So here's what I've been thinking about while I wait on the jury (and reunite with my MilleniaLab, who missed me quite a bit). There's a potential smoking gun document that seems remarkably absent from any of the trial exhibits.
You see, as Libby has testified [big PDF] (and his lawyers reminded us over and over during their case), there are no notes from any of the conversations Libby had with any of the three reporters in question: Russert, Cooper, and Judy. So we can't just look at his notes, compare his notes with those of Matt Cooper and Judy Miller, to discern the truth. It's Libby's word versus Russert's word and Cooper and Judy's notes.
But there is a document from his July 8 conversation with Judy. Or at least, there should be.
You see, Libby testified in his Grand Jury that he talked through his talking points
about Plame's identity from the NIE with Judy:
Q. Okay. And with, with -- was it your understanding that you would show the text of the relevant portions of the NIE to Judith Miller when you discussed it with the Vice President?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And did you in fact show those relevant portions of the text?
A. Talked it through with her and I think I gave it to her, showed it to her, an excerpt.
Q. Okay. And when you showed it to her did you let her read the relevant portions of the whole document or did you have a redacted version?
A. Oh, no, redacted.
Q. And did she get to keep the redacted copy?
A. I think I gave her a page which had bullets from it, not a Xerox of it but bullets of it, I think, where it was redacted and I think, I think what I showed her had country names omitted. It was less than what I had been authorized to share with her. (34-35)
Gosh, a document with the talking points he was authorized to share with her? That sure seems like it might substitute for notes of the conversation, huh? But then Fitzgerald asks Libby some questions about the production of this document that makes me wonder whether, well, it has mysteriously disappeared.
Q. Okay. Who created that document?
A. I did.
Q . Personally?
A. Yes. Well, you know, I, I didn't type it I don't suppose, but I directed it to be done.
Q. Okay. So do you know who would have typed it?
A. Well, if I didn't type it, then I assume it would have been Jenny Mayfield, my assistant.
Q. Do you type?
A. I do type.
Q. You're not big on e-mail I take it?
A. No. Not in this job. I was in my prior job. (35)
Side question--I wonder if Fitzgerald still believes that Libby's "not big on e-mail," after having found 250 pages of emails that remarkably got lost in the subpoena process.
Q. Okay. And when you type, do you type at a word processor and print it out?
Q. In reviewing the documents for production for discovery or compliance with the subpoenas, have you ever seen a copy of the redacted document that you shared with Ms. Miller?
A. Yes, sir.
A. Well, I'm not sure exactly what I shared but I think I have.
Q. And how long was the document in terms of pages?
A. A third of a page.
Q. And did you share that document with the Vice President prior to sharing it with Judith Miller?
A. No, sir. (35-36)
Huh. Libby gives a pretty specific description of this particular document. So it ought to be easy to pick out from a stack of documents produced in response to a subpoena. And Libby suggests its was typed up, meaning it ought to be on someone's hard drive. Unless I was right about someone nicking a hard drive to hide some evidence.
Now perhaps I'm asking for too much when I say I want to see this document. But it seems to me that, if there were a document that showed nothing but NIE bullet points, the Defense would have introduced it. And if there were a more detailed document about Valerie Plam-ay's WINPAC career, Fitzgerald would have produced it. But we've got nothing. In spite of the fact that we've seen a whole slew of OVP talking points generated during this period (and while you're at that link, notice how I did a short version of the weedy analysis Fitzgerald did during his closing the other day).
Now, before you say Libby's probably just mistaken--that this set of talking points never existed--consider what Judy had to say about that document.
Mr. Fitzgerald asked me to examine a series of documents. Though I could not identify them with certainty, I said that some seemed familiar, and that they might be excerpts from the National Intelligence Estimate of Iraq's weapons. Mr. Fitzgerald asked whether Mr. Libby had shown any of the documents to me. I said no, I didn't think so. I thought I remembered him at one point reading from a piece of paper he pulled from his pocket.
"Reading from a piece of paper he pulled from his pocket." Sure sounds like Libby "talked it through with her."
Libby and Judy agree about one thing. There was a document that contained the talking points Libby used that day. But neither one of them seems to have handed it over.