On Hardball Wednesday, the topic: Why shouldn't Joe Wilson testify in the Scooter Libby trial if he's been so outspoken about the Plame case.
December 22, 2006

hb-sloan.jpg On Hardball Wednesday, the topic: Why shouldn't Joe Wilson testify in the Scooter Libby trial if he's been so outspoken about the Plame case. Matthews erroneously slimes Wilson and says:

MATTHEWS: But trying to quash the subpoena. It would seem to me, as a non-lawyer—I say for the millionth time, an admission you have got something you don‘t want to talk about.

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Chris needs to brush up on his law. Having a staff and resident pundits around for information at his finger tips---you'd figure they would know Wilson isn't needed on the witness stand because Libby is facing charges of of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements. What light would Joe be able to shed that could add anything to Scooter's case? This is a ploy by Libby's team to get Wilson on the stand before his civil suit hits. Melanie Sloan had to call into the show and set these "experts" straight.

MATTHEWS: Melanie, tell me why Joe Wilson and you do not wish him to testify in the Scooter Libby perjury trail. full transcript via MSNBC:

MELANIE SLOAN, ATTORNEY FOR JOE WILSON: Well, for several reasons. Mr. Libby has been charged with obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements. Mr. Wilson has no information whether or not Mr. Libby lied to the grand jury or lied to FBI agents. Neither does he have any information concerning Mr. Libby‘s defense, which seems to be that Mr. Libby doesn‘t remember exactly what he said to reporters because he was so busy on matters of national security.

Mr. Wilson has never met Mr. Libby and doesn‘t know anything about Mr. Libby‘s work habits or what he was working on in the White House. And the law requires defense witnesses—the defendants may call any witnesses, as long as they have relevant and material testimony. And we believe Mr. Wilson doesn‘t have relevant or material testimony.

Plus, we believe he‘s being called simply to harass him because there is a pending civil case.

MATTHEWS: What about—what do you mean, a pending civil case? Has he sued Scooter Libby?

SLOAN: Yes, Mr. Wilson has sued Scooter Libby.

MATTHEWS: And has he gotten standing in a court yet, or not?

SLOAN: Yes. We‘re right now in front of District Court of the District of Columbia and motions to dismiss have been filed. It‘s a case against Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, Richard Armitage...

MATTHEWS: OK. So it‘s still a question of whether you‘re going to get standing or not.

SLOAN: No, there‘s definitely standing. It‘s just a question of whether or not—whether the case may get dismissed on certain legal grounds.

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you—let me suggest a question. A D.C. jury sitting in this case of Scooter Libby, if they were to learn that Joe Wilson had somehow put out the word that his wife was an undercover agent before Scooter Libby said anything to anyone, wouldn‘t that mitigate against his guilt?

SLOAN: No, because the issue isn‘t anymore what Mr. Libby may have said regarding Ms. Wilson. It‘s that he lied in court, that he lied to the grand jury, that he lied to the FBI. And that‘s what Mr. Libby‘s being charge with.

MATTHEWS: Do you think a jury would still find him guilty if it was clear that he was not the first to leak?

SLOAN: I think a jury could easily still find him guilty without being the first to leak because that‘s not what he‘s been charged with. He‘s not charge with leaking. He‘s charged with making false statements.

MATTHEWS: What harm—you‘re a defense attorney, right? You‘re defending Joe...

SLOAN: I used to be a prosecutor, in fact.

MATTHEWS: OK. But what harm could come to Joe Wilson if he were called to testify? What‘s the harm here that could be done to your client?

SLOAN: Well, we also don‘t believe that Mr. Libby should have the opportunity to basically get the testimony of Joe Wilson in advance of the discovery stage of Mr. Wilson‘s civil case against Mr. Libby.


SLOAN: We‘re concerned that they might be trying to use this opportunity to get information that they couldn‘t otherwise get for use in their civil case, in the defense of the civil case.

MATTHEWS: You mean, he might be grilled in preparation for this trial as a witness on whether—what he knows about Scooter Libby‘s behavior?

SLOAN: He might be grilled as to things that the defense thinks it might be able to use in the civil case that‘s going to be way down the road.

MATTHEWS: Do you believe Joe Wilson was harmed by Scooter Libby?

SLOAN: I absolutely believe that Joe Wilson was harmed by Scooter Libby.


SLOAN: I believe that Mr. Libby was engaged in a protracted effort in order to punish Mr. Wilson for having published an article, an op ed in the “New York Times” and Mr. Libby did this by publicizing information about Mr. Wilson‘s wife, namely that she was a CIA operative.

MATTHEWS: Do you believe Mr. Libby operated in concert with the vice president in this regard?

SLOAN: Yes, we do believe that.

MATTHEWS: Do you have evidence?

SLOAN: We‘ll be developing that evidence through discovery in the civil case down the road.

MATTHEWS: Why aren‘t you suing Cheney? Why are you suing the number two guy?

SLOAN: We sued Cheney. We sued Libby. We sued Karl Rove. And we sued Richard Armitage, all.

MATTHEWS: Really. And you believe that Dick Cheney went out to hurt your client?

SLOAN: Yes, we do.


SLOAN: We believe that Mr. Cheney was involved in a conspiracy with Mr. Libby and Mr. Rove in order to punish Joe Wilson for having written the op ed in the “New York Times” and then spoke publicly about what he learned about the yellow cake uranium in Niger, basically that Niger never sold yellow cake uranium to Iraq.

MATTHEWS: Do you believe that Scooter Libby and the vice president covered up the fact that there was no deal with Niger and allowed the president to continue to argue there was a nuclear threat from Saddam Hussein?

SLOAN: It does appear that way, but we don‘t know yet the truth of that matter. What we do know is that Mr. Libby and Mr.—and Vice President Cheney were involved in an effort to punish Joe and Valerie Wilson.

MATTHEWS: Well, best of luck out there. Melanie Sloan, an attorney for Joe Wilson.

A judge wasn't very happy with Sloan's appearance...

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