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By Margie Burns on 1/25/2007 4:48pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

As noted in an earlier post, the Libby defense team has emphasized memory lapses in the first three prosecution witnesses, government figures who placed Libby at the nexus of information about Joseph Wilson’s wife. Probing, sometimes repetitiously --- or so it seemed to me, sitting in Courtroom 16 --- for variable or incomplete memories took up much of the first two days of the Libby trial, now in its third day.

This line of attack has already been picked up by rightwing media outlets, including a gloating article posted this morning by Byron York at the National Review and another on a rightwing web site called "America Thinks."

More insidiously, the same line is seeping from some large media outlets. The Los Angeles Times ran an article today saying that the "memory defense" is aided by the government witnesses' own memory lapses, and the Baltimore Sun reports that the "'busy man' defense gains some ground". The local (D.C.) ABC television station presents a more balanced report, but very brief.

As it turns out, the memory defense at this stage of the Libby trial is not supposed to be used under judicial guidelines. Former prosecutor Christy Hardin Smith, also present in Courtroom 16 yesterday, points out that for Libby’s lawyers to plead shortness of memory, Libby himself has to take the stand as a witness, because it is his memories that are being referenced. The unremitting focus on witness memory for the entire day Wednesday seems to have resulted in a ruling from the judge that there will be no 'memory defense' allowed in the closing argument unless Libby does take the stand . . .

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Defense Attny: Libby Was Worried About Being 'Sacrificial Lamb for Karl Rove'
By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2007 10:27am PT  

WASHINGTON - Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald used his opening statement in the CIA leak trial Tuesday to allege that Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff lied and destroyed a note showing Cheney's early involvement.

Fitzgerald said Cheney told his chief of staff, “Scooter” Libby, in 2003 that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA and Libby spread that information to reporters. When that information got out, it triggered a federal investigation.

“But when the FBI and grand jury asked about what the defendant did,” Fitzgerald said, “he made up a story.”

Fitzgerald alleged that Libby in September 2003 “destroyed” a Cheney note just before Libby's first FBI interview when he said he learned about Wilson from reporters, not the vice president.

It also appears that Libby's Defense is preparing to go against the White House, according to their opening statement. Or, at least they seem to be claiming he was worried about being thrown under the bus to protect Rove...

Attorney Theodore Wells said Libby went to Cheney in 2003 and complained that the White House was subtly blaming him for leaking Plame’s identity to columnist Robert Novak.

“They’re trying to set me up. They want me to be the sacrificial lamb,” Wells said, recalling the alleged conversation between Libby and Cheney. “I will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected.”

Full MSNBC story, plus video, here...

FireDogLake is live blogging their notes on the scandal from inside the courtroom. Coverage of Prosecutor Fitzgerald's opening here..., Defense Attny Wells opener here....

ReddIt this story!



By David Edwards on 5/25/2006 7:26am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

The Special Prosecutor investigating the outing of CIA officer, Valerie Plame-Wilson, has indicated in a court filing that Vice President Cheney is likely to be a witness in the Libby trial.

The New York Times quotes Fitzgerald writing, "Contrary to defendant's assertion, the government has not represented that it does not intend to call the vice president as a witness at trial." (see: Muckraker). Cheney's testimony is expected to reflect the state of mind in the Office of the Vice President during the organized attack on Joe Wilson's credibility and the outing of Plame-Wilson. The testimony will likely show that Libby had motive to leak selective information to reporters to smear Wilson and bolster the Administration's justification for war on Iraq.

Fingering Cheney as a possible witness may lead to questions about a conspiracy secret illegal scheme planned and executed within the Vice President's office.

ReddIt this story!



By David Edwards on 5/24/2006 7:45am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

Yesterday, The New York Daily News reported that two top CIA officials discussed Valerie plame with Cheney's former Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby. If true, the CIA officials' testimony will show that Libby knew of Valerie Plame's status at the CIA at least a month prior to Robert Novak's column which first publicly exposed Valerie Plame's undercover status. The testimony of the two top CIA officials is expected to bolster the charge of perjury against Libby. Libby has previously testified that he first learned about Plame from a reporter.

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann takes notice that this story had been originally reported 2 months earlier by Jason Leopold, an internet journalist writing for Truthout. On May 13th, Leopold reported that Karl Rove, like Libby, had been served with an indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice. This report has not been confirmed by other media sources, triggering a fierce debate on the internet about the accuracy Leopold's report that Rove has been served with an indictment. Truthout editor, Marc Ash, is defending the accuracy of the report.

ReddIt this story!



Experts: Odds Increase that Veep to be Called as Witness in Perjury Case Against his Former Chief of Staff
Pre-Trial Disclosures Reveal Libby 'Does Not Recall' Seeing Veep's Hand Written Notes about Valerie Plame on copy of NY Times Editorial...
By Brad Friedman on 5/22/2006 3:47pm PT  

New pre-trial filings by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the Scooter Libby perjury trial related to the outting of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, seem to draw Dick Cheney still closer to the center of the scandal, MSNBC's David Schuster is now reporting.

In the newly released documents, defendant Libby denies having seen Cheney's handwritten notes on the margins of a 2003 NY Times op/ed, in which Cheney raises questions about Plame's involvement in former Ambassador Joe Wilson's fact-finding trip to Niger. In the op/ed, Wilson exposes what he didn't find on that trip --- evidence that Saddam was attempting to purchase uranium from Niger.

(See BRAD BLOG's report, as filed last week by David Edwards, with video and other details as the NY Times marginalia was disclosed.)

From Schuster's report this evening:

If the chief of his office did not see the Vice President's notes, who were they intended for?
...
Meanwhile, legal experts say the latest Libby filing could be telling for what the defense does not argue. Libby does not challenge the prosecution statement that on the day columnist Robert Novak first disclosed Valerie Wilson's identity, a quote "CIA official discussed in the defendant's presence the dangers posed by disclosure of the CIA affiliation of one of its employees as had occurred in the Novak column. This evidence directly contradicts the defense position."

RAW STORY has the text transcript and reports that Rove's legal team expects a decision on his indictment "at any time".

Here's the video, just out from MSNBC's Hardball, including the new details as reported by Schuster...


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

ReddIt this story!



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