Who Got Immunity in Scooter Libby Trial?

There has been a dearth of reporting on who got deals in the Scooter Libby case. Who agreed to testify for the Government only with the assurance that they wouldn't be charged with a crime? Similarly, who, if anyone, copped a plea to a minor or lesser charge in exchange for testifying against Libby.

Why do I think there's at least an immunized witness? First, there almost always is in cases like this. Second, Patrick Fitzgerald says as much in his Response to Libby's tendered jury instructions:

The government proposed that the Court give 15 additional D.C. Form Instructions: .... 2.23 (Testimony of Immunized Witness) (if applicable);

I think the "if applicable" part means Fitz may or may not call an immunized witness, but if no one had been granted immunity, there'd be no need to ask that this instruction potentially be given to the jury.

I speculated in the WAPO live chat yesterday it was former Cheney press aide Cathie Martin, who was on the July 12 plane ride to Norfolk, VA. I'm still convinced that plane ride, with Cheney, Libby and Cathie Martin on board discussing Joseph Wilson, is a big issue in the Scooter Libby trial. It was after that plane ride that Time Reporter Matthew Cooper got a phone call from Libby, the contents of which are in disagreement.

Other possibilities, in my mind, include Ari Fleischer, Marc Grossman and John Hannah.

As to the instruction, it reads:


[Instruction 2.225 in 1978 Edition]

You have heard evidence that [name of witness] has received immunity. What this means is that the testimony of the witness may not be used against him/her in any criminal case. You should consider whether such testimony may be colored in such a way as to further the witness' own interest, for a witness who realizes that s/he may [obtain his/her own freedom] [receive a benefit] [avoid prosecution] by incriminating another may have a motive to lie. However, you may also consider that the witness is under the same obligation to tell the truth as is any other witness, because the grant of immunity does not protect him/her against a prosecution for perjury or false statement, should s/he lie under oath.

The testimony of a witness as to whom immunity has been granted should be received with caution and scrutinized with care. You should give the testimony such weight as in your judgment it is fairly entitled to receive.

So, calling all Plame-iacs and others out there, who do you think got immunity?

From Fitz's April 5 filing, Response to Libby's Third Motion to Compel Discovery in which he says Libby acknowledged being asked by Cheney to publicly refute Joseph Wilson's op-ed to the media on that date when normally it would have been Cathie Martin's job to do that:

...Defendant further testified that on July 12, 2003, he was specifically directed by the Vice President to speak to the press in place of Cathie Martin (then the communications person for the Vice President) regarding the NIE and Wilson. Defendant was instructed to provide what was for him an extremely rare "on the record" statement, and to provide "background" and "deep background" statements, and to provide information contained in a document defendant understood to be the cable authored by Mr. Wilson.

Cheney and Libby were on the plane. It was likely after the plane returned to Washington that Libby returned a call to Matthew Cooper and again spoke with Judith Miller, and in both conversations, not only discussed Joseph Wilson but allegedly mentioned Valerie Wilson and her role in sending her husband to Niger. Cooper describes his version of the conversation, which occurred at 3:00 pm, in the Nov. 17, 2005 issue of Time. Fitz describes the importance of the conversations with Cooper and Miller in his April 5 filing:

During the conversations that followed on July 12, defendant discussed Ms. Wilson's employment with both Matthew Cooper (for the first time) and Judith Miller (for the third time). Even if someone else in some other agency thought that the controversy about Mr. Wilson and/or his wife was a trifle, that person's state of mind would be irrelevant to the importance and focus defendant placed on the matter and the importance he attached to the surrounding conversations he was directed to engage in by the Vice President.

It seems to me Cathie Martin could be a good witness for Fitz to affirm that the matter was of such importance to Cheney and Libby that she was bypassed in favor of Libby being the one instructed to call reporters and discuss Wilson and/or his wife.

As to why she would need immunity, I sure would have demanded it before allowing my client to testify if he or she were that close to a conspiracy investigation. The Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination is in the Bill of Rights for a reason.

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    Immunized Witness (none / 0) (#1)
    by Fredo on Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 03:45:12 PM EST
    You must not have been paying attention.  Jason Leopold, and the stupe Larry Johnson confirmed, months ago, that Rove had been indicted on May 13 of last year and has been cooperating with Fitz in the effort to bring down Cheney.  Everyone with any sense of the Left knows this to be true, and indeed neither of the dunces mentioned above has retracted it.  Expect Rove to be the surprise, immunized witness who blows the lid off the whole thing.  "We wanted to destroy Wilson!  We were enraged at his wife!  We would stop at nothing--nothing, I tell you!--to ruin this horrible pair!  Oh God please forgive me!  The whole Administration I once believed in has been a sham!"

    You heard it from Fredo first.  Actually, I guess you heard it from Jason Leopold and Larry Johnson, but Fredo has now put the first appropriate gloss on it.

    Remember the "twenty-two imminent indictments?"  Oh, what happy days!