Woodard's Testimony Should Free Scooter

As liberals contemplate taking Bob Woodard to the woodshed, a former Federal Prosecutor says that today’s developments involving Bob Woodard are very serious and, further that, Mr. Fitzgerald should now seriously consider dismissing the case against Scooter Libby!

Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward disclosed today “that a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed.”

Of course, this set off a firestorm in the media and on the blogs. The Huffington Post liberals declared that their hero of Watergate had become the goat of Plamegate. But, the liberals really wanted to take Woodard to the Woodshed when they heard that Bob was out doing the rounds on TV and Radio saying:

And, to bottom it out, doing the TV and radio rounds, minimizing the scandal as “laughable”, “an accident”, “nothing to it” and denigrating Fitzgerald as “disgraceful” and “a junkyard dog” without ever once divulging that he was not just an observer of the CIA leak case but a recipient — perhaps the first — of the leak.

Conservative Tom Maguire at Just One Minute asked if Mr. Fitzgerald will now admit he was wrong:

As noted by Libby’s counsel, that does not jibe well with the assertion made by Mr. Fitzgerald at his press conference that “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.” (Give Fitzgerald props for qualifying this with “known to”, but check (f) in the ERRATA).

This disclosure by Woodward raises many questions, starting with, why is he only coming forward now, and why is the “senior Administration official” only coming forward now [Note – it seems to be an "Administration official” in Woodward’s statement].

Maguire continues with an extensive examination of the new developments.

This evening on FOX News Special Report Brit Hume interviewed Former Federal Prosecutor Joe Digenova who says that this is a very serious development.


Digenova: By alleging that Mr. Libby was in fact the original source, he publicly bootstrapped his case on that fact. That is now totally false and it requires him (Mr. Fitzgerald) now on Justice Department guidelines to seriously consider dismissingbecausee becaouse you cannot indict when there is a reasonable doubt and I believe now that there is reasonable doubt about Mr. Libby’s state of mind.

Hume: But, he’s (Scooter) charged with coming in front of the Grand Jury and lying under oath is he not?

Digenova: It is now clear that Mr. Libby’s allegation by his lawyers that his memory was simply faulty makes a lot more sense now that we know that Bob Woodward was in fact the first person to see that information. Not from Mr. Libby but from another apparently former government official.

Hume: But, those charges about Scooter telling Tim Russert… would still stand would they not?

Digenova: They would stand except for this. This now puts the prosecutor in the position of having made a very bold statement about something that Mr. Libby did which is not totally untrue and Mr. Fitzgerald knows it. It also shows that in the situation with Mr. Woodward, when he spoke with Walter Pincus at the Washington Post, he claims that he told Walter Pincus about this conversation about Mrs. Wilson. Mr. Pincus says, I don’t remember that. What this now does for the prosecutor and for the public is to put front and center the fact that witnesses can engage in the same event have a conversation and remember it totally differently. Mr. Libby’s defense team is free to run amok with this notion.

But Mr. Fitzgerald has a duty now. He has a very substantial duty as a prosecutor. Under the Justice Department guidelines when he has reason to believe that some factor that he relied on is false such as Mr. Libby being the first person to tell a reporter he has a duty to go back and if necessary, if that creates reasonable doubt about other things in the indictment he must dismiss it. That duty is upon him at this very moment and I hope he is going to be as honest about it as he pretends to have been about the underpinnings of the indictment.

Hume: You are quite sharply critical of Fitzgerald. Why?

Digenova: Because I believe that news conference was a disgrace! What he did was he bootstrapped Mrs. Wilson’s allegedly classified employment status, which is not covert status… He never charged that it was a violation under the espionage act. But what he did do was he tried to make it look like that was exactly what happened by not charging it.

That news conference was an overly aggressive attempt to present the public with a false picture of what this case was about. And, by making a terrible mistake now, about whether or not Mr. Libby was the first person he has to go back and recalibrate all of the evidence of this case. He has an immense duty to do that, and he better do it.

The former prosecutor sounds quite a bit like the conservative bloggers who have been covering the story. We will see soon enough if Mr. Fitzgerald follows the same reasoning.

Attorneys for Scooter Libby also said on Wednesday that the new information is helpful for their case.

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