Making A Little More Sense Now…

January 26th, 2007at 09:32am Posted by Eli

Good news-bad news from the Libby trial:

A former spokeswoman for Vice President Dick Cheney gave testimony in the trial of I. Lewis Libby Jr. on Thursday that directly contradicted Mr. Libby’s version of events during a crucial period that is at the center of the perjury case against him.

Cathie Martin, Mr. Cheney’s former spokeswoman, testified that she had a clear memory of telling both Mr. Cheney and Mr. Libby that a prominent war critic’s wife worked for the C.I.A., days before he contends he first learned it from a reporter.


She testified that both Mr. Cheney and Mr. Libby were intensely interested in Ms. Wilson and her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, who had been sent to Africa to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium from Niger for his nuclear weapons program.

Ms. Martin, who no longer works for Mr. Cheney but remains at the White House as a communications assistant to the president, described how Mr. Libby had telephoned a senior Central Intelligence Agency official in her presence sometime in early July and asked about the Wilson trip. She said she was then put on the phone with Bill Harlow, the C.I.A. spokesman, who told her that Mr. Wilson went to Africa on behalf of the agency and that his wife worked there.

She testified that, later that day, in a meeting with Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney, she related the fact that Mr. Wilson’s wife worked at the agency.

Mr. Libby is facing five felony counts that he lied when he told a grand jury and F.B.I. agents that he learned of Ms. Wilson’s identity from reporters….


Over all, however, Ms. Martin was a self-assured witness whose testimony appeared to have frayed Mr. Libby’s version of events. She is also a loyal Republican who was recruited to work for the vice president by Mary Matalin, a close friend of both Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney.

She is married to Kevin Martin, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and now works as the deputy director of communications for policy and planning for President Bush.

The good news is that her testimony further damages Libby’s credibility (as well as further implicating Cheney). The bad news is that her and her husband’s White House ties play right into Scooter Libby’s scapegoat defense, which Wells will use to spin and dismiss any testimony from Bush/Rove loyalists (Ari Fleischer, who testifies next, will fall into that category as well).

Also, I wonder if Wells will ask the question that came to my mind: Why is the spokesman for the CIA telling people who its agents are? Did the CIA want that information to get out there? Does that make any sense?

FDL is probably all over this angle, but I can’t access it from my Treo any more…

Entry Filed under: Cheney,Libby/Plame,Politics

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