Scooter throws Turd Blossom under the bus
January 23, 2007 5:23 PM   Subscribe

Politics/PlameFilter: In opening arguments today in the Plame investigation perjury case against Vice President Cheney's former Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, the prosecutor portrayed Libby as an agent of a Cheney-driven media offensive. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day came from Libby's attorney, who portrayed his client as a White House-chosen scapegoat for Karl Rove's misdeeds. A conservative reporter saw in Libby's emerging defense a "dramatic split inside the Bush White House." An MSNBC host asked whether this hullabaloo could lead to Cheney's resignation. Background on the case. Liveblogging of today's arguments from an anti-administration perspective.
posted by ibmcginty (16 comments total)
Nice cache of links you've got there. One other one I've been following is Slate's blog on the subject, from which I would expect an entry tonight or tomorrow. The four so far have been a nice curveball from the standard AP-wire reporting.
posted by jckll at 5:39 PM on January 23, 2007

Thanks, cklennon. Here's another good explanation of new stuff we learned today. David Gregory learned of Plame's status from Ari Fleischer, which could render Libby's version of events-- that he learned of Plame's status from Gregory's NBC colleague, Tim Russert-- more plausible.

It seems like Fitzgerald is going to have a ton of witnesses contradict that version, though, including various government officials and Russert himself.

One thing I don't get-- who cares, from a legal perspective, that Libby is Rove's scapegoat? I mean, sucks to be him, and all, but that doesn't really bear on the perjury issue, does it? Or is the theory that everyone in the White House is lying on behalf of Rove, and Libby was actually totally in the dark till his chat with Russert? Or is there something I'm missing here?
posted by ibmcginty at 5:51 PM on January 23, 2007

Ari got immunity--he's no fool. Supposedly, other govt. people did too.

I wonder whether Cheney will actually show up, and whether he will actually talk. I'm betting he stays silent and blames it all on national security, if he shows up at all.
posted by amberglow at 6:06 PM on January 23, 2007

This is going to be much, much more of a popcorn-muncher than I expected. The blow-by-blow from Firedoglake is compelling.
posted by unSane at 6:24 PM on January 23, 2007

who cares, from a legal perspective, that Libby is Rove's scapegoat?
If the jury accepts this argument and finds Libby not guilty, it doesn't mean that bailiffs will run right out and arrest Rove. Fitzgerald would have had Rove's butt in the dock if he thought he had enough dirt to convict him -- this won't make any difference as far as Rove is concerned. If Libby gets off, no one will pay for outing Plame. They may have thrown Libby in front of the bus, but they'll make sure it's a small bus and that it only grazes him a little.

I don't even think people will resign over this. The people at the center of this administration are so morally bankrupt that this won't even be a blip on the Big Radar of Shame (a stuck pixel on the Big LCD of Guilt? Stop me before I metaphorize again.)
posted by forrest at 7:41 PM on January 23, 2007

I fail to see why Mr. Cheney would resign, short of the serious threat of impeachment.

Any other reason for his resignation would imply that he has some nonzero sense of shame, or a lingering vestige of human decency.
posted by Flunkie at 7:43 PM on January 23, 2007

In other scandal news: GOP Antics May Have Led to Destroyed Scandal Evidence
posted by homunculus at 10:47 PM on January 23, 2007

posted by nofundy at 5:33 AM on January 24, 2007

Follow-up: Maybe it's all just throwing sand in the jury's face, creating an irrelevant, dubious dustcloud to confuse them and win their sympathy.
posted by ibmcginty at 12:25 PM on January 25, 2007

Wow, homunculus, I am really surprised.

Who would have thought that it would have taken "constant pressure" to get Pat Roberts to roll over for the administration?

You'd've thought that "a polite suggestion," or "a knowing glance," or "promises of fresh baked goods" would have sufficed.
posted by ibmcginty at 2:45 PM on January 26, 2007

So if Rove and Bartlett now are supoenaed, will separate cases have to be brought against them if they reveal anything new and illegal, or admit lying earlier to the grand jury too?
posted by amberglow at 11:51 AM on January 27, 2007

Speaking of throwing people under buses... what is wrong with this picture: A guy is on trial. His defense is that he is being sacrificed to protect "higher-ups" which could lead to the President. But he wants to avoid actually "giving up" (implicating/indicting) the "higher-ups" because it is his successful sacrifice that will possibly merit a Presidential pardon (issued on the President's last day in office?). Whether the President would actually do that remains to be seen, but it is the carrot-on-the-stick for Libby, should all else fail.

Those interested in this topic should check out the liveblogging at
posted by spock at 9:57 AM on February 1, 2007

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