Libby’s Lawyers: Our Client is Above the Law

Perhaps you may recall the greymail tactics of Scooter Libby’s defense team. When Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald called the defense team on these tactics, the defense attorneys accused Mr. Fitzgerald of lying and were insulted by the allegation – even though the allegation is clearly true. The latest tactic from the defense team seems to suggest that their client cannot be prosecuted by Fitzgerald:

WASHINGTON (AP) – Lawyers for Vice President Dick Cheney’s former top aide asked a federal judge Thursday to dismiss his indictment on grounds that the special prosecutor in the CIA leak case lacked authority … The defense attorneys also said Fitzgerald’s appointment violated federal law because his investigation was not supervised by the attorney general.

The Attorney General, of course, is Alberto Gonzales who had likely impeded this investigation when he was White House counsel. Talk about being above the law. This defense team motion is the height of arrogance, but can you blame them? After all, trying to defend Scooter Libby against the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice is damn near impossible.

So let’s see how Byron York might pursue this impossible task:

Fitzgerald Refuses to Show Evidence That Valerie Wilson Was Classified – The CIA leak prosecutor tells Lewis Libby it’s none of his business.

That’s the title of the latest spin from York. He continues:

Tomorrow CIA leak prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and indicted former Cheney chief of staff Lewis Libby will meet in a Washington courtroom to fight over what evidence will be at the center of Libby’s trial on perjury, obstruction, and false statements charges. In the latest exchange of court motions between the two sides, Libby’s defense team is repeating its request for evidence concerning perhaps the two most fundamental questions in CIA leak investigation: Was Valerie Wilson a secret CIA officer when her name appeared in Robert Novak’s famous July 14, 2003, column, and what damage did the exposure of her identity do to national security? Fitzgerald has so far refused to provide any evidence touching on either question, at times shifting his reasoning as Libby’s lawyers pressed their case.

Since York already knows the charges are perjury and obstruction – whether the leak caused damage to national security is not material to this case. As far as proving Valerie Plame was a overt CIA officer, maybe Mr. York needs conclusive evidence that the earth is round before he takes his next cruise.

On a more serious note (after all – I have yet to read anything of value on this topic from the National Review), Talkleft reports on how the Plame whistleblowers (those who cooperated with Fitzgerald’s investigation) are being sidelined within the State Department.