupt we weren't just whistlin' "Dixie."


Whiskey Bar's Billmon, a former journalist, also wonders why Judith Miller was forced to go to prison by Fitzgerald:

When Fitzgerald went to court to compel Judy Miller and Matt Cooper to appear before the grand jury, he argued that their testimony was essential -- not helpful, but essential -- to his investigation. And every judge who looked at the special prosecutor's evidence in camera agreed, wholeheartedly.

Yet, looking at the charges actually brought in Scooter's indictment, we see this is not, in fact, true. Yes, Cooper and Miller helped pin down the fact that Libby lied on the stand when he said he had told them he heard about Plame's CIA affliation from other reporters and didn't know if those rumors were true or false. But Fitzgerald already had copious evidence of Scooter's perjury -- from Tim Russert, from witnesses inside the White House, at State and at the CIA, from documents faxed to Libby by the CIA, and from Libby's own notes. Fitzgerald didn't need Cooper's testimony to prove it, and once he had Cooper's he certainly didn't need Miller's.

Billmon's right, for the most part, but since the investigation isn't completely finished it's possible we might learn more about why Fitzgerald thought Judy's testimony was essential.

Perhaps as Jane Hamsher at firedoglake put it: "That's just the way Patrick Fitzgerald works."

The reason why Judy is MIA in the indictment may be because Fitgerald didn't want to show all of his cards just yet.

If Libby's willing to talk, Judy's testimony can be thrown out the window.

Think what you want about Judith Miller but she did 85 days in jail...perhaps for nothing.

Could or would you?


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