We Now know That Fitzpatrick Was On The List Of US Attorneys To Be Fired By Gonzales. He Survived.
Usually a prosecutor includes all possible charges and defendants in an indictment knowing that all the allegations will not be successfully prosecuted and that one indicted person will often testify against another for a lesser sentence.
Also the more charges the more likely it is that a defendant will plead guilty to some in exchange for a dismissal of others. Neither Libbey or Rove where charged on a count for the disclosure of the identity of covert intelligence personal (Valerie Plame) 18 U.S.C. 421 or a count of improper disclosure of National Defense information 18 U.S.C. 793.
It seems that a hard charging prosecutor would have included Rove who admits he disclosed that Joseph Wilson’s wife (Valerie Plame) was a CIA employee to a Robert Novak who then published the fact in his column in the Chicago Herald Tribune. (click here) Then the sparks would have flown.
Instead the prosecutor took a very conservative route and only charged Libbey for lying to the FBI and the Grand Jury and with the concurrent charge of obstruction of justice. Charges he had the strongest evidence on. The other charges were left out because of the necessity of proving specific intent. However this problem is addressed by prosecutors all across the country on a daily basis on lesser defendants. Most prosecutors file broad criminal complaints and then see what sticks. See Michael Jackson And The Law(click here) or Scott Petersen And The Death Penalty.
Prosecutor Fitzgerald may have requested indictment of other charges and defendants by the Grand Jury and was turned down. However that is an unlikely event since it is almost a law that a Grand Jury indicts whom and on what charges the prosecutor requests.
Fitzgerald says he is still investigating and there is a new grand jury so there may be more defendants and charges to come.
Is Someone Else In Jeopardy?
Republican loyalists have rallied around Libbey and committed themselves to raise a five million dollar trust for the purpose of paying Libbey’s lawyers for his defense of his recent indictment. (click here)
Since this is a private fund there is no disclosure of who donated what amount. Although Melvin Sempler, Bush’s former ambassador to Italy and a republican finance chief will be chair. Others involved are Steve Forbes, Fred Thompson the GOP actor/ politician, ex U.N. Ambassador Jean Kirkpatrick and lobbyists Bill Paxton and Wayne Berman. The major donations will be in two hundred fifty thousand dollar increments.
William Clinton had to pay his own legal bills in the White Water Investigation even when it turned into a witch-hunt led by Ken Starr. Also many other officials stood alone when charged with legal violations while in office. Most of the Watergate defendants come to mind.
Why Is There So Much Concern Over Raising Money For Libbey’s Defense?
The Bush Admistration must feel threatened by the inside knowledge Libbey has about their own knowledge and activities in the Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame matter. That is why they are circling the wagons around him to contain that information. (click here).
In other words the Administration wants to keep him in the tent pissing out rather than outside the tent pissing in. If Libbey got the idea he was being thrown to the wolves or otherwise abandoned by the Administration and their loyalists he would feel free to trade what he knows for a reduced sentence by Prosecutor Fitzgerald.
John Dean (click here) told every thing he knew about Nixon and Watergate in an attempt to obtain immunity when he thought Nixon was setting him up to be a scapegoat. In return he received a reduced sentence.
This fund is reminiscent of the Swift Boat Veteran’s For Truth fund that purchased negative ads against John Kerry in the Bush-Kerry ’04 campaign. It arose overnight with an ad campaign that was false. Bush denied any connection with the group but did not stop or deny the allegations of the ads. http://www.edsopinion.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=96&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0) Karl Rove was suspected as being the instigator of the group as the ad campaign was typical of his modus operandi. Just like this defense fund for Libbey is also.
The ball is still in prosecutor Fitzgerald’s court as to how far he is willing to turn the heat up on Libbey and other unindicted defendants in his quest for the truth in this matter.
Is Prosecutor Fitzgerald Proceeding In Too Light A Manner Against Libbey and Rove?
Bob Woodard Now States That He Was Told By An “Undisclosed” High Administration Official That Joe Wilson’s Wife Was A CIA Employee Before Libbey Told Judith Miller According To Libbey’s Indictment.
Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has convened a new grand jury to look further into the Valerie Plame matter when recently a high administration official told him that he disclosed to Bob Woodard of the Washington Post and Watergate fame that Joe Wilson’s wife was a CIA employee working on weapons of mass destruction in mid June 2003. This is before I. Lewis Libbey was alleged to have disclosed Valerie Plame’s identity to Judith Miller on June 23, 2003.
However this will not effect Libbey’s Indictment because he was not charged with disclosing Plame’s identity but lying to the FBI and before the grand jury and obstruction of justice.(click here).However the investigation of the Plame matter is on going and another high admistration official (undisclosed at this point) has admitted talking to reporters before Libbey. The race is on by the news media to determine who that high administration official could be.
This Whole Matter Suggests The Administration Has Manipulated and Corrupted The Media To Get Its Propaganda Out.
Distorting The Public Perception Of Reality.
The Valerie Plame matter reveals how the Administration can make a superstar out of a reporter by leaking information to him or her and withholding it from other reporters. That’s why Bob Woodard and Judith Miller are or were reporters high up on the Washington food chain while others labored in the Washington vineyards for years without achieving national prominence. It also helps if you represent the Washington Post, The New York Times or Time magazine. These media sources are the news leaders for the hundreds of other newspapers, magazines and electronic news media through out the United States. They print the stories and the other media pick it up and further republish it.
That is why an undisclosed high administration official like Rove Or Libby working alone or in concert can shape the way news is seen and reported in Washingtonand in the World.. The “investigative” reporters become mere mouthpieces for the Administration’ propaganda or spin. If it had not been a crime to reveal Valerie Plames covert status with the CIA none of this manipulation would have come to light. If she was a non covert employee the CIA would not have had grounds to file a complaint with the Justice Department and a special prosecutor would not have been appointed and
the machinations of the Bush Administration to discredit, Joseph Wilson, a source critical of the Administration’s grounds for justifying the war in Iraq would not have come to light. Wilson would have been skewered in the Bush Administration’s blitz against him for daring to speak out on the deceptions created by the Administration and given to Congress and the American people about weapons of mass destruction allegedly stockpiled in Iraq as justification for going to war in Iraq.
Why Does Libbey need a 5 million dollar defense fund raised by Republican loyalists?
Will Scooter Libbey Obtain A Presidential Pardon For Himself Like His Former Client Marc Rich Received From President Clinton.
On October 28,2005 I. Lewis Libbey was indicted on five counts of perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice.(click here). On November 3, 2005 he pled not guilty at his arraignment and demanded a jury trial.
Will this case ever go to trial? Probably not because prominent members of the Administration would be called and forced to testify under oath. Also there are classified documents involved, according to Prosecutor Fitzgerald, which will require declassification or special handling by the court. The witnesses could include Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice, Defense Secretary Rumsfield, Karl Rove and many others including possibly George Bush. Further it would involve the way that the Weapons of Mass Destruction argument was created and disseminated to the public as justification for the war including who authorized it, who knew it was based on false facts, inadequate information or guesswork.
A trial would be very embarrassing for the Administration and it could lead to further indictments. Therefore Libbey is likely to plea to the counts against him. However this could be devastating for him personally. He would have to serve time in jail and would either have his license to practice law suspended or revoked. His other alternative is to give a complete account of what he knows about the Wilson-Plame case and the propaganda build up for the Iraqi war. This may include giving incriminating information against other members of the Administration including Rove and Cheney. This would be a devastating event for the Administration and it could lead to a meltdown of the Presidency of George Bush as happened in the Watergate case with Richard Nixon. John Dean told every thing he knew when confronted by a Congressional subpoena and the knowledge that Nixon had taped all conversations taking place in the Oval Office. It is doubtful Libbey will do this.
Is A Presidential Pardon An Option?
More likely Libbey’s lawyers will allow him to plead guilty and hope for a quid pro quo from the Administration in the form of a pardon. This is also dangerous ground because it could involve obstruction of justice if a promise is given before Libbey is convicted. Therefore it would have to be an expectation on Libbey’s part that in return for his silence he would later receive a full pardon when Bush leaves office. However he would have no prior guarantee. Clinton did this with Susan McDougal but she still had to spend eighteen months in prison and there was no guarantee that she would ever receive a pardon until Clinton signed the paperwork on the day he left office.
Of course such a pardon would would create a public relations uproar worse than when Clinton Pardoned Marc Rich. Marc Rich was the commodities trader who fled the country when he was indicted for tax evasion and for trading (Oil) with Iran during the Iran Hostage crisis. The pardon application was handled by Jack Quinn another lawyer but, Libbey had been Marc Rich’s lawyer for a number of years. Also when President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon there was a furor in the press but it is the president’s prerogative to pardon who he wishes. In Ford’s case he ran again for president and was not reelected so the pardon may have cost him the office. Bush is not going to run again but someone in the Republican Party will and he may have to answer for any pardon. It should be noted that neither H. R. Haldeman orJohn Ehrlichman, Nixon’s top aides, recieved a pardon from Ford or any later president. It seems they were out of the loop once they were forced from office.
If Libbey will not plea bargain for a reduced sentence in exchange for a John Dean like narrative of events he will have to either go to trial or plead guilty to the five counts and be sentenced accordingly perhaps receiving as long as ten years in federal prison. The pardon opt out seems the easiest way to go for the Administration. However as said an agreement to do this beforehand would expose those involved to further obstruction of justice charges.
Whatever Libbey does it will be a Hobson’s Choice resulting in either disaster for the Administration or himself or both. This is why Bush admits this is a serious matter. He may have to cut Karl Rove loose to distance himself from the case as Rove admits he told columnist Robert Novak that Joseph Wilson’s wife was a CIA employee This case could lead to the resignation of Vice President Cheney and Bush, himself, if not handled properly.(click here).
Libbey is a ticking time bomb for this Administration.