Team Libby Throws Karl Rove Under the Bus in Opening

A huge thanks to Empty Wheel who live-blogged Fitzgerald's and Ted Wells' opening statments this morning over at Firedoglake. Wells will continue his statement this afternoon.

Shorter Version so far: Libby says the White House set him up to take the fall for Karl Rove.

Attorney Theodore Wells, in the opening statements of I. Lewis Libby's perjury trial, said Libby went to Vice President Dick Cheney in 2003 and complained that the White House was subtly blaming him for leaking Valerie Plame's identity to columnist Robert Novak.

''They're trying to set me up. They want me to be the sacrificial lamb,'' Wells said, recalling the conversation between Libby and Cheney. ''I will not be sacrificed so Karl Rove can be protected.''

More below the fold, to be updated throughout the day. Also, if you'd like your own place to discuss the trial, you can use the TalkLeft Libby Forums. Free registration is required as they are on a different part of the TL server than the blog.

The other day I wrote what I expected Wells to say in opening argument.

If Libby's lawyers are to be effective in opening, they will use it to begin convincing the jury that Libby is actually innocent of the crimes charged, that he is a likable human being much like the members of the jury or someone they love, that he sits before them unjustly accused and that convicting him would be a terrible wrong.

According to Marcy (link above), Ted Wells began his opening with:

As you learned a few days ago, my name is Ted Wells. And I speak for Scooter Libby. Scooter Libby is innocent. Totally innocent.

He is an innocent man and he has been wrongly and unfairly accused.

....Scooter Libby is 56 years old. Born August 1950. He's trained as a lawyer. Went to Yale undergrad. Columbia Law School.

"He's been a Scooter since a little boy. Everyone calls him Scooter. He's always been Scooter because he's just moving."

Now, themes and quotable phrases. Marcy writes that Fitz is using:

Describes Libby's interviews with the FBI. Explains Libby had a chance to tell the truth. He is repeatedly saying "the truth would be" and listing who he had a conversation with about Plame and Wilson up on the powerpoint.

The Truth Would Be
The Truth Would Be
The Truth Would Be

...There are eleven "The Truth Would Be" bullets up there, listing Cheney, Grossman, Grenier, Schmall, Martin, Miller, Ari, Miller, Addington, Cooper, Miller.

Update: Atrios suggests we throw a few dollars into the Libby defense fund to help him bury Karl Rove. Yes, he's joking, follow his link.

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    And this (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 23, 2007 at 01:20:19 PM EST
    from digby

    Norah O'Donnell is asking Andy Card and Leon Panetta if the president is going to have to ask Dick Cheney to resign as a result of what's being alleged at the Libby Trial. (They both punted.)

    Wooooo Weeee.....

    Edger (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 23, 2007 at 01:37:27 PM EST
    Speaking of getting to the truth....

    When does Wilson testify??


    This is not about Joseph Wilson's statements (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 23, 2007 at 01:48:06 PM EST
    PPJ, if you have been following the trial, you know that it is not about whether Wilson's criticism of the decision to go to war in Iraq was right or wrong.  It's about whether Scooter Libby lied to investigators and the grand jury.  Please don't change the subject.

    TL (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 23, 2007 at 06:46:28 PM EST
    Sorry, I just couldn't resist matching squeaky's snarky remark with one of my own.

    How about a thread on the subject of Wilson's comments??


    Really (none / 0) (#4)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 23, 2007 at 02:35:28 PM EST
    You might as well ask him to cover his mouth and stop breathing.

    My guess is that the particular weasal species that Rove belongs to dosnt like to be "crossed" and could/would never stop singing if he thought he was going under the bus. Now Libbys doing it.

    Kos (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 23, 2007 at 03:43:31 PM EST
    realigns the perspective here with "Cheney's REALLY bad day":
    No matter which story you choose to believe -- the prosecutors or the defense -- they both paint a bleak picture for the administration. A veritable cornucopia of incompetence. It must be tough being a winger today.

    ...and reminds that: As Digby notes, this will stir the Right Wing Noise Machine into action.

    Which seemes to be starting already at TNR.

    Shredding (none / 0) (#6)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 23, 2007 at 05:02:07 PM EST
    Which seemes to be starting already at TNR.

    The attempted destruction of evidence that Fitz referred to (wiping a note) must refer to when Fitz and co seized the OVP 's computers and retrieved the erased note from one of the hard drives.

    We always suspected that there was some shredding.

    You didn't think.... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 23, 2007 at 05:26:00 PM EST
    this crew consisted of "stand up guys"...did you?

    At the first sign of personal trouble, any member of this admin. would drop more dimes than a laundromat clerk.  And you wouldn't even have to waterboard them into it.

    They're the mafia without the code.

    There is a code: (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 23, 2007 at 05:41:20 PM EST
    Presidential Pardons.

    Josh Marshall gets a take from a republican friend.

    Libby or

    any member of this admin. would drop more dimes than a laundromat clerk

    if they found out that there was no chance of Presidential pardon.

    According to JM's friend the pp is off the table. Seems odd that the chimp would deny scooter a reprieve, but as kdog says these guys have no honor.