Legal eagles weigh in please
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  1. #1
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    Legal eagles weigh in please

    This is from the Washington Times. How is it possible that a judge can keep secret from the defense, the identity of a government witness? Is that fair to the defense? I don't think this is going anywhere. The case is marginal at best.
    Libby Loses a Round in Court
    Ex-Cheney Aide Is Denied in Bid to Learn Leaker's Identity
    By Carol D. Leonnig
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, February 25, 2006; A02


    Vice President Cheney's former top aide is not entitled to know the identity of an anonymous administration official who revealed information about CIA operative Valerie Plame to two journalists, a federal judge ruled in a hearing yesterday.

    To defend himself against criminal charges, however, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby does have the right to copies of all the classified notes he took as Cheney's chief of staff from spring 2003 to spring 2004, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said. Libby sought the notes to refresh his memory about matters he was handling while discussing Plame with reporters and when questioned by investigators about those conversations.

    Libby, 55, was indicted in October on charges of committing perjury, making false statements and obstructing justice during the investigation into whether administration officials knowingly disclosed Plame's identity to reporters. Libby is accused of lying when he said he first learned about Plame's CIA role from NBC reporter Tim Russert in July 2003, and lying to conceal that he told at least two reporters about Plame's job at the agency.

    Walton set a schedule under which Libby's lawyers would lay out in late April which reporters they want to question about knowledge they had of Plame in the spring and summer of 2003. The judge also prepared for news organizations to fight subpoenas that would press their reporters to discuss confidential sources, a battle that could delay Libby's trial, set for January 2007.

    Walton's ruling on releasing Libby's notes will probably mean months of additional work for a team headed by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald. It has been working for the past three months with at least five federal agencies to review and, in some cases, declassify more than 11,000 pages of records so they can be turned over to Libby's defense team.

    But Walton's decision to continue to protect the anonymity of one administration official, whom Libby's attorneys described as a confidential source about Plame for two reporters, one of them apparently Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward, is a blow to Libby's case. Defense attorneys had said they needed to know the official's identity and the details of his conversations with the two journalists to show that Libby was not lying when he testified that many reporters knew about Plame's identity.

    But Walton said the source's identity is not relevant, and there is no reason to sully the source's reputation because the person faces no charges.

    The official's identity has been the subject of intense speculation since syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak published Plame's name in July 2003 -- eight days after her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, accused the administration of twisting intelligence to justify going to war with Iraq.

    Defense attorneys in yesterday's hearing described the official as someone who did not work at the White House and was the source for two reporters. They said that one of those reporters had revealed in November that he learned about Plame from the official in mid-June 2003.

    Woodward came forward in November to reveal that he had learned about Plame's CIA status from an administration official in mid-June 2003. Novak said in a speech in December that President Bush knew the identity of his source, and suggested that the official also was Woodward's source. Sources close to the leak investigation have said that Woodward and Novak received similar information from the same official.

    The defense also argued yesterday that it needs copies of the highly classified President's Daily Brief for 275 days in 2003 and 2004 so it can show that Libby was focused on pressing national security matters when questioned about Plame and could have made mistakes. Fitzgerald said it was beyond the pale to expect that the White House would release nearly a year's worth of one of its most sensitive intelligence documents.

    "It would be a terrible mistake and derail the case," Fitzgerald said.

    Walton said he needed more information before deciding, but tended to agree.

    "Isn't it certain, if I order this, it will sabotage the [government's] ability to prosecute this case?" he asked defense lawyers. "I would expect the White House is never going to agree to release these documents. I've heard the vice president -- his boss -- call these the family jewels."

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Live Steam
    This is from the Washington Times. How is it possible that a judge can keep secret from the defense, the identity of a government witness? Is that fair to the defense? I don't think this is going anywhere. The case is marginal at best.
    "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

    Sounds like a breach of Libby's 6th Amendment rights to me.


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  3. #3
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    That isn't really how I read it, since it doesn't sound like this administration "source" is a witness in the case.

    How I understand the issue is this: Libby's defense includes that lots of reporters new about Plame, including Woodward et. al., and that they (Woodward, et. al.) learned about Plame from someone OTHER THAN him. Woodward et. al. will say "yes it was someone other than Libby" and Libby wants them to name names.

    The judge says that it is irrelevant to name names... it is enough that folks can and will say that it was someone OTHER THAN Libby.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtolleson
    That isn't really how I read it, since it doesn't sound like this administration "source" is a witness in the case.

    How I understand the issue is this: Libby's defense includes that lots of reporters new about Plame, including Woodward et. al., and that they (Woodward, et. al.) learned about Plame from someone OTHER THAN him. Woodward et. al. will say "yes it was someone other than Libby" and Libby wants them to name names.

    The judge says that it is irrelevant to name names... it is enough that folks can and will say that it was someone OTHER THAN Libby.
    I just read it again and I don't know... I think it's important to find out from the source just how many reporters he/she did talk to. Novak and Woodward saying that it wasn't Libby they heard it from is all well and good but without others coming forward, there's no way to know for sure without the source. Right?


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  5. #5
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    Libby is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, not with revealing the identity of a covert agent. the "witness" and whatever he did, is not relevant to the case against Scooter and the charges he faces. .


    so there was someone else out there revealing Plame's identity also. it doesn't let Libby off the hook for lying in his testimony before the grand jury and to investigators.
    Last edited by rufus; 02-25-2006 at 11:34 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rufus
    Libby is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, not with revealing the identity of a covert agent. the "witness" and whatever he did, is not relevant to the case against Scooter and the charges he faces. .


    so there was someone else out there revealing Plame's identity also. it doesn't let Libby off the hook for lying in his testimony before the grand jury and to investigators.
    "Libby, 55, was indicted in October on charges of committing perjury, making false statements and obstructing justice during the investigation into whether administration officials knowingly disclosed Plame's identity to reporters. Libby is accused of lying when he said he first learned about Plame's CIA role from NBC reporter Tim Russert in July 2003, and lying to conceal that he told at least two reporters about Plame's job at the agency."

    It seems to me that who knew and who told who IS relevant based on the charges.


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    Quote Originally Posted by KenB
    "Libby, 55, was indicted in October on charges of committing perjury, making false statements and obstructing justice during the investigation into whether administration officials knowingly disclosed Plame's identity to reporters. Libby is accused of lying when he said he first learned about Plame's CIA role from NBC reporter Tim Russert in July 2003, and lying to conceal that he told at least two reporters about Plame's job at the agency."

    It seems to me that who knew and who told who IS relevant based on the charges.
    why? libby said he learned from Tim Russert. Russert, and i'm assuming other testimony says that wasn't so. two other reporters, and i'm assuming other evidence, says that they learned of her identity from Libby, which he denies.

    some other guy peddling the same story to other reporters doesn't in any way change the fact that Libby's story disagrees with other evidence from other sources in the case.

    it's not about who learned her identity from who, cause Libby isn't charged with that. he's charged with telling things to the investigators that are at odds with other witnesses' testimony, which presumably have been corroborated as truthful from other sources. hence, the story Libby is peddling isn't the truth.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rufus
    why? libby said he learned from Tim Russert. Russert, and i'm assuming other testimony says that wasn't so. two other reporters, and i'm assuming other evidence, says that they learned of her identity from Libby, which he denies.

    some other guy peddling the same story to other reporters doesn't in any way change the fact that Libby's story disagrees with other evidence from other sources in the case.

    it's not about who learned her identity from who, cause Libby isn't charged with that. he's charged with telling things to the investigators that are at odds with other witnesses' testimony, which presumably have been corroborated as truthful from other sources. hence, the story Libby is peddling isn't the truth.
    What if the source reveals that Russert is lying?

    On a completely seperate level, doesn't America deserve to know who the leak is?


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenB
    What if the source reveals that Russert is lying?

    On a completely seperate level, doesn't America deserve to know who the leak is?
    how could he show Russert lying? even if Russert knew her identity prior, there's no evidence other than Scooter's word that that's where Scooter got it from. which conveniently contradicts the facts that Scooter was told Plame's identity some time before the Russert meeting by none other than Dick Cheney, and Scooter himself was revealing her identity to Ari Fleischer two days before the meeting with Russert occured where he claims he alledgedly was first told this news.


    as for the leaker's identity, i'd assume that if and when a case is made against either Scooter, Rove, or someone else on the charges of actually revealing the identity of a covert agent, we'll have all that information plus some. right now, it should remain secret, as it probably helps Fitzgerald continue to build his case on those other charges.
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  10. #10
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    What if everyone is mixed up and forgot who said what? This is a BS case and will go no where. Mistakenly stating something is a far stretch from perjury.

  11. #11
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    I'm still not clear on this. If he isn't being charged for outing her, then how could they charge him for perjury for lying about who told who what? Perjury usually follows because someone lied to cover up a crime. If they don't charge anyone for that crime, how could they charge someone for lying to cover it up? This is real BS. I will bet that this eventually either gets tossed or there is an easy acquittal.

  12. #12
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    see: Clinton, Bill.
    "Damn. Y'all murdered the sh*t out that mutherf***er"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Live Steam
    I'm still not clear on this. If he isn't being charged for outing her, then how could they charge him for perjury for lying about who told who what? Perjury usually follows because someone lied to cover up a crime. If they don't charge anyone for that crime, how could they charge someone for lying to cover it up? This is real BS. I will bet that this eventually either gets tossed or there is an easy acquittal.

    LOL!! If you can't grasp this concept then... nevermind. You just keep telling yourself that and everything will be OK.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by rufus
    see: Clinton, Bill.
    Steam's memory and incredulity is selective. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahah!
    Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocity
    Steam's memory and incredulity is selective. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahah!
    funny how he skulked off with his tail between his legs after that, isn't it?
    "Damn. Y'all murdered the sh*t out that mutherf***er"

  16. #16
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    Who skulked off? You think I sit around here waiting for the drivel you post? It's not the same is it? Clinton did lie to cover up a non-crime and he then was impeached. That is not a criminal prosecution.

    Unlike a blue dress with sailors in their dress whites on it, there is no physical evidence that points to a lie by Libby. Getting times, dates and people mixed up is not really the same. I think it will come down that way too. No one is going to hold someone accountable for not remembering when something as innocuous as this happened and there was no formal crime committed for the alleged lie to have covered up.

  17. #17
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    and................out he pops from his spider-hole.
    "Damn. Y'all murdered the sh*t out that mutherf***er"

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Live Steam
    No one is going to hold someone accountable for not remembering when something as innocuous as this happened and there was no formal crime committed for the alleged lie to have covered up.
    Innocuous? It was designed to offend and provoke Joe Wilson by outing his wife--and it unmasked a CIA expert on the proliferation of the very thing that was supposedly the reason for the Iraq War. It made anyone who works in our embassies, or is the spouse of someone who does, vulnerable to being attacked for being a spy. Patrick Fitzgerald has found that Plame evidence had indeed done "covert work overseas" on counterproliferation matters in the past five years, and that the CIA "was making specific efforts to conceal" her identity. Libby played a key role in unconcealing that identity.
    Last edited by velocity; 02-27-2006 at 04:05 AM. Reason: typo
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  19. #19
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    If that is the case, why isn't he charged with that? I don't believe you have the facts correct. Again, why isn't he charged with that as the crime?

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Live Steam
    If that is the case, why isn't he charged with that? I don't believe you have the facts correct. Again, why isn't he charged with that as the crime?
    Look closer at the facts and sit tight Steamie.

    By the way, it's not over until the fat lady sings.
    Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.
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  21. #21
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    best defense

    This should be the defense strategy, which I assume requires all Democrats to walk away and forget this: "I was having sexual relations with the source, and I wanted to protect her identity." Therefore, the case is all about lying about sex, and if so, no one should care. Right? Slam dunk.
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