The verdict in the trial of Lewis “Scooter” Libby has been read. Libby was found guilty on both counts of perjury, the single count of obstruction of justice, and on one of the two counts of making a false statement to the FBI. Four guilty verdicts and one not guilty.
Each count carries a maximum fine of $250,000 fine; thus, Libby could face up to one million dollars in fines. The guilty verdicts also carry a maximum prison term of thirty years. Under federal sentencing guidelines it’s unlikely that Libby would receive anything near the maximum.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton has ordered that a pre-sentencing report on Libby be completed by May 15, and Libby’s lawyers have indicated that they will file a motion for a new trial. If that motion fails, they will then file an appeal.
Updates by Kim:
Patrick Fitzgerald announced that he will not be filing any other charges.
Judge Andrew Napolitano speculated that the Libby’s attorneys will file a motion for a new trial based upon the questions that the jurors asked, which could show that they were “hopelessly confused.” The jury even asked the judge if Libby was charged with lying to one of the journalists.
Update: Ok, one of the jurors, Denis Collins, is speaking now, and he just said he was a reporter for many years. I’m surprised that Libby’s defense attorneys would accept him on the jury. Get this: Denis said that the jury believed Libby was the “fall guy.” That sounds like something that they would have heard on the news. Can’t that be argued that the jury was, therefore, tainted?
Update II: Denis, the reporter, just admitted that the jury took Matt Cooper’s word over Libby’s.
Update III: Again, Denis said that the jury believed that Russert was very credible. So, two journalists were more believable than Libby. Shocking.
Update IV: Denis is having a hard time recalling the details of what took place in the jury room yet they have a hard time believing that Libby remembered some details better than others. Doesn’t his own remarks here show how easily Libby could forget with whom he had conversations about Valerie Plame?
Update V: And get this: For a mere $150.00, you can see Keith Olbermann interview Valerie Plame. And Joe Wilson will be on Olbermann’s Countdown tonight with reaction, I suspect.
Update VI: Here’s the text of Harry Reid‘s reaction:
I welcome the jury’s verdict. It’s about time someone in the Bush Administration has been held accountable for the campaign to manipulate intelligence and discredit war critics. Lewis Libby has been convicted of perjury, but his trial revealed deeper truths about Vice President Cheney’s role in this sordid affair. Now President Bush must pledge not to pardon Libby for his criminal conduct.
Where’d this pardon talk come from? And since when do Democrats have an issue with them? It was Clinton who pardoned the most corrupt people upon his leaving office.
Here’s Pelosi‘s reaction:
Today’s guilty verdicts are not solely about the acts of one individual.
This trial provided a troubling picture of the inner workings of the Bush Administration. The testimony unmistakably revealed – at the highest levels of the Bush Administration – a callous disregard in handling sensitive national security information and a disposition to smear critics of the war in Iraq.
Where was Nancy’s outrage toward Sandy Berger, who not only stole national security documents and lied about it, but destroyed them as well? And let’s not forget that Speaker Pelosi was completely committed to naming Alcee Hastings, a former Florida judge who was impeached for bribery and perjury, as chairman House Select Committee on Intelligence. The only reason she backed down from that was because of all the outrage that followed. And Speaker Pelosi has the nerve to now indignantly claim that Libby’s conviction is proof of the Bush Administration’s disregard for national security issues?
Update VII: Tammy Bruce also has suspicions about juror Denis Collins, who she says wrote for the Washington Post.
Talkative Libby Juror Denis Collins is apparently a journalist who has written for the Washington POst among other newspapers. There is also word which I’m still checking on that he plans to write a book. As you can imagine a book about a case likethis is only relevant when there’s aguilty verdict. Another element the Libby defense team should consider is if a juror or jurors had a financial interest in the nature of the verdict, either through furthering their own profile, or the sale of a book about the matter.
They already have an excellent case for both a new trial and an appeal base on the fact that Collins also noted that a myriad of other considerations affected their deliberations, like Libby being the “fall guy” for Karl Rove. It seems they created an entire conspiratorial backstory with other characters that had nothing to do with whether or not Libby, as an individual man, lied.
Update VIII: Mark Levin has some very interesting comments:
This morning the jury didn’t understand two of the counts. Yesterday it didn’t understand what was meant by reasonable doubt. Let me suggest that in the end it still didn’t understand the two counts or reasonable doubt.
Please, spare me the lectures about the jury system and a fair trial. This case should never have seen the inside of a courtroom. The witnesses were universally pathetic. The judge was overly restrictive in the testimony he allowed on behalf of the defense. But most of all, I object to this case because it was political from beginning to end. Patrick Fitzgerald’s closing argument was as much about Dick Cheney and George Bush as Libby. He wanted the jurors to consider the war. He wanted them to look at more than the evidence. So, it’s perfectly legitimate for some of us to conclude that they did. We might call this jury nullifcation in reverse.
This gives more insight into Denis Collins’ comments that the jury thought Libby was the Bush Administration’s “fall guy.”
Quin Hillyer at the American Spectator blog doesn’t have a kind word for Patrick Fitzgerald:
I accuse Patrick Fitzgerald of using the courts for a personal vendetta (related to the old Marc Rich case). I accuse Patrick Fitzgerald of improperly using his closing argument to broaden the case into an indictment of Dick Cheney and of thereby sliming Scooter Libby of guilt by association. I accuse Fitzgerald of improperly intimating to the jury that Libby betrayed deadly national secrets. I accuse Fitzgerald of extreme inconsistency in giving blanket immunity to Ari Fleisher without even knowing what Fleisher would say, while badgering Libby for hours on end in order to trap Libby into saying anything, anything at all, that this modern-day Inspector Javert could claim was perjury. I accuse Fitzgerald of manufacturing a case out of whole cloth even after knowing, almost from day one, that there was no underlying crime. I accuse Fitzgerald of treating Libby (and Rove) entirely differently from Richard Armitage. I accuse Fitzgerald of manifold abuses of his prosecutorial authority and discretion. I accuse Fitzgerald of persecuting an innocent man. I accuse Fitzgerald of megalomania. I accuse Fitzgerald of bloodlust. In short, I accuse Patrick Fitzgerald of being a lousy excuse for a human being. And I hope our Maker, the Great Author of All Justice, will do true justice in the end.