Monday, October 31, 2005

Get Me Brendan Sullivan; I don't want no potted plant

If I were Lewis Libby, I would get Brendan Sullivan if he would take my case. Ollie North was in a lot worse shape than Lewis. Brendan's good counsel finally essentially exhonorated Lt. Col. North. North has parlayed that vindication into a second career which has been far more financially rewarding and probably less pressured than his first. Trust me, Libby's case is far more winnable than was Ollie's. If it were me, that would be my first choice.


Rick Ballard said...

We would have to sell a lot of "Free Scooter" T-shirts to pay for an hour of his time.

Is there a slang term for the minimum billing unit in law firms?

Starting a "Buy a ? for Scooter" campaign would be fun. I'd pay to watch a good Sullivan v. Fitzgerald match. I wonder if the Brits will put up a betting line.

David Thomson said...

“Trust me, Libby's case is far more winnable than was Ollie's.”

This might be the greatest understatement of the year. The prosecutor needs an unanimous verdict to gain a conviction. There’s no way that all twelve people will buy into the nonsensical theory that Libby lied---when he had no earthly reason to do so. My bet is that this case will not even make it to trial.

vnjagvet said...

For contrary opinions, see the combined efforts of the commenters Jukeboxgrad, Creepy Dude, and Geek, Esq., on Just One Minute.

Yeoman service in a lost cause or penetrating analysis? You be the judge (and jury).

Rick Ballard said...


Soros should try and get his money back from them. They aren't very good at all. I wonder if there is a word that means "prolificly stupid"?

terrye said...

I will never forget Ollie North going in front of the cameras. I thought they would bury the man, boy was I wrong.

I kind of like the idea of Free Skooter Tshirts.

Syl said...

Well, the most Libby needs is someone familiar with handling classified information.

These cases can get very complex, and they do depend materially on exact words spoken.

But just an 'I forgot' defense isn't going to cut it. What if the jurors are all like Geek and CreepyDude? I doubt any of them would be like JBG, though, too much postmodernism in his thinking.

Knucklehead said...


Willfully, relentlessly, prolificly stupid.

That describes the Left pretty darned well. I'd like it better if it didn't fit me so well but I'll take solace from knowing that I am not of the Left and even the VRWC needs a WRPS contributor or two.

vnjagvet said...

With someone like Sullivan, though, this case becomes a technical nightmare for the prosecution. Even if they get a verdict, it will be tough to sustain on appeal.

What great publicity for the next great spy novelist, though. And what a way to begin that career. Even a brief period in the slammer (which I don't expect) would help the authenticity of some great future scenes and plots.

Anonymous said...

A credible defendable case:
Libby was probably not offered the opportunity to recant. Rove was and did. The timing of who went before the GJ first and who went afterwards. A key to the defense is if Libby will demand the CIA files. Did Fitzgerald violate DOJ guidelines by giving his long press conference?

This case is along way from conviction.

vnjagvet said...


Welcome, and thanks for the comment.

I would demand everything my little imagination could construct relevance for, wouldn't you?

I also would be trying to track down those sources for Pincus and Kristof.

This is one case that cries out for a good offense as well as a good defense.

I would wear out the prosecution so they couldn't get back to their "day jobs" if they wanted to. Paper, paper paper.

And PR, PR, and PR. Cable News, Talk shows, etc. I would have a Lanny Davis or Barry Richards type all over the place 'splainin' and counteracting the work the prosecutor and MSM have done to taint the jury pool.

Libby was fighting the "dirty tricks" spawned by Wilson's supporters who had everything to gain by a Kerry win. He had to do it without committing a crime, and he succeeded.

An expensive proposition, but one that could be effective in the hands of skilled practitioners of the art.

Anonymous said...

You are right in all you say. I like the bit about Kristoff and Pincus. This is what good effective trial lawyers in the media age do. I am not sure tho that the Republicans have that "street fighter" tenacity learned quite effectively in the Clinton Wars. They do it better in this case.

vnjagvet said...

If they don't have it, they had better get it. BTW: Many trial lawyers love the fight. They don't much care much about ideology.

Anonymous said...

I read an article in the Times yesterday which noted that Libby was a trial lawyer as well. It stated that he had a good clientele including at one point Marc Rich. But I think his representation of Rich was not trial related. Libby seems to need a big trial firm which can do massive amounts of legal research and try the case as well. That legal research will include going after the Washington post and the New York Times and the CIA on all the issues we have written about

Rick Ballard said...


If the questions that underly the perjury counts were asked of Libby at trial, would a judge sustain objections to their form? (He asked, in compound form.)

Anonymous said...

A substantial part of the case against Scooter Libbey rests on contradicting recollections of conversations. It is one witness against the defendant.

The witnesses are journalists. They have an extensive record of public statements on various subjects. If their published statements are incorrect, journalists have a duty to issue a correction. If no correction is issued, the veracity of the journalist can be questioned.

So in a criminal case where the jury has to decide which of two people is telling the truth it is relevant whether reports made by journalists are truthfull, and if not whether and when a correction has been made.

So a good defense lawyer should review Russert and Cooper's prior work to see when it has not been accurate and what they have done to correct inaccurate reports. If a pattern of not correcting inaccurate reports is present that fact alone should provide reasonable doubt to a jury.

vnjagvet said...


I believe the issue that you bring up would be attacked in a pre-trial motion.

In order to prove the statements under consideration were false testimony, the questions to which they were the answers must be produced prior to trial. This will be found out in a bill of particulars which will requested by the defense during pre-trial discovery.

Then when the questions are part of the record, the defense will assert (if that is the case) that the question to which the testimony responded is objectionable for e.g. being compound (asking more than one question at a time), assuming a fact not in evidence (the classic "when did you stop beating your wife"), being vague and ambiguous, etc., etc.

If the court sustains the objection, the case could be thrown out as a matter of law.

Anonymous: Welcome to the site. You have a good point. A journalist has a body of works what may be explored for material for cross examination. The possiblities are limited only by relevance, materiality and the imagination of the defense counsel.