Apr 13 2006

Libby Judge Reads Counsels The Riot Act

Published by at 11:05 pm under All General Discussions,Plame Game

The judge in the Libby trial is not happy with all the disclosures regarding the case to the press. Well, part of me says ‘too bad, judge’. This is a national issue and a public trial and we deserve the right to the information. On the flip side, his ire is correct if he is truly one of the last to know when these things come out:

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walston did not explain exactly what provoked his pique, but he wrote in his order that “on several occasions information has been distributed to the press by counsel, which has included not only public statements, but also the dissemination of material that had not been filed on the public docket.

As I just posted, don’t irritate the judge at this juncture. Apparently the pending gag order is in response to the recent filings:

He made the threat a week after special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who is investigating leaks to the media by administration officials about a CIA operative, wrote in a court filing that President Bush and Vice President Cheney had authorized Libby to release information to the media from a classified intelligence report.

In a reply brief filed late Wednesday evening, Libby’s defense team noted that this disclosure set “off an avalanche of media interest.” Acting in response to questions, one of Libby’s lawyers had made a brief statement to the media that Libby’s White House-authorized release of information about Iraq was disconnected from any release of the name of the CIA officer, Valerie Plame, contrary to what Fitzgerald said in his court papers.

Interestingly, the Post decides to use this article to break a little news about their role in the Libby case:

In a related development, The Post yesterday was subpoenaed by Libby’s defense team to produce records related to the case that the newspaper had not turned over to Fitzgerald. Eric Lieberman, a counsel at The Post, said the newspaper would comply by providing Libby with a complete copy of a memorandum by Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward from his interview with Libby on June 27, 2003.

Woodward has said Libby spoke in the interview about the same intelligence report he discussed with other journalists. “This action does not pose legal or journalistic concerns to The Post or Mr. Woodward,” Lieberman said.

Emphasis mine. Well, well, now this is interesting. If my guess is right, Woodward will have NOT noted anything regarding Valerie Plame and her job at the CIA in this memo. So Fitzgerald is going to have to explain why, if Libby was out to get back at Joe by outing Val, Libby missed this ripe opportunity to plant the story with a well reknowned and broadly read newsman like Woodward? If Libby was out to get at Joe, why not include Bob Woodward and the Washington Post?

Also interestingly, the Post had this memo and apparently did not report on it. At least to my recollection. Woodward knew by the time of his meeting with Libby about Plame from his other source (most likely Armitage). All speculation of course!  Wouldn’t it be nice to see that leaked soon?

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Libby Judge Reads Counsels The Riot Act”

  1. Decision '08 says:

    Looking For Updates on PlameGate?…

    (And who isn’t?) AJ has you covered here and here…