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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:35 PM
Original message
"... when a crowd gathers outside this building, somebody is in trouble."

The ground-breaking ceremony ... for the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse Annex in Washington, D.C., drew a distinguished group of speakers. From left to right, they were Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, Vice President Richard Cheney (at the podium), Chief Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg (D.C. Cir.), Chief Judge Thomas F. Hogan (D.D.C.), and General Services Administrator Stephen A. Perry. Also attending were judges of the district and circuit courts, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC,) and invited guests. In his remarks, Vice President Cheney also thanked Judge Harry Edwards "for his diligent efforts as chief judge in getting this building annex underway." Cheney added, "In the years and decades to come, all who work here will follow in the finest of traditions. I am certain that the best legal talent America can produce will be collected here for as long as these buildings stand."

"Usually, when a crowd gathers outside this building, somebody is in trouble. (Laughter.) . . . The U.S. Courts Building does not really stand out in the Washington landscape. It's not known for special style or flare or extravagance; nothing at all flashy about it. In short, the perfect place for a joint appearance by Dick Cheney and Bill Rehnquist." (Laughter.)

<Don't you love how WH transcripts have to cue you in to when Cheney or Bush boy are being "funny?" (Laughter.)>

As for 2005, the grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA operative's name gathered at 9:00 am ET today at that very federal courthouse in Washington, DC. And there is quite a crowd gathered, although the betting at this writing is that nothing will happen today of Note at least not in public.

ABC News' Jason Ryan reports, "Grand jury 03-3 the jury hearing the CIA leak case is meeting, but indications from a court source are that Fitzgerald and his team will not be at the courthouse today."


With an added final paragraph pregnant with meaning, the New York Times' Johnston/Stevenson duo advances the CIA leak investigation on two key fronts. The Timesmen report that Fitzgerald "is not expected to take any action in the case this week" and "he has no plans to issue a final report about the results of the investigation," leading some to believe indictments are more likely than not to be forthcoming. LINK

Here's that final graph: "Officials who testified or were questioned by investigators also included John Hannah, Mr. Cheney's principal deputy national security adviser."


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Burried News Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. Dick and the Duck are about to go for a swim.
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Verve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
"Fitzgerald and his team will not be at the courthouse today"

Doesn't the grand jury need to meet privately, without the prosecutors, to vote on indictments?
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Don't know, but that's an interesting prospect.
Good catch! :insert smiley crossing fingers:
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CdnObserver Donating Member (81 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Grand Jury meeting without Fitzgerald?

That was my read on it. I guess the Grand Jury has begun deliberations!
I wonder how long that will take. Have there been any other Grand Jury days where Fitz wasn't present?

Do they have to issue all indictments at once, or can they come in waves?

I could see them taking a long time, just by virtue of the number of crooks involved!

Still, I can't imagine they don't have a good idea of whether there's enough evidence for charges after 2 years!

This isn't even the trial yet.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
4. US DOJ Grand Jury Guidelines - Lots of Interesting Reading Here

This DOJ manual is a non-copyrighted public document. It deals specifically with instructions to US Attorneys on how to convene and conduct a GJ in Sherman Antitrust cases, but much of it is relevant to the Plame case as well. Below, it lays out the legal bases for charges of perjury and obstruction of justice that are likely to be applied to Scooter, Karl and others:

False declarations and perjury

There are two principal federal perjury statutes, 18 U.S.C. 1621 and 1623. The elements of both statutes are substantially the same.(45)

Since virtually all perjury prosecutions brought by the Division will occur in a court proceeding or before the grand jury, only the elements of 18 U.S.C. 1623 will be described. There are five such elements that should be addressed in an indictment:

the testimony was given under oath;

the testimony was given in a proceeding before or ancillary to a court or grand jury;

the testimony was false in one or more of the respects charged in the indictment;

the false testimony was knowingly given; and

the false testimony was material.(46)
The identity of the oath giver and proof that such person was competent or authorized to administer the oath are not essential elements of 1623 and need not be included in the indictment. Instead, 1623 merely requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant was under oath at the time the false statement was made.(47)

The third element of the offense is established through extrinsic proof that the testimony given by the accused was false in one or more of the respects charged, and is subject to the same standard of proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, that applies in any criminal case.(48) In a false statement count that avers several allegedly false statements in the same count, proof of any one of the specifications is sufficient to support a guilty verdict.(49) Generally, the Division's practice is to have a separate count for each separate fraudulent statement. However, related statements that are in essence the same answer to a rephrased question should be contained in the same count.

The fifth element, materiality of the false declaration, is a legal question for the court's determination.(50) Materiality has been defined broadly to include anything "capable of influencing the tribunal on the issue before it."(51) Before drafting the indictment, consult the law of the circuit for the jurisdiction you will be in for cases defining materiality.

It is not a defect to omit a specific allegation in the indictment that defendant did in fact recall something to which he falsely responded he did not recall(52) as long as the court instructs the jury that in order to convict, it must find that defendant did in fact recall one or more of the matters in question. Nonetheless, the better practice is to include language in the charging paragraph that defendant did in fact recall the matter or matters to which he responded he didn't recall.(53)

Obstruction of justice, 18 U.S.C. 1503

An obstruction of justice charge is appropriate when prosecutors believe that there has been interference with the grand jury's investigative process.(54) The bases for such a charge stem most commonly from destruction or alteration of documents that were called for in a grand jury subpoena, or that were material to the investigation, or from an attempt to influence someone's grand jury testimony.(55) Such charges are usually prosecuted under the broader parameters of the omnibus clause of 18 U.S.C. 1503.(56)

In charging that the defendant "endeavors" to influence, obstruct or impede, success by the defendant is not necessary.(57) As the Fifth Circuit noted in United States v. Howard, 569 F.2d 1331, 1337 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 834 (1978): "Section 1503 is a contempt statute . . . and as such is directed at disruptions of orderly procedure. Thus, it is wholly irrelevant whether defendants' actions had no ultimate effect on the outcome of the grand jury investigation: the question is whether they disturbed the procedure of the investigation."(58)

Several courts of appeal have addressed the issue of whether perjured testimony can form the basis of an obstruction of justice prosecution. While the courts have held that "mere perjury" does not amount to obstruction, the great weight of authority holds that the giving of false testimony can amount to obstruction of justice when the testimony has impeded the administration of justice.(59) For example, the Fourth Circuit in United States v. Caron, 551 F. Supp. 662 (E.D. Va. 1982), aff'd mem., 722 F.2d 739 (4th Cir. 1983), cert. denied, 465 U.S. 1103 (1984), upheld (without an opinion) a false testimony-based 1503 indictment and a concurrent indictment for perjury under 1623 which had as its basis the same false testimony.

Because of the similarity in the evidence required to prove violations of 1623 and 1503, staffs can expect that a defendant may make a multiplicity motion and argue that false statements and obstruction of justice merge into the same offense on the facts of the case. However, two courts of appeal have rejected the argument that concurrent convictions under 1503 and 1623 constitute double jeopardy on the grounds that the statutory elements of each offense are "clearly distinct" and thus each statute requires proof that the other does not.(60)

In addition to prohibiting the intimidation of and retaliation against grand and petit jurors and judicial officers, 18 U.S.C. 1503 contains a catch-all, or omnibus clause prohibiting corrupt "endeavors to influence, obstruct or impede, the due administration of justice." In an omnibus clause prosecution, the Government must prove:

there was a pending judicial proceeding;

the defendant knew that there was a pending judicial proceeding;

the defendant endeavored to influence, obstruct or impede the due administration of justice; and

the defendant's acts were done knowingly and corruptly.(61)
Each of these elements must be addressed in the indictment.

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CdnObserver Donating Member (81 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. With these standards, the GJ could be in there for weeks!

Detailing all the ways in which all of these people may have obstructed justice, lied, claimed not to recall things they did actually recall, influence the Judicial process, disclosed classified information, abused the public trust, violated their oaths of office, violated many agreements that go along with being given access to secret information or abusing the resources and offices of the Government, and on and on...

Will the Grand Jury have enough time to actually decide?

I assume the indictments are already written up by Fitz, but just reviewing the indictments and then voting on potentially dozens of counts against up to 20 people could take a long time!

That, of course assumes that Grand Jurors take their voting responsibility more seriously then Senators and members of Congress.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. It comes down to 12 nice ladies (maybe a few gentlemen)
Let's trust they all do the right thing.
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CdnObserver Donating Member (81 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Is there 12 on a Grand Jury?

I thought they were much larger than regular juries. I'm thinking 20 or more. I also think I read that they don't need to be unanimous in their findings, and that they only require a majority vote to indict, since they're not actually convicting.

Seems to me if this is the case, Bushie and the gang are totally screwed!

I think Cheney and Bush are going down on this, and not just Libby/Rove.

I bet they're WHIGging out right now!

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 05:42 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Federal GJ indicts by 12 votes out of the 16-23 panelists
This from U of Dayton Law

Does the grand jury indict by unanimous vote? A mere plurality? Or something in between?

Response: In the federal system, it takes 12 grand jurors (out of the 16-23 that compose the grand jury) to indict.

How do you like your Toast? Scooter? Crispy ... Karl, lots of butter? You got it!

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NoBushSpokenHere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 06:51 AM
Response to Original message
10. Maybe we should all go stand outside the courthouse? n/t
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