Sentencing Arguments Underway for Scooter Libby
Update: CNN: 30 months for Scooter Libby. Libby goes home. No ruling on appeal bond.
10:00 ET: The Judge is hearing legal arguments over the application of the federal sentencing guidelines to I. "Lewis" Scooter Libby.
Marcy is live-blogging at Firedoglake (Part 1 here, Part II here.) Judge Walton seems to agree with the Government that the cross-referencing guidelines are appropriate for at least the obstruction of justice count. All agree they don't apply to the false statement charge.
That's bad for Libby. His lawyer, Bill Jeffress, is now arguing that Valerie Plame was not covert, which is just wrong. She was covert.
10:11 am ET
The objective behind cross-referencing as it relates to obstruction is that it's envisioned when law enforcement officials start an investigation and they go to citizenry to find out whether an offense has been committed, it is the obligation of the citizenry to cooperate, when a person is put on notice of what the govt is investigating. I think that's what this cross-referencing provision is designed to reach. You only look at whether a legitimate investigation was taking place, it's my view the x-referencing does apply, as it relates to the obstruction. I may not reach wrt the perjury conviction, I have questions whether it would apply.
10:39 Judge Walton agrees three points should be added. I don't think a split sentence is in the cards for Libby any more. The court is in recess.
The sentencing letters have been posted on the Court's website. They are 373 pages, I've just sent them to Jane, Marcy and Christy. I won't post them until the sentencing is over. 11:09 am. Judge Walton says three points for perjury enhancement apply. From Marcy:
It's undeniable that Russert's testimony factored into equation whether Libby should be charged with perjury and obstruction. It could not have, based on what Libby said, adequately completed its investigation regarding conduct it was investigating without calling Russert before GJ. While Libby signed release, reality required govt to go before Chief Judge, accordingly consistent with case authority, since there was additional reason the addition 3 points would be appropriate.
11:15 am. The Court has found the applicable guideline range (I assume from Marcy's latest posting it's what Fitz asked for, level 19, 30 to 37 months.)
They are now having argument over what the sentence should be and whether Libby should get any departures or a non-guideline sentence.
Ted Wells is arguing this part. Judge Walton doesn't sound impressed so far and says he's read all the letters.
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