February 21, 2007

WHEN YOU'RE GUILTY WHAT DEFENSE IS LEFT BUT PITY?:

The Defense Rests, and Not a Minute Too Soon (Dana Milbank, February 21, 2007, Washington Post)

For a brief moment yesterday, Scooter Libby was not a former White House aide on trial for perjury. He was an orphan in need of a loving home.

"He's been under my protection for the last month; now I'm entrusting him to you," defense lawyer Ted Wells told the puzzled jurors.

His voice breaking, the $700-an-hour lawyer pleaded: "Give him back! Give him back to me!"

Wells sobbed loudly and went back to his chair, where he sat staring at the floor and emitting the occasional sniffle.

Exactly what Wells was trying to achieve with this outburst -- if he intended it at all -- was a mystery.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 21, 2007 8:05 AM
Comments

I'm not going to take oj's bait and argue with him on this one, but I do want to note that during the Clinton affair all we heard from the pundits was that it was nearly impossible to prove perjury charges. None of those pundits has raised a peep with regard to Libby.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 21, 2007 11:34 AM

Let us keep in mind that the alleged falsification in the Libby case is not about the existence of a material fact, but rather the source of a piece of information. There is a very great difference.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 21, 2007 12:49 PM

OJ justice is 1)execution, 2)investigation 3) and if necessary charges.

Posted by: h-man at February 21, 2007 1:23 PM

Jim:

Yes, instead of arguing that he isn't guilty, which was silly, they should have been arguing that he wasn't guilty of anything significant. That'll win a perjury case.

Posted by: oj at February 21, 2007 2:32 PM

h:

Perjury isn't capital.

Posted by: oj at February 21, 2007 2:43 PM

Dana's probably the last journalist I would cite on this case. The trial was *really* about Bush/Cheney, the war, and the 2004 campaign ... in which Joe Wilson was a Kerry consultant. The fact that no evidence was presented on any of this is curious, but irrelevant. Fitz' closing harpoon gives the lie to any other theory. He's obsessed with the white whale. Methinks ... mehopes ... he meets Ahab's fate.

Posted by: ghostcat at February 21, 2007 4:42 PM

Wells has to convince a D.C. jury to acquit a powerful white Republican who worked for Mr. Big-Time powerful white Republican. Not an easy task, even if Fitzgerald's case is junk, and his witnesses proved to be gutless wonders.

But if Libby is acquitted (or if there is a hung jury), it will be interesting to see if Joe Wilson goes forward with his civil suit. All the areas that Judge Walton took off the table in this case will be open season in a civil trial, including testimony from Valerie herself.

Posted by: ratbert at February 21, 2007 4:46 PM

The trial was just about feds not liking being lied to. The politics is trivial.

Posted by: oj at February 21, 2007 5:58 PM
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