Libby’s Defense

LIBBY’S DEFENSE….Scooter Libby’s lawyer has outlined Libby’s probable defense against Patrick Fitzgerald’s perjury charges: he forgot.

As lawyers, we recognize that a person’s recollection and memory of events will not always match those of other people, particularly when they are asked to testify months after the events occurred.

I sure hope Libby has a backup plan. Granted, pleas of faulty memory are pretty common in court cases, but Libby has a high bar to overcome:

  • His first interview with the FBI was only a few months after the events in question. This isn’t a matter of being hazy on a few details years after the fact.

  • It’s been pretty well documented that Libby was obsessed with Joe Wilson. This wasn’t just a sideshow for him, it was something he spent a lot of time on.

  • Libby testified that his knowledge of Valerie Plame’s CIA employment came from reporters. This was false, but it isn’t just a matter of Libby’s testimony not matching that of the reporters who supposedly told him about Plame. Fitzgerald also has a bunch of evidence showing that Libby actively pursued information about Wilson and discussed his wife’s status with numerous people within the White House. That’s a lot to forget.

  • Libby repeated his false story on four separate occasions. He didn’t just alter a few details here and there, he made up a detailed cover story and stuck to it rigorously in front of both investigators and the grand jury.

I sure wouldn’t want to try to put lipstick on that pig in front of a jury. If that’s all Libby’s got, he’d better get on the phone with Fitzgerald pronto and start trying to cut a deal.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation