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January 26, 2007

Day Three of the Libby Trial

It was a very interesting day yesterday at the Libby Trial and most of it was not directly obvious.  That's why having Marcy and Christy of Firedoglake (and The Next Hurrah) there blogging for us gives us a much broader understanding of what is happening and what it might mean.

Cathie Martin's testimony has been highly anticipated and the reality of it did not disappoint.  Cathie is the former assistant to the Vice President for Public Affairs and she was a witness to several key conversations between Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney.  Marcy, live-blogging the testimony as usual, provides a picture of constant tension between Martin and the Libby Defense Team.  Members of the Libby team change seats so they can be directly in Martin's line of sight when she is testifying.  She stares at her lawyers; she nods. 

Martin is sharing - or being forced to share - a lot of information about how the OVP works with friendly reporters, dumps bad news on Friday afternoons, gets people to write op-eds supporting their position, etc.  These are all things that bloggers have figured out but now it is out there for everyone to see.  For example, she talked about going onto Tim Russert's Meet the Press and how they pretty much had a free pass about who and when to get on that show.  Martin will be testifying some more next week and then it's on to Ari Fleisher, another much anticipated witness.

Christy also talks about the discussions between the lawyers and the judge that the on-lookers are privy to but the jury is not.  In her view, as a former prosecutor, the Libby team has been pushing the envelop with the judge who had been giving them the benefit of the doubt routinely but may not in the future.  The Libby team has been pushing hard to introduce a ton of unrelated material into the case to buttress their "memory defense", also referred to as the "my difficult job made me lie and forget" defense.  They have been trying to do this through questioning the memories of the other witnesses in the trial thus far.  They have also been making a lot of extra work for Fitzgerald's team with their requests for this and that and their complaints about mounds of paperwork from the Fitzgerald team at the last minute, paperwork that turns out to be a total of six pages. 

The judge appears to be getting impatient with them.  Judge Walton pointedly praised Fitzgerald's integrity at one point and at another said very clearly that the memory defense could only be used in the closing arguments if Scooter Libby himself testifies.  That last ruling may put the defense team in a bind but just as importantly, the defense team appears to be getting on the judge's bad side pretty early in the trial. 

MW - Craig Schmall, 2 (CIA briefer)

MW - Cathie Martin, 1 (OVP, assistant to VP for Public Affairs, then removed in early 2004 and Libby took over)

MW - Cathie Martin, 2

MW - Cathie Martin, 3

CHS - Oncoming Train

BONUS:  Profile of Marcy Wheeler from the Ann Arbor News


Posted by Lynn Allen on January 26, 2007 at 09:52 AM in National and International Politics | Permalink

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