ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fitz Call Your Psychiatrist!

For those of you who haven't been following the almost daily activities of everything Plame related over at JustOneMinute, you may not have known that Fitzgerald gave his closing arguments yesterday in the Libby trial.

As you may recall, has maintained in arguments before the press, the public, and the court that this is all about a small case of whether or not Libby lied to the FBI and the Grand Jury and that by doing so he obstructed the investigation. To use Fitzgeralds metaphor, "throwing sand in the eyes of the umpire". Despite this alleged obstruction, Fitzgerald has maintained that no crime was comitted with the outing of Valerie Plame's name, and has not charged anyone with such a crime, despite evidence that Richard Armitage (Colin Powell's number 2) was the "first to leak".

Fitzgerald reserved a majority of his closing time for the rebuttal phase, which comes after the defenses closing arguments (and therefore without chance for further rebuttal by the defense). The defense team, smelling something fishy, submitted an argument filled with case law to the judge warning him about issues with prosecutors who go far afield in the rebuttal phase of closing arguments (emphasis mine):

The Court has allotted each party three hours for its closing argument. The government intends to use one-third to one-half of its time for rebuttal. Although we do not suggest that the government will engage in deliberate impropriety, the length of its proposed rebuttal raises concern that it may reserve crucial contentions until that argument, when the defense will have no chance to respond. In light of this concern, we submit this brief to alert the Court and the government to the relevant principles that govern rebuttal argument.
Jeralyn Merrit liveblogged the closing at the Huffington Post, as well as the moonbats at FireDogLake, and if there psuedo transcripts are anything close to what Fitzgerald actually said, he has truly revealed himself as a Wilson apologist.

Some excerpts (all emphasis mine) from Merrit:
Fitz starts off yelling "Madness," referring to the defense closing arguments.

Without Tim Russert ever coming to court to testify, they could convict on the Tim Russert charges. If he got hit by a bus last month and died, and went to the great newsroom in the sky before trial, they could still convict by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

When a prosecutor tells you that you don't need to pay attention to what one of his witnesses testified to in the trial because it didn't matter if he was even alive anymore that is not a good sign to the nature of your case.

From the more complete (but full of moonbat snark) FDL:

Cathie Martin, one call or two calls, she knows that when she came back. Do you think for a moment, that the conversation that defendant described, I don't know if it's true, if it happened in front of Martin. She's very careful. When someone discussed NIE on July 8, she got nervous, she left the room, in part for that reason. When VP added NIE to talking point. She got nervous. When Wells asked her, you knew abotu Plame, It wasn't a huge revelation to me, but I knew it was huge deal that he disclosed it. SHe said, that's a big deal. You think she's going to sit there and listen to Libby talking abotu Wilson's wife? Everything corroborates taht it happened at end of call.

One more thing that corrborates. THe VP wrote week before that wife sent him on a junket. THe VP moves to number 1 talking point. You just think it's coincidence that Cheney was writing this.

There is a cloud over the VP. He wrote those columns, he had those meetings, He sent Libby off to the meeting with Judy. Where Plame was discussed. That cloud remains because the denfendant obstructed justice. That cloud was there. That cloud is something that we just can't pretend isn't there.

Fitzgerald is talking about the declassification of the NIE as if that was intertwined with Plame. He's equating pushing back against the lies Wilson was telling with the NIE as criminal activities similar to "outing" Plame. He's trying the "big case", the war itself.

Goes through why the NOvak thing doesn't work. Especially that He couldnt' have told Rove he learned of it from NOvak, too.

He picked someone high up in NBC. He picked someoen they woudl know he talked to.

If he had picked Woodward, he might have gotten lucky.

Remember situation. Interview. FBI interview Bond and colleagues there. WH had said Libby not involved.

Govt exhibit 20, govt guidlelines on dealing with Media.

No subpoena without express authorization from AG. If he can convince Agent Bond, "nothing here," it goes away. If he doesn't convince them to go to the AG for a subpoena. You know what, we would never hve heard Russert's conversation if he wasn't called at home. It could have been enough not to get the FBI to get AG to issue a subpoena. It could have worked if Russert never talked. When you look back, history always looks inevitable. They're talking about firing people. He had planted his feet. He had to come up with someone. He had to make sure to say, Russert, this is off the record.

Fitz is trying to lay a motive here. That Libby picked Russert because he knew that Fitzgerald would never be able to get a story out of him. This despite the fact that Russert told the FBI in the first call, and that no evidence was ever brought into the trial that Libby knows that the government can't force testimony from reporters (which it turns out they can).

The three things they don't want you to focus on. Unique, importance,anger.

We all remember unique. That's why a lot of the witnesses remembered stuff frm their conversation with Libby.

Libby said this was the FIRST TIME he had ever declassified something by virtue of talking to VP. It had never happened before, hadn't happened since.

Importance Remember the others things going on. He had ten conversation with nine people. He's asking Schmall about . He's monitoring Hardball. He's not watching other things. He's remembering Rove telling him. Why is that important? It goes into his brain, bc that's important. VP cuts out column, he makes note on Dowd column. One thing that's really important, Schmall told him, this is a big deal, every intell service, whether innocent or not, they could arrest, torture, kill them. If you're sitting ont eh beach as a 21 year old, and you say, what you did, that can get people killed. If someone brought to your attention, you could get some people killed, that better be important, certainly NSA to VP in time of war.

Fitz believes there was a conspiracy between Libby and the Vice President to protect the VP. Fitz believes the VP lied about the war and was using Libby to leak classified information (specifically the NIE). After an entire trial and investigation about how it wasn't important if Plame was covert enough, he throws in the "people killed" argument to ratchet up the rhetoric. He's figuratively screaming here, "Bush Lied! People Died!"

A great cartoon that sums up the prosecution's operating methods:

My Predictions for the trial.

It's a DC Jury, so most of them (all?) are democrats. The case is just not there for Fitz though. I predict acquital on the Cooper counts, hung jury on the Russert counts. Acquital on the obstruction counts.

Hard to predict jury decisions though.

The next phase will be the most fun to watch the moonbats on though. There are three possible outcomes for this case.

1. Libby is acquitted. The left will go nuts attributing to some sort of conspiracy. Background checks of the jurors will be sought. The media will have problems explaining to the public how although throughout the entire trial they have been predicting conviction Libby walked.

2. Libby is convicted. The left will be demanding Fitz to submitt impeachment referrals. They will demand that Libby is imprisoned before his appeals are through, they will call for John Conyers to start House hearings on the great conspiracy to out a covert agent in a time of war.

3. Hung Jury. The left will be demanding that Fitz retry the case.

In the case of 2 and 3, it will never happen. Fitz is done with this, despite his moonbattery. Any more perjury traps set by this prosecutor will be seen for what they are. The media will not testify to any memories with any conviction. The administration will say they had already been cleared by not being indicted the first time around. And Libby if convicted has nothing to lose but to wait out his time till January 19th, 20009 for the pardon that is sure to arrive.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian