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Hullabaloo


Friday, September 30, 2005

 
Fat Lady Clearing Throat, Not Singing

It's kind of painful watching people talk about Libby and Miller this morning on television when it's clear that they are just riffing. Jonathan Alter is a smart guy, but his main talking point (on MSNBC) is whether Fitzgerald will issue a report that "rebukes" Rove and Libby for discussing a CIA employee even though they didn't do anything illegal. He seems to be resigned to the fact that there will be no indictments.

There does seem to be an emerging conventional wisdom (among my commenters at least) that Fitz will not indict. The fact that he doesn't intend to ask Miller about anyone but Libby feels like some sort of capitulation but let's keep in mind that any thoughts we had that he wanted to ask about anyone but Libby were always pure speculation. There was nothing in any of his court filings that indicated he wanted anything other than to question her about one specific person --- Libby. The court issued its contempt order based upon that request alone.

There was never any reason to believe that Fitzgerald wanted to discuss Judy's other sources, only that Judy didn't want to discuss her other sources with Fitzgerald. We may never know what motivated her to become the Martyr of Times Square (Hat tip Billmon.) She's a drama queen of the highest order and probably had a whole list of reasons. But Fitz has said from the beginning that he needed her testimony for one specific purpose and perhaps we snould believe that.

People are also saying that Judy will simply lie. To that I reiterate what I wrote in the post below. She never wrote a story so someone had to have told Fitzgerald that Judy and Libby spoke. Nobody knows who that was. Maybe it was Libby. Maybe it was someone that Libby told. Maybe it was someone Miller told. Judy cannot be sure what Fitzgerald knows or who he talked to. It would be very, very risky for her to lie.

Lifted from the comments down page, here's some intersesting speculation from Emptywheel of The Next Hurrah (one of the best Fitzgerald kremlinologists in the blogosphere) about what Fitz might have and what Judy might bring to the table:

What did Fitz get?

Proof that Libby's notes have been tampered with.

Notes that say WHIG carried out a plot to get Wilson (the conspiracy angle that gets Dick).

The crucial link in the chain of custody of the information.

Why did he agree to avoid other sources?

Because he already has the evidence. Before subpoenaing a journalist, you have to prove the journalist is the only source of the information. Someone else had/has that info for Fitz, so he doesn't need Judy for it. (Although she's going to look stupid in court when someone from the Times gets up and talks about her receiving some stuff from Bolton, but not testifying herself. But looking stupid never seemed to be a problem for her.)


The notes are clearly key:


“One set of documents that prosecutors repeatedly referred to in their meetings with White House aides are extensive notes compiled by I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff and national security adviser. Prosecutors have described the notes as ‘copious.’” [New York Times, 2/10/04]


It would be pretty to think that Judy might have notes that conflict with Libby's about the famous WHIG meeting that Joe Wilson wrote about in his book. That's what people have been waiting for.

For those who would like a quick refresher in who the administration players in this are and how they fit into the story as we know it, here's Think Progress' handy little primer.

(My good buddy Jim Wilkinson doesn't appear, but I have a feeling that he's lurking in this story somewhere too. He was a member of WHIG.)






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