The New York Times reports:
I. Lewis Libby Jr.‘s trial will largely turn on whether jurors are more inclined to believe him or members of the media.
UPDATE. Play ball! Department of Justice special counsel Pat Fitzgerald explains the indictment such that even a simple-minded sports fan might understand. Or not:
If you saw a baseball game and you saw a pitcher wind up and throw a fastball and hit a batter right smack in the head, and it really, really hurt them, you’d want to know why the pitcher did that. And you’d wonder whether or not the person just reared back and decided, I’ve got bad blood with this batter. He hit two home runs off me. I’m just going to hit him in the head as hard as I can.
You also might wonder whether or not the pitcher just let go of the ball or his foot slipped, and he had no idea to throw the ball anywhere near the batter’s head. And there’s lots of shades of gray in between.
You might learn that you wanted to hit the batter in the back and it hit him in the head because he moved. You might want to throw it under his chin, but it ended up hitting him on the head.
And what you’d want to do is have as much information as you could. You’d want to know: What happened in the dugout? Was this guy complaining about the person he threw at? Did he talk to anyone else? What was he thinking? How does he react? All those things you’d want to know.
And then you’d make a decision as to whether this person should be banned from baseball, whether they should be suspended, whether you should do nothing at all and just say, Hey, the person threw a bad pitch. Get over it.
In this case, it’s a lot more serious than baseball. And the damage wasn’t to one person. It wasn’t just Valerie Wilson. It was done to all of us.
And as you sit back, you want to learn: Why was this information going out? Why were people taking this information about Valerie Wilson and giving it to reporters? Why did Mr. Libby say what he did? Why did he tell Judith Miller three times? Why did he tell the press secretary on Monday? Why did he tell Mr. Cooper? And was this something where he intended to cause whatever damage was caused?
Or did they intend to do something else and where are the shades of gray?
And what we have when someone charges obstruction of justice, the umpire gets sand thrown in his eyes. He’s trying to figure what happened and somebody blocked their view.
Everybody clear on this now? Good.
(Via J.F. Beck)
UPDATE. Lawyers, Guns, and Libby.