The Defense Rests

Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake, Marcy Wheeler of The Next Hurrah who has been live-blogging this week at Firedoglake and I discuss the day in court and whether Fitz proved his case or Wells succeeded with his defense strategy.

I had a great week covering the trial for Huffington Post and I'll be flying home to Denver and my day job in the morning. I'll fly back to DC Monday to live blog closing arguments on Tuesday.

This has been one of the best blogging experiences yet. Why? Because bloggers bond. As you can probably tell from the week of Politics TV videos, Jane Hamsher, Marcy Wheeler and I got along famously. We don't compete, we complement and support each other and we share our knowledge. It's all about adding another dimension to the reporting.

Firedoglake has made an amazing contribution to the Libby trial reporting, as the New York Times documents today.

I also was impressed with the MSM reporters. I'm going to miss sitting next to Carole Leonnig of the Washington Post every day, chatting with David Corn as if I've known him forever, comparing Judge Matsch in McVeigh to Judge Walton in Libby with USA Today's Richard Willing; giving a big hug to NBC's Kelly O'Donnell whom I hadn't seen since the McVeigh trial and who is one of my all time favorite reporters; doing Reliable Sources with Newsweek's Michael Isikoff and Slate's John Dickerson; listening to NY Times reporters Neil Lewis and David Stout and the AP's Matt Apuzzo opine on the trial; and sharing thoughts with MSNBC's David Shuster.

I don't mean to leave anyone out, but being with these powerhouse reporters in the media room during the trial was like spending a week with the country's top criminal defense lawyers. I learned a lot from them and was flattered when they asked my opinion on a legal issue. There was a give and take in the media room and bloggers were not the enemy.

I'm looking forward to returning to D.C. for closing arguments. If you missed last night's Politics TV segment, here it is:

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    Sure, there's motive. (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Feb 15, 2007 at 08:00:01 AM EST

      However, (and let me make a caveat up front, it is always of limited value to opine when one has the limited sencond hand info I have), one thing that appears to be missing from the prosecution case based on the accounts I have read is  ther impression that this was about something hugley important and that the stakes were high for Libby.

      Maybe it simply got glossed over in the reporting but nowhere do I get the sense that the prosecution ever made the case that at the very least political fortunes and personal careers hung in the balance and this is all very important.

      If that is true and the jury does not perceive this as being a matter of vital importance, an acquittal becomes much more likely.

     The prosecutions's case, as I received it indirectly, seemed to trivialize the whole affair as much as one would have expected the defense to do. It all just sounded like a bunch of sheltered and self-important people gossipping and quibbling in a manner no different than the crap that takes place in every office (or junior high) in the country.

      I have no prediction but I was very surprised that the effort to exalt the importance of what the investigation was really about was made and why lying during it meant something.


    too early (none / 0) (#7)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Feb 15, 2007 at 08:20:48 AM EST
     My first post is nearly unitelligible. sorry.

      I meant to conclude with, I was surprised that the prosecution did not seem to make a strong effort to exalt the importance of what was being investigated and why lying during it was very important.


    Motive (none / 0) (#1)
    by cmpnwtr on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 10:30:00 PM EST
    Your focusing on the lack of convincing evidence around motive for Libby is prominent in this wonderful video summary. I wonder if this is something that Fitz can strengthen in his closing argument. If nothing else, to say that Scooter Libby was protecting his boss and the office of VP and therefore himself.

    Motive (none / 0) (#5)
    by MiddleOfTheRoad on Thu Feb 15, 2007 at 07:40:02 AM EST
    There was a government investigation investigating leaks about Plame to reporters.  Cheney and Libby were neck deep into obtaining info on Plame.  Libby talked to reporters about Plame.

    How can that possibly NOT be a motive for Libby to lie?


    Timing (none / 0) (#2)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 11:03:07 PM EST
    You state that Wells got the actual government witness testimony on December 20th. But the trial didn't start until last month. So why was Wells allowing (?feeding) the speculation about whether Libby and/or Cheney would testify to continue?

    lookin' good (none / 0) (#3)
    by skippybkroo on Thu Feb 15, 2007 at 01:12:32 AM EST
    jeralyn, i must say you look great w/jane and marcy, much better than when you're with sean and scarborough

    great job on the libby coverage.

    nom-de-blog (none / 0) (#4)
    by ding7777 on Thu Feb 15, 2007 at 05:56:40 AM EST
    Ms. Wheeler, a business consultant from Michigan who writes under the nom-de-blog "emptywheel,"

    now that's funny!

    significant? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Feb 15, 2007 at 09:29:49 AM EST
      The jurors celebrated Valentine's Day by wearing matching shirts and thanking everyone.


    except for one (4.00 / 1) (#9)
    by MiddleOfTheRoad on Thu Feb 15, 2007 at 09:38:58 AM EST
    Except for one who did not wear the shirt.  I don't think this has anything to do with the case.