collins: ... i will say that there was a tremendous amount of sympathy for mr. libby on the jury. it was said a number of times: "what are we doing with this guy here? where's rove? where's ... y'know, where're these other guys?"
we're not saying we didn't think mr. libby was guilty of the things we found him guilty of, but that it seemed like he was, to put it the way [defense counsel] mr. wells put it, he was the fall guy. he was — now, he made bad judgments, and he —
q: was he the fall guy for vice president cheney? was that the belief of the jury?
the belief of the jury was this, that he was, he was tasked by the vice president to go and talk to reporters. we never made any, y'know, came to any conclusions or — we never even discussed whether cheney would have told him what exactly to say.
while all the noise surrounding rove's increasingly desperate five appearances before fitzgerald's grand jury certainly gave the impression that bush's brain was the star of the show, in the end it appears that turdblossom was just a rodeo clown.
the plot against wilson, the world now knows, clearly originated on cheney's desk, and he made its execution his deputy's responsibility. however, libby was not first and foremost a smear merchant — but he certainly knew someone down the hall who was, someone who might be willing to lend a hand on a juicy project, and best of all, someone who employed his dubious talents with gusto:
l.a. times: prosecutors investigating whether white house officials illegally leaked the identity of wilson's wife, a cia officer who had worked undercover, have been told that bush's top political strategist, karl rove, and i. lewis libby, chief of staff for vice president dick cheney, were especially intent on undercutting wilson's credibility, according to a person familiar with the inquiry.
while lower-level white house staff members typically handle most contacts with the media, rove and libby began personally communicating with reporters about wilson, prosecutors were told.
a source directly familiar with information provided to prosecutors said rove's interest was so strong that it prompted questions in the white house. when asked at one point why he was pursuing the diplomat so aggressively, rove responded: "he's a democrat." rove then cited wilson's campaign donations, which leaned toward democrats, the person familiar with the case said.
so for rove the pursuit of wilson was just another fishing expedition for his favorite prey rather than a mission to protect a colleague. his investment simply wasn't as high as libby's, and when things turned sour, rove was the first to start cashing in his markers, which pleased the conspirator-in-chief none too well:
abc news: the note from cheney, which the defense discussed during the opening day of the trial, was submitted into evidence and reads in full:[stamp: the vice president has seen]cheney's note was to direct the white house press secretary to offer the same assurances about libby that mcclellan had made earlier about rove: libby was not the source of the novak column.
[ people have made too much of the reference in how i described karl and libby ]
i've talked to libby.
i said it was rediculous[sic] about karl and it is rediculous [sic] about libby
libby was not the source of the novak story.
and he did not leak classified information.
[sidenote: tenet wilson memo]
has to happen today
call out to key press saying same thing about scooter as karl
not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the guy
this pres.asked to stick his head in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others.
fitzgerald apparently picked up on the dynamic between libby and his fair-weather friend, determined that rove was mainly along for the ride, and sweated him publicly and repeatedly, like some two-bit cop show snitch, knowing that rove wasn't about to play the fall guy for cheney. after all, cheney already had one.
and fallen on his master's sword libby has, though his sacrifice appears to have been offered in vain, since by their clumsy intrigues, everything they sought to hide has been revealed, and the persecutors have now become the prosecuted:
king: we have an e-mail question from hugo in arcadia, florida: "now that "scooter" libby has been found guilty in this criminal trial, will you and/or your wife bring suit against him and/or the vice president in civil court?"
we have filed a civil suit and we've named in the civil suit the vice president, mr. libby, mr. rove and mr. armitage, and john does, i think, one through nine now, in anticipation of learning more information through this trial.
chairman henry a. waxman announced a hearing on whether white house officials followed appropriate procedures for safeguarding the identity of cia agent valerie plame wilson. at the hearing, the committee will receive testimony from ms. wilson and other experts regarding the disclosure and internal white house security procedures for protecting her identity from disclosure and responding to the leak after it occurred. the hearing is scheduled for friday, march 16.
in addition, the committee today sent a letter to special prosecutor patrick fitzgerald commending him for his investigation and requesting a meeting to discuss testimony by mr. fitzgerald before the committee.
the oversight committee will webcast the hearing live at www.oversight.house.gov.