Politics

Scooter in the Clink

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Former Cheney chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby is going to jail for two-and-a-half years "for lying and obstructing the CIA leak investigation."

Details here.

Isn't this right around the time in a second term when this sort of thing happens?

A few months ago, Reason Contributing Editor Mike McMenamin laid into special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Read all about it here.

And in other politician news, Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), he of the $90,000 in the freezer fame, has been indicted on 16 corruption charges. More here.

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  1. And in other politician news, Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), he of the $90,000 in the freezer fame, has been indicted on 16 corruption charges.

    This will make it even harder than it already is for US companies to pay off foreign officials. Not good for the economy.

  2. Prosecuting people for perjury when you can’t get a conviction on the underlying crime is totally bogus.

  3. Mustering… will… to… care… but… can’t…

  4. DAMMIT. joe. The Alger Hiss made me choke on my Grape Nehi. dammit.

    Will Scooter and Paris be cellmates?

    Tank Johnson was just released, so they’ll have to wait a few days ’til the vending machines are full again…

  5. I won’t comment on the rightness or wrongness of this particular case, but it’s nice to know that in the United States of America, a White House guy can still go to the pokey.

    …any talk of the President pardoning him?

    What’s it gonna do–drive down the President’s approval ratings?

  6. I know Bush has gotten away with a lot of bullshit, but his approval ratings are so far down the crapper, I don’t see how a Libby pardon would not send him before an impeachment committee in a Democrat-run legislature.

  7. Libby is going to get the pardon at the same time all of Clinton’s bullet-taking cronies did: the last day of the administration.

    Until then he’s going to get VIP treatment in the minimum security block.

  8. Put me in the group that thinks that, regardless of my disdain for Bush and his cronies, this is nothing more than prosecutorial masturbation.

    I’m glad to see that a White House big wig can go to jail, but not for this, and not by a “special prosecutor.” I’m more frightened that he got the victory than I am happy about Libby going in. When will the power of this extra-judiciary body stop expanding.

  9. He shoulda gone to jail. Anyone named Scooter deserves it (except Phil Rizutto). I mean come on, who names their kid Scooter?

    Speaking of Rizutto, when DiMaggio married Marilyn Monroe, Yogi Berra had this to say, I don’t know if it’s good for baseball, but it sure beats the hell out of rooming with Phil Rizzuto.

  10. > I mean come on, who names their kid Scooter?

    His real name is “I. Lewis”. No one seems to know what the “I” stands for, although there is some suspicion it is just “Irving”.

    Perhaps his parents were twisted Asimov fans.

  11. Until then he’s going to get VIP treatment in the minimum security block.

    Not even that. The sentence will be suspended pending appeal.

  12. my guess is Scooter will never serve time. If his appear runs dry, Bush will pardon him regardless of consequences. Cheney will demand it since it’s all his fault anyway

    re: awfulness of special prosecutors… in general I agree, but they’re not like, running rampant. in highly politicized cases, how do we set up a system where the prosectors ‘play fair’ and are free from outside influence? Id be curious what the options are

    Jefferson will claim racism and demand inquiry into his ‘set up’, then be caught trying to fly to nigeria dressed as a woman

  13. “I mean come on, who names their kid Scooter?”

    Hey, who gives a kid the first name of a city when your last name is already a hotel? “I’m Paris Hilton.” “Oh yeah, and I’m Des Moines Super 8.”

    As for Libby, can anyone coherently describe what it is that he was actually convicted of? That right there sums up what was wrong with that prosecution.

  14. This case and the Martha Stewart case set a really disturbing precident. In both cases, the proscutors could not prove the underlying crime; insider trading for Martha Stewart and the criminal outing of a suburban Virginia soccer mom for Libby. Instead, they prosecuted for “lying to investigators”. In Libby’s case it really came down to his memory of conversations with reporters versus the reporters’ memory of those conversations. In a large complex case, people are always going to have different versions of the events. Further, sometimes you just remember something wrong. If someone contradicts your account, that is enough to charge you. Prosecutors can then extract a deal from you. That is what the whole Martha Stewart case was about. She would never have gone to jail if she just would have plea bargined and given the prosecutors their pound of flesh. Yeah, you can fight the charges and maybe you will win. But if you don’t you are going to prison. Unless you are just a complete Democratic hack ad think anytime someone you don’t like goes to prison it is a good thing, you ought to be disturbed by this.

  15. Hey, who gives a kid the first name of a city when your last name is already a hotel?

    I’ll tell ya who… the guy who can buy my whole family as a tax write-off.

  16. Hey, who gives a kid the first name of a city when your last name is already a hotel? “I’m Paris Hilton

    shallow people often think they can name their kids fancy things and they’ll naturally grow up to fill in that mold, aristocratic and noble… go to any poor neighborhood, black or white, and you’ll be surprised how many people are named like 18th generation hungarian princes.

    anyway, depending how you look at it, Paris is a guys name (http://homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/Paris.html)

    Also, he’s not exactly a bold asskicker like Achilles or Hector. I mean, he keeps shooting people in the *feet*. Pussy

  17. “can anyone coherently describe what it is that he was actually convicted of? ”

    He learned about Plame from Cheney et al., talked about her and named to reporters and, fearing prosecution for those acts, made up a story to make those discussions seem innocuous.

    Also known as “tried to cover his ass by lying, aka perjury.”

    John,

    Why don’t you include the Clinton case in your list?

  18. Neu Mejican,

    If they had tried Clinton and thrown him in jail perhaps. Of course Clinton involved more than recollections and his lie was very pertinent to the case. Clinton was being sued by Paula Jones for sexual harassment. The allegation was that he demanded sex from Jones and when she turned him down her career suffered as a result. During cases like this, the defendant’s entire sex life becomes fair game. The relevant issue is, has the defendant ever demanded sex from anyone else or has he has sex with other coworkers and if so how did those co workers careers compare to those who he didn’t have sex with. One way Paula Jones could have proven her case would have been to show how Clinton was having affairs with employees below him and how he their careers were better for having banged him. Clinton of course was then asked if he was having sex with subordinates and if I am mistaken specifically about Monica Lewinski. He then lied and said no. He clearly lied about a material fact under oath in a civil deposition. That is perjury. Of course Clinton was never indicted or prosecuted for such perjury. Perjurers in civil cases rarely are. Yes, he was impeached, but that is a political issue not a criminal. Congress could have impeached him for wearing a bad tie had they wanted to. So, since Clinton was never criminally prosecuted, nor should he have been, his case is not analogous to Libby.

  19. He learned about Plame from Cheney et al., talked about her and named to reporters and, fearing prosecution for those acts, made up a story to make those discussions seem innocuous.

    Or he made up the story to protect Cheney and / or Rove.

    The upside for Libby in my scenario is that at least he got to see the look of abject terror in the eyes of those two, plus he got to see them beg like gypsy “orphans” in the streets of Paris.

  20. He’ll get a pardon because the reason why he lied to the FBI was, one assumes, to avoid embaressing Cheney. It was an act of political loyalty, and one hand washes the other…also, with his multi-million dollar legal defense fund, he has no money troubles.

  21. God, could Joe really be one of the kooks who still beleives in Hiss’s innocence. Surely not. If so, go back to the 60s Joe. Run!! The world has passed you by.

  22. The upside for Libby in my scenario is that at least he got to see the look of abject terror in the eyes of those two, plus he got to see them beg like gypsy “orphans” in the streets of Paris.

    I doubt that. You don’t get where Rove & Cheney are in politics by leaving your belly exposed. Libby’s sword-falling came about either through promise of reward or threat of exposure.

  23. Didn’t Barbie have a friend named Scooter?
    She was the one in the wheelchair, no?

  24. John,

    I don’t believe in Hiss’s innocence. As a matter of fact, his guilt for the underlying crime is part of the joke that, apparently, zoomed over your head.

    BTW, Clinton paid a five-figure fine and lost his license to practice law for his statements in the Paula Jones case.

  25. JOHN =

    During cases like this, the defendant’s entire sex life becomes fair game

    *Groan*

    Jesus john, just when you had me going for a minute you had to go all hypocritical on me.

    Special prosectors are *baaaad*, *(except when they are not)? Isnt that the same BS you were accusing others of?

    And jesus, you think in “he said/she said” cases, that “the defendant’s entire sex life becomes fair game”?? Even (especially?) when the defendent is the president? Is it really in the national interests to disclose how much poon the man got? Was there any good to come from that s@*& at all? Was there any proof of the ” underlying crime”? (lying-under Bill is indeed a love crime)

    But when it’s a case where politicians put intelligence asset’s lives in jeopardy, knowingly ruin the careers of career intelligence officers, etc, for some short term political goal, oh, thats “no underlying crime” Christ. you’ve clearly got your priorities straight.

  26. “can anyone coherently describe what it is that he was actually convicted of? ”

    He lied to the prosecutor, and the grand jury, when asked if he had discussed Plame with reporters. Because of these lies, the prosecutor was unable to complete his investigation into the underlying crime.

  27. Damn, “Contributing Editor Mike’s” story hasn’t held up very well, has it?

    “Worse, Fitzgerald did this to Miller even though he must have known to a moral certainty that (A) Richard Armitage, Colin Powell’s deputy at the State Department, was Novak’s source; and (B) Plame was not a covert agent within the meaning of the espionage law in question, nor did anyone have reason to think she was.”

    We now have Matt Cooper and Tim Russert’s sworn testimony that Libby outed Plame to them.

    And we now have a CIA report which confirms that Plame was a covert operative, with a protected identity, who had recently served her country overseas under that covert identity.

  28. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18924679/

    Plame was ‘covert’ agent at time of name leak

    Newly released unclassified document details CIA employment

    By Joel Seidman
    Producer
    NBC News
    Updated: 4:24 p.m. ET May 29, 2007

    WASHINGTON – An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame’s employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was “covert” when her name became public in July 2003.

    The summary is part of an attachment to Fitzgerald’s memorandum to the court supporting his recommendation that I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Cheney’s former top aide, spend 2-1/2 to 3 years in prison for obstructing the CIA leak investigation.

    The nature of Plame’s CIA employment never came up in Libby’s perjury and obstruction of justice trial.

    Undercover travel
    The unclassified summary of Plame’s employment with the CIA at the time that syndicated columnist Robert Novak published her name on July 14, 2003 says, “Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for who the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.”

    Plame worked as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations and was assigned to the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) in January 2002 at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

    The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, “engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business.” The report says, “she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times.” When overseas Plame traveled undercover, “sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias — but always using cover — whether official or non-official (NOC) — with no ostensible relationship to the CIA.”

    Criminal prosecution beat national security
    After the Novak column was published and Plame’s identity was widely reported in the media, and according to the document, “the CIA lifted Ms Wilson’s cover” and then “rolled back her cover” effective to the date of the leak.

    The CIA determined, “that the public interest in allowing the criminal prosecution to proceed outweighed the damage to national security that might reasonably be expected from the official disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s employment and cover status.”

  29. Joe, none of that matters. You can only be outed once. Armitrage outed Plame to Novak, and that’s what made it into the paper. It doesn’t matter if Libby told every reporter in town after Armitrage had already spoken to Novak.

  30. Our legal system doesn’t have a “first guy through the door” provision, Fluffy.

    If eight guys take part in robbing a liquor store, every single one of them is guily of robbery.

  31. Nick, you might want to preface the link to the March 3rd article by Mike McMenamin with some sort of disclaimer, given that just about every item he uses in support of his attack on Pat Fitzgerald turned out to be wrong. Or hell, just omit the link altogether.

  32. Our legal system doesn’t have a “first guy through the door” provision, Fluffy.

    joe, doesn’t that contradict the article you cited above?

    Criminal prosecution beat national security
    After the Novak column was published and Plame’s identity was widely reported in the media, and according to the document, “the CIA lifted Ms Wilson’s cover” and then “rolled back her cover” effective to the date of the leak.

    This is one of those cases where I’m more than willing to have my error pointed out to me, but if the CIA “rolled back her cover” effective to the date of the leak (which was by Richard Armitage before Libby spoke to Judith Wilson), wouldn’t Libby be in the clear?

    I ask not because I care one whit for what happens to Libby, but I do care about how our legal system is turning into a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” mentality.

  33. “joe, doesn’t that contradict the article you cited above?”

    Fitzgerald’s report and the testimony in the Libby trial demonstrate that there were other overt acts by other administration officials to blow her cover, before Novak’s column ever ran.

  34. jf,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plame_affair_timeline

    [edit] June 2003
    12 June 2003: During a telephone call, Cheney told Libby that Wilson’s wife worked in Counter Proliferation [178].

    [edit] July 2003
    6 July 2003: Joe Wilson’s Opinion Editorial “What I Didn’t Find in Africa” is published in The New York Times.[32]
    7 July 2003: Colin Powell receives a copy of a 10 June memo naming Valerie Wilson as Joe Wilson’s wife and as a CIA officer, taking it with him on a trip on Air Force One with President Bush. The paragraph identifying Mrs. Wilson is marked “(S-NF),” signfying its information is classified “Secret, Noforn.”[33] Noforn is a code word indicating that the information is not to be shared with foreign nationals.[34] Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Ari Fleischer, Walter H. Kansteiner, III, and Andrew Card are on the trip, among others.
    Sometime before 8 July 2003 Robert Novak has a conversation with Richard Armitage (Deputy Assistant Secretary of State). In that conversation he is told for the first time that Wilson’s wife works for the C.I.A. [Armitage didn’t tell Novak her name; subsequently, after his August 2006 public disclosure that he was the “inadvertent” leak, Armitage has asserted that he did not know her name at the time.] Novak uses an edition of Joseph C. Wilson’s biography in Who’s Who to identify by her maiden name Valerie Plame. According to the reporters Isikoff and Corn, Armitage’s leak was “inadvertent, and the Intelligence Identities Act hadn’t been violated.”[35]
    8 July 2003: Robert Novak has a phone conversation with Karl Rove in which C.I.A. agent Plame is discussed, according to an unnamed source who had been told not to talk about the case. Novak is reported to have told Rove the name of the agent as “Valerie Plame” and her role in Wilson’s mission to Africa. Rove is reported to have told Novak something to the effect of, “I heard that, too.” or “Oh, so you already know about it.” Rove reportedly told the grand jury that at this time he had already heard about Wilson’s wife working for the CIA from another journalist, but is unable to remember who that was.[36]
    8 July 2003: Lewis Libby meets with Judith Miller and tells her about Plame’s work at the CIA. According to Libby’s later grand jury testimony, he told Miller at this meeting that the Niger uranium claim had been a “key judgement” of the October 2002 NIE (still classified at that time), and that Cheney had instructed him to do so. This was false; the Niger claim was not in fact one of the “key judgements” headlined, bolded, and bulleted in the first pages of the intelligence estimate.[37] Later, after testifying to a Federal grand jury in October 2005, Miller will write in the New York Times that on this date (and four days later, on 12 July 2003), Libby “played down the importance of Mr. Wilson’s mission and questioned his performance.”[179]
    circa 10 July 2003-11 July 2003: Novak called Bill Harlowe, then CIA spokesman, to confirm information regarding Plame and Wilson. According to Novak, Harlow denied that Plame “suggested” that Wilson be selected for the trip, and Harlow stated instead that CIA “counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.”[38] According to Harlow, he “warned Novak in the strongest terms he was permitted to use without revealing classified information,” that Wilson’s wife had not authorized the mission and that if Novak did write about it, her name should not be revealed. Harlow said that after Novak’s call, he checked Plame’s status and confirmed that she was an undercover operative. He said he called Novak back to repeat that the story Novak had related to him was wrong and that Plame’s name should not be used. According to Harlow, however, he did not tell Novak directly that Plame was undercover because that information was classified.[39] According to Novak, not only did Harlowe not tell Novak that Plame was undercover, he actually told Novak that “she probably never again would be given a foreign assignment but that exposure of her name might cause ‘difficulties.'” Novak states that if he had been told that disclosure of Plame’s name would endanger her or anyone else, he would not have disclosed the name.[40]
    11 July 2003: According to one source, Novak’s regular syndicated column was allegedly distributed by Creators Syndicate on the newswire AP on this date.[41]
    11 July 2003: Matt Cooper’s internal Time e-mail message bearing the time 11:07 a.m. is sent to his bureau chief, stating: “Spoke to Rove on double super secret background for about two mins before he went on vacation. . . .” Cooper writes that Rove offered him a “big warning” not to “get too far out on Wilson.” According to Cooper, Rove told Cooper that Wilson’s trip had not been authorized by “DCI” – CIA Director George Tenet – or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, “it was, KR said, Wilson’s wife, who apparently works at the agency on WMD issues who authorized the trip.” Rove also told Cooper that, “there’s still plenty to implicate Iraqi interest in acquiring uranium fro[m] Niger”.[42] Cooper would later tell the investigating grand jury that Rove concluded the conversation by saying “I’ve already said too much.”[43]

    12 July 2003: Judith Miller again meets with Scooter Libby. After testifying to a Federal grand jury in October 2005, she will write in the New York Times that on this occasion, as on the occasion of another conversation four days earlier, Libby “played down the importance of Mr. Wilson’s mission and questioned his performance.”
    12 July 2003: Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus says an administration official told him, somewhat off topic, that Joseph Wilson’s wife was a CIA analyst working on weapons of mass destruction and that Wilson’s trip was a “boondoggle.”[47]

  35. Oof, sorry. I didn’t realize it was that long. I even took out some stuff.

    Just read the link.

  36. Just as a pointed reminder: The US government has prosecuted, and I believe actually won, convictions (for espionage, I think) for the leak of classified information that had been in the public domain for quite some time when the leakers “leaked” it.

    Classified information remains classified up and until the classifying agency declassifies it.

    It sounds rather stupid — and often times is, as demonstrated by repeated government attempts to classify things that are in the public record — but the reasoning behind it is sensical enough.

    Sometimes people — or things — get reported, leaked, or exposed in a way in which plausible deniability can be maintained or secondary assets shielded.

    Also, it’s there to prevent people from using cats-paws to “pre-leak” information (that they can then confirm, claiming they honestly thought the damage was already done, so no harm no foul), or — like in this case — to prevent a parade of multiple leakers from trying to confuse the time-line.

    Like everything else in life, it’s something that can be abused — and undoubtably has been abused before and will undoubtably again be abused in the future.

    In this case? I don’t think so. The timeline and uncontested (uncontested even by Libby’s lawyers) facts point to Plame’s name going from classified information to public knowledge via a number of individuals, simulteanously. Of those involved — including those who leaked and those who recieved the leaks — everyone told the same story except two. When facing actual prosecution, one of the two switched his story and the last decided to take his chances on beating the rap.

    Given how difficult it is to obtain actual convictions on perjury, the results speak for themselves.

  37. Sorry to the board for playing the “bait John” card to get a rant out of him…

    So easy.
    So easy.

    CLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTON

  38. joe,

    Actually, I used the same timeline when making my post.

    Sometime before 8 July 2003 Robert Novak has a conversation with Richard Armitage (Deputy Assistant Secretary of State). In that conversation he is told for the first time that Wilson’s wife works for the C.I.A. [Armitage didn’t tell Novak her name; subsequently, after his August 2006 public disclosure that he was the “inadvertent” leak, Armitage has asserted that he did not know her name at the time.] Novak uses an edition of Joseph C. Wilson’s biography in Who’s Who to identify by her maiden name Valerie Plame. According to the reporters Isikoff and Corn, Armitage’s leak was “inadvertent, and the Intelligence Identities Act hadn’t been violated.”[35]
    8 July 2003: Robert Novak has a phone conversation with Karl Rove in which C.I.A. agent Plame is discussed, according to an unnamed source who had been told not to talk about the case. Novak is reported to have told Rove the name of the agent as “Valerie Plame” and her role in Wilson’s mission to Africa. Rove is reported to have told Novak something to the effect of, “I heard that, too.” or “Oh, so you already know about it.” Rove reportedly told the grand jury that at this time he had already heard about Wilson’s wife working for the CIA from another journalist, but is unable to remember who that was.[36]
    8 July 2003: Lewis Libby meets with Judith Miller and tells her about Plame’s work at the CIA. According to Libby’s later grand jury testimony, he told Miller at this meeting that the Niger uranium claim had been a “key judgement” of the October 2002 NIE (still classified at that time), and that Cheney had instructed him to do so.

    The fact remains that the original leak, to which you referred when you stated that “the CIA lifted Ms Wilson’s cover” and then “rolled back her cover” effective to the date of the leak was before the Libby reveal, according to that very timeline. Again, if I’m wrong, cool, but it looks like Libby “leaked” the information after the date to which the CIA “rolled back her cover”, which would make him innocent of the underlying crime.

  39. “He learned about Plame from Cheney et al., talked about her and named to reporters and, fearing prosecution for those acts, made up a story to make those discussions seem innocuous.”

    Which part of that was the crime again? I’m having trouble telling.

    “He lied to the prosecutor, and the grand jury, when asked if he had discussed Plame with reporters. Because of these lies, the prosecutor was unable to complete his investigation into the underlying crime.”

    Although somehow we all now know that it was Richard Armitage who actually leaked her name anyway.

    “And we now have a CIA report which confirms that Plame was a covert operative, with a protected identity, who had recently served her country overseas under that covert identity.”

    Although there’s still some question as to whether that really meets the legal definition of covert, apparently. I don’t know, it’s all angels on pinheads to me, but this “Hey, you know what? She actually WAS covert, we just realized!” thing released two days before sentencing has a definite icthyological smell to it.

  40. It is amazing how little people actually know about history even of a recent variety. Clinton was never accused of lying to the special prosecutor. He was acccused of lying in a civil deposition in the Paula Jones case. Should the President be allowed to be sued in office for torts committed before taking office? I would say no but the Supreme Court ruled otherwise and the Paul Jones case went forward. It was sexual harrassment case and in those cases, your whole fucking sex life is at issue. That sucks and it is unfair, but considering that it was Clinton’s die hard supporters who made the rules that way in the 1980s, there is a little bit of karmic payback there.

    I don’t expect Joe to know anything. He is so fucking stupid he thinks Scooter Libby was convicted of outing Valerie Plame. There is no hope for Joe. But the rest of you, Gilmore and Neu Mexican, don’t have the excuse of being Joe. Wise the fuck up and at least know what happened in the Clinton.

    That said, the Clinton case is not analogous to this. Only a real fanatic like Joe, should nto be disturbed by this. The Libby case is just like the Martha Stewart case. It was high profile target that was prosecuted for after the fact lying to investigators over a crime that could never be proven. That sucks and is an abuse of prosecutorial descretion.

  41. JOhn =

    is it fair to say that both clinton and scooter were taken to task for the same basic issue, which was lying during testimony to courts/federal investigators?

    regardless of your parsing and ad hominems, you havent explained why one case was an egregious misuse of Justice, while the other was ‘fair game’.

    One reason the ‘history’ of the Clinton affair may be so poorly remembered by many may the perfectly legitimate excuse that many didnt really give a fuck and didnt think it was particularly important, particularly compared to the Plame debacle, the root of which was forged evidence that helped take our country into a disasterous war that has no prospect of ending soon. Forgive us all for our disproportionate priorities.

  42. Although somehow we all now know that it was Richard Armitage who actually leaked her name anyway.

    This confuses me. Do you mean to say that it’s only perjury and obstruction if it works 100%? I’m not sure how perjury can even BE a crime, if you can only prosecute it when your lies are believed….

    I’m not sure how this works, really. As best I can tell, Fitzgerald walked into this case and was confronted with evidence that two people were lying, several people were talking, and several reporters were stalling. He got the reporters to talk, saw their stories agreed with the reporters who WERE talking and the White House officials who were talking, and then went to the two liars and started offering them chance after chance to fess up.

    I can’t see how Fitzgerald was unfair or overzealous here — Rove cut a deal at literally the last minute, and all he had to do was testify truthtfully and his previous perjury and obstruction was forgiven. Sure, we all pretended he came up before the Grand Jury for the fourth or fifth time to “clarify” his previous testimony, but we all know what that means…..

    Oh wait! Maybe you’re a firm believer of the notion that if six or seven people start leaking classified information to multiple reporters over a week or so, only the first guy to leak to the first reporter to publish actually broke the law. Which is, frankly, a kind of weird notion.

  43. Oddly enough, I don’t find it “a weird notion” that it’s no longer a crime to talk about something everyone’s talking about already.

    If I tell a secret, I’m breaking a confidence. If I talk about a secret that everybody’s already talking about, am I really breaking a confidence at that point?

  44. John,

    A key phrase from your post…

    “prosecuted for after the fact lying to investigators”

    Also known as perjury. It is a crime in and of itself.

    Perjury: the act or crime of knowingly making a false statement (as about a material matter) while under oath or bound by an affirmation or other officially prescribed declaration that what one says, writes, or claims is true.

    Libby, Stewart were convicted of this act. Seems like “karmic payback” to me.

    CLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTONCLINTON

  45. Mike G,

    See the above comment. Scooter isn’t in trouble for talking about Plame. He’s in trouble for lying under oath to a grand jury.

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