04 February 2006

Is that a subpoena in your pocket?

Mark your calendars.

January 8, 2007: Scooter goes to trial.

Ted Wells, one of Libby's lawyers, said the
defense team was "very happy" with the
January 2007 trial date. "The defense will
show that Mr. Libby is totally innocent, that
he has not done anything wrong," Wells said
outside the courthouse.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald did not
oppose the date during the hearing, and his
team left the courthouse without

You can bet there will be plenty of journalists in the
courthouse next January -- and not all of them covering
the trial.

Lawyers for both sides made clear Friday
that a significant part of their cases will rely
on testimony from reporters.

Walton told the lawyers that he wants them
to identify soon the reporters that each side
wants to testify at trial to give news
organizations time to fight the subpoenas.

Fitzgerald said both sides should know
which reporters they want to subpoena by
early spring.

And that’s right around the corner. By the time we’re
done with the Superbowl and the Oscars, we should be
hearing who the nominees are for Best Supporting Stooge
in a Government Scandal or Cover-Up.
There are already
several strong candidates.

Will it be Tiny Tim?

Lawyers for NBC News reporter Tim Russert
suspected in the spring of 2004 that his
testimony could snare Vice President Cheney's
top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, in a lie and
Russert resisted testifying at the time about
private conversations with Libby, according
to court papers released yesterday.

Russert was aware that a special prosecutor
probing the leak of a CIA operative's name
knew of his summer 2003 telephone
conversation with Libby, and that Libby had
released him from any promise of
confidentiality. But Russert, the Washington
bureau chief for NBC News and host of
"Meet the Press," and his attorneys argued in
previously sealed court filings in June 2004
that he should not have to tell a grand jury
about that conversation, because it would
harm Russert's relationship with other

Russert ultimately testified under oath about
the conversation after a federal judge ordered
him to do so in July 2004. The information
Russert provided became important evidence
that Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald
used to indict Libby in October on five felony
counts of lying to the FBI and a grand jury,
and of obstruction of justice.

Or Jailbird Judy?

Libby was also asked about two July
conversations he had with Miller. He said he
never mentioned Wilson's wife to Miller in
the first conversation but passed along some
information another reporter told him about
Plame in the second, according to the

Miller testified last year, however, that she
thought Libby was the first government
official to mention Wilson's wife to her and
that he did so in three conversations: on June
23, when she visited his office in the
Executive Office Building, and on July 8 and

Or perhaps the Prince of Darkness himself?

During Monday's speech in the Hinckley
Caucus Room, Joe Wilson said, per his wife's
request, he no longer refers to Bob Novak as
a "douche bag."

Novak identified Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame
Wilson, as a CIA operative in a 2003 column,
beginning an investigation into who leaked
her name.

Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff,
Lewis "Scooter" Libby, has since been
indicted on perjury and obstruction of justice.

"Bob Novak is not in jail because he sang like
a canary to the Grand Jury," Wilson said. "He
is a denizen of the deep who crumbled like a

[Hat tip to TPM for photo]