Man, there have to be a whole lot of disappointed lefties out there.
Talk about a huge build up to nothing. The Libby indictments stink. I agree with Ledeen. They basically boil down to a he said/she said dispute between what Libby told the investigators he said to various journalists, and what the journalists say he said. Apparently, the journalist’s word is gold and support enough alone for a federal indictment for obstructing justice and perjury.
Don’t believe me? Here’s MSNBC’s synopsis of the charges
Count one: obstruction of justice
The grand jury charges that Libby did “knowingly and corruptly endeavor to influence, obstruct and impede the due administration of justice… by misleading and deceiving the grand jury” about when and how he learned that covert operative Valerie Plame worked for the CIA. He is also accused of misleading the grand jury about how he disclosed that information to the media.
Well, there’s no support for the first sentence in the facts alleged in the indictment. As to the second sentence, if the allegations about Libby’s accounts of his conversations with the journalists are correct, they seem to indicate that Libby lied to the journalists, but there is no indication in the facts alleged that Libby lied to the grand jury about the truth of his knowledge of Plame’s identity. In other words, its a crime for Libby to tell the Grand Jury that he told Russert that he didn’t know that Plame was Wilson’s wife only if Libby also claims that he actually didn’t know that Plame was Wilson’s wife. It’s not a crime for him to have known that Plame was Wilson’s wife and lie to Russert about it (it was actually his legal duty!)
Count two: false statement
The grand jury charges that Libby “did knowingly and willfully make a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement” in an FBI investigation. Specifically, the indictment says Libby misled FBI agents in response to questions about a conversation with Tim Russert of NBC News in July 2003.
Well, that only sticks if the jury believes Russert and not Libby. Do you really want to indict a federal official on he said/she said evidence?
Count three: false statement
Libby is charged with misleading FBI agents about his July 2003 conversation with another reporter, Matt Cooper of Time Magazine.
Count four: perjury
After taking an oath to testify truthfully, Libby knowingly made a “false material declaration” about his conversation with Russert, the grand jury alleges.
Count five: perjury
Also under oath, Libby is accused of knowingly making a “false material declaration” about his conversation with Cooper.
Ditto, again. Counts 2 and 3 are essentially the same as 4 and 5, the only difference being who Libby was telling his side of the story to at the time, the FBI or the Grand Jury.
To repeat, there is no allegation in the indictment that Libby lied to the Federal Grand Jury or the FBI about his knowledge of Valerie Plame’s identity and when he learned it.
Where’s the crime, Fitz? Is this the best ya got? ‘Cuz it ain’t good enough.
And don’t you usually lead with your best stuff? If this is what he’s leading with, I think the White House has very little to worry about.