Lawyers for NBC News reporter Tim Russert suspected in the spring of 2004 that his testimony could snare Vice President Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, in a lie and Russert resisted testifying at the time about private conversations with Libby, according to court papers released yesterday.How exactly did Russert know that his testimony would contradict Libby's story? Are we supposed to believe Fitzgerald called him up and said "hey, Scooter just unloaded a big pile of shit on my doorstep and I'd like you to come over and clean it up?"
It "appears that Mr. Russert's testimony is sought solely because the Special Prosecutor believes that his recollection of a telephone conversation with an Executive Branch official is inconsistent with that official's statements," they wrote.
Sure sounds like Scooter call Russert up and say "hey Timmeh, cover for me old bean." While Russert might have fought testifying on any account, it certainly appears that he knew well in advance that his story didn't match up with Scooter's and there is certainly good reason to suspect that this information didn't come from Patrick "leak tank" Fitzgerald.
Atrios is right. That Russert continues to quote-unquote "cover" this story without answering a few basic questions about his own involvement is really beyond the pale.
Update: Tom MaGuire asks the same question.