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October 28, 2005

Early Thoughts On Libby Indictment, Fitzgerald

Although my first reaction was a knee-jerk semi-defense of Libby and semi-attack on Fitzgerald, here are some second thoughts. Still tenative, still half-formed:

1) Libby is charged with misrepresenting, multiple times, under oath, the source from which he got the Plame tip. According to Fitzgerald, he repeatedly claimed he just got it from reporters-- under oath. According to Fitzgerald, too, he got the information from government sources, and he thinks he can prove that.

If this is true, then this is genuine perjury, and he's not being charged for merely having a hazy memory.

2) Fitzgerald answered my question regarding why the long investigation without any charges for the underlying crime (if one existed). He says (by analogy and implication) that he could not tell if Libby satisfied the criminal intent requirements of the laws against divulging classified information. (He says he's convinced Plame's status was classified, even if not covert.) Thus, while he seems convinced that Libby committed the "bad acts" of the statute, he cannot ascertain if he had the "bad motive" (crimnal intent, intent to harm the national interest, etc.) so that's why he couldn't bring charges against him on these grounds.

This would in fact be a fact-intensive inquiry, and would justify interviewing the relevant witnesses. So, if we take this as true, then Fitzgerald did not act in a partisan or overzealous manner by conducting this long, long, long grand jury inquiry.

So, as of the moment -- and again, assuming Fitzgerald is being straight with us -- Fitzgerald acted responsibily and Libby did commit some very stupid criminal perjuries, for which he should resign and be prosecuted.

I hope he can reach a deal; I don't really want to see him behind bars for a lengthy jail sentence, but, again assuming that Fitzgerald is being straight with us, he did commit the crimes he's charged with and must leave the government.

The Berger Precedent: Why is it that Democrats are offered sweetheart deals for serious, proveable breaches of national security, and Republicans are threatened with thirty years in the clink for perjury?

The Warden notes Libby should be offered...

A plea bargain, $50,000 in fines and removal of his security clearance for 3 years, just like Berger got. I'm sure this will be ok with the lefties, as they seemed satisfied w/Berger's sentence.

Won't happen. It's a Republican. Democrats get very generous benefits of the doubts, Republicans get the slammer.

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posted by Ace at 03:47 PM

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