A few weeks ago Lewis "Scooter" Libby notified the court it would seek to introduce the testimony of a memory expert at trial. In March, Harvard psychology professor Daniel L. Schacter told NBC News he was Libby's expert, which a member of Team Libby confirmed.
Yesterday, Libby filed his "Rule 702" advisement of the proposed expert's testimony and the bases and reasons for it. The expert is not Dr. Schacter but Robert Bjork from UCLA. The New York Sun has more.
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Lewis "Scooter" Libby's lawyers have notified the Court and Patrick Fitzgerald that they intend to call a memory expert at Libby's trial. While it's long been known they intended to rely on a memory defense and that they have been consulting with a pre-eminent memory expert, they were mum on whether they would call an expert at trial.
In their July 17 filing (pdf), Libby's lawers said they have provided the expert's name and qualifications to Fitzgerald. They sought (and received) an extension until July 31 to outline the specific details of the expert's testimony and to file a motion requesting the admission of the expert's testimony at trial.
Libby has long maintained that memory lapses were the cause of any misstatements in his grand jury testimony and interviews with FBI agents. He says that he was too preoccupied with important national security matters to remember the details of his conversations with FBI investigators, the grand jury and reporters about Valerie Plame Wilson.
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Truthout has posted the transcript (pdf) of the May 16 Scooter Libby hearing. Jason Leopold points out the new details, primarily, that Libby's lawyers seem to suggest Miller may have discussed Joseph Wilson's wife before June 23.
According to a May 16, 2006, court transcript obtained by Truthout, Libby attorney William Jeffress told US District Court judge Reggie B. Walton that redacted versions of Miller's notebooks turned over to the defense during the discovery phase of the Libby criminal proceedings show that "Ms. Miller was investigating and focusing on [former Ambassador Joseph] Wilson before the very first time that she met with Mr. Libby, that is before June 23, 2003."
"There are numerous entries throughout those notebooks to 'V.F.,' or 'Victoria Wilson,' or to 'Valerie Wilson,' all of which indicate that she [Miller] is talking to someone else about Mr. Wilson's wife," Jeffress said, according to a copy of the 128-page transcript. "What she learned and when she learned it about Mr. Wilson's wife is extremely - it is right at the heart of this case."
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VP Dick Cheney told CNN he may be a witness at the Scooter Libby trial.
Libby is "one of the finest men I've ever known," Cheney said, then declined further comment. "I may be called as a witness."
There's a lot of discussion about Cheney in this May 5 Libby hearing transcript.
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Is this enough to make you sick, or what? I take it with a grain of salt, since Joe DiGenova seems to be the one pushing it.
To put this out in the media through DiGenova now, Team Libby (the p.r. team, not the lawyers) is either testing the waters or hoping to demoralize Team Fitz by making them wonder if Libby's prosecution is all for naught.
One thing I agree with: If the Dems take the House and Senate in the 2006 midterm elections, a pardon before his last day in office may be too dangerous for Bush -- it could have severe adverse consequences for the Republicans in 2008.
If you have any doubts about DiGenova's rooting for Libby, check out Libby's website, which touts these quotes by DiGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing:
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There will be a status conference Monday (pfd) in the Scooter Libby trial.
On a related note, in addition to partially granting and denying Libby's motion to compel discovery on June 2, the Court issued an order on classified information. It ruled that by June 9, the Government must turn over substitutes of these classified documents:
(1) The government shall provide to the defense by June 9, 2006, the proposed substitution recounting Valerie Plame Wilson's employment history with the Central Intelligence Agency from January 1, 2002, and thereafter.
(2) The government shall provide to the defense by June 9, 2006, the proposed substitution discussing potential damage (if any) caused by the alleged disclosure
of Valerie Plame Wilson's affiliation with the Central Intelligence Agency.
(3) The government shall, as requested, provide to the defense by June 9, 2006, the true names of three individuals whose identities were redacted from classified documents previously made available to the defense, and shall identify for the
defense the specific documents and locations within those documents where those
names should be inserted.
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The Wall St. Journal (free link) assails Fitzgerald and backs Scooter Libby today.
There is all the difference in the world between seeking to respond to the substance of Mr. Wilson's charges, as Mr. Libby did, and taking revenge on him by blowing his wife's cover, which was the motive originally hypothesized by Bush critics for the Plame exposure. The more of Mr. Fitzgerald's case that becomes public, the more it looks like he has made the terrible mistake for a prosecutor of taking Joe Wilson's side in what was essentially a political fight.
Christy at Firedoglake responds. And check out the perfect photo for her post.
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The Judge in the Scooter Libby case has ruled on Libby's discovery motion seeking a wide array of documents. All of Libby's requests were denied except one. Tim Grieves at Salon provides his usual lucid and correct analysis. Tom Maguire hosts the Court Order here, and offers his analysis is here.
From the Court's ruling.
...the only question the jury will be asked to resolve in this matter will be whether the defendant intentionally lied when he testified before the grand jury and spoke with FBI agents about statements he purportedly made to the three news reporters concerning Ms. Wilson's employment. The prosecution of this action, therefore, involves a discrete cast of characters and events, and this Court will not permit it to become a forum for debating the accuracy of Ambassador Wilson's statements, the propriety of the Iraq war or related matters leading up to the war, as those events are not the basis for the charged offenses. At best, these events have merely an abstract relationship to the charged offenses.1
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Did Matt Cooper change a material or a trivial detail of his Time Magazine article about meeting with Scooter Libby? Judge Walton today issued a 40 page opinion (text of opinion here (pdf), thanks to Tom Maguire) in which he ordered Time to turn over earlier drafts of his article to Libby. Walton has been reviewing in camera the materials Libby subpoenaed from Cooper, Judith Miller, Andrea Mitchell and other NBC reporters.
Walton said Time magazine must turn over drafts of first-person stories that reporter Matthew Cooper wrote about his conversations with Libby because the judge found inconsistencies between them..... Walton said, he found "a slight alteration between the several drafts of the articles" Cooper wrote about his conversations with Libby and the reporter's first-person account of his testimony before a federal grand jury.
"This slight alteration between the drafts will permit the defendant to impeach Cooper, regardless of the substance of his trial testimony, because his trial testimony cannot be consistent with both versions," Walton wrote.
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An AP report of tonight's filing is here, with a headline that Cheney may be called as a witness in Libby's trial. What Fitzgerald really said is, with respect to the issue of authenticating the copy of Joseph Wilson's July 6 New York Times op-ed with Cheney's hand-written notes on it (discussed here) that there are three ways to authenticate the article, one of which would be by calling Cheney as a witness. Fitz adds:
Contrary to defendant's assertion, the government has not represented that it does not intend to call the Vice President as a witness at trial. To the best of government's counsel's recollection, the government has not commented on whether it intends to call the Vice President as a witness.
Fitzgerald is clearly gung-ho to introduce Cheney's hand-annotated copy of Wilson's column into evidence at trial. Cheney had written on the article:
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The New York Daily News is reporting that former CIA official Robert Grenier has been disclosed in pleadings by Team Libby to be the unnamed CIA official who allegedly told Libby on June 10 that Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame Wilson,worked for the C.I.A. and had a role in sending her husband to Niger to check on the uranium claim.
Jason Leopold reported this on March 18.
In Friday's filing, Libby's attorneys attempted to push the blame for the leak onto other officials at the CIA and the State Department and said these officials will likely be called to testify at next year's criminal trial. In doing so, the attorneys disclosed in the 39-page document the identities of four CIA employees who possibly provided their client with information about Plame Wilson's work for the CIA.
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Team Libby has filed yet another memorandum (pdf) in support of his requests for documents pertaining to potential trial witnesses and others.
Libby begins by noting:
So far, the defense has identified by name the following current and former government officials as potential defense witnesses: (1) Richard Armitage; (2) Colin Powell; (3) Stephen Hadley; (4) Bill Harlow; (5) Karl Rove; (6) Joseph Wilson; and (7) Valerie Wilson. See Mot. at 15-16. All of these persons were discussed by Mr.
Libby during his grand jury testimony.
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I've only skimmed them, so I'll be back later with some thoughts. In the meantime, feel free to weigh in, or for analysis, check in with Empty Wheel.
Related: Jane at FDL has a new Karl Rove timeline.
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Judge Reggie Walton today denied Scooter Libby's motion to dismiss the indictment based on a claim that Patrick Fitzgerald's appointment was constitutionally and statutorily improper. Tom Maguire has the 31 page ruling.
No suprise on this one.
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