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October 07, 2005


National Journal may be subscription only, but they seem to have made the article available here:


Judy remembers. A conversation with Cheney. Notes, too!

See here

(Actually it's Libby, not Cheney, to whom Judy's freshly discovered notes refer.)

How do we know these aren't freshly-WRITTEN notes?

Bush and Rove both seem to me to be people who have lost their ethical way (if they ever had one), mistaking the "glamorous semblance of power" for the real thing. Perhaps we are witnessing the "sudden inner collapse" of someone of this mentality.

This is why I am so concerned that people think this is all just a game and don't we fretters realize this is just how the game is played. Someone made this case on Hardball yesterday, as though there was really nothing wrong. This, from the people who supposedly believe in responsibility and restoring dignity to the White House.

Now that I've thought about this for a while, here's a really important point. When were those emails found and by whom. Here's why it's so important:

After WH supposedly turned over everything related to Plame, Rove testified. Saying he hadn't talked to anyone.

I don't think he would have testified to that effect if the email had been turned over right away.

So did the WH try to suppress the existence of this email, but someone revealed it had been sent?

Or did Fitzgerald catch the WH in holding back some pertinent emails?


All the leaking has come from Rove's side. If he or someone else in the WH had found the email, they'd have said so, don't you think?


How do we know these aren't freshly-WRITTEN notes?

Because they appear to be about a meeting that neither Libby nor Miller acknowledged in their testimony. Which puts them in some very hot water (especially Libby).

I'm glad that somebody is doing the bare minimum of journalism and actually asking some questions. But Waas has been WAY too credulous w/r/t his sources. Considering that dirty sources are at the very heart of this scandal, he should evince MUCH more skepticism toward some of these claims.

A lot of this is based on Waas' earlier reporting, which almost certainly came from an FBI investigator.

Here's what I think:

I think Fitz discovered BushCo hadn't turned everything over. I think in the stuff they didn't turn over, Fitz found this email (as well as the emails between Hadley and Libby and Rove basically plotting). And somehow someone figured out about it subsequently in Rove's camp. And the reason Waas is vague about who found the email (barring him being a shitty shitty reporter, which he's not) is because Fitz doesn't want ROVE or ABU GONZALES to know he found it on his own, that he has them in an obstruction charge for withholding evidence.

I don't think Waas is so much credulous. I think he just really really doesn't consider the implications of what he reports. I mean, most of my best details came from Waas. I just put them together with the other details.

could somebody help me with this question; it's driving me nuts.

referring to the national journal story by Murray Waas:

if cooper(TIME) testifies rove told him Wilson's wife was CIA but implies or states outright that rove did not tell him (cooper) that said spouse was a CIA operative on WMD,


where did cooper get the infor that he wrote in Time

"... Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA official who monitors the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction...."

no one seems to be responsible for having given copper or novak plames name and job.


I don't think Waas is so much credulous. I think he just really really doesn't consider the implications of what he reports.

No, he's also too credulous. He totally buys the "coerced waiver" business, for instance. If I had time, I could find numerous instances where he is uncritically reporting his sources' version of events. Here's one for now, the second graf of his National Journal piece:

During the same conversation in the White House two years ago-occurring just days after the Justice Department launched a criminal probe into the unmasking of Plame as a covert agency operative-Rove also assured the president that he had not leaked any information to the media in an effort to discredit Plame's husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson. Rove also did not tell the president about his July 2003 a phone call with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper, a conversation that touched on the issue of Wilson and Plame.

Not a single mention in that whole paragraph that the source for this information is a lawyer for Rove or Bush. Sure, he mentions in the prior graf that certain legal sources said "White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove personally assured President Bush in the early fall of 2003 that he had not disclosed to anyone in the press that Valerie Plame." But that entire second paragraph relays as utterly uncontroversial fact that Rove lied to Bush. Then he goes on to look into all the ways that Rove might have innocently failed to mention his outing of Plame.

Sorry. Waas asks the questions that other reporters should be asking, but he's doing just as bad a job of dealing with crooked sources as everybody else.

More on the notes, via warandpiece:


Thanks kim,

Everyone is fucked!!

From the Observer:

The existence of the additional notes may be behind the Times' report today that Fitzgerald may call Miller back for additional testimony October 11.

Robert Bennett, a lawyer for Miller, declined to comment. Joseph Tate, the lawyer representing Libby, did not return calls seeking comment. Times lawyer George Freeman would not comment.

The presence of the undisclosed set of notes comes as the Times is seeking to quell internal and external criticism over a lack of transparency in the Miller case. In today's Times, executive editor Bill Keller said Miller’s potential return trip to meet with Fitzgerald could further delay the Times' plans to publish an account of the Miller saga. Deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman, who has been tapped to edit the report, declined to discuss the state of the paper's Miller reporting.

"I’m not going to talk about it," he said.

Validates my assumption that Judy got out of jail and learned, somehow, that Fitz knew more than she had gambled he knew. That is, he knew about her earlier meetings with Libby and, potentially, attempt to write a story. And here's why everyone is fucked:

Robert Bennett, a lawyer for Miller, declined to comment.

Bennett had convinced Miller he could get her off with no jail time. But now he realizes she's at least got a perjury charge over her head.

Joseph Tate, the lawyer representing Libby, did not return calls seeking comment.

Tate realizes the game is up. Not only does Fitz have Libby's earlier meeting with Judy (thereby getting him for perjury too), but it also reopens all those areas he had wanted them to be able to avoid.

Times lawyer George Freeman would not comment.

The NYT had hoped that, by having Judy testify about her meeting in July, they would be able to avoid nosy investigations of their actions and inactions in June. But they realize that, not only will that investigation happen. But that they may be legally liable for not being more forthcoming about discussions (say, between Abramson and Shipley) that would, under no circumstances, be protected by journalistic privilege.

In today's Times, executive editor Bill Keller said Miller’s potential return trip to meet with Fitzgerald could further delay the Times' plans to publish an account of the Miller saga. Deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman, who has been tapped to edit the report, declined to discuss the state of the paper's Miller reporting.

The Times is fucked because they realize they lose credibility with every hour that Arianna calls for a story but they sheepishly pretend they don't know. But they're not going to publish the story--no way, no how--until they know what story they're finally going to settle on with the prosecutor. The NYT is still scrambling to avoid legal implication in this, and they realize they can't tell a story publicly until they figure out how to avoid legal charges, if possible.

I would assume that if Judy perjured herself, any deal she may have had limiting the scope of her testimony is probably now null-n-void. If she does testify again, Fitz will be asking her any damned thing he pleases.

Yep, that was my hope when he made that deal, dj.

In any case, she is likely to be very forthcoming when she and Fitz next chat.

Whooboy. I half suspect this is when he starts digging out the Niger forgeries. Which means we could be waiting for a very very long time.

But maybe someone will just plead guilty now and start chatting away so we can at least have one damn perp walk!!!

Whooboy. I half suspect this is when he starts digging out the Niger forgeries. Which means we could be waiting for a very very long time.

That's funny; that's exactly what I was thinking. I don't know how much more my nerves can take.

You gotta wonder exactly what prompted Judy to all of a sudden "find" her notes from two years ago. Do you think Fitz let her tell her story about talking with Libby "only twice" in July, then he shoved a white house phone log under her nose and said: is that all? What were you talking about in May? Or maybe not. Maybe he let her walk out of the jury room, called up her laywer yesterday and said I know Judith and Scooter talked for 20 minutes in May 2003. Is she ready to cop to a perjury indictment? Or perhaps she'd like to amend her testimony?

Where's Reddhedd? How would a prosecutor handle this?

So, emptywheel, your theory almost leads to a scenario in which Fitz deliberately agreed to Judy's terms to limit questioning after her release, with the knowledge of the June meeting already in his hand, knowing that she was gonna screw up. He got her to testify (i.e, perjure herself) under oath, then revealed that well, um, Judy Dear, you don't seem to have told us about talking to Scooter about Plame in JUNE!!??? And thus the mad scramble begins. If that's what happened, I'd say it was a masterful stroke to get at least one of the co-conspirators to flip.

I think that weird-ass poem Libby wrote at the end of his letter to Miller may prove to be more self-destructively weird-ass than we know.

Just what I've been waiting for. Lots of people everywhere are saying good news - for Rove foes - is coming. But what d'they know? But when emptywheel says Everyone is fucked!! , I get juiced. From your keyboard into reality soon, please, oh, please, soon, soon ...

So, emptywheel, your theory almost leads to a scenario in which Fitz deliberately agreed to Judy's terms to limit questioning after her release, with the knowledge of the June meeting already in his hand, knowing that she was gonna screw up.

It's really the reading that makes the most sense. Except he didn't know she'd screw up. He cut the deal suspecting she would leave out the earlier meeting, but he still needed her testimony, so he cut the deal, taking the risk that the deal would stand.


Yup, very well said. A big huge trap and she walked right into it believing she could find an easy solution to her woes.

Well, I don't know about you, but I'm convinced that John Bolton's name will be on the final list of big bullys. His involvement in the creation and promulgation of the State Department Memo, making the false allegations about Iraq seeking uranium from Niger,and also mentioning Plame's name, means he had a big professional investment in those false claims. His MO is to punish those who disagree, so those who proved him wrong were in for the full treatment. Let's see if he can take what he dishes out. I sure hope Fitzgerlad helps us rid the UN of that pompous liar, while he's cleaning house.

Sorry I've been MIA (thanks to obsessed for the e-mail letting me know there was a question for me, btw!). My toddler has a bad cold and I've been trying to manage posting at firedoglake and chasing a small snot monster around with an evil kleenex in my hand. It hasn't been a pretty day. lol

They teach you in law school not to ask a question that you don't already know the answer to when you are in trial or on the record, as you would be at the G/J. Fitz strikes me as the same sort of organized, tabulated notebook sort that I used to be prepping for a big trial -- I can spot a fellow anal retentive a mile away -- and I'm certain he and his staff have individual fact sheets, notebooks, timelines, overlapping timelines, highlighted grand jury testimony, summaries of testimony outtakes that are conflicting...I could go on, but you get the picture.

Out of that level of detail, you get a much better sense of the entirety of the criminal enterprise, and the personality and level of culpibility of the actors involved in it. You also get a very good sense of what facts you have nailed down entirely, and what you are missing. At this point in the investigation, after all of the FBI interviews and follow-ups from those, from testimony given and the follow-ups from that -- I would bet that Fitz has a very good sense of where things stand and that he is wrapping up loose ends, or cementing a lot of thread connections.

This sort of thing almost always forms a pattern, because people operate in very familiar ways that are generally unique to themselves. They get comfortable in an environment, they do something wrong and no one catches them, and then they get cocky -- and that's where they start making mistakes. Bragging to someone, leaving little signature clues because they want someone to know that they were the ones perpetrating the mess, whatever. It is the ego that trips people up most of the time. Ego and hubris.

For Judy, I would say that Fitz knew everything that she was going to say before she said it -- he needed her mainly for corroboration. He had credit card receipts from meals purchased or phone logs or e-mails or direct eye-witness testimony or whatever (maybe Hannah on the Libby end of things), but he knew what he wanted from her. And the notes probably came up as a result of her either (1) not being completely honest and his threat of there being obstruction or perjury charges filed if she didn't cough up the rest or (2) he reminded her that she had to be completely honest about everything in a way that was frightening in terms of consequences for not doing so, and she went back to her home and office and searched through everything to be certain she had remembered it all and found those notes.

If she wasn't trying to hide anything and it was an honest mistake in terms of her just not remembering a conversation from two years ago, then she'll be likely okay. (Although what she was doing in jail all that time not going over every detail of all this, I have NO idea. Maybe kntting a poncho?)

If, however, Judy was withholding information and those notes to protect herself or someone else, and Fitz knew that she was doing so -- or found out after her testimony from someone who is cooperating fully that she lied or failed to disclose something important -- then she is in a heap of trouble. All deals would be off in terms of whatever promises Fitz made of not prosecuting or use immunity fo her testimony or limitations on topics. Almost every deal for testimony requires that the witness be honest and give complete testimony, and that breach of this renders the agreement null and void. Anything that happens from here would have to be re-negotiated with Fitz - and our boy Fitz does NOT like a liar. Especially one that tries to lie to him.

We'll see which it is when things shake out in this case. But if I were Judy, and I lied to Fitz, I'd be offering him up every little plum that I know to save my hide. This is the best possible position for Fitz to be in, in terms of strength on Judy: he already has the newly "found" notes, if she lied then her deal is off, and he has an open line for pressure and demands. And he can hold that over any number of other heads that could roll in this case. I'm telling you, stock up on popcorn.

Wow, that was long. Sorry to be so verbose. Old lawyer habits die hard. ;-)

What did Miller find out between the date she testified and the date she disclosed the "forgotten notes"? Previously unknown information (to her or Fitzpatrick)was disclosed during this period that was injurious to her or causes/people to which she was sympathetic ? (Note that some information came to her while she was in jail, but it was all monitored.) Was it the Libby letter that was unknown to Fitzpatrick, is it Rove's new testimorny, is it something else? She only "found" the notes because something previously hidden was disclosed (during this short time frame) and she believes the notes are beneficial to her or her cause

Don't apologize, RedHedd, that was fasinating.

Can't wait until we don't have to so much, but until then your speculations are at least a lot better-informed than most.

Laying under the wheels, indeed

As Thomas Kyd one put it

Ubder feigned jest things are concealed that else would breed unrest........

FWIW, Jane tells me that Fitz is more the papers sticking out of the in and out boxes and all over his desk, keeps everything in his brain type. That's even scarier -- an academic math honors undergraduate who plays rugby and keeps everything in his brain, no matter how complex the case? Let the plea bargaining begin.

Man, would I love to be a fly on the wall during that testimony. This is, what, Rove's third, fourth testimony in frontof the grand jury?

I wonder why Scooter whould release Miller to reveal her source knowing that she'd have to give up Rove? I wonder if Scooter is still on Karl's Xmas card list?

The definition of a good day: when emptywheel says Everyone is fucked!! in one post, and mentions Niger forgeries in the next.

To my untrained eye, Rove and Libby in jail under IIPA or Espionage is one thing. Cool, sorta like Tom DeLay or Bill Frist in jail. But the movement conservatives roll on.

But Niger forgeries? An Administration forging its way into war? That is hot shit. I can't think of any scandal that big that's ever come out. I can't imagine it's uncommon, but if this one is true and confirmed and the paper of record gets to publish it, American politics will be fried. Unrecognizeable.

Exposing the Niger forgeries is where I get really excited. It's awful hard to see how that would happen though. You would have to really imperil someone to flip them that hard, and I don't see how Fitz has enough juice to threaten anyone who would know that direly.

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