Kudos to looseheadprop for correctly reading the small print on Fitzgerald's last filing.
6. Witness security issues The government does not anticipate any security issues with witnesses it intends to call" (via TalkLeft — PDF)
OK, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this suggests to me that Cheney is not going to be called to testify. (howls of outrage from the popcorn eaters)
Apparently, in court today, Fitzgerald confirmed just what looseheadprop speculated--he is not going to call Dick. At which point Ted Wells turned around and said, well then, we'll call him. Dick Cheney will testify as a defense witness for his buddy Scooter.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who said last week he did not expect the White House to challenge his witnesses, said Tuesday he did not plan to call Cheney.
Wells immediately said he would.
"That settles that," Fitzgerald said.
Oh boy, if nothing else, we're going to have some fun next month, aren't we?
To be honest with you, I'm not really sure why they're doing this--they're either trying to wow jurors, corroborate Libby's stupid "dot" PowerPoint, or just have Dick get up there and lie, saying, "Oh no, Plame never came up, not at all." But here are some more far out ideas, which might explain why they'd put Dick in Fitzgerald's line of fire:
- Dick will get up there and say that he authorized Libby to leak Plame's identity, and that therefore he had no reason to lie about it.
- They really want Dick up there to reassure jurors that Dick authorized Libby to leak the NIE (perhaps they see, as I do, the implicaitons of the NIE stuff).
- Dick thinks he's Ollie North, because he has never gotten a follow-up question from the softball interviewers he deigns to speak to (Brit Hume and Tim Russert, for the most part).
- Dick will lie and say he didn't tell Scooter of Plame's identity in June 2003. Huh??!??!
Any other guesses?
Some more relevant background. First, one of the questions Libby's team has already submitted that it will ask potential jurors is what a juror thinks of Dick, and whether it will make them impressed (or some such thing). A very critical part of the "dot" defense is to make jurors think that Libby is very important and therefore to be forgiven for a little tiny white lie. Another thing to suppor this, as a Libby strategy, is that Libby wanted to name all the important people at the NSC he met with on his important topic job (Fitz got it limited to mentions of Cheney alone). So I'm sure this is part of a very important strategy.
Also, way back in May, Wells was sure that Cheney had testified that Libby had been authorized to leak the NIE. Fitzgerald managed to avoid giving Libby's team Cheney's testimony, so that may be why they're calling him--so as to dismiss any worries about the NIE.
Has anyone noticed that Libby's team doesn't have their big bombshell up on their website yet (as of 6:07 EST)? Which might suggest that they didn't know they would be calling Dick until today, when Fitzgerald said he wouldn't call Dick.
Here is a question Libby's team intends to ask potential jurors (they wrote this a month ago):
39. Based on either your personal experience or what you have read or heard about him in the news, please describe any feelings you have about Vice President Cheney.
a. Vice President Cheney is expected to be a witness in this trial. Would your opinion of him cause you to credit his testimony more or less than the testimony of any other witnesses?
Guess they want to make sure they find the 3 people in DC who actually like Dick.