1. Tom in AZ says:

    The CBC and the Democrats as a whole should be standing in the background at Rosenberg’s press conference. Clean up or get the hell out.

  2. Frank Probst says:

    I hope Rosenberg has his â€iâ€s dotted and his â€tâ€s crossed, because I don’t want to see anyone who’s caught taking a $100,000 cash bribe (on video, no less) getting off on a technicality. Jefferson is dirty, and the Dems need to be doing everything in their power to get him out of Congress.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Agreed completely. My only question is what took so long; what caused the delay, because these look like the same bsic facts we have known about for some time (like years)? My guess is there was some problem in getting the evidence from the African people buttoned down sufficiently. But it is an interesting question.

  4. emptywheel says:

    bmaz

    I wonder whether they were hoping to end the debate on the materials from Jefferson’s office, but now that they’ve gotten some of the materials, they’ve indicted, with the final resolution on those to come later?

  5. randiego says:

    Bmaz, good point. The timing of this is suspicious.

    OTOH, I guess we could have said that for almost any day of the last 3 months.

  6. albert fall says:

    Jefferson might be a bright shiny object for the press. I am sure the Reps will play this as a â€moral equivalency†question—hey, both parties are dirty, what’s the big deal with treason?

    That said, I am on board with EW that this is a time for the Dems to say, we want to get rid of the crooks, whether they are your crooks or our crooks…. Can the Republican party say the same?

  7. Anonymous says:

    EW and randiego – Maybe, but Vernon Jackson and Brett Pfeffer both pled guilty guilty on these exact same facts in early 2006. They had some issue in making it stick to Jefferson, whether it was evidence from African citizens or evidence from the search. I dunno, but some sort of problem with the requisite evidence is all I can think of; because the basics on this case have been around for years. I think this is unlikely, but they may STILL have some glitch, but were forced to indict anyway due to a statute of limitations problem on a critical element.

  8. egregious says:

    Marcy—

    I think I missed you at FDL. If you have a spare moment [HA!] tomorrow at the trial you might ask about when/if the audio of Fitzgerlad’s closing statement will be available to the public. I was led to believe this is very possible.

  9. kim says:

    All I can say is that it’s hard not to enjoy a scandal involving a freezer full of money.

  10. SteveW says:

    with respect to distractions, not only this (Jefferson) but I see on HuffPost that dood with TB? negative…. reminds of that super-creepy dood who literally came out of nowhere and claimed to have killed JonBenet only to have been the wrong guy. As I recall, it came out during some other big thing the administration didn’t want you to think about.

    too many of these ’conicidences’…….

  11. lolo says:

    I am so glad they finally indicted Jefferson. Took them long enough. I remember when they raided his office Denny Hastert had a fit. Got his panties in a bunch about congressional privacy or something. Maybe this delay was due to their protests.

  12. oldtree says:

    I would really like to hear any evidence to justify hope that this prosecutor is something less than a tool, for it will add up to 2 that we know of. that is a rather small number of USA’s that have openly gone after crimes in this administration. Carol Lam would have been 3, but there is something wrong with going right to work for the potential cause of the investigation she was fired for. Iglesias made no whistle like sounds until someone said something catty about him.
    as I have babbled before, I hope that there is evidence of these USA’s sending information up to congress or to the appropriate channels about wrongdoing on the part of the government that has been pressuring them to indict democrats 9:1 over republicans. but to this date, there is nothing substantial to show for any investigation except for 1 USA that was granted special powers to investigate a matter that has now left us wondering about treason as a daily operation in our white house.

  13. Neil says:

    While I’m done being surprised by the greed and corruption and abuse of power by individuals in our government, I am not done supporting every effort to putting an end to it. The evidence EW cites that the Jefferson (LA-D) indictment was issued by a reputable prosecutor in the DOJ is a relief. I trust the charges were made in good faith. Try Jefferson and if he’s guilty throw the book at him. If he lies and obstructs justice along the way, then throw the book at him twice.

    Now, back to the long saga of the unrepentent Scotter Libby CIA leak case investigation, including Libby’s obstruction whihc is a benefit accruing to a Dick Cheney get out of jail free card for alleged criminal behavior, and the fraudulent pre-war intelligence promoted by the same people in OVP. Anyone want to guess Libby’s sentence? I think Walton will give Libby 20 months but I hope he gives him 30.

  14. radiofreewill says:

    I’m going all-in on the Libby sentence tomorrow – 34 months with no leniency!

    I say Walton will buy Fitz’ IIPA Violation angle, calculate in Shooter’s â€Can’t Touch This†Attitude, and double the 17 month recommended sentence – all the while saying he wishes he could figure out how to give even more time to Cheney’s Poolboy.

    Libby was the Chief of Staff to the Vice-President of the United States of America – and he stands Convicted of the ’Fall Guy’ Crimes of Perjury and Obstruction of Justice.

    Scooter should get the book, the kitchen sink, and the IRE of everyone who values Justice amongst us thrown at him tomorrow morning – hard – like we’re trying to hurt the coward hiding behind him.

  15. Dismayed says:

    We started a Bragging rights pool on the libby sentance about 10 threads ago. I’ve been keeping track, but may have missed a few. So far I have:

    Me, Rayne, and Loosehead drops with 30 months – thought I claimed it first (they just know I’m smart)

    BMAZ – 29 months
    hauksdottir – 37 m
    EW – 24 m
    Freepatriot – 28 months and don’t anyone else dare be coat-tailing on his pick.

    Neil – 20 m
    radiofreewill – 34 months

    Anyone else goint to chime in? I’m keeping a list.

  16. Dismayed says:

    By the way. Go check the â€I present you St. Libby thread for the potential prize – that’ll teach you not to keep up.

  17. sojourner says:

    Semi-OT question for the legal pundits… I noted earlier today that the former COO for Enron was sentenced today and received a pretty hefty fine in addition to, I think, some jail time.

    When someone receives a fine like that, what happens if they cannot pay? Does it force them to liquidate their estate or file bankruptcy? If they do pay, what is the money used for?

    Just something I have wondered about…

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sojourner – That is an excellent question. What happens with the fine depends on how it is alloted at the time of sentencing. The biggest question is whether it is a pure fine, which will usually go into a governmental general account other than small amounts that go to legally designated programs in every case; or whether it is a fine as restitution or partial restitution, in which case it goes to the designated victim of the offense. In most jurisdictions, fines are enforceable through civil process, but it is not always done.

  19. sojourner says:

    bmaz, thanks! I had always just been a little curious about it — particularly if the person could not pay it after they went to jail! Your comment about civil process made a light go off in my head… Mucho thank you!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Dismayed, please reflect my reservation of right to amend to 26 months, which, of course, can be exercised anytime within 3 hours of sentencing….

  21. jjk says:

    Thanks for all you do EW, and please get lots of rest for tomorrow – you & Jane will have a great day at Prettyman courthouse, I am sure.

    I do hope you are right about Rosenberg. He is the person Gonzalas appointed as his Chief of Staff after Kyle Sampson resigned. Clearly AGAG had to name someone â€respected†as a temporary replacement for Sampson. Yet, he also needed someone loyal enough to stand at his side without objection to and in facilitation of his actions and testimonies thru the last two months of this scandal. Rosenberg is an ethics enigma, to say the least.

  22. Anonymous says:

    hey all — i’m in at 33 months.
    also at six self-identified-non-
    republicans in the PRO-libby
    letter stack. . .

    now, on topic — i agree we ought
    to just call balls and strikes,
    democrat or republican — and this
    one sure looks like a strike.

    that said, my current beef –
    and josh marshall’s — is with the
    coverage by FOX NEWS of the jefferson
    indictment — allow me to sum up,
    but do watch the youtube clip for
    yourself
    . . .

    the piece of tape chosen for the b-roll
    IDENTIFYING JEFFERSON was particularly
    ironic, and egregious, since it EXCLUSIVELY
    featured — for perhaps 19 full seconds — rep.
    john conyers, judiciary chairman, greeting one alberto
    gonzales, in the judiciary committee hearing
    room, whilst a pink sign captioned â€RESIGNâ€
    floated overhead, in the gallery. . . yes, the
    footage was from GONZALES’ hearing — and the
    sign was a request for gonzales to resign, not
    rep.-conyers-cum-rep.-jefferson. . . as of
    9:53 p.m. eastern, no correction has appeared
    on the fox news website. . .

    i’ve offered some input to:

    [email protected]

    perhaps you’d like to do the same. . .

    i’ve also let rep. conyers’ staff
    know — i hope they press for a public
    apology, and a prominent correction. . .

    the b-roll looks pretty intentional, to my eye. . .
    not â€innocent, or ignorant†— abu appears
    prominently, as do the protestors — and, hard
    to mistake that for footage of rep. jefferson. . .

    should be a busy news day tomorrow!

    g’night, all!

  23. Dismayed says:

    bmaz, your reservation has been duly noted. I’ll add the caviat – â€provided no other takes 26 months before said time of you enforcing the reservation.â€

    What’s up bmaz, worried an alligator’s going to jump out of a grate? or more frightening yet, may someone yet come up with an ’argument’. Dare I say the word for cause of nightmares with all our lawyer readers.

    Wha, ha, ha, ha, haaa. (rubbing hands together in sinister fashion)

  24. SeattleReader says:

    I’m more and more curious about what was in the suitcases and refrigerator-sized box he rescued from his house while people were drowning in New Orleans. On CNN he claimed it was his daughter’s laptop and her suitcase. I recall hearing somewhere else that is was his daughter’s college things. A stack of Hamiltons would be a college necessity, so it might be true even if my nasty suspicions are also correct.

  25. Neil says:

    Dismayed, If you get Libby to return a signed copy of AOD, I’d be amazed. If you do, post the transmittal letter so we can all read it. Thanks for keeping the book on the predictions. Where is everyone â€watching†the sentencing hearing? Will EW be liveblogging it on FDL?

  26. kim says:

    I was going to go with giving Libby 20% off 34 for impressing the jury, 28 months, but that’s taken… I’ll say 25 as it’s still open.

  27. egregious says:

    bmaz,

    To clarify the shoe thing, Jane and I both were wearing our Louboutins in court the day Fitz took down John Hannah. Feb 13 iirc

  28. egregious says:

    Neil,

    The plan is for Jane to be in the courtroom and EW to liveblog from the media room as during the trial. Come on over to fdl for the morning.

  29. radiofreewill says:

    Congrats to the Karnack the Magnificent Triplets – Dismayed, Rayne and Looseheadprop!

  30. Dismayed says:

    KAPOW!!!

    Congratulations Rayne and Looseheadprop – I shall endevour to obtain the prize. Slim shot, but I have an idea.

    So basically, here’s how Walton came up with 30 months IMHO. Oh, hang on. NOT humble opinion. I did win after all!

    Sentancing guidlines really didn’t come into it – except in that Walton knew damn good and well that the could support the max without any doubt. He really didn’t need carefull legal analysis within those bounds.

    So he knows he wants to give the guy a heavy sentance. But he doesn’t want to go to the max of he just feeds the radio speed freaks too much meat. So he’s going to trim just a bit off. Take the word max away from them – knock off thier buzz without giving them room to crow. 32 does him no good, clearly just a token trim – might as well be the max for the radio people.

    29 Na – odd number, drops into the twenties. 30 is a nice round number. 30 is 2 1/2 years – again nice and round. And has the cashe of sounding heafty – 30 good number.

    Anyway, I think it was just a matter of how he thought the number would be percieved, and wanting to take the word MAX away from the dicks at Fox and on the radio.

  31. Dismayed says:

    I think it sucks that Walton didn’t set a date for Libby going into custody. He says he’s not going to leave him out for appeal, but looks to me like a month will go by any way you slice it.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Agreed on the custody thing, Dismayed. It would have been nice to be able to write, â€Shorter Judge Walton: Go to jail–go directly to jail–do not pass Go do not collect $200.â€

    But still, based on the ew summary in fdl liveblog 8, I get the impression that Scooter’s lawyers will have to write one hell of a persuasive brief if they’re going to keep him out of prison pending appeal.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Immediate remand is never preferred as opposed to self surrender in Federal Courts. It uses up to much money and valuable US Marshall resources and they really don’t have intermediate detention facilities like state and counties do.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Dismayed – I am humbled to have been off by a month. Should have known better that to have used an odd number, that was a careless error. Seems like I had a good reason for it back in February or whenever I ran my guideline calculation, damned if I can figure out what it was now…..

  35. Dismayed says:

    Thanks for the surrender info. Makes sense that the fed would rather just have them show up at the gate.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Wolfowitz commends Libby for protecting a covert CIA agent, he also relates how Libby helped Armitage with legal advice. Wolfowitz goes on say that Libby’s wife is a â€life long Democratâ€.

    One involves his [Libby’s] effort to pursuade a newspaper not to publish information that would have endangered the life of a covert CIA agent working overseas.

    []

    I also remember how Mr. Libby offered his services pro bono or at reduced costs after he had returned to private law practice – to help former colleagues and friends with legal issues. In one case he helped a public official defend himself against libelous accusations, something that is extremely difficult to do for anyone in public office. The official in question was Richard Armitage who more recently served as – Deputy Secretary of State.
    Wolfowitz letter 5/29/07

  37. Anonymous says:

    Wolfowitz commends Libby for protecting a covert CIA agent, he also relates how Libby helped Armitage with legal advice. Wolfowitz goes on say that Libby’s wife is a â€life long Democratâ€.

    One involves his [Libby’s] effort to pursuade a newspaper not to publish information that would have endangered the life of a covert CIA agent working overseas.

    []

    I also remember how Mr. Libby offered his services pro bono or at reduced costs after he had returned to private law practice – to help former colleagues and friends with legal issues. In one case he helped a public official defend himself against libelous accusations, something that is extremely difficult to do for anyone in public office. The official in question was Richard Armitage who more recently served as – Deputy Secretary of State.
    Wolfowitz letter 5/29/07

  38. Anonymous says:

    Bolton

    Bolton expands on the poor memory defense, explaining how he can’t remember anything either.

    I myself [Bolton] have been to meetings after which I could not remember which agency or Department most of the people worked for, or even why they were there.Bolton Letter May 14, 2007

    Feith

    Feith forgets about the memory defense.

    He had to deal with enormous quanities of material. I was always impressed by the number of policy papers and intelligence analyses he had read,
    It was more than one could keep straight in one’s mind, but Scooter demonstrated dedication and organizational skill throught the papers and notes he prepared on the basis of his reading.
    Feith Letter 4/22/07

    Matalin and Carville

    Though my husband James Carville, a Democratic Strategist and Clinton supporter, shares neither political nor philosophical views with Scooter, he has deep respect for his intellect, his integrity, and joins me in the sentiments expressed here.Matalin Letter 5/10/07

    Alan Simpson

    Simpson tells about Scooter’s loyalty to Cheney, also uses the word â€splendid†a lot.

    During my years of friendship with Scooter, I found a singular attribute which will always remain undiminished in my mind. That is the attribute of Loyalty – unswerving, unselfish, unwavering loyalty. One could almost superimpose upon his blow the accolade â€The Good Soldierâ€.

    []

    I has seen him â€at the side†of my old friend Dick Cheney – attentive, thoughtful, gracious, patient and always, always exceedingly effcient and I observed on many occasions how Dick relied on this man.
    Simpson Letter 4/17/07

  39. Dismayed says:

    Indeed they are. Any guesses on how long it takes Shrub to pardon Saint Libby? I’m going to hold off on issuing a prediction until I see when Libby will have to report. Don’t see anything happening before a decision from Walton on that.

  40. freepatriot says:

    first off, thanks polly, that’s some really good stuff

    and about Mr Jefferson, I believe that Mr Jefferson wasn’t actually accepting a bribe for himself

    as I understand it, Mr jefferson was the middle man for a bribe intended for somebody in Africa

    apparently, Mr Jefferson didn’t pass on all the money (for some non specified reasons), and instead kept the money in his freezer

    I don’t know how the law is going to interpret this case, but I don’t really think it’s a crime to fail to bribe somebody exactly as you promised to do

    can you enforce a â€breech of contract†law where there isn’t any real contract, and the agreed upon actions are a crime ???

    this is going to be VERY INTERESTING

  41. P J Evans says:

    freepatriot

    It can get interesting when bribes are involved. I remember that Agnew was found guilty of accepting a bribe, but the other person was found innocent of offering it to Agnew.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Dismayed – Thanks for the continued support. No need to agree so readily… I don’t know on pardon, not worth speculating until we see what happens a week from Thursday. Frankly, it looks to me like Walton is going to remand Libby. For what it’s worth, I think Bush pardons him before he reports to prison, or not at all. If you are ever going to pardon, might as well save Scooter from the time; but that is just a guess. You know when this is all over, I am going to write a letter to Judge Walton letting him know how rewarding it is to see a truly fair hand, for both sides, given by him in this case. All things considered, you really couldn’t ask for a better job by a judge in a difficult case.

  43. Dismayed says:

    I agree, Walton has done an outstanding job. My gut feeling is the same as yours. Bush will either pardon Libby before he reports, or (I’d say) right at the end of his term. I have a hard time seeing him not pardon him at all. Have to see what happens next week.

  44. Quzi says:

    I couldn’t agree more EW– remove the crooks — no matter what political party. I also hope the Dems don’t let us down on this — they should be screaming the loudest.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Talkleft has all of the letters up in PDF here.

    They are alphabetical, of interest Hannah and Eric Edelman.

  46. Tilli (Mojave Desert) says:

    I didn’t see a Cheney letter in the bunch, though Rumsfeld is there.

  47. freepatriot says:

    so, we got some lawyers here:

    is being the â€Bag Man†in the bribery process really a crime ??? (probably)

    what happens if you fail to actually deliver the bribe you agreed to broker, or if you only deliver 10% of the promised amount ??? (the Mob would just whack your ass)

    is stealing money intended to be used as a bribe really a crime ??? (in a way, Mr jefferson prevented a crime, or reduced the crime by 90%) Couldn’t Mr Jefferson claim the $90,000 was his â€Bribe broker’s Fee†???

    all I got to say is that we’re all in for a good lesson on the legal concept of â€Intentâ€

    and I hope we get a Judge with a good sense of humor on this one …

  48. Anonymous says:

    From my blog yesterday:

    Monday, June 4, 2007

    Rep. Jefferson and U. S. Attorneys

    Anyone watching the news over the past two years has a clear impression that the frozen packages of dollars in Louisiana Representative William Jefferson’s freezer is prima facie evidence he’s guilty.

    The news media seems to accept that and report any new information with a presumption of guilt.

    Before we get caught up in the laundry list handed out by the U. S. Attorney pursuing the case, we better be careful not to be trapped into becoming a public jury who has already convicted Representative Jefferson.

    In my experience as an advocate for pastors in trouble, I discovered how easy it was to believe the first reading of the complaint. That’s natural, unfortunately. But even what appears to be decisive evidence has not been tested in court before a real jury who watch as evidence is brought and cross examination occurs in the search for truth.

    Prosecutors try to poison the well of public opinion (too readily supported by some media) and to influence prospective jurors. The defense is put in a position of having to mount a media defense before they even have all the information the prosecution has. If you were the accused, you’d be rather put out by these realities.

    But what makes the Jefferson case so difficult for us is that the Attorney General’s office and U. S. Attorneys in particular have been so compromised by politicization that we must be especially careful of all their public statements. That loss of credibility will be a barrier the prosecution will have to overcome down the road in court, if indeed it can.

    Now is their best chance to manipulate the news. Representative Jefferson will be so buried by the publicity that even if the court finds him not guilty, who will believe the jury?

    Today comes the Republican Minority Leader calling on the Democrats to hold an ethics hearing within 30 days to rule on the Representative’s seat in the house.

    That sounds so reasonable. Why shouldn’t the Democrats face up to one of their own being guilty of corruption? The Dems made ending corruption a high priority in the 2006 elections.

    What if the ethics committee does meet and makes a decision before the court meets?

    If the ethics committee exonerates Jefferson, the Repubs can scream favoritism because â€they protected their own,†NO MATTER WHAT THE FACTS OF THE CASE ARE.

    If the ethics committee comes out against Jefferson, a tempting option given how much public opinion has been stacked against him, then the Repubs will be able to claim some kind of high ground while at the same time prejudicing the court with the ethics committee’s â€mini-conviction.â€

    Most institutions have some form of suspension which in itself appears prejudicial. The suspension usually lasts until the court deals with the case. As slowly as justice grinds, that’s a long time. A suspension is in order if the accused face charges that were directly related to their job performance.

    Because not all accusations are relevant to the job, suspension may not be appropriate.

    Tell that to a hostile public.

    If the ethics committee does not meet, they will look like they are unwilling to face the problem.

    Almost no matter what the ethics committee does, the decision would be treated politically. Representative Jefferson will not come out looking good or be helped in his defense.

    The credibilty problem caused by the current administration makes everything they do questionable. What a shame.

    I lived in Louisiana for years and heard many of the stories of corruption amongst the dominant Democratic Party (many of whom became Republican after Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Bill). The tradition for any Louisiana politician to use office creatively for personal benefit is very real and a problem for all Pelican State politicians.

    Some politicians do things because they have the chance by virtue of their elected office. They are not just from one party. Greed is not Republican or Democratic.

    But neither should justice be!

  49. desertwind says:

    Hurry back, Marcy!

    (did you make it over in time to hear Bradley Solzman’s dulcet tones in person?)

    Re: Libby –

    – Walton doesn’t think any evidence presented in trial shows Libby knew Plame was covert?

    – Wells. Nothing like trying to garner sympathy for your client by implying that he’s special but most government workers are slackers protected by civil service laws & just coasting along until retirement. That’s a winning argument for a DC judge, isn’t it? Insult Walton and his compatriots and then piss him off by reading those letters out loud?

    – Don’t quite understand what happens between now and Libby starting to serve his sentence (if he doesn’t get bail during appeal . The probation court adjusts their guidelines and … what? Is that just a technicality and doesn’t affect Walton’s sentence?

    – Anticipating your take on the sentence, the letters, etc.

  50. desertwind says:

    Simpson — the senile old man dribbled some truth onto the page, didn’t he?

  51. Anonymous says:

    Deserrwind – 1) Keep in mind that is â€evidence presented at trialâ€. Most all evidence in this regard, which the judge was all aware of, was either ordered by the court, or agreed by the parties, to be NOT introduced at trial in order to not prejudice the jury by considering evidence not directly necessary to the specific charges they were considering. Because it was not adduced at trial does NOT mean it doesn’t exist or that Walton doesn’t know about it. 2) Good point, not the best tactic, eh? 3) The probation dept. correcting technicalities will not affect the sentence; it is minor and involved the lesser crimes, not obstruction, which was the basis for the 30 months. Federal defendants not in custody are almost always allowed to self surrender in a few weeks, this is relatively normal. I explained why above.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Great post!! I have been waiting to see if we, the Democrats are putting our money…. I wrote the SOTH and expressed this some time back. Can’t clean another’s house when yours is dirty.

  53. hauksdottir says:

    Congratulations to the ones who got the sentence nailed, but also congratulations to us all who hoped for real jail time!

    Those read-aloud letters extolling Libby as a fatherly sort followed by the realization that he will be isolated from his family with the judge’s pronouncements are going to be tumbling through his head all night long. However, â€the loyal soldier†is undoubtedly going to hold out hope for a pardon until the cell doors clang shut behind his sorry ass.

    If Cheney hasn’t called or visited him yet to see how he is holding up or how the family is doing, what makes him think that either Cheney or Bush will consider a pardon?

    Pawns get removed from the board.