January 23, 2007

timrussert.jpg One of our other MBA members covering the Libby trial, James Joyner also heard Team Libby say:

Scooter Libby’s chief attorney told the jury during opening arguments that the prosecution theory that Libby needed to invent a story about a conversation with Tim Russert “is just stupid.” “The Evidence Will Show The Russert Story Was Unnecessary” to show that the theory is not only “illogical but intellectually flawed.”

This doesn't make any sense. Here's what Libby claimed during his FBI interviews:

During a conversation with Tim Russert of NBC News on July 10 or 11, 2003, Russert asked LIBBY if LIBBY was aware that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA. LIBBY responded to Russert that he did not know that, and Russert replied that all the reporters knew it. LIBBY was surprised by this statement because, while speaking with Russert, LIBBY did not recall that he previously had learned about Wilson’s wife’s employment from the Vice President.

Why would Libby testify under oath that he got Valerie's name from Russert at all if it was "nonsense, illogical and intellectually flawed?" The "I got them mixed up routine" is older than dust...Here's Russert on with Imus talking about the Scooter Libby call: (video)

Russert: I haven't gone into it,--you know-publicly-cause I just didn't want to get involved with all that viewer complaints, but I do remember it because of his language that he chose and that's why- I actually called Ben Shapiro, the president of NBC news and said I just gave your direct line to this guy named Lewis Scooter Libby, who is upset about something he watched on TV and you may hear from him.

Imus: Was it Chris Matthews?

Russert: It could be you...

Michael Smerconish talked to Chris about the call:

"No, I never got such a call," says Chris Matthews. Michael Smerconish says he was concerned that his question had been too restrictive with regard to timing, so he asked Matthews if he ever had any conversation with Tim Russert where Russert told him that Scooter Libby had a beef with him. Smerconish provides a transcript of Matthews' long response, then writes: "What does all that mean? To me, that Russert may not have called Matthews immediately after hanging up with Libby, but he did tell his colleague of that call, which doesn't bode well for Libby.

You just don't forget or mix up a call like this to Russert with the name of an undercover CIA agent. Sorry, it doesn't happen. Russert's day in the chair will be very interesting indeed.

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