RUSH: There was an entry in the Washington Post blog yesterday by a guy named Dan Froomkin. I missed this yesterday because I don’t read the Washington Post blog. I found this referenced on another blog out there. This guy has a theory, and his theory is that midway through the trial, Scooter Libby and his lawyers called Bush, and they offered the following deal: “If you’ll pardon Libby, we will not put Libby on the stand and will not call Cheney.” Now, this was on the blog. It was not in the newspaper. Let me just read this because this is insane. They want Cheney so bad they can’t see straight! They’re sitting out there lying through their teeth about how Cheney is under a cloud. It’s a new TIME cover. They’ve actually got a dark cloud over a picture of Cheney. Cheney’s not going nowhere. Cheney’s not concerned. This is just more of the alternative universe, living a lie of the American left.
They wanted Cheney. They wanted Cheney so, so bad, and this case was not about Cheney. I don’t care what Fitzgerald said, it wasn’t. Now, here’s how this Dan Froomkin wrote about this yesterday: “One of the abiding mysteries of the Scooter Libby case has been why his defense so dramatically changed tactics in mid-trial. The former vice presidential chief of staff was found guilty on Monday of obstruction of justice and perjury. … In pretrial hearing, Libby’s defense team had indicated that they would call Vice President Cheney as a witness and that Libby himself would take the stand as well. Testimony from either of them, but in particular from Cheney, could very well have opened up an enormous can of worms for the White House. And the spectacle alone — that of a vice president being cross-examined in a criminal case — was something the administration wanted devoutly to avoid.
“Then, in his opening statement, Libby defense lawyer Theodore V. Wells Jr. shocked pretty much everybody by promising jurors that he would show them evidence that his client felt scapegoated in favor of White House golden boy Karl Rove. All of a sudden, it appeared Libby had declared war against the White House. It looked, at that point, like he had thrown any idea of getting a presidential pardon to the wind. But then on Feb. 13, after barely two days of defense testimony, Libby’s team abruptly announced that neither Cheney nor Libby would take the stand. What happened in between? Why did Team Libby suddenly decide not to call such essential witnesses? Why would Wells put forth such a dramatic narrative — Libby as scapegoat — without offering one word of testimony to back it up? And what led some of the finest defense lawyers in the country to rest so quickly, having left the prosecution’s meticulous case substantively unrefuted?”
It wasn’t meticulous at all.
“A possible hint comes today in the 14th paragraph of Peter Baker’s and Carol D. Leonnig’s Washington Post story about the fevered speculation regarding the prospect of Libby pardon: ‘Despite the defense’s trial argument that Libby was made a scapegoat by the White House, aides and advisers said there is no anger toward him in the West Wing. Libby’s defense team reached out to an intermediary after its opening statement to reassure the White House about its strategy, according to a source close to the situation.’ … In what form did this reaching out take place? Was it two-way? Was Team Libby’s threat to attack Rove, call Cheney to the stand and potentially spill plenty of White House secrets just a bargaining chip in some sort of negotiation? Was their decision to rest their case in any way related to any promises from the White House? Could Libby have made some sort of a deal with the White House to ensure a presidential pardon?”
Man, you talk about insanity and grasping at straws! Throw it out there. It’s a blog, you could do it. I’m just giving you an insight into the thinking of journalists in the Drive-By Media. Everybody and their uncle knows why in the opening statement Ted Wells tried to distance Libby from the White House. He had a DC jury, Mr. Froomkin, and everybody is afraid that a DC jury is going to be comprised of Bush-haters. So Wells wanted to try to see if he could make the case, make it appear that Libby had been targeted as a scapegoat in an effort to get sympathy from the jury. It turns out Libby did get sympathy from the jury, but not because of that, just because he’s a nice guy. They all appeared to like him personally from his eight hours of testimony that they heard and his demeanor in court.
If you want to comment further on this, I think it might have been a little bit of an error for Ted Wells. I had a note from a federal prosecutor who made this point to me. He said, “Big mistake here to cast Libby as a scapegoat and to say the White House wanted him to be the fall guy, because that gave the impression there was some sort of conspiracy going on in the White House when that’s not what this case was ever, ever about.” It was just a defense tactic. It was not mentioned in the trial, just in opening and closing statements. One of the jurors, Ann Redington was on TV a couple nights ago, said, (paraphrasing) “Opening and closing statements are not the trial. It doesn’t effect us. That’s not the evidence. That’s not what we decide things on.” So this is the latest paranoia out there amongst the left: Libby made a deal halfway through the trial, and got a pardon in exchange for not calling Cheney and not putting himself on the stand! By the way, Valerie Plame will testify before a Henry Waxman congressional committee.
RUSH: Chico in California. Welcome, sir, to Open Line Friday. Nice to have you with us.
CALLER: Sir, thank you. Mega Sierra Nevada 82nd Airborne dittos, Rush. Thank you.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: I was calling because I’m just pretty incensed about this prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald for just the actions that he’s done. He hasn’t allowed Scooter Libby to provide experts to corroborate his own memory loss but also others, not to mention just the fact of how memory works, not to allow it for his own defense, and I can’t understand how they let this juror, who was writing a book, stay on the jury.
RUSH: Well, they didn’t know that the juror was writing a book. I’ve talked to somebody in the know on this, and by the time this juror, this Denis Collins, got to them, they had used up all their strikes. They had MoveOn.org people in the jury pool. They had all kinds of leftists. By the time this guy came around, they knew he was a journalist. They knew he was a neighbor of Russert’s, worked for Woodward and worked for the Washington Post, that het’d written books on the CIA and spying. But there was nothing they could do.
CALLER: Is that an out for a possible appeal? Are they going to use that, do you know, or is that something that they can actually go after?
RUSH: Here’s what I think they’re going to use on appeal. First, they’re going to ask for a new trial. That will be denied. Because you ask the trial judge, and Reggie Walton is not going to say, “Yeah, I screwed up. Let’s do it again.”
CALLER: Of course not.
RUSH: So here’s the grounds for the appeal. The judge was in a state of personal pique when they didn’t put Libby on the stand. At the opening of the trial, Ted Wells said they were going to call Libby. They decided not to call Libby. It’s none of the judge’s business. There’s a Fifth Amendment right. You don’t have to take the stand when you’re the defendant, and it cannot be held against you. This is law. Once you get to the jury room, of course all things can change. But it cannot be held against you, especially by the trial judge when you decide not to testify. Because Libby didn’t testify after his lawyers indicated that he would. They did not allow evidence or witnesses to show that Tim Russert had memory lapses, too.
One of the things they wanted to bring forth was video where Russert had said, three times, that he knew that you could not have a lawyer present during grand jury testimony when you are subpoenaed to go in there and be asked questions. But he had said in trial that he didn’t know that you couldn’t have a lawyer in there. Now, it’s germane to nothing, but it would have given the jurors more reason to doubt the credibility of Russert because it was his testimony that many feel was the straw that broke the camel’s back because Libby said that he had told Russert about Valerie Plame or Russert had told him, one of the two, and Russert said, “I never spoke to Libby about her,” and the jury believed Russert. So the defense wanted to bring in these videotapes to show that Russert doesn’t remember saying certain things, that nobody does.
Everybody has faulty memories. Charles Krauthammer wrote about this today and asked a good question. I will repeat to you this question. “When was the first time you heard about Valerie Plame being in the CIA, and who told you?” Where did you read it? Maybe it was me, but stop and think. This is what this trial was about. Libby was out there saying, “Gosh, I don’t know. It was this and that.” That’s why the whole trial was bogus. That will be the grounds for appeal. There were examples that all of these witnesses that were incriminating Libby had also demonstrated that they had infallible memories, and that was not allowed by the judge. So that will probably be one of the areas of appeal that the Libby team will zero in on.
CALLER: Well, I just can’t believe that this is actually a process crime that went this far. I have a relative that just recently was elected as a DA of a certain county here in California which I won’t say, and I respect his professionalism and his respect of the law, and to see this prosecutor, a federal prosecutor, act this way… I mean, here’s a book about this guy that people may not know about, about Patrick Fitzgerald, and it has to do with terrorism in this country. It’s called “Triple Cross.” I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard about it, but it is quite eye opening.
RUSH: It doesn’t ring a bill, but I can’t say I haven’t. I might be called to testify since we’re reading Fitzgerald here.
CALLER: Well, he was the biggest disconnector of the dots leading up to 9/11 and many years back when they had a special prosecutor —
RUSH: Well, wait a minute, now. Fitzgerald was on a legal team that successfully put a bunch of these terrorists behind bars back in the nineties, the blind sheik, Omar Abdel Rahman and others.
CALLER: Well, when he did his testimony before the 9/11 Commission and he talked about Able Danger but he did not mention this one guy who pretty much infiltrated the CIA, the FBI, and the JFK Special Warfare Unit. He was a former Egyptian officer. He was bin Laden’s main trainer of bodyguards, and this is all documented and proved by this author. HIs name is Peter Lance, and it goes back for many, many, many years.
RUSH: Now, I must admit, this is the first I’m hearing of this.
CALLER: The guy’s name, the spy, his name was Ali Mohammed and he went by many other aliases, obviously, but I encourage you to read this book, Rush, if you want to be scared about this prosecutor.
RUSH: I’ll find out. You wonder why he went forward with the case when you mentioned other prosecutors wouldn’t. I’ll try to take a stab at it.
RUSH: Why did Fitzgerald pursue the case when there was no case, when the original charge was to find out who leaked this babe’s name and da-da-da-da-da? He already knew that. Why did he pursue it? Because he had, in effect, the powers of the attorney generalship. He was granted blanket authority by James Comey, who was sitting in for Ashcroft, who had recused himself. I’ve heard it said that many prosecutors would have looked at this and said, “There’s nothing here,” and let it go. But when you’re special prosecutor appointed to get to the bottom of something, the federal government, benefit of the doubt here, just… Look, actually I can’t explain it, because from the get-go this was the pursuit of a process crime. This was the pursuit of somebody in the administration. This was not the pursuit of any journalists, even though Judith Miller spent some time in jail. We have to rely on Patrick Fitzgerald’s own words in his closing argument, ‘There’s a cloud over Dick Cheney.’ It’s clear that’s who he wanted, Cheney or Rove. He couldn’t get there and now poor old Scooter is there.
Get this. “Former CIA operative Valerie Plame will testify next week before lawmakers probing how the White House dealt with the leak of her identity, the chairman of the panel said,” which would be Henry Waxman. “Also invited to testify March 16 before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is Patrick Fitzgerald. Waxman said Plame has accepted the invitation and Fitzgerald has not responded. … In a letter to the prosecutor, Waxman proposed a meeting with ranking Republican Tom Davis of Virginia to discuss the terms of any testimony. The hearing will be the first public forum at which Plame has agreed to answer questions.” Two things. I don’t know why Fitzgerald would testify. This hearing is taking place specifically, precisely because the Democrats didn’t get what they wanted out of this, which was Cheney.
They want Valerie Plame to come up there and continue the lie that she and her husband had been perpetuating, that it was Cheney who set out to get them and ruin their lives — when, if anybody ruined her life, it was her idiotic husband for coming back and talking about all this in the New York Times and getting all of this started. So two things. If there is a Republican on this committee with any brains and any spine and any onions, it is time to nail Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson and Waxman all at once with the contradictions and lies that are public from this couple already. I’m probably dreaming about this, because my guess is the Republicans are going to want this to go away as quickly as they can.
‘Let Waxman have his time! Let Valerie Plame continue to lie,’ but we know that Wilson’s been totally discredited by a bipartisan Senate committee on intelligence. We know that a number of reporters, despite championing their cause, have facilitated the education that we’ve all had in the contradictions of Joe Wilson. So, the next thing is, put her under oath. What do you think the odds of that happening are? Zilch, zero, nada. The Democrats are not going to have her come up there and then be exposed for perjury herself. So just get ready for this one. The cameras will be there. This will be like the Iran-Contra hearings, folks. It’s going to be an absolute zoo.