Libby's Grand Jury Testimony

Seven hours of Scooter Libby's grand jury testimony is now being played for the jury. Swopa is live-blogging over at Firedoglake.

Fitzgerald filed transcripts of these 20 pages (pdf) of his testimony as an exhibit in May, 2006. His argument to go along with the transcripts is here.

Start with page 4 and the section, "The Annotated Wilson Op Ed is Relevant to Establish that Defendant’s Immediate Superior Was Concerned that Mr. Wilson Was Sent on a Junket by his Wife, and Communicated His Concern to Defendant."

Fitz will use this section as context for Russert being his closing witness, after the tape playing is finished. Fitz writes Libby told the grand jury

During his second grand jury appearance on March 24, 2004, defendant reaffirmed that he discussed the issue of Mr. Wilson’s wife’s employment with the Vice President. (March 24, 2004,Grand Jury Transcript at 83-84 and 86-91, copies of which are annexed as Exhibits B and C.) Specifically, defendant testified that the Vice President “at times” expressed suspicion regarding why Mr. Wilson was selected to go on the mission, in light of Mr. Wilson’s marital relationship, and made comments about Mr. Wilson’s wife working at the CIA. Ex. B at 83.

Defendant placed these conversations in “late July, maybe September,” and in any event not before defendant’s conversation with Tim Russert. Id. at 83-84. Defendant testified that of the issues addressed in the Vice President’s annotations of the Wilson Op Ed that were discussed, only the discussion about Mr. Wilson’s wife “might not have occurred” during the week of July 7, 2003. Ex. C at 91. Defendant also testified that he was unsure whether he and the Vice President discussed Ms. Wilson’s employment aboard Air Force Two on July 12, 2003, although he did not recall doing so. Ex. B at 84.

Defendant’s testimony discussed above makes clear that defendant talked to the Vice President multiple times about the Wilson Op Ed and that, during one or more of these conversations, the Vice President discussed with defendant issues noted in the Vice President’s handwritten annotations – including the issue of Mr. Wilson’s wife’s employment at the CIA.

The fact that comments regarding Wilson’s wife were included among the Vice President’s annotations also supports the proposition that defendant’s conversation with the Vice President regarding Mr. Wilson’s wife more likely than not occurred shortly after the publication of the Wilson Op Ed, rather than later, as defendant claimed.(5)

(5) To be clear, the government’s argument is not (as the defendant claims) that it is more likely that the Vice President discussed these issues with defendant merely because he wrote them down but, rather that, in light of the Vice President’s annotation of the Wilson Op Ed with the words, “Did Wilson’s wife send him on a junket?,” it is unlikely that, as defendant testified, the issue was not discussed in defendant’s repeated conversations with the Vice President during the week following the Wilson Op Ed’s publication.

Evidence placing defendant’s conversation with the Vice President shortly after the publication of the Wilson Op Ed also corroborates the accounts of a number of government witnesses who will testify that defendant discussed Mr. Wilson’s wife on or before July 8, 2003. Thus, the annotated Wilson Op Ed is highly, and uniquely, relevant to a determination regarding the truthfulness of defendant’s testimony that he did not recall information regarding Mr. Wilson’s wife’s employment prior to his conversation with Tim Russert on July 11, 2003.

Fitz says the grand jury testimony is a double whammy for Libby -- shows he did recall talking about Valerie Wilson's CIA employment with Cheney prior to the July 14 publication of Novak's column, and that he lied when he said he was surprised to hear it from Russert on July 11. Russert maintains they never discussed Wilson's wife during that conversation, and he first learned of her CIA employment from Novak's column.

Libby has argued that when he testified to the grand jury he forgot he first learned about Mrs. Wilson from Cheney, and that when he heard it from Russert, it was as if he was relearning it for the first time.

(larger version here)

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  • Display: Sort:
    Poor Swopa (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 04:08:40 PM EST
    Doesn't seem to be much point typing a paraphrase of the transcript as it is already available. Although it will get her typing chops in great shape for Russert and the defense.

    Transcripts Not Available Today (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 04:47:17 PM EST
    Just in from the Gov't:

    The audio of Libby's grand jury testimony, the grand jury transcripts and the exhibits used in the grand jury will be made available only after the grand jury evidence has been published to the jury in its entirety.  It appears that the presentation of this evidence will fill the day on Tuesday and that Mr. Russert will be called to testify on Wednesday.  

    Makes sense (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 04:53:07 PM EST
    I misread this:
    Fitzgerald filed transcripts of these 20 pages  (pdf) of his testimony as an exhibit in May, 2006. His argument to go along with the transcripts is here.

    and thought the transcripts were already available.

    Thanks for the correction.

    Weird (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Mon Feb 05, 2007 at 05:21:17 PM EST
    F: Is it safe to say you have your own shorthand?

    L: Yes, my apologies:

    F: You are SL?

    L: Yes.

    F: The Vice President is this Y with a line over it?

    L: Yes.

    Too bad Fitz didn't ask him how he came up with that.