This is the Archive site for Firedoglake. To go to the main site please click on the following link

Friday, October 28, 2005


Documents not posted yet regarding the indicment at the DOJ Special Counsel website. Will live blog as I'm reading them, with updates as I go when they get there, so you get the news as I get it. This is likely to come out as a jumble, so I will come back and do a wrap-up analysis piece afterward.

Scooter Libby has been indicted according to CNN on Obstruction of Justice, Perjury and Making False Statements. Soon as documents get posted, I'll start review. There may be much more.

5 count indictment: MSNBC reporting a 5 count indictment.

Brian Williams now talking to Timmeh about his role.

The Washington Post has its article up here.

One reference in indictment to VP, regarding Cheney's advising Libby of Wilson's wife working for CIA. Libby asked "Undersecretary of State" to investigate Wilson's claims -- Undersecretary used State Department resources to look into it. (Shuster -- MSNBC)

1:08 pm ET: Scooter Libby has offered his resignation to Andy Card. It has been accepted by the President.

Update: Documents now up at Smoking Gun.


Indictment read:

Pages 1 & 2: Establish background that Libby had access to and knowledge of proper handling of classified materials. Shows that Libby signed his SF-312 on 1/23/01 for clearance.

Page 3: Addresses the SOTU "16 words" issue -- meaning this will definitely come up at trial, if there is one.

Page 4: All of this deals with the actions that show that Libby's attempts to cover things were bunk -- and that the SPecial Prosecutor had substantial cooperation.

On 5/29/03: Asked Undersecretary of State about information on Amb. trip to Niger.

On 6/11/03 or 6/12/03, Libby was advised by USoS, that Wilson's wife worked for CIA and that she was involved in him going on the trip. (Can you say Bolton? Or Wurmser?)

On 6/11/03, Libby spoke with Senior CIA Officer re: Wilson and his wife. (Can you say Fleitz? Or Tenet?)

Page 5: On 6/12/03, the VP told Libby about Wilson's wife. Then Libby spoke with Pincus. (At least, that's my surmising, by the "senior VP aide" attribution.)

On 6/14/03, Libby met with senior CIA briefer and bitched about Wilson and criticisms of Administration policies by folks at CIA.

6/19/03 New Republic article with Wilson quotes discussed.

Page 6: Shortly after article, Libby spoke with his Chief Deputy. (Can you say Hannah? And cooperation?)

6/23/05 Judy Miller first meeting on this. (Guess they were hoping no reporters would be subpoened, eh?)

Okay, there's a continued narrative of facts on all of the various conversations between Libby and others in the WH and the VP's office and State and the CIA and the media. It's VERY detailed -- Fitz got a lot of people to talk A LOT. (I'm not going to detail everything, because it's pretty clear on the read, just going to skip to the criminal conduct.)

One point, Libby's counsel was present with him at every interview. Very good to know -- no question that Libby was tricked into making false or misleading statements or anything along those lines.

There is substantial documentation of facts on every single one of these counts. Fitz is really thorough. Impressive, but expected from a US Attorney.

One Count Obstruction, for a whole host of behaviors that add up to a pattern of deliberately lying and trying to hide information from the Grand Jury, from investigators and from Fitz. This is a very bad pattern, just at first glance on paper. Very bad.

The Two Counts of False Statements clearly show a belief on Libby's part that the Prosecutor would not go to journalists. He felt safe in lying about this, thinking none of them would talk. (Wrong prosecutor to try this with, I must say. Interviews may have occurred in that time frame when Ashcroft was still heading things for the DOJ.)

Two Counts perjury also just plain stupid and bad. The Russert testimony and the Matt Cooper testimony.

I note that Fitz isn't using anything much from Judy Miller in any of these five counts. I wonder if we will hear more about that down the road -- either at the press conference or in any expansion of the investigation if a new Grand Jury is empanelled.

As a first read, I have to say, this looks factually quite well documented and that Libby is a crappy, weaselly person on the stand. I bet the G/J members had an even better take on that as they sat listening to it.

There is a first pass on this. Am going to have to print it out, dissect it, and spend some time doing margin notations, but this looks very bad for Libby. And it may only be a first pass at him -- if there is a second jury empanelled, the potential for conspiracy and other charges still hangs out there. Especially the potential for Espionage Act and possibly even IIPA violations, along with any additional conpiracy worries. Press conference ought to be very interesting this afternoon.