Friday :: Jun 2, 2006

Team Libby Loses Another Round To Fitzgerald Late Today

by Steve

Scooter’s high-priced Jacoby and Meyers defense team lost another major round today to Patrick Fitzgerald when Judge Reggie Walton ruled that Libby will not be given access to files from the CIA or others outside the White House on Joe Wilson’s trip, who sent him, or the Iraq pre-war intelligence. Why not? Because Judge Walton agreed with Fitzgerald’s assertion that Libby was simply being tried for perjury, obstruction, and making false statements, and not for outing a CIA agent or damaging national security. As a result of Fitzgerald’s more-limited prosecution, Walton ruled that the broader scope of Libby’s request was immaterial to what he is being charged with, and told Team Libby that instead of getting access to the confidential government documentation, they will have to accept a summary of that evidence prepared by Fitzgerald.

As reported by Josh Marshall’s TPMmuckraker late today:

...the only question the jury will be asked to resolve in this matter will be whether the defendant intentionally lied when he testified before the grand jury and spoke with FBI agents about statements he purportedly made to the three news reporters concerning Ms. Wilson’s employment. The prosecution of this action, therefore, involves a discrete cast of characters and events, and this Court will not permit it to become a forum for debating the accuracy of Ambassador Wilson’s statements, the propriety of the Iraq war or related matters leading up to the war, as those events are not the basis for the charged offenses. At best, these events have merely an abstract relationship to the charged offenses.

Critics of this prosecution, including many of our trolls, who denigrate Fitzgerald’s case because he didn’t indict Libby for espionage or an IIPA crime, got their smack down today. Fitzgerald is making sure not to overreach and is only trying to convict Libby on what he can prove Libby actually did. By trying to expand this case into a national security and conspiracy case, where the White House can kill the prosecution by refusing to grant access to confidential information, Libby’s team gambled and lost today. All Fitzgerald has to prove is that Libby intentionally lied to the FBI and the grand jury. This will now force Libby to claim that he only did it under orders, which then drags the White House in through the back door rather than the front.

Steve :: 8:11 PM :: Comments (11) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!