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March 06, 2007

LIBBY VERDICT IN; TO BE ANNOUNCED WITHIN MINUTES
GUILTY ON OBSTRUCTION, PERJURY, LYING TO INVESTIGATORS

Those sound a bit repetitive, but it's what the article says.

...

Guilty on at least one count is my guess.

Although much of this can be chalked up to misremembering, the one thing that's hard to buy as a the product of a poor memory is his insistence that he thought he heard this first from Russert, because the Russert conversation occurred two weeks after he heard it from Dick Cheney.

He squares this circle by saying he first heard it from Cheney, but forgot it, so when he heard it two weeks later from Russert (supposedly), he honestly believed he was hearing it for the first time.

He may have claimed that because he realized he'd made a mistake as to the timing, and didn't want to change his story, because he knew he was dealing with a prosecutor looking to convict him. But whatever his reasons -- I'm sorry, that's just not plausible.

And yes, I still think there was no pretext for Fitzgerald's investigation, that he knew there was no possible crime to be investigated here from day one (forcing him to invent the crime of "conspiracy to violate the Wilsons' civil rights," though he couldn't quite say which rights had been violated), which makes this all a travesty and Libby's lies immaterial as a matter of law.

But the jury will almost certainly hang him on that one implausible statement. They're inclined to convict him, being liberal DC Democrats and all, and I don't see why they'd avoid doing so when even *I* can't explain that one away.

Actually... I guess it is easily explained -- when trying to remember what people told you a year or two ago, it's hard to pin the order down when they're separated by a couple of weeks.

I keep having people mention posts I've written that I have no recollection of, for example. Archaelogist/slut? I had no idea I'd ever written anything like that. Joy McCann of Little Miss Atilla mentioned the photo of "me" naked with a cat that I posted last time I begged people for money; I kept thinking she must be thinking of someone else, as I had never, ever posted such a picture.

But I had.

So: first the appeal, I guess, fighting over whether or not Fitzgerald had the right to impanel a grand jury to investigate a non-crime in the first place; and when that fails (which it will), the sentencing.

As others have suggested; Sandy Berger lied to investigators and destroyed national security documents to prevent them from being seen by the 9/11 Commission. He paid a $50,000 fine, had to do 100 hours of community service or thereabouts, and lost his security clearance for two years or so.

I'd say that should be the maximum sentence for Libby. Maybe about half that.


From The Comments: Figured I'd just paste this into the post.

>>>Libby's crime wasn't in outing Plame, it was in lying to the grand jury.

True. But here Libby was put under oath and forced to testify when NO CRIME HAD CONCEIVABLY BEEN COMMITTED.

Look at it this way: It sure would be nice to put Hillary Clinton under oath, or Dan Rather, or any other figure on the left, and compel them to answer politically embarrassing questions honestly or else face jail time, but prosecutors aren't allowed to just put someone under oath and question them for shits and grins. there has to be an actual crime being investigated. There was none here, and Fitzgerald knew that from the start.

Hence, his claim that he was investigating "a possible conspiracy to violate civil rights," which rights, again, he could not name specifically, because all of the specific laws that could possibly imply a violated civil right were inapplicable.

Whistlelblower law? Doesn't apply. Espionage Act? Doesn't apply. Covert agent protection act? Doesn't apply.

So WHICH civil rights? Apparently none named in the constitution or any statute.

There's no such thing as a general, nonspecific catch-all "civil right." You either have the right from the constittuion, from previous court opinions, or from statutes (either explicitly giving you a civil rights cause of action or, more frequently, "implied" by such a law).

Fitzie couldn't name what law gave Wilson and Plame created this "civil right" to be named later whose violation he was supposedly investigating -- because no such law existed.

Not that this reasoning will persuade an appeals court. But I think it's accurate.


digg this
posted by Ace at 01:05 PM

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