28 October 2005

The Scooter Libby Indictment

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, has been indicted on five felony counts by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

There is every indication that Fitzgerald has prepared his case well and that Libby has virtually no chance of being acquitted. His own grand jury testimony provides undeniable proof of the statements where he is alleged to have lied. The Vice President and three different mainstream media reporter all agree that the statements made lack even a vague resemblance to the truth, and there is evidence that he knew information he claimed to get for the first time from reporters on six or seven occassions in advance of the time that he testified that those discussions took place and that he learned the information for the first time.

The press conference has made clear that there is at least one more person under continuing investigation. Some of the people in the indictment are not identified by name. Karl Rove and John Bolton seem likely to be two of those unnamed people. No plea bargains have been discussed. This doesn't mean that there haven't been some that have been reached.

Libby is a political animal. He has a very hard case to make to defend himself, and must care that a political trial involving a senior GOP official for outright lying is not going to be helpful in the run up to the 2006 election. It is hard to believe that he will keep fighting this trial until the bitter end. Maybe he will plea. Maybe he will try to commit suicide -- this is the classic kind of case where something like that happens.


Sotosoroto said...

Huh. Perjury wasn't such a big deal eight years ago, was it?

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Bill Clinton didn't walk into a grand jury and make up several conversations up out of whole cloth, as Libby is accused of doing.

Also, the significance of lying has to do with the materiality of the thing lied about. Lying about whether you leaked the identity of a CIA agent is more material than lying about having had sex (and as Colorado Luis linked in the blogroll notes, while Clinton was not terribly forthcoming, he did have some argument that his statement was truthful).