Updated: The Fitzgerald press conference
Fitzgerald just finished answering press questions [video will be available HERE shortly]. Think Clintonian intellect crossed with an earnest, Opie-like mien and you begin to get a picture of the Special Prosecutor.
Shorter Fitzgerald press conference: I can't say anything about the future of the case, about future charges, about 'the leaker,' about Rove, about the war...
Outside of the indictment of Scooter Libby (which he did discuss at length), Fitz isn't allowed to talk about anything learned in the Grand Jury investigation. It's the law...
Fitzgerald was so tight-lipped that as he walked off stage and an agent lagged behind, a reporter pleaded: "does the agent have anything to say?"
Of the Libby indictment he was not quite so tight-lipped, however (exact quote, courtesy John Nichols): "[Libby lied] about how and when in 2003 he learned and subsequently disclosed to reporters then-classified information concerning the employment of Valerie (Plame) by the Central Intelligence Agency."
He also blew the right wing talking point that Plame wasn't an undercover agent (and therefore no crime was committed) out of the water.
Of another right wing talking point, Jane Hamsher writes:
"I'll say this: after watching Fitz, anyone who tries to raise the question of whether perjury is a "technicality" is going to end up looking like a moron. Because that clip of him explaining the importance and ethics of the rule of law in an investigation was exceptional. And the multiple allegations of false statements and testimony point to a considered pattern on the part of Libby."On Judith Miller and reporter confidentiality guidelines:
Fitzgerald cuts through the Judy Miller's (and the NY Times') rationale for refusing to testify by reaffirming the right of the press to maintain confidential sources but not in this case (paraphrasing):
This is different. If your transmission of information is the crime itself [i.e. passing along classified information], then the reporter is the eye witness, and it must be prosecuted.
Read Joseph Wilson's statement [HERE]. Excerpt:
Today is a sad day for America. When an indictment is delivered at the front door of the White House, the Office of the President is defiled. No citizen can take pleasure from that.
As this case proceeds, Valerie and I are confident that justice will be done. In the meantime, I have a request. While I may engage in public discourse, my wife and my family are private people. They did not choose to be brought into the public square, and they do not wish to be under the glare of camera. They are entitled to their privacy. This case is not about me or my family, no matter how others might try to make it so.
This case is about serious criminal charges that go to the heart of our democracy.***
Earlier post: What to Expect and When to Expect It:
Known in the blogs as "Fitzmas," the two-year-long Patrick Fitzgerald investigation into the outing of undercover CIA agent, Valerie Plame, (sort of) comes to a conclusion today.
Which is to say: it probably doesn't.
At least one indictment is expected. Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby is expected to be indicted for giving false statements to the grand jury (also known as lying) and several others could be indicted.
Karl Rove, whose lawyer has been frantically meeting with Fitzgerald, is not likely to be indicted... yet. Although the Grand Jury expires today (conveniently turning into pumpkins?), Rove will remain under investigation, still in deep doo doo, and a new Grand Jury could be called.
Fitzgerald has released the papers (at noon) and the official press conference will take place at 2pm est and AlterNet will be posting asap...
For further reading on Plamegate-related shenanigans (like lying to promote the Iraq war), go [HERE].