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Saturday, February 18, 2006

More Cheney Fallout

Further to Redd's post on greymail this morning, I wanted to bring up another byproduct of a weakened Cheney that could affect the Libby trial.

As immanentize mentioned here in the comments not long ago, another aspect of the greymail defense is the fact that it draws attention to the activities of Libby's superiors:
What I see in this exchange is a little litigation strategy power struggle. Will it be full-bore grey mail -- which would mean that Libby would have to, in the end, be willing to implicate his "bosses" in many ways (Rove Cheney, Hadley?). What I mean by that is that grey mail forces the inspection, if not the production, of documents and leads which the prosecutor might not yet have. In the end, the prosecution might not be able to use the stuff in court, but the point of grey mail is generally to turn attention to other/bigger fish. Think the Noriega trial and the attempts to drag the CIA and former Reagan officials into the defense in Florida.
Libby's lawyers definitely have different agendas. Cline is the greymail specialist whose strategy depends on Libby's willingness to cast the spotlight on his superiors while Jeffress is the Jim Baker partner who wants to use Libby for a firewall to the higherups. I'm also hearing that Ted Wells -- who would most likely defend Libby in court -- is pushing Scooter to defend himself and not take one for the team.

Which also has extremely interesting implications for a weakened Cheney -- if Scooter does not believe that Cheney will have the influence to protect him in the end, will he start leaning toward the Cline/Wells strategy? Or are the purse strings of his defense fund -- held by the odious Barbara Comstock -- tied to the maintenance of the firewall?

Just another factor to think about as we all enjoy the specter of Cheney on the ropes. You know he's thinking about it.

(graphic by Joel)