Thursday, February 09, 2006

Texas hold'em

Murray Waas has another scoop on Plamegate up @ National Journal. The primary thrust is that Libby is floating a "I vas only followink orders" defense. Interesting and important stuff. But I think Murray missed something important.

Although it is not known if Cheney had told the special prosecutor that he had authorized Libby to leak classified information to reporters, Dan Richman, a professor of law at Fordham University and a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, said, "One certainly would not expect Libby, as part of his defense, to claim some sort of clear authorization from Cheney where none existed, because that would clearly risk the government's calling Cheney to rebut that claim."
Here I disagree -- that's exactly why he is going this route.

What we have here is a high stakes poker game, and Libby is raising the house limit. Libby isn't doing this because he expects Cheney to actually come and confirm his alibi. He knows Cheney will never do that. He's pushing the Administration to make this thing go away, and a subpoena to the Dick is probably the straightest line to a pardon that Libby can draw.

This is likely to get very interesting. My guess is that Fitz is going to take the position that Libby is charged with lying (to the grand jury and to the investigators), and the fact that Cheney told him to leak is interesting but irrelevant. Which could mean he will refuse to take the gambit. Now wouldn't that be fun? Libby fingers his boss, and Fitz leaves it hanging unrebutted, because it doesn't absolve Libby of the crime he was charged with. If it plays out this way, Fitz will look like a damned genius for not charging the underlying crime, since Libby's gambit might have been a defense there.

I just wish it would all unfold faster -- and that Fitz would get to the part that ensnares the Turd Blossom.


Blogger progprog said...

My original thought was that it was clearly to get the Libby team into a situation where things couldn't go forward unless Cheney would testify, which he wouldn't do. But I like your reasoning.

Fitz is a smart guy, and maybe he was looking a few moves ahead when he made his indictment move.

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Via said...

I'm waiting for him to indict Big Time.

6:35 AM  

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