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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:27 PM
Original message
Tim Russert vs Scooter Libby
"On August 7, 2004, Russert quietly gave a deposition to Fitzgerald about the conversation he had had with Libby a little more than a year earlier. . Libby had told FBI agents and Fitzgeralds grand jury that Russert had told him it was common knowledge among reporters Wilsons wife worked at the CIA. That never happened, Russert told Fitzgerald. He said he had no recollection of knowing anything about Wilsons wife when he had spoken to Libby that day so it was impossible for me to have (told Libby) that. Russert maintained that he hadnt learned about Wilsons wife until he read about her the following week in Robert Novaks column. When he did see Novaks column, Russert testified, his reaction was, Wow. When I read that, it was the first time I knew who Joe Wilsons wife was and that she was a CIA operative ..It was news to me. As Russert remembered it, Libbys phone call on July 10 had been only about Chris Matthews. He would later tell collegues that not one word Libby had attributed to him was true.

"Fitzgerald now had direct testimony contradicting what the vice presidents chief of staff had told the grand jury. And his witness was about as credible as they come: a respected and widely known newsman."
--Hubris; Corn & Isikoff; pages 365-366

I will always appreciate Tim Russerts role in the Plame scandal. He was a key to convicting Scooter Libby for five felonies. It was, in my opinion, the highlight of his career.

The phone call from Libby illustrates two things: First, that Russert was of a standard that placed him, even in the criminal eyes of the Office of the Vice President, in a position where Libbys "black op" did not include sharing a CIA NOCs identity with him. Certainly, Libby knew he wasnt dealing with another scum like Bob Novak.

Second, Libby had called Russert as part of a coordinated effort to stop Chris Matthews from reporting on the WMD lies and the Wilson op-ed. Paul Wolfowitz also called top people at NBC/MSNBC to complain about Matthews. And NBC/MSNBC did not prevent Matthews from further reporting on the story. (NBC/MSNBC attorneys recommended that Matthews and Russert not comment on their personal communications with the OVP.)

After Libby was indicted and brought to trial, his lies to FBI investigators and the grand jury allowed Patrick Fitzgerald to introduce Tim Russert as a witness. More, it allowed for a significant amount of documentary evidence to be brought out in court, most of which became part of the public record.

Thank you, Tim Russert.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you H2OMan
For all he was liable for, he was not liable for the label of traitor.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. He was willing to go
up against an administration that he knew was willing to go to any length to destroy their enemies.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
64. Then why did he allow them to promote their war on his network
and especially on MTP? He NEVER challenged them, he didn't report on the Downing Street Minutes either.

Sorry, while I appreciate him doing the right thing when under oath on the witness stand, we have over a million dead in this illegal war and I hold our media responsible for that. Russert was one of the worst in the lead up to the war.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #64
77. While related,
there are distinctions between the build-up to the war, and the administration's response to Joseph Wilson's op-ed. As Chris Matthews noted last night, Russert supported ther march to war, because he believed the lies about WMD, especially the nuclear bit. He did not believe Libby's lie that he had told Scooter about Ms. Plame.

I do not intend to imply I support NBC/MSNBC's support of the war. In fact, numerous posts -- even on this thread -- express just the opposite. However, I am able to make the distinction between disagreeing with a person like Russert on one issue, with disagreeing with him on everything.
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demobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #4
71. He wasn't willing to go. He had to be forced to go.
It wasn't that long ago... don't you remember the jokes about Tim Russert showing up on crutches to get sympathy, just like Libby on crutches?

He had to tell the truth - he had to take an oath to tell the truth, or ultimately face jail time himself. I'm sure he didn't want to get caught for perjury.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #71
76. Jokes about crutches are
of no value. Nor, of course, are crutches an issue in anything other than a personal injury case in civil court.

There is no evidence that Mr. Russert ever faced a second in jail resulting this case. There is nothing -- nothing -- to support that. He had no reason to lie, either. Libby did. Hence, the jury believed Russert, and convicted Scooter Libby for five felonies.

The rest of Russert's career is something that people are entitled to their opinion on. But, in the Libby case, people are not entitled to claim things are facts that just ain't so.
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yes
Thank you Tim Russert.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. His conversation
with the FBI and grand jury convinced them that Libby needed to be indicted; his trial testimony convinced the jury to convict one of the most powerful men in Washington, DC for felonies.
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horseshoecrab Donating Member (613 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
3. RIP Tim Russert
Thank you and Rest in Peace Tim Russert. Condolences to his whole family.

Thanks too, H20 Man.

horseshoecrab
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Thank you.
Condolences to his family and friends.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
6. I was waiting on your post about this.
Thanks.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. I've already seen
a few posts which put forth highly inaccurate information about what role Tim Russert played in the Plame scandal. I want to put an accurate description out for those who are interested in the truth; others will, of course, prefer lies.

I never really cared for Tim Russert's style as a journalist. But I admired him, and I respected him. In my opinion, that is far more important.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I hope you'll help correct the trajectory of some of the
more misdirected stuff. (I will direct some to this thread)
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I will try.
Though my attempts are not getting any response, I think that people reading those threads might appreciate the truth.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Great idea.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #9
52. Bravo
to you once again, good man.
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ReadTomPaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
8. Thoughtfully composed and well written..
as usual.

:thumbsup:
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Thanks.
I think those of us who followed the Plame scandal were pleased by Russert's willingness to stand up to Libby and, indirectly, Dick Cheney. Tim Russert knew the OVP was willing to go to any length to destroy their enemies.
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ReadTomPaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Yes, he did. n/t
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bluesmail Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #13
34. while on crutches. That's super suspect to me. n/t
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. I'll second that.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
12. I didn't know this. Thank you; I hope most DUers will see this. K&R. nt
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. It was a high point
in his career. If he did not a sense of integrity, he could have said that he couldn't clearly recall the details of a phone conversation that took place a year or more before. He could have said the details were a blur. But instead, he said he remembered it accurately, and that Libby was a liar.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
15. k&r
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
17. Tim Russert stood tall in the Plame matter.
I've never engaged in any thread here lambasting Russert. I haven't always liked him or what he has done, but I've never attacked him or lauded him over the way he does his job.

His death doesn't make him a better or worse man, and it doesn't change how I talk about him.
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. RIP Tim & sympathy to his family & friends.
I was not a fan but now is not the time to speak about that.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
19. K. nt
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
21. Part Two:
I've read a number of people commenting on Russert as a journalist. This is fine, because he was a journalist for a big part of his life.

What is curious is that some say he was a "right-wing" advocate, or a republican. That reveals a lack of familiarity with Russert.

He attended Woodstock. Then he went to law school. Later, he worked for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Then he helped run Mario Cuomo's campaign in 1982.

Neither Moynihan nor Cuomo were right-wing republicans.

As a journalist, he took positions that I did not agree with. But that was part of his job.
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xiamiam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. thank you h2oman..tim often irritated me yet i am saddened that his unique humanity is gone from us
Edited on Fri Jun-13-08 06:22 PM by xiamiam
Tim represented everyman...or the possibilities present when luck love and hard work are more readily available than cash....Buffalo!!..Tim and I are the same age and I grew up in Pittsburgh...Buffalo and Pittsburgh?...well maybe you had to have been there during the fifties... I deeply admired his love of family and tradition..and his pride in all of it..his tribute to his father...and the countless interviews when he shared his love for him..corny, these days..but oh so endearing...and rare...
Tim was one of those journalists who could have me screaming at the tv...or turning it off...but here I sit, paying tribute in my own way...to an American, a true American, whom I will miss..life is funny....not humorous, just strange in the way lessons are learned..I have to thank Tim...i drew a line in the sand a while back...anyone to the right of Dennis Kucinich couldnt be trusted...seems silly at this moment...
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Right.
I used to find Senator Moynihan irriatating. He could be either very good, or very bad. There wasn't a lot of middle ground with him. Moynihan was the best and worst in the party, sometimes in the same day. No coincidence that Russert worked for him.

Working for Cuomo represents something even more important, to me, than Moynihan. It's not like I never disagreed with Cuomo, but far less often than Moynihan or Russert. Obviously, Cuomo saw something very good in Tim Russert. I think that good side came through in the Plame scandal.

At Onondaga, when a person dies, you don't speak ill of them for ten days. You either focus on their good side, or just be quiet for ten days. Chief Waterman explained to me that it is even better if you can do this while a person is alive, rather than waiting for them to die. I don't think it's "wrong" to point out the negative attributes of people who are damaging others, be they a domestic abuser or a murderer. But in general, there are advantages to appreciating peoples' strengths.
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
23. thanks for the reminder, H2OMan
I only remembered what he said earlier--that whenever an important person called him it was automatically off the record, unless they said otherwise (quite the opposite of what we are taught in J school)

He had many secrets, some of which he should have shared with the American People.

May he rest in peace.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. In a very real sense,
"journalism" has betrayed the American public. I mean the vast majority of people who work for the large, corporate media. This is the only way it can be, when, for example, profit motives make "the news" a product not unlike McDonalds "food." More, when "retired" military/intelligence officers become expert anylists, it can not be otherwise. The coverage of the build-up to the war in Iraq is the most obvious example.

Russert was, of course, part of that. But he had many good points as an individual, and it is an appropriate time to focus on him as an individual.

Matthews just told about their discussing the issues leading up to Iraq, off camera. He said that Russert really believed the lies about nuclear weapons. As Vince Bugliosi points out in his new book, those lies are the primary responsibility of Bush, Cheney, Rice and others in the administration.
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #28
66. Good thread, H2O Man.
My feelings on Russert are mixed. But you do bring up a worthy point about the damned libby business.
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
25. Thank you for pointing this out.
When push came to shove, Russert stood up and spoke the truth as he knew it, even when he knew the ruthlessness of the people who would not like his testimony.

Best wishes to his family.
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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
27. K&R.
:thumbsup:
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Olney Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
29. Thank you, H2O man.
When Tim Russert talked, people listened.
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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Yep thats a great point
RIP Tim
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
30. K&R.... as always
for the honest and enlightening posts of H20 Man giving us real history of our times. Russert was an important voice, and a brave one considering the sinking level of morality in D.C. in recent years.

Thanks.

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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-13-08 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
32. k
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a la izquierda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
33. appreciated. thanks! n/t
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dems_rightnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
35. K&R!
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CODemocrat Donating Member (39 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
36. Tim Russert vs Scooter Libby ?
Well it's now very obvious...

Scooter WINS!!!!!!!!

as he is still wasting oxygen, and Timmah is worm food.

/satire
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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #36
48. .
lay off the doobies CODemocrat. The man isn't even in a coffin yet and your talking about him, sarcastically, being worm food. Maybe next time someone passes on you give it a few days before you use your South Park, CO satire...
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spoony Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
37. It takes a special person to have a consistently
even-handed and well-thought-out perspective to offer, and H20 Man you're one of them. Might sound corny but you bring a context to things, a big picture, that always gives me pause.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
38. Why do you suppose Scooter Libby picked Russert to be his alibi?
It wasn't because he thought Russert would tell the truth and deny he had told Libby about Valerie Plame. Thats for sure.

He did it because he thought Russert would cover for him. And if Russert wasn't looking at going to prison for lying under oath he certainly would have lied for him.

That is why Russert and his lawyers spent months doing everything they could to prevent him from having to testify under oath.

Isn't it?

Don
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bluedawg12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. Or was it to protect journalists and their sources? n/t
Who knows why Libby invented out of thin air an alibi that he learned about Plame via Russert?

We do know that journalists are reluctant to reveal the ir contacts and sources and methods and do not want to be dragged into legal matters- they see themselves as outside the fray.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. How could Russert or anyone claim Libby was a source of a conversation that never actually happened?
Edited on Sat Jun-14-08 10:09 AM by NNN0LHI
That is the reason Russert was forced to testify.

Russert was not Libbys source of Plames identity as we now all know (it was Cheney) but Russert still tried to use that as his reason for not having to testify.

There were really no sources to protect in this case.

It was only smoke and mirrors and Russert did his best to help the thugs. The threat of jail was the only thing that got him to tell the truth which in the end convicted Libby.

Don
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bluedawg12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. Don- here's some testimony I found ( not transcript) but close
http://firedoglake.com/2007/02/07/libby-live-tim-russer... /

Wells submits as evidence, and displays, a declaration by Russert filed with court. Paragraph 5 emphasizes that an essential part of his job is keeping conversations with government officials confidential, that he will not discuss identities or information publicly.

W: You are swearing that you will not release confidential information freely, right?

T: It depends on the nature of the conversation

Wells continues reading from the document. Quotes Paragraph 6, which specifically says Russert cannot testify about Libby conversation without violating confidentiality.

W: That's what you're saying to Judge Hogan under oath?

T: That it would have a chilling effect, yes.

W: You're saying under oath that you can't even confirm that

T: As a journalist, I didn't want to do it, correct.

W: Not just didn't want to, you can't do it, correct?

T: Correct.

W: You don't say that you had already talked to this to Agent Eckenrode in Nov 2003.

T: There is no mention of it.

W: You had already disclosed the substance of the conversation

T: There's a difference

W: But this does not say you had confirmed the existence of the conversation, and the content of it as well.

T: Correct.

W: In June 2004, your position that you could not do this.

T: Correct.

W: In Nov 2003, you violated this, didn't you?

T: No, because they asked about my side of the conversation, and conversation was a viewer complaint.

W: Are statements to Judge Hogan true or false?

T: So you violated these statements when you talked to Eckenrode.

T The focus was on my words at that time, and Libby's viewer complaint was not in any way confidential. As is my policy, I did not report on them.

W: So why say you can't talk about the same conversation?

T: We did not want to get involved in an open-ended fishing expedition.

W: (Accuses Russert of making a false statement to federal judge)

T: I just talked to Eckenrode about my side of the conversation

W: You talked to him about both sides of the conversation

T: I listened to him describe Libby's side.

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #41
42. Let me try to explain this more clearly
Lets say some guy robs a bank and when the police come to interview the suspect he says he was with Tim Russert giving an interview while the bank was being robbed therefore he could not possibly be guilty.

Now if Russert in fact had not been doing an interview with the suspect during the robbery should Russert be held by some journalist/source protection from testifying that there really was no interview? Should the false assertions made by the suspect be allowed into his trial without Russert testifying to the truth?

That is what Libby was trying to do here. And Russert was going to do anything he could short of going to jail to help Libby accomplish this.

Don
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bluedawg12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #42
44. OK let me see if I can explain this some more
Libby testified at the GJ, that he heard the VP was CIA from Russert- to hide that fact that he heard it from the office of DarthVeep.

He counted on what?

Who the heck knows?

Maybe he counted on the fact that Russert would not divulge any conversation with any news source.

So, when Libby mentioned Russertthat made TR the next on the list to question- under oath- in court- during the trial. A subpoena.

However, Russert did not want to testify in court about any conversation with Libby claiming the controversial privilege about newsmen and their sources.

There is no such privilege under federal law- BTW.

So, why would Russert fight the subpoena?

Because- as he claimed- he did not want to testify about a conversation with a news source- regardless of whether or not it could exculpate the news source.

There is no teeny-testimony.

There is nocould you please tell the court if in fact you ever spoke to SL onthat day?

Once you testify you open the door so to speak to testifying about the content of the conversation. Well, what did he say to you?

Now, whether you believe that or not to be Russerts motives, thats what he claimed and thats why he wanted the subpoena quashed.

He was not alone, other journalists had to go through the same decision making process. Judith Miller and the other fat guy from Timewhatever his name is- who did give in and testified.

Its an age old question: are journalists passive neutral by standers or are they part of the storyeven if their testimony does some good and exposes a liethe next time it could be forcing a journalist to reveal the name of a whsitle blower that would harm the common good.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #44
46. What about when Russert heard that Libby was saying he told Libby about Plame?
All Russert would have done was publicly say that wasn't true and there would have been no need for him to testify. That he didn't speaks volumes.

Libby would have seen the writing on the wall and changed his story at that point.

Russert was complicit in trying to keep this dirty little secret between him and Libby.

Why did he do that?

Don
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #46
50. Simply.
Libby had told FBI investigators that Russert was his source. That was a felony. He was charged with the felony. Then he told the grand jury that Russert told him about Plame. That was a felony. He was charged with that. Libby went to trial. Thus, the prosecutor had to call Tim Russert. The idea that if Russert had merely said in public that Libby's claim was false would suffice to convict him shows a lack of understanding of the legal process.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #50
53. Russert didn't think it was newsworthy enough to let people know the facts?
Edited on Sat Jun-14-08 11:27 AM by NNN0LHI
That an adviser to the president was falsely trying to use him as an alibi witness in a federal crime? Not newsworthy enough to report to us? It took a court of law and an oath not to lie for us to get that news?

Ain't buying what your selling.

Don
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #53
56. Mr. Russert worked
at NBC/MSNBC. Their attorneys said that none of their journalists were to discuss their contacts with the administration publicly.

I'm not attempting to "sell" you anything. It is of no significance to me if you agree with me or not. However, I do appreciate the opportunity to correct your errors on this thread.
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bluedawg12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #53
83. It's not about "newsworthy" it's about perjury.
When Scooter asserted that TR told him about VP and the CIA - and when that was not true- Russert became a potential federal witness.

Now, tesitying about a news source, as a federal witness, put TR in the position of going against a journalistic axiom, not discussing sources.

Perhaps, knowing that, was the reason Scoots used TR as the alleged leak source--putting a journalist in an ethical box?
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #42
49. Nope.
Libby absolutely did talk to Russert when he said he had. There was no question about that. Zero. None. Not a single person, from the prosecution to defense to the witnesses to the defendant to the judges who ruled on the case doubted that. Not one.

The only question was the nature of the discussion.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #49
51. Then why didn't Russert say publicly that he never told Libby about Plame?
As soon as he found out Libby was passing that lie to the Feds? That would have ended it wouldn't it have? Who was Russert trying to protect by staying silent?

Russert was an accomplice in this.

Don
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #51
57. He did.
You apparently are unfamiliar with what happened. Otherwise, you would not say such things.

What Libby told FBI investigators was not public knowledge. You didn't know about it, because no one had reported on it -- not the corporate media, and not even the most progressive of internet bloggers. It was secret, as it was part of the federal investigation.

FBI agent Jack Eckenrode visited Russert at Tim's home, and asked to discuss the phone call with Libby. Russert answered his questions.

Shortly thereafter, at NBC/MSNBC, there was a meeting involving management, attorneys, and journalists connected to the scandal. Russert told his co-workers about his conversation with Jack Eckenrode. Management took their attorneys' advice to not comment publicly about their journalists' first-hand involvement with the case.

While I'm confident that the facts will not influence your thinking, I am confident that most DUers will agree that dispite his many failings as a journalist, Russert's behavior in the Plame/Libby scandal were honorable.
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King Coal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #42
61. Can you back that up with facts, or is that just opinion?
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #61
62. It's utterly meaningless.
No one doubted that Libby had spoken to Russert when he said he did. Libby's phone records confirmed that. The only thing at issue was the nature of their discussion.

Attempting to use the bank robber example lacks any and all value, in the case at hand.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #42
82. Ah ha . . . so that's what was going on ??????
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #38
55. I had read your OP
that claimed Russert did everything short of going to jail to avoid testifying. That is, of course, an error. Let's take a second to expose the error in thinking, and to show what actually happened.

In many states, reporters have a shield law that allows them to avoid revealing any conversations with sources. In the federal court system, they do not have this protection. Hence, almost without exception, whenever journalists are placed in a position where they are called to testify, their employers file an appeal to quash the prosecutor's attempts. That process is legal, and there is no punishment -- none -- for doing it.

Russert, like the other journalists in the Plame/Libby case, worked for large media corporations. As an employee, he follows the lead of the corporation's attorneys. (Being a law school graduate, Russert also knows that only a fool hires himself as his attorney.)

Russert as an individual had already spoken to FBI investigator Jack Eckenrode. Their first conversation took place in his home. But when he was called to testify before the grand jury, his employer objected.

All but one of the journalists in question were employed by companies that appealed to the courts. Only Bob Novak was willing to voluntarily testify -- something, interestingly, that he had done previously in another case. In the case of Judith Miller (NY Times) and Matt Cooper (TIME), their employers joined forces in the appeal. This was part of the Times and TIME's efforts to get a federal shield law.

NBC/MSNBC was able to reach an agreement outside of court with Mr. Fitzgerald, regarding what areas Russert would testify about. There was never a possibility that Tim Russert would be incarcerated. None. Zero. It was not even a one-in-a-billion chance.

Two journalists, after losing appeals, were represented by attorneys who opted to appeal further. Their position, common in journalism, is that Libby's "release" was not voluntary: the administration was going to fire anyone who failed to sign such a release. Scooter's release was not an individual effort made of his own free will.

Cooper, of course, faced incarceration, until he had a personal release from Rove. Judith Miller was incarcerated. Both Cooper and Miller had different circumstances than Russert, in that they did discuss Plame's identity with White House officials. More, Miller was concerned that she faced the possibility of further examination of her role in the Libby case.

I am not interested in if people like or dislike Tim Russert. But, in the context of the Plame/Libby scandal, I do think that it is important that the record is represented correctly. Your OP's title was highly inaccurate.
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sam kane Donating Member (326 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
43. Thanks for this!
I LOVE DU.
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Irishonly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
45. Thank You
Time has a way of altering memories. Thank you for reminding us what Tim Russert really did during the Libby trial. To be honest I had forgotten his testimony helped put convict at least one crook in this administration.

I believe I read a fitting description on Tim Russert somewhere on one of the treads. I can't remember who said it but I thought the poster was correct. About half of the liberals thought Tim Russert was a neocon and republicans thought he was a commie or liberal. He did his job.

I believe if we were to ask Russert what his greatest accomplishments were he would not talk about Meet The Press, he would talk about his roles of father, son, husband and friend. We all could learn from him.
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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
47. thanks for the further details!
someone had said, in the thread I started shortly after his death asking about his connection with Plamegate, that the White House tried to use him as a dummy reporter to do their bidding. I'm glad Russert didn't lie for them. Thanks again, H2O Man! :hi:



New Pro-Obama Items & Anti-McSame Items!
www.cafepress.com/warisprofitable
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Neshanic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
54. And this is a fraction of what we do know about Russert. What a guy!
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
58. To all the fools here who despised Russert:
Were it not for Russert's pointed and exact testimony bolstered by his immense credibility, Libby would have skated.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #58
59. Exactly.
Thank you.
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Neshanic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #58
60. WOULD have skated? That is comedy!
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #58
63. And if he had done his job instead of providing a platform for the bush administration
4000 of our soldiers would still be alive.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #63
65. Absolutely 100% correct.
The corporate media failed us, in every sense of the word. For this failure alone -- which can accurately be decsribed as the worst failure in the history of US journalism -- no thinking person can claim that the corporate media should EVER be trusted.

The coverage of Russert's death makes clear that he was recognized as being among a small, select group of leaders. And it is the responsibility of any and every leader to not take anything on face value. Believing this administration's claims should never have been considered an option, because so many people in it had histories of lying and criminal behaviors.

As an individual, and as part of a larger group, Tim Russert failed our country in the build-up to the war. And that error cost the lives of over 4000American soldiers and 100,000 Iraqis, hundreds of thousands of severely wounded, and a huge financial loss. More, whatever one believes about the USA's position in the world community before the war, it has become clear the country is held in contempt around the globe ever since.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #63
68. I don't disagree either
yes, he had the power to do it and didn't. But he was not alone either.
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #63
78. and Gore would be in the White House.
and we'd still have a special counsel law.
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sellitman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
67. His David Duke interview was mentioned last night on KO.
He almost single handedly made the folks down south aware that not only was the cretin prejudiced, he was not prepared and ready for the job he was trying for.

Tim was a good journalist.

I will miss his enthusiasm.
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northamericancitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
69. K & R . Thanks for reminding us about his good deeds.
The rest can wait another 10 days...
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1776Forever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
70. Right on! I had forgotten about this - thanks for posting! I respected him then & now!
None of us humans are perfect - NONE! I really thought Tim tried to give the news in a fair way and even though there were some things he could have pressed more on, he knew the limit he could do so. I will truly miss Mr. Russert.
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mmm413 Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
72. Oh, Come on.
Russert was very complicit in the Valerie Plame exposure. He was so enamored of being a Washington insider that he didn't care what he was reporting as long as got invited to the cocktail parties.

We all don't like to see people die at the ripe young age of 58. But to put Russert out there like a true journalist is absurd. He wasn't. He was a press secretary to Cuomo and Moynihan and apparently was very well liked by the media because of the men he worked for that he was taken into the fold of NBC.

Russert was the go to guy for this administration. They knew he would ask soft-ball questions and no follow ups. There were handwritten notes from Cheney and/or Libby that if they wanted a way to get their message out was to go on MTP. Russert never had the credentials to host Meet the Press. Why NBC put him on that show is beyond me.

Anyway. It's, I guess, sad he's dead. But maybe we can finally get some real media coverage.

You all do know that Arianna Huffington pissed him off so much that she was banned from all NBC channels. Right?

Russert was NOT a journalist. He was a news reader who truly enjoyed and reveled in his access. And did a huge disservice to this country.

You hear it on Meet the Press? It's gotta be true!!
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #72
75. You're full of baloney.
Actually, I "heard it" in the federal court documents that became public as a result of the grand jury investigation and Libby trial. And your source of information?
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
73. Don't these statements contradict each other?
Edited on Sat Jun-14-08 04:31 PM by rocknation
(Russert) said he had no recollection of knowing anything about Wilsons wife when he had spoken to Libby that day so it was impossible for me to have (told Libby) that. Russert maintained that he hadnt learned about Wilsons wife until he read about her the following week in Robert Novaks column...

I've never believed that Russert told Libby. But I've also never believed that Libby didn't take the opportunity to tell Russert in hopes that he'd pass it along (to Tweety, for example?). I've always suspected that Russert has denied Libby told him about Plame just to keep his hands clean, and it would also explain why Rove called Tweety. Why couldn't Russel "recall" if he knew about Plame when he spoke with Libby (WAS it actually Cheney who told him?), yet he can say for certain he didn't know about her until he read Novak's article a week later? While I give Russert credit for taking a pass on being an accessory to treason, I don't think his testimony was any more truthful than Libby's was.

:crazy:
rocknation
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #73
74. No, not at all.
The first sentence shows that at the time of Libby's phone call, Russert had not heard of Joe Wilson's wife. The second sentence points out that a week later, when he read Novak's column, he became aware of her.

There is no evidence that Tim Russert would have known Wilson had a wife before reading Novak's column. Tim Russert's experience is in the legislative branch, and his reporting is almost exclusively about Washington, DC, rather than intelligence and international affairs. He was the Washington bureau chief. Without any evidence otherwise, it is mere speculation that Russert knew anything about Wilson's personal life.
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #74
79. The first sentence shows that Russert DIDN'T REMEMBER if he was aware of Plame
Edited on Sat Jun-14-08 07:26 PM by rocknation
PRIOR TO or DURING his conversation with Libby. There is no evidence, as you say--so for all we know, perhaps Russert also "forgot" that he was first made aware of Plame by Cheney. Maybe Russert chose amnesia over a flat denial because he knew it was at least possible that he could be contradicted.

:evilgrin:
rocknation
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-14-08 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #79
80. Nope.
The last part of the first sentence eliminates your interpretation as an option.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 01:00 AM
Response to Original message
81. Cheers to Tim Russert for that --- !!!
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bow-tie Donating Member (236 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
84. Russert's Bush
interview was probably the worst of his career. I really believe the people that REALLY know the Bush gutter snipe are terrified of them, hence the softball interview. I believe they've murdered many in the last 8 years. People of prominence.
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