Libby Verdict : Guilty of Four Counts

Guilty on count 1 - Obstruction
Guilty on count 2 - False Statement, Russert/>
Not Guilty on count 3 - False Statement, Cooper
Guilty on Count 4 - Perjury
Guilty on Count 5 - Perjury

Update: The transcript of my Washington Post live-chat on the verdict is here. I've also done a bunch of radio interviews today. I'm about to start one with Michael Signorile on Sirius and at 6:30 ET with Air America (Rachel Maddow) and after that, KTSA in San Antonio with Jack Riccardi. (Thanks to CBS radio Los Angeles for having me on twice today and also Denver's Caplis and Silverman on KHOW radio.)

Update: Dennis Collins, juror. "I am not excited to be here," but because he was a reporter for years, he felt he should speak. Will talk about the evidence. The primary thing that convinced us on most counts was the alleged conversation with Russert. It was either false, or if it did happen, Mr. Libby saying he was surprised to hear about Mrs. Wilson didn't add up. We had lots of post-it notes, we took a week just to get these building blocks, and we came up with that Mr. Libby was told about Mrs. Wilson 9 times. Mr. Hannah's testimony was contradictory on Libby's memory. References Marc Grossman's testimony and Vice-President Cheney's notes.

Partial video of juror's news conference is here.

More below the fold:

There was a lot of sympathy on the jury for Libby. What are we doing with him? Where's Rove, where's these other guys? It seemed like as Wells said, he was the fall guy. The jury believed he was tasked by the Vice President to talk to reporters. We never discussed what Cheney would have told him to say.

Was he covering for the VP? We didn't discuss it because it wasn't in front of us. Opinion had very little to do with it, the facts were right in front of us. We took every count and went back over all the testimony, we reviewed motive, believability, state of mind.

We didn't do a straw vote right away. There was too much. Re: Cooper. There was confusion by someone about whether the truth of the statement was the point or whether the issue was whether he had said that. (note: someone, not some people, indicating one juror.)

The Cooper false statement count: His version vs. Mr. Libby's version. The evidence that he had said "I heard that too" was not in his story that day. He had nothing in his notes about it. They had a reasonable doubt about how he typed the sentence.

He thought Tim Russert was very credible.

The vote was 11 to 0. (Later he says, 9 to 2 on Cooper count at first.)

Some jurors felt sympathetic towards Judith Miller. They thought she seemed nice and got "ragged on."

Fitzgerald is at the microphone: The results are sad. We wish it didn't happen but it did. Thanks everyone. They are gratified by the jury's verdict. He's taking questions. No responsible prosecutor would have walked away from charging Libby. It was clear Libby lied about learning about Mrs. Wilson from Tim Russert Any lie under oath is serious. We cannot tolerate perjury. The truth is what drives the judicial system.

We don't talk about people not on trial. He won't talk about the Vice-President. Mr. Libby did not tell the truth. He harmed the system.

Now he's asked about his closing statement at trial saying there is a cloud over the White House. He won't amplify.

Is the investigation over? He doesn't expect to file further charges. We're all going back to our day jobs.

[Partial video of Fitgerald's video is here.]

Ted Wells is speaking: We are disappointed in the jury's verdict. This jury deliberated for approximately ten days. Despite our disappointment in the verdict, we believe in the American justice system and the jury system. We will file a motion for a new trial and if that is denied, we will appeal. We have every confidence Libby will be vindicated. We said at the time of the indictment that he is innocent and did not do anything wrong. We will keep fighting.

Update: There may be comments by jurors and the White House or Vice President's office will have comments in a few minutes.

Update: Sentencing is June 5. Libby is released on bail. Stay tuned for press conferences, if there are any .

End of live blogging. If you have questions, you can submit them at the WaPo live chat I'll be doing in 45 minutes.


The jury has a verdict. It will be read at noon. I will be live-blogging it here and at Huffington Post, and then doing a live chat at 2PM ET for the Washington Post.

Any minute now the verdict will be in. The parties are in the courtroom. Just to recap:

Count 1: Obstruction of Justice

Counts 2 and 3: False Statements to FBI Investigators in fall of 2003

Counts 4 and 5: Perjury to Grand Jury in March, 2004

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  • Display: Sort:
    Anticipation (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Edger on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:09:21 AM EST
    I was going to try to get some work done today...

    Let the spinning begin (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by sphealey on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:19:45 AM EST
    I imagine the counter-blogging center had talking points ready for all possible combinations of verdict, so I imagine the Radical Right will be here and all the other liberal blogs with 10 minutes explaining why this was a travesty of justice, is certain to be overturned on appeal, and how the entire process has defamed a "good man".


    WOO-HOO (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by profmarcus on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:20:51 AM EST
    Good. That's one down (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Edger on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:29:28 AM EST
    and how many to go? How about going after Gonzales now?

    Justice (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:31:32 AM EST
    Hard to believe. Someone pinch me.

    Jesus (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Edger on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:51:59 AM EST
    Cheney could have a stroke over this.

    It's a big day on the Hill (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:31:40 AM EST
    Between the Judiciary hearings and Scoot.

    Sentencing Guidelines? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by magster on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:31:54 AM EST
    What's the range? Upward deviation for abuse of public trust?  I haven't practiced Fed Crim Law for many years, so I come to TalkLeft.

    Answer to my own question (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by magster on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:52:11 AM EST
    Courtesy of Wash Post and Thinkprogress.  18-36 months.

    Question re appeal (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by rb6 on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:38:53 AM EST
    I thought that the appeals period was jurisdictional -- you have 10 days to file an appeal from an order of judgment or you waive it.  Is that just for civil cases?  How can this judge extend that period?  Does anybody know what he's being asked to do here?

    I haven't seen anything re what the judge will do (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by nolo on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:52:50 AM EST
    But Libby's attorneys are saying they intend to file a motion for a new trial.  If it works the way things work in a civil trial, the motion for new trial would extend Libby's deadline for an appeal.  But I'm no expert in criminal procedure, that's for sure.

    i think what probably happened (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:53:04 AM EST
     irs that the defense asked for an extension of the period to file motions for new trial and for JOA.

      Those are due 7 days post verdict unless the judge grants additional time -- which is routine.

      The deadline for a NOA is 10 days after the final order in the district court (usually the judgment in a criminal case --sentencing order in effect--


    About Count Three (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Maggie Mae on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:39:07 AM EST
    I'm confused.  If he lied about everything else, why did they not believe he lied then?

    Question of proof (m) (4.66 / 3) (#15)
    by rb6 on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:47:09 AM EST
    He may lie about everything but the government has the burden of proof -- if this is the so-called Cooper charge, apparently, a lot of people were somewhat confused about what the falsity was in the statement.

    Wait! Wait! (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Al on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 07:06:34 PM EST
    Ironic (1.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:35:20 AM EST
    To see liberal justice bloggers cheering for a conviction in a trumped up procedural case.

    But hey Fitzmas (even if it wasn't Rove, Cheney or Bush) did finaly come.

    Is sentencing up to the judge or the jury?

    Trumped up? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by magster on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:42:06 AM EST
    A jury conviction on all but one charge in the face of the best defense money can buy is not a trumped up case.

    Liberals believe in a fair criminal justice system, and that means conviction and punishment/rehabilitation of the guilty.


    hahaha (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:43:08 AM EST
    It is called accountability and oversight. If you think Libby is so innocent, who is the guilty one that he is taking the fall for?

    no one? I thought so.



    Trumped? Poor choice of words. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 01:02:43 PM EST
    I actully agree with the verdict because I'm consistent.   Clinton was guilty, Martha was guilty and Libby was guilty.

    The process of law and order breaks down (whether there is a crime or not) when witnesses and suspects lie to investigators to cover up other offenses or their preceived/actual guilt.

    His motivations were political but his crimes were real and he paid a heavy price for it.  Is it fair that only he out of all the journalists and politicians was singled out by a special prosecuter?  Probably not but the law is not always fair.  

    If a conservative wants to honestly lament this decision then they are being dishonest because we cried foul when Clinton did it, when Martha did it etc...

    What's the prediction on time in jail?


    I am no lawyer (none / 0) (#10)
    by dutchfox on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:37:19 AM EST
    but won't there be an appeal?

    Fitzi (none / 0) (#20)
    by TexDem on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:59:18 AM EST
    Just took a smack at Libby's attorneys and how much they were paid. Some one asked if he was worried about the length of time the jury took and the questions the jury asked. He said lawyers are paid to worry, some are paid more than others. Ouch

    I went on a ratings spree (none / 0) (#21)
    by hellskitchen on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 11:59:44 AM EST
    because I'm so happy and relieved to see some justice done for once.

    Thank you, thank you everyone-Fitz, Jeralyn, Fdl crew

    Big sigh of relief.

    Maybe we're not lost, after all.

    Is this where... (none / 0) (#22)
    by desertswine on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 12:16:23 PM EST
    Bush fires the leakers?

    Leakers... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Slado on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 01:03:46 PM EST
    Can Bush fire Armitage?

    Some justice, but rather unsatisfying (none / 0) (#25)
    by Aaron on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 01:39:49 PM EST
    Apparently there's still some small measure of justice to be found in America, though it is obviously rather minute in the larger picture.  

    I'm so glad that somebody in his administration got convicted of something, I can only hope that the rest of the criminals in this White House will one day receive their just desserts.

    Congratulations and thanks to the prosecutor and his staff from making his case to the jury.

    I wonder if he'll actually do some jail time.  No doubt the appeal is already in the works, I see they're already talking about it at the press conference.

    What's the likelihood of George W. Bush granting Libby a pardon when he leaves office?

    Bush and Cheney are the ones who should be on trial, but I suppose it's not really a crime to lie to an entire nation, and initiate a war without a justifiable reason.

    Somehow this conviction leaves me with a hollow feeling inside, a hollow empty feeling because I know that my country has been perhaps irreparably damaged by the Bush administration, and this doesn't seem like anything approaching a just resolution to that crime.

    If all you have to be worry about is sacrificing one of your lackeys in order to subvert the Republic, why not do it.  It's kind of like your maid getting a speeding ticket after you went on a homicidal rampage, the punishment doesn't even come close to fitting the vast array of crimes which have been committed.

    Trumped (none / 0) (#27)
    by Tom Maguire on Tue Mar 06, 2007 at 09:27:25 PM EST
    If a conservative wants to honestly lament this decision then they are being dishonest because we cried foul when Clinton did it, when Martha did it etc...

    Really?  As to the Clinton analogy, Paula Jones had a properly certified sexual harassment suit under way, during the course of which Clinton allegedly lied.  Do you entertain reasonable doubt as to whether he did or did not think he was alone with Ms. Lewinsky, or having sex with her?

    But as to the Libby case, there are serious questions as to whether any underlying crime could have been charged; the fact that neither Armitage nor Fleischer, both of whom leaked about Ms. Plame after reading about her in a Top Secret document, went uncharged sort of suggests that the underlying crime was not there.

    I also am closer to the reasonable doubt border with some of the witnesses against Libby - Grenier, Grossman, Schmall, Fleischer, Russert, Miller and Cooper all had deeply problematic testimony - than with the Clinton witnesses.

    However, if your point is that this was Democratic payback for Clinton, well, who can doubt it?

    Fitzgerald is under Democratic control? (none / 0) (#28)
    by sphealey on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:19:50 AM EST
    > However, if your point is that
    > this was Democratic payback for
    > Clinton, well, who can doubt it?

    You are arguing that Patrick Fitzgerald (and the Ashcroft Justice Dept for that matter) are under the control of Democrats?  Could you provide some evidence for this please?



    this game never ends (none / 0) (#29)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:26:21 AM EST
      Some Democrats will defend Clinton (or other Democratic malfeasorss)  to their last breath because, because well he was a Democrat too.

       Some Republicans will defend Libby (or other Republican malfeasors) because theyu are Republicans.

      People on both sides will continue to condemn people on the other side for doing things strikingly similar to the things they defend those on their side.

      It's nonsensical; it's hypocritical and dishonest, but it's not going to stop.