Libby Pleading Lists Likely Trial Witnesses

In Scooter "Lewis" Libby's latest motion for discovery (pdf), Team Libby names the witnesses it expects the Government to call at his trial. Note that this is not an official witness list, but an attempt by Libby to provide grounds for the Judge to order documents concerning them to be produced to the defense. The AP lists them as:

  • Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of state.
  • Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary.
  • Marc Grossman, former undersecretary of state for political affairs.
  • Colin Powell, the former secretary of state.
  • Karl Rove, the deputy White House chief of staff.
  • George Tenet, the former CIA director.
  • Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador.
  • Valerie Plame Wilson.
  • Stephen Hadley

  • CIA briefer Craig Schmall, Peter Clement or Matt Barrett
  • Senior CIA official Robert Grenier or John McLaughlin
  • Former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow.

Also named as likely Government witnesses in the Libby pleading:

  • David Addington
  • Catherine Martin
  • Vice President Dick Cheney

Other items of interest in the pleading:

  • On Colin Powell, the defense is seeking:

Any notes from the September 2003 meeting in the Situation Room at which Colin Powell is reported to have said that (a) everyone knows that Mr. Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and that (b) it was Mr. Wilson's wife who suggested that the CIA send her husband on a mission to Niger.

  • Marc Grossman is described as "a critical witness for the Government" and one who may not be a "disinterested witness.

This week, Vanity Fair, the Washington Post and The New York Times, as well as other media outlets, reported that Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State, told Bob Woodward of the Washington Post that Ms. Wilson worked for the CIA. There has been media speculation that Mr. Woodward's source and Mr. Novak's source are the same person. If the facts ultimately show that Mr. Armitage or someone else from the State Department was also Mr. Novak's primary source, then the State Department (and certainly not Mr. Libby) bears responsibility for the "leak" that led to the public disclosure of Ms. Wilson's CIA identity. Mr. Grossman worked closely with Mr. Armitage, who was then the second-highest ranking official in the State Department. If Mr. Armitage or another State Department official was in fact the primary source for Mr. Novak's article, Mr. Grossman's testimony may be colored by either his personal relationship with Mr. Armitage or his concern for the institutional interests of the State Department.

  • On Ari Fleischer, who Libby suspects or knows may have cooperated with Fitz in exchange for immunity:

If the press reports are correct,and Mr. Fleischer disclosed information concerning Ms. Wilson to reporters, he himself may have been a subject of Mr. Fitzgerald's investigation....Additional information about Mr. Fleischer's role in this case is contained in a February 2, 2006 Letter from Patrick J. Fitzgerald to John D. Cline, et al., filed under seal as Exhibit H.

  • Karl Rove will be a "key witness" at trial who might be called by either side.
  • Libby wants to introduce evidence that he had no motive to lie.

First, Mr. Libby had no intent to lie because he did not believe that Ms. Wilson's employment status was classified. Second, Mr. Libby was not part of a conspiracy to harm Mr. Wilson by disclosing his wife's CIA affiliation and thus had no reason to cover up such involvement. Third, Mr. Libby did not believe anyone who worked closely with him had done anything wrong and thus had no motive to lie to protect anyone else.

  • On Robert Novak's source:

The primary source for Mr. Novak's article is an official from outside the White House.

  • The Government has told Libby that at trial,:

...it plans to focus on Mr. Libby's disclosure of certain portions of the NIE to Judith Miller, as discussed in Mr. Libby's grand jury testimony.

Several exhibits are attached to the motion, consisting of news articles and Fitz's January 23 correspondence to Libby's lawyers, which is a duplicate of the one attached to his earlier January 31 pleading. All have been dissected many times by bloggers following the Valerie Plame leak investigation.

Update: Other good reads on this: Jason Leopold at Truthout; Larissa at Raw Story; Tom Maguire at JustOneMinute.

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    Re: Libby Pleading Lists Likely Trial Witnesses (none / 0) (#1)
    by superskepticalman on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 04:12:15 AM EST
    The sad thing is that Libby will probably be able to use these endorsements to get information of some use to his defense, if not get some or all of the witnesses actually on the stand, while the Abu Ghraib defendants got squat for trying to bring in their own culpable superiors at their courts-martial.

    Re: Libby Pleading Lists Likely Trial Witnesses (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 07:23:58 AM EST
    I see a pardon coming on.