Thursday, October 28, 2004

Libby Timeline & Stuff

For inquiring minds, here's a link to charges filed yesterday by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald against Vice President Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. It is a five-count indictment; one count for obstruction of justice, two counts for making false statements and two additional counts for perjury. Libby faces up to 30 years in prison and a total of $1.25 million in fines, if convicted.

With an eleventh hour testimony, Karl Rove avoided indictment. The investigation remains ongoing, even though the grand jury's term expired yesterday; any new charges would easily be presented with a second grand jury.

A lot of questions still remain unanswered. Chief among them is whether Rove, "Official A" in the 22-page indictment as reported by the Washington Post, will ever be prosecuted.

Someone smarter than I noted Fitzgerald likes to refer to soon-to-be indicted bigwigs as "Official A" when first bringing charges against their buddies.

For example, on May 21, 2003, Fitzgerald charged former Gov. Ryan's lobbyist friend, Larry Warner with a 10-count indictment and referred to Ryan as "Official A." Ditto when Fitzgerald charged Arthur “Ron” Swanson in mid-2003.

Ryan was ultimately indicted by Fitzgerald on December 18, 2003; his trial did not get underway for more than 21 months; only recently did Ryan's case go to trial (September 28, 2005).

Darn! I guess no trial before next year's election, . No doubt, Libby and his laywers will stretch the whole affair until right after the '08 elections but before Bush leaves office. It's a pardon "thang."

Oh well, here is the official timeline, as spelled out in the Libby indictment:

May 29, 2003 - SLibby speaks with Under Secretary of State and asks the name of person responsible for sending former Ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger. In late May or early June a report is sent to Libby.

June 9, 2003 - Classified documents from the CIA are faxed to vice president's office to the attention of Libby and another White House official; it outlines Wilson's trip to Niger without specifically naming him. Liddy and possibly others writes "Wilson's wife" and "Joe Wilson" on the dispatch.

On June 11 or 12, 2003 - Libby is told by Undersecretary of State that Wilson’s wife works at the CIA, and employees from the State Department indicated his wife was associated with the trip.

June 11, 2003- A senior official with the Agency informs Libby that Wilson's wife works at the CIA, and she is credited with sending the former ambassador to Niger.

June 12, 2003 - Walter Pincus calls the vice president's office about the Wilson trip to Niger, and Libby with others discuss how to respond to the Washington Post reporter's inquiry.

June 12, 2003 - Libby speaks with Vice President Cheney about Joseph Wilson and is told by Cheney that Wilson's wife works for the CIA in the Counterproliferation Division.

June 14, 2003 – Libby meets with CIA “briefer” and complains about unfavorable CIA leaks about the vice president's office to reporters. In the same context, Libby talks about “Joe Wilson” and his wife, “Valerie Wilson."

Soon after a June 19 story in The New Republic about Wilson’s trip to Niger, Libby speaks with his principal deputy about the article. When his deputy asks if they can share information about Wilson and his wife to rebut charges that the administration knew the yellow uranium documents were forgeries since the vice president had sent Wilson, Libby tells him there are “complications at the CIA in disclosing…[the] information publicly.”

June 23, 2003 - Libby meets with The New York Times reporter, Judith Miller. He complains about “selective leaking” from the CIA on matters of intelligence, and mentions Joe Wilson’s trip to Niger. Also says that Wilson’s wife might work for the CIA

July 6, 2003 - Wilson’s article, “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.” is published by The New York Times. Wilson is also guest on “Meet the Press” as well as quoted in article by Walter Pincus in the Washington Post.

July 7, 2003- Libby has lunch with White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. Fleischer tells Libby that Wilson’s wife works at CIA and few people knew about it.

July 8, 2003. Libby meets with Judith Miller in the morning and asks that any information regarding Plame be attributed to “a former Hill staffer.” Libby informs Miller he believes Wilson’s wife works at the CIA.

July 8, 2003. Libby meets with counsel to vice president and asks “what paperwork” exists on spouse of CIA employee that took overseas trip.

Between June 2003 and July 8, 2003 - Libby learns from another “government official” that Wilson’s wife works at the CIA.

July 10, 2003 - Libby calls Tim Russert of NBC to complain about press coverage about him.

On July 10 or July 11- Libby speaks with "Official A" (Karl Rove) who tells him he has spoken with Robert Novak about Wilson and his wife. "Official A" tells Libby that Novak will be writing a story about the trip to Niger and Wilson’s wife.

July 12, 2003 - Libby flies on Air Force Two with other White House officials. On the return flight he discusses with them what he should tell media inquiries, including one by Matthew Cooper of Time.

On the afternoon of July 12, Libby speaks with Cooper by telephone and was asked by reporter if Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA. Libby confirms the information.

On July 12, 2003, Libby speaks with Judith Miller and discusses how Valerie Wilson/Plame worked at the CIA.

July 12, 2003- Libby speaks with Judith Miller and discussed that Valerie Wilson/Plame worked at the CIA.

One worthy note. If Libby should go to trial, Vice President Cheney will likely be forced to testify under oath. Documents filed with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia show Cheney told Libby that Valerie Plame worked at the CIA to Libby.

Too bad they can't ask him about those secret energy during the early administration years, no...?

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