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Libby Juror Questions Answered

The Libby jury deliberations continue with the jury asking a question about "reasonable doubt" which, as James Joyner notes, either "ain't good news for Libby" or "they're trying to come up with some sort of compromise among themselves." Jeralyn Merritt posted the PDF version of the judge's response to the question. Follow the coverage at the Scooter Libby trial feed at Media Bloggers.

Update: The jury has additional questions. Jeralyn Merritt has a good summary of today's activity.

Update II: I found this comment at Just One Minute summed up my thoughts.

The jury is confused,the judge is confused,numerous legal buffs and intelligent observers are confused,even the MSM and the leftwing plankton are confused,has any other prosecutor ever vomited forth such a cat's arse of a case?

Let's put the responsibility for this debacle firmly where it belongs,Patrick Fitzgerald.

Hopefully there will be a verdict soon.


Comments (26)

Is there really any doubt L... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Is there really any doubt Libby Lied?

The real question is WHY did he?

Attorneys will tell us not ... (Below threshold)

Attorneys will tell us not to read too much into jury questions. They do not necessarily reflect "the jury's" thinking, but very often the questions of only one or two jurors.

The length of deliberations is more telling. These are not complicated charges at all. Two are based on what Libby told the FBI and the Grand Jury about a single conversation with Tim Russert, two more are about what he told both about another single conversation with Matt Cooper, and the fifth is a catch-all obstruction charge based upon the other four.

The jury itself seems to be making its work more difficult than it should be, as witnessed by their earlier request for a dictionary. Of course, that wasn't allowed - all terms are "defined" only by the judge in his instructions - but it shows them likely trying to parse words.

The longer it takes, the more probable a hung jury will result, which is a better outcome than the alternative (all too often adopted) of a "compromise verdict."

Civil behavior. Since stat... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Civil behavior. Since stated there is no doubt Libby lied. I challenge you to recall, verbatim, any conversation you held with any other individual 3 (three) years ago. You will be held to a not verifiable standard, as there are no recordings, only the recollections of the person you spoke with. The penalty for you recollection not matching that of the person you had the conversation with is an end to your career and incarseration. All of this to please a prosecuter who could find nothing else to prosecute, as no other crime was committed. You idiots forgive Bill Clinton for committing provable perjury because it was about a matter that did not effect anything. I propose this is the same thing. The Wilson/Plame incident, which was instigated by Wilson/Plame was of no consequence. The right man was elected President.

The penalty for you reco... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

The penalty for you recollection not matching that of the person you had the conversation with is an end to your career and incarseration.

And don't forget to mention that those you had the conversation are free to change their memories of the conversation or later claimed they remembered something they once did not. Of course, there prior non-recollections will not be considered lies, obstructions, or anything other than more evidence against you. Even though their original cloudiness should tend to mitigate your recollections of said events.

Is there really an... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:
Is there really any doubt Libby Lied?

civil behavior: Umm, yes, there is some doubt; that's why there is a trial. How do they handle this kind of thing on Planet Moonbat...where you seem to reside?

I am personally getting tir... (Below threshold)
Rodney A.Wenger:

I am personally getting tired of all the money being wasted chassing dumb question about what was or was not said 3 years ago. The lawers never let anyone fully answer a question and cut you off when it does not seem to be what they have decided the answer should already be.

The self-conscious among th... (Below threshold)
kim:

The self-conscious among the jury know they are demonstrating herd reasonable doubt. The literal among them are still trying to determine what is humanly possible about memory.

I expect acquittal on all counts, because this jury is demonstrating fealty to reason, or at least to the pretense of it, and there is plenty of reason to doubt that Fitz made his case.

That said, I think conviction and appeal will have a better chance of getting the truth of this case out. I doubt that a hung jury will provoke Fitz to retrying this pitiful case. If Libby is found innocent, the chance of a full public accounting is minimal.

I'm really torn. I don't want Libby to suffer any longer, but the body politic will suffer if he doesn't.
======================

I'm really torn. I don't... (Below threshold)
Luke:

I'm really torn. I don't want Libby to suffer any longer, but the body politic will suffer if he doesn't.

Huh?

The jury is just taking its... (Below threshold)
Jo:

The jury is just taking its time to see which MSM outlet will outbid the other in paying them off to declare Scooter guilty.

Six months after the P... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Six months after the President's 2003 State of the Union Address, as Bush's WMD and nuclear claims began to unravel, Wilson went public and exposed the Bush Administration's false nuclear claims in a New York Times op-ed.

The White House Iraq Group (WHIG), originally formed to sell the war to the public, "morphed into a virtual hit squad that took aim at critics who questioned its claims." WHIG was run out of Vice President Cheney's office, and included Cheney's Chief of Staff "Scooter" Libby, top Bush strategist Karl Rove, and other top Bush administration officials.

What did Cheney know and when did he know it?
Did the White House Iraq Group answer to Bush? If they didn't answer to him, who did they answer to? Will that person step aside? Was he aware of their actions? If not, why wasn't he aware of what so many of his top advisors were doing with top secret intelligence?

Libby prepared and vouched to a false affidavit and gave blatantly dishonest testimony to the grand jury. Libby ran interference to halt the investigation and smeared in public the witnesses against him.

At one point, Libby testified that as late as July 2003 he wasn't even aware if Joe Wilson was married. It's laughable, given all of the times he researched Wilson (and Wilson's wife) and how many times he told reporters about Wilson and Wilson's wife. He clearly lied.

Fitz couldn't indict on a charge he couldn't prove. But he couldn't prove it because Libby committed a CRIME in obstructing the investigation into the crime. Why was Libby lying about something if it wasn't a crime?

Civil behavior, you ignoran... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Civil behavior, you ignorant idiot, you make it sound like Bush was the only source of information that Saddam had WMD and a nuclear program, both of which he did have. I defy you to name the nation which stated before the invasion of Iraq that Saddam did not possess such weapons. Certainly every member of the previous administration believed it. John Swiftboat Kerry stated that if you did not believe Saddam was working on a nuclear weapon you should not vote for him for President. The problem with you Bush hating fucking idiots is that you have a very selective memory of the past. Or you Mindless Mother F-ckers are just plain liars, or both. Which ever, you better how the right wins because if you do, the islamic radicals will not respect your constitutional rights and will behead you assholes first. Because the rest of us will have died fighting them. You are scum of the earth.

What is sad about civil beh... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

What is sad about civil behavior's diatribe is that he's constructed a perfect delusion.

Something as trivial as Libby not remembering which reporter told him about Plame a year after the fact prevents Fitz from administering justice.

Sad, not because how screwed up that is. But sad because he's successfully trapped himself in a delusion that can't be broken with logic.

You are a Yale graduate, pr... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

You are a Yale graduate, presumably with honors, etc.
You are a senior National Security advisor, with long experience and the highest security clearances.
You have intimate knowledge of the most important national security issues.

Libby repeatedly and methodically was getting info about Wilson and his trip and Wilson's wife's role. The evidence shows that Libby knew info he had was classified. None of the reporters, not even Miller, back up what Libby testified about.

On June 12, 2003, the indictment alleges, Libby heard directly from Cheney that Plame worked for the spy agency.

"Libby was advised by the vice president of the United States that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA in the counterproliferation division. Libby understood that the vice president had learned this information from the CIA," Fitzgerald said.

A short time later, Libby began reaching out to reporters, starting with The New York Times' Judith Miller on June 23.

Why would you suppose Scooter lied at least two times to the grand jury and gave false information to the FBI?

Our country is in the hands of a President who is willing to tolerate people in his administration who are admitted liars and who played a direct role in compromising our nation's security.

Luke, look at the sort of n... (Below threshold)
kim:

Luke, look at the sort of nonsense that cb believes. If we don't have a retrial or a very publicized appeal, the facts of the case will never come out and too many people, read 'the body politic' will never understand the truth. Could you imagine a nation of cbs?
=======================================

Is there reaaly any doubt B... (Below threshold)
metprof:

Is there reaaly any doubt Berger stole classified documents. The question is why.

Now compare that with civil behavior's question and ask yourself "which possible crime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent"?

All Libby had to do when as... (Below threshold)
Herman:

All Libby had to do when asked who told him about Mr. & Ms. Wilson was say "I forgot." Instead, he tells investigators that Russert told him. Not only does Russert deny this, but it would be hard to imagine a likely scenario under which Russert could have known (and no, no one has testified to telling Russert anything about the Wilsons).

Why did Libby lie? He wanted to draw the attention of the investigators away from himself, and likely even more importantly, away from his beloved Cheney. Scooter saves Shooter, how sickening.

I know, I know, Libby's lie just pertained to a woman trying to protect the country from foreign WMD, and in the minds of conservatives, this lie isn't nearly as bad as one trying to cover up an extramarital affair.

Herman, it is not hard to i... (Below threshold)
kim:

Herman, it is not hard to imagine a likely scenario under which Russert could have known about Val Plame. His underling, Andrea Mitchell interviewed Joe Wilson on July 6, 2003, and seemed to have Joe's home phone number readily at hand. There was a big fight between prosecution and defense about having Andrea Mitchell as a witness because there are a lot of people, including Andrea, who say that 'everybody knew' about Val Plame.

Furthermore, Russert has sworn under oath that it would have been impossible for him to talk about Plame with Libby, but both defense and prosecution have stipulated to the fact that in his original interview with the FBI he said it is possible that she came up in the talk with Libby. There is enough contradiction right there for the jury to have reasonable doubt, though I doubt there is enough there for you. There is enough doubt there for me to wonder why NBC has gone so far out of its way to pervert the truth.

And at least until you know a little more about this case, please don't share the limits of your imagination about it.
================================

Libby is accused of lying a... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Libby is accused of lying about how and when he learned about Plame's identity in 2003 and told reporters about it. The information on the officer was classified.

He is also accused of lying when he told Fitzgerald's investigators that he learned about Plame's CIA status from Tim Russert of NBC. He learned it from several government sources, including Cheney, the indictment says.

Libby was a longtime national security hand. He knew exactly what and where the CIA's Counterproliferation Divison is. So did Cheney. They both knew.

So why was it so important to lie about who told him about Valerie Plame. If he and Chenye are that forgetful maybe they should not be trusted to do the government's business of a sensitive nature. None of the reporters back up Libby's story Kim, not even Miller.

Maybe Kim you need to brush up on your patriotism a little bit. National security is about respecting laws that protect those individuals willing to put their lives on the line, including CIA agents. Or maybe you think a few mice ridden, mold encrusted barracks to house some more of the same for our troops equates with the same kind of protection afforded Valerie Plame when her husband decided to dissent and prove awkward sixteen words that were false.

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." But the White House had known for nearly a year that this claim was false.

That is unless they all had something to hide, like maybe the truth.

The jury sent three notes t... (Below threshold)
kim:

The jury sent three notes to the judge last night, two asking what it was the prosecution was alleging, and the last to ask if they can use Libby's Grand Jury testimony to settle Count 3.(they can) This jury doesn't have any idea what Fitz was trying to prosecute and they are skeptical. That leads to all sorts of reasons to doubt. I predict 11-0 for acquittal unless there remain unreasonable jurors.

When Libby heard from Cheney about Plame on June 12, 2003, she was the low-level CIA person who had sent the Ambassador to Africa. When they heard about her after Joe's op-ed in July of '03 she was the wife of the lying critic. Big difference in memorability and one which Fitz has yet to understand.

When Libby reminded Cheney months later that he had first heard about Plame from him, Cheney tilted his head and queried "From me?". They both forgot about her from June to July. Read the transcript.

None of the reporters have a story that hangs together, and Russert has perjured himself, bigtime, possibly with the connivance of Fitz. They are both in big trouble.

Perhaps you'd like to pursue who leaked the identities of CIA pilots to the LATimes, Big Patriot, Pere Ubu?
===============================

Sorry to beat poor Patrick'... (Below threshold)
kim:

Sorry to beat poor Patrick's dead burden, but check out factcheck.org/article22. It details quite nicely why Bush was justified to use the 16 words.
===========================

You there, Pere?Take... (Below threshold)
kim:

You there, Pere?
Take that brush, fair.
Splash Ubu here, there.
Show us what you, dare.
===============

Here's the <a href="http://... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Here's the correct link to Kim's factcheck.org/article22

Much gracious.======... (Below threshold)
kim:

Much gracious.
========

There is a verdict. It wil... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

There is a verdict. It will be read at noon today. I was getting ready to post and saw that Kevin beat me to it. It just broke in the past half hour or less.

Hey Kim,How about ... (Below threshold)
civil behvaior:

Hey Kim,

How about that acquittal huh?

Foolish Americans.

Denis Collins, Juror in Chi... (Below threshold)
kim:

Denis Collins, Juror in Chief, said the jury's decision depended on the Russert testimony. The problem is that Russert perjured himself and it will come out. Why didn't Eckenrode, Mitchell, and Gregory testify?

Also, Mr. Collins, completely mischaracterizes Cheney's marginalia on Wilson's op-ed, and it was on that characterization that they believed Libby was lying. There is jury misbehaviour here, and it has a big mouth.
===============================




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