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Why did Fitzgerald pursue Libby so strenuously, especially when he knew the leaker’s identity?
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, July 05, 2007

As I noted in an earlier post, we haven't paid much attention to le affair Libby simply because there were other things going on that were much more interesting and, frankly, it was covered wall-to-wall in the blogosphere. That and the fact that I didn't see it as much more than a tempest in a teapot.

But, since the commutation of the sentence, I've been doing a little reading. One of the more under reported aspects of this particular case, at least in my view, is the previous history of both Scooter Libby and Patrick Fitzgerald, to wit:
As it happens, Messrs. Fitzgerald and Libby had crossed legal paths before. Before he joined the Bush Administration, Mr. Libby had, for a number of years in the 1980s and 1990s, been a lawyer for Marc Rich. Mr. Rich is the oil trader and financier who fled to Switzerland in 1983, just ahead of his indictment for tax-evasion by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Bill Clinton pardoned Mr. Rich in 2001, and so the feds never did get their man. The pardon so infuriated Justice lawyers who had worked on the case that the Southern District promptly launched an investigation into whether the pardon had been "proper." One former prosecutor we spoke to described the Rich case as "the single most rancorous case in the history of the Southern District."

Two of the prosecutors who worked on the Rich case over the years were none other than Mr. Fitzgerald and James Comey, who while Deputy Attorney General appointed Mr. Fitzgerald to investigate the Plame leak. Mr. Fitzgerald worked in the Southern District for five years starting in 1988, at the same time that Mr. Libby was developing a legal theory of Mr. Rich's innocence in a bid to get the charges dropped. The prosecutors never did accept the argument, but Leonard Garment, who brought Mr. Libby onto the case in 1985, says that he believes Mr. Libby's legal work helped set the stage for Mr. Rich's eventual pardon.
You can read more about it here.

The question? Was Libby "Nifonged" by Fitzgerald because of the past?
 
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Oh, he was "Nifong’d", all right... but that only happened because Fitz was going after the White House... and when there was nothing there, he had to settle for Libby.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Eh. By all accounts, Fitz is a capable prosecutor and a decent man. I don’t think there was any lingering desire to "get even" with anyone. A little overzealous prosecuting and a need to get a conviction to justify the drawn-out investigation are the simplest explanations here.
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com
I don’t think there was any lingering desire to "get even" with anyone.
Not getting even I think, but there was the usual prosecutor’s desire to get a scalp.

This desire is in proportion to the resources spent and the political heat surrounding the case, so I have no doubt Libby was convicted when the same standard of proof that was applied to him would have convicted several of the witnesses against him.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
1. Armitage was a leaker, not the leaker.
2. One really important question was how Armitage learned of Plame’s identity.
3. Another really important question was how the other leakers learned of Plame’s identity.
4. According to Fitz, Libby lied repeatedly about how he learned of Plame’s identity. Libby told the grand jury that he learned about Plame’s identity from the press. Fitz was able to establish to the jury’s satisfaction that Libby was one of the first leakers, and learned of Plame’s identity internally.

5. Rove who apparently had also lied to the grand jury in earlier testimony went back and told the truth. He was not charged. Libby could have taken Rove’s route but chose not to.

6. And since someone is bound to bring in Clinton and Berger, Clinton was found not guilty by the applicable jury, ie the Senate, and Berger took a plea bargain.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
The question? Was Libby "Nifonged" by Fitzgerald because of the past?
EH.

Once you set the weasel (special prosecutor) among the chickens, the weasel is gonna keep going until he get something, no matter how small a mouthfull.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Was Libby "Nifonged" by Fitzgerald because of the past?
Ridiculous. Fitzgerald is one of the most respected prosecutors in the country. Nifong just got disbarred, and rightfully so. You can do better, McQ, than adopt Clintonian tactics.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Ridiculous. Fitzgerald is one of the most respected prosecutors in the country. Nifong just got disbarred, and rightfully so. You can do better, McQ, than adopt Clintonian tactics.
So you see no possibility whatsoever, given their past dealings and the apparent grudge held by the prosecutors office Fitzgerald worked for over the Rich pardon, that there might have been some bad feelings there?

I’d say that’s a bit naive.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Libby committed perjury and got caught. That’s what will happen when you mess with good prosecutors. It happens all the time in all kinds of investigations. I just don’t see the purpose of questioning the integrity of a guy who got assigned a job and did it. Certainly not on the basis of specious speculation and partisan paranoia.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Well, Libby got charged with lying, but EVERYONE had a different version of who told who what, when...only the prosecutor and the jury decided that LIBBY was lying...to me it’s not so clear cut he perjured himself...what if he told the truth and it was the witnesses that lied? As I understand the were a number of narratives, not all the witnesses said "A" and Libby said "B". In that case, we could probably conclude Libby WAS lying and was committing perjury, but if there were several stories about, then it’s possible that Libby mis-remembered and that some other witness was lying, the facts fit EITHER conclusion, it is simply that the Prosecutor decided that the witnesses were not lying and Libby was. And that would ahve been because Libby was a government official and the others were not and we were looking at a government campaign and cover-up, so the focus was naturally Libby, not Novak.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Libby committed perjury and got caught. That’s what will happen when you mess with good prosecutors. It happens all the time in all kinds of investigations. I just don’t see the purpose of questioning the integrity of a guy who got assigned a job and did it. Certainly not on the basis of specious speculation and partisan paranoia.
This is non-responsive to the question David. Are you going to answer it or not?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Funny to see lefties jump to the defense of a prosecutor exceeding his portfolio after they tore a good man like Kenneth Starr to pieces for doing nothing more than his job.

You people have all the intellectual consistency of my little 6-year-old boy. And like him, you are fooling nobody.

It is amusing to watch, though.
 
Written By: spongeworthy
URL: http://
Let’s see Nifong charged people with crimes they didn’t commit, for which he had no evidence. Fitzgerald charged Scooter with crimes he did commit, for which he presented overwhelming evidence. Soooo I’m gonna say: No.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Fitzgerald charged Scooter with crimes he did commit, for which he presented overwhelming evidence. Soooo I’m gonna say: No.

To me that’s the point, depending on which narrative yuo chose there was lots of evidence of SOMEONE’S guilt, Person 1 saying "X", Person 2 saying "Y", Person 3. saying "Z", which of the three is lying and which of the three is merely mis-remembering is the question, because there were not TWO narratives, Libby’s and the other witnesses but several, IIRC. So then it becomes whom do you wish to charge with lying and who shall be the witnesses.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Funny to see lefties jump to the defense of a prosecutor exceeding his portfolio after they tore a good man like Kenneth Starr to pieces for doing nothing more than his job.
ROTFLMMFAO
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Funny to see lefties jump to the defense of a prosecutor exceeding his portfolio after they tore a good man like Kenneth Starr to pieces for doing nothing more than his job.
First, I’m not a "leftie." Second, I defended Ken Starr as vehemently as I do Pat Fitzgerald. Indeed, that expains my reference to McQ’s "Clintonian tactics."

McQ: What more can I say? Anything is possible. (Fill in your own far-fetched examples here . . . ) Doesn’t make it right.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
high-quality prosecutors like Fitz don’t usually get torqued off by defense counsel tactics. We’re all lawyers doing our jobs. The only exception would be if Fitz believed that Libby (not Rich) acted illegally / unethically in obtaining the pardon. Even then, the violation would have to be pretty outrageous for that action to color Fitz’s judgment in the later proceeding.

Joe: according to the judge, who is not known as an anti-administration ideologue, the evidence against Libby was overwhelming, consistent and from multiple sources.

 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
6. And since someone is bound to bring in Clinton and Berger, Clinton was found not guilty by the applicable jury, ie the Senate, and Berger took a plea bargain.

Klinton lost his license to practice law by the applicable state bar association, and Booger admitted guilt.

Let’s tell the WHOLE story, Francis.
 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://
And oddly enough, Berger is now on probation without ever having been in prison, something Judge Walton says is impossible. What is he smoking?
 
Written By: Vatar
URL: http://
Nifong-Fitzgerald said on October 28, 2005 "In fact, Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked to Judith Miller in June of 2003 about Valerie Wilson." We now know that was false, it was Armitage, and that Fitzgerald knew that in 2003. Fitzgerald is a liar.
 
Written By: Vatar
URL: http://
I’ll also add that we know that three jurors admitted that Fitz didn’t really make his case, but Libby was the only victim offered, so he would do.

Having a DC jury find a Republican guilty isn’t quite the slam dunk that convicting a black man in rural Mississippi used to be, but it’s getting there.....
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
"We now know that was false, it was Armitage, and that Fitzgerald knew that in 2003. Fitzgerald is a liar"

So if he knew in 2003 that Armitage was the source, why did he put Judith Miller in jail in 2005?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Nifong would not be Nifong if he were able to push his case through and get a conviction, and Fitzgerald cannot be compared to Nifong for the same reason.

More importantly, Fitzgerald was selected, by Republicans, to investigate Republicans, and he did not simply reach into his jursidiction and decide to investigate the matters he investigated.

If you lie under oath, and it can be proven by the prosecutor in a jury trial, you run a VERY real risk of being prosecuted. If these cases were not regularly prosecuted, then the importance of giving honest testimony would be mitigated.

You can second guess all day long, but do any of you really think that Libby did not lie under oath?

Cap

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
"To me that’s the point, depending on which narrative yuo chose there was lots of evidence of SOMEONE’S guilt, Person 1 saying "X", Person 2 saying "Y", Person 3. saying "Z", which of the three is lying and which of the three is merely mis-remembering is the question"

Here in America we have this thing called a "jury trial". What happens is the prosecutor presents all of his evidence and the defense presents all of their evidence to the jury. Each side gets to cross-examine the other sides witnesses and each side gets to argue to the jury their theory of what the facts prove. The prosecutor must prove his case "beyond a reasonable doubt" Scooter had very competent lawyers AND the jury after weeks and weeks of testimony found Scooter guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt"...So yes there might be various versions of the facts, but Scooter was found guilty based on our system of justice. Soooo, he’s guilty.
 
Written By: Alfred
URL: http://

 
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