Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Scooter Libby & George Costanza

Scooter Libby's defense goes something like this: Okay, mabye I did tell the FBI that I learned Valerie Plame was a CIA agent from Tim Russert, but that's because: a) In general I'm a really really busy guy who can't remember details from hour to hour; and b) I spoke to lots of journalists about the Joe Wilson business and didn't tell them anything about Plame, so I can't be expected to remember that my conversation with Russert went differently.

As Richard Nixon famously observed, it's not the crime that does you in; it's the cover-up. For reasons that have not yet been made clear to the public, Fitzgerald decided not to charge Richard Armitage, Ari Fleischer or Karl Rove with leaking Valerie Plame's name to the press, even though they have all now admitted doing so. Perhaps Fitzgerald concluded that they did not thereby break the law. In any event, in keeping with the pattern in cases of this sort (think Martha Stewart, Bill Clinton's impeachment, etc), the case Fitzgerald did bring charged lying to investigators. Conventional wisdom holds that prosecutors bring obstruction/lying cases because they're often easier to win than charging the underlying offense. But should Libby's defense prevail, that might challenge the conventional wisdom.

When a defendant is charged with lying to the FBI, to a grand jury or to other investigators, one way he can deny the charges is by showing that the underlying statement is true. Libby's gambit is a variation of the George Costanza dictum: "It's not a lie, if you believe it." By admitting that his statement was or may have been false but claiming that he believed it, Libby makes the case about his subjective mental state. And while subjective mental state can be proved through objective evidence, that's not always so easy.

The puzzle, then, is why Libby isn't testifying. He doesn't have any prior convictions that would come in for impeachment. And while the jurors will be instructed not to draw any adverse inferences from Libby's failure to testify, they've got to be wondering why he doesn't get up and say, point-blank, "I thought what I said to the FBI was true. I guess I might have remembered incorrectly." Presumably Ted Wells, Libby's lawyer, thinks that his credibility would be damaged by cross-examination. Which leads those of us in the observing public---who are not governed by the Rules of Evidence---to wonder whether Libby was deliberately lying to the FBI after all, and not just failing to remember. For if that's true, and if Wells knows it, he can't put Libby on the stand. To do so would be to suborn perjury.


Craig J. Albert said...

In my humble opinion, the defendant has to testify in a perjury case. Not in the legal sense, of course, but in the theater sense.

Think about it this way. Most criminal cases involve testimony about about events not involving testimony. "I saw him pull out the gun." "He said, 'I'm going to Cripple Creek with Wilson'." "I saw him pick up the money." Perjury, though, is different. In a perjury case, the prosecution basically says, 1) Defendant swore an oath to tell the truth, 2) These are the words that he then said, 3) Those words were false, and 4) Looking at the other testimony, you should infer that he knew the words were false when he said them. What can the defendant do? He usually can't deny that he took the oath or that the words were spoken (in Libby's case, we did have a sub-issue regarding the accuracy of the FBI agent's memory of what Libby said in an interview, though). He can quibble over falsity (see the cross-examination of Russert). But at the end of the day, the debate almost always comes down to the scienter issue.

On the scienter issue, the defendant's testimony is an in-court demonstration of how the witness behaves when he swears an oath. For example, in the Libby case, it would be fair for the jury to contrast the way Libby sounded when he swore an oath to the grand jury with the way he sounds today. Does he seem nervous or forgetful today? Uncertain?

Judge Walton is going to give the required charge about not drawing any inferences from the defendant's failure to testify, but let's face it. Libby already waived his right to refuse to testify before the grand jury, and that's why he's sitting at the defense table today. If his lawyers harbor any hope of an acquittal, they need to have Libby testify and thereby give the jury a live demonstration of how Libby behaves when he takes an oath.

Anonymous said...

免費A片, ut聊天室, AV女優, 美女視訊, 免費成人影片, 成人論壇, 情色交友, 免費AV, 線上a片, 日本美女寫真集, 同志聊天室, 聊天室交友, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 微風成人區, 色美媚部落格, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, 免費A片, 上班族聊天室, A片,H漫, 18成人, a漫, av dvd, 一夜情聊天室, 微風成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人貼圖, 成人電影, 成人, 中部人聊天室, 080中部人聊天室, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 成人電影, A片, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 成人遊戲, 成人影城, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 成人網站, 麗的色遊戲, 色情網站, 成人論壇, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 自拍, 癡漢, , 俱樂部, 豆豆聊天室, 聊天室, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊交友90739 情人視訊網影音視訊聊天室 免費視訊聊天室 視訊聊天 視訊交友 美女視訊 視訊美女 視訊 免費視訊 免費視訊聊天 視訊聊天室 辣妹視訊 一夜情 色情a片 aio交友愛情館 情色電影 情色視訊 色情遊戲 色情 情色小說 一葉情貼圖片區 色情小說 色情聊天室 情色交友 成人論壇 成人網站 色情網站 情色論壇 小高聊天室 女同志聊天室 6K聊天室 080苗栗人聊天室 080聊天室 聊天室尋夢園 UT男同志聊天室 男同志聊天室 尋夢園聊天室 UT聊天室 聊天室 豆豆聊天室 A片 成人電影 成人貼圖 嘟嘟成人網 美女交友 本土自拍 成人交友 成人影片

Anonymous said...

TheWorld of Kung fu Gold seems also important. His only since ancient immutable law. WoKf gold in the game is just like the money in the life. It is different of the buy World of Kung fu Gold online in the game world. You can have cheap World of Kung fu Gold to update your weapons. And the World of Kung fu money should be more and more.

Anonymous said...

酒店喝酒,禮服店,酒店小姐,制服店,便服店,鋼琴酒吧,兼差,酒店兼差,酒店打工,伴唱小姐,暑假打工,酒店上班,日式酒店,ktv酒店,酒店,酒店公關,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,酒店上班,酒店打工,禮服酒店,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,經紀 彩色爆米花,經紀人 彩色爆米花,酒店傳播,酒店經紀 彩色爆米花,爆米花,童裝,童裝拍賣,童裝大盤,童裝寄賣,童裝批貨,酒店,酒店,童裝切貨,酒店,GAP童裝,酒店,酒店 ,禮服店 , 酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,招待所,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店上班,暑假打工,酒店公關,酒店兼職,酒店經紀

Anonymous said... . .
[url=]puma shoes[/url]
[url=]chaussures puma[/url]
[url=]nike air max ltd[/url]