Democrats & Liberals Archives

Who do you trust: Libby or Russert?

On Thursday, February 8th, the prosecution rested its perjury case against ‘Scooter’ Libby. The case ended with Tim Russert clearly and loudly disputing Libby’s claim that it was Russert that told Libby about Valerie Plame. So, as with most criminal cases, the case comes down to: who do you believe and why?

Who's got more skin in the game, Russert or Libby?

Who's got more to lose?

With Russert, who, like him or hate him, has a highly successful career at stake. He is viewed as a level-headed interviewer that sometimes can play rough and cut to the bone to get to the meat of the story. His credibility with his viewers is at stake. If Russert comes out of this mess with less credibility than before, he might as well say good by to his coveted spot on "Meet the Press".

With Libby, he's facing jail time. He's maintained all along that he didn't reveal anything that wasn't already known and that Russert was the person that told him about Plame, not Cheney. His freedom is at stake here.

Folks, i have to go with Russert here. His testimony, what i've read, seemed logical. Russert's motives for disputing, the "he said, he didn't say" recollection aren't enough for him distort the phone call and the dates associated with the call. After all, Russert said that he couldn't have learned of Plame's identity when Libby claims he did.

Libby has a bunch of problems here. First, his credibility has been horrible to begin with. He worked, loyally, for the Bush administration and with Cheney for many, many years. Let's just say that the Bush and Cheney's administration won't be known for its openness. Rather, their administration has been riddled with spin and secrecy since its inception. Since Libby has been there from the beginning; he can be associated directly with the same credibility issues as Bush and Cheney. After all, Libby appears to have been just 'carrying out orders' from Cheney.

The tapes played of Libby asserting Russert's prior knowledge are clear. He obviously can't dispute what he said (although he did attempt to spin that a little bit by saying: he forgot that he forgot, when Cheney told him in the first place). Libby's epiphany about Cheney's involvement only came after Fitzgerald found out about notes from Cheney that were destroyed as FBI agents were about to search his office.

So it basically comes down to credibility. Who do you believe more, Russert or Libby?

For me, it's clear: i believe Russert.

Posted by john trevisani at February 9, 2007 7:32 AM
Comment #207285

I’d believe Russert before Libby.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 9, 2007 9:29 AM
Comment #207286

Russert has been covering his ass for so long even he doesn’t know when he’s being honest.

Libby is associated with the single most dishonest group of people since Daily’s Chicago.

We can’t guess about these two fools, and can only depend that Fitz got deep enough into this to take care of it in closing.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 9, 2007 9:39 AM
Comment #207288

3 for 3


Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 9, 2007 9:54 AM
Comment #207289

Russert is telling the truth. This is the most dishonest bunch of people running the white house in american history. Someday all the truth will come out and people [even the neo-cons] will ask how did we let this happen.

Posted by: Jeff at February 9, 2007 9:56 AM
Comment #207296

I heard Libby’s testimony and his response was so carefully crafted that it couldn’t have possibly happened the way he said. He said that when Russert mentioned that “all the reporters” knew about Valerie Plame and said that he didn’t remember that he had already learned that (yeah right) but was so taken aback by the comment that he responded that he had not heard that twice so as to make sure that he wasn’t used to confirm what Russert was saying. First, if it was such shocking news the second time he heard it why did he not remember the first time? Answer, he was lying. Then to say that he made sure he wasn’t confirming anything to Russert he was saying exactly what he thought Fitzgerald wanted to hear. Fitzgerald, being a smart prosecuter, knows to be dubious of anyone telling exactly what you want to hear or eaxactly what they need to say to stay out of trouble. As it turned out Libby got busted lying about his role in this mess.

Russert’s story sounds a lot more plausible than Libby’s. Russert never ran with the Plame story it was the Bush cheerleaders in the press, Matt Cooper, Judith Miller, and that jerk, Robert Novak. Hmmm… a bunch of right wing reporters ran with this story but it was Russert who informed Libby? Not a chance.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 9, 2007 11:24 AM
Comment #207297

I actually believe them both—or at least don’t see any hard evidence that either is lying instead of just struggling to remember dates, times, and the details of conversations from several years ago. Both men have pretty busy lives. It’s ridiculous that one man is on trial for giving a version of events different from the other. Why not try Russert too for the inconsistencies in his testimony?

John, you’re reasons for believing Russert are absolutley dreadful.

Russert has less motivation to lie, and that’s a reason to believe him instead of Libby? By that logic, any defendent is a liar and any witness for the prosecution is telling the truth—after all, it’s the defendent who is facing jail time. Ridiculous.

Your other reasons are simply your own feelings about the Bush administration and partisan belief that anybody working with Cheney or Bush must be a liar. That is not a reason. That is an opinion, and people ought not to be sent to prison simply for feelings instead of hard evidence.

The very fact that you can ask a question like this—who do you believe, Russert or Libby?—shows why this case is so absurd. It’s a he-said, she-said situation about matters which the prosecution has never claimed involved any underlying crime.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 9, 2007 11:31 AM
Comment #207305

i only pitted Libby against Russert because it was the basis for their defense.

If you’ve been following the case, you would have heard plenty of other testimony from Cooper, Miller, heck even Ari Fleischer disputed Libby’s claims. (oh… that’s right, evil Ari has a deal with the prosecutor and that’s his motivation)

It’s a criminal case, plain and simple. And in this case, Libby is hanging his defense on a key aspect of the case, namely when he first knew of Plame’s identity. And it was Russert that Libby claimed told him first. In essence, Russert was Libby’s alibi. But Libby’s alibi didn’t pan-out.

So it goes back to the original question. Who do you believe? The defendant or the alibi?

Posted by: john trevisani at February 9, 2007 11:46 AM
Comment #207308

gw… I guess you don’t like the truth. I have noticed that about neo-cons stand by bush and co. till the bitter end. The prople at fox should be lined up and BEAT for all the lies!

Posted by: Jeff at February 9, 2007 11:54 AM
Comment #207311

John, yes, there have been others who have contradicted Libby’s testimony as well.

But the thing is that those witnesses are not all contradicting him on the same points, and they’re also contradicting each other. There is no definitive established story here to match any one person’s version against. But yet, that’s what’s being done.

What we have is a bunch of different timelines and versions of events which don’t match up, which can’t be verified one way or the other, and only one person being held to account.

Russert still maintains that he never told Libby about Plame. But what else does he say? That he was trying to maintain the confidentially of sources by not testifying—problem is, he had ALREADY broke that confidentiality in statements to investigators which he later attempted to hide.

Russert’s version of events not only contradicts Libby’s, but previous versions of his own. At the very least, this calls into into question the reliability of his memory if not his honesty. In either case, it makes him an unreliable witness who shouldn’t just be automatically believed.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 9, 2007 12:07 PM
Comment #207322

As pointed out by Loyal Opposition Russert has had inconsistancies in his story. Russert has a big axe to grind with the administration which gives him huge street cred with liberals. If it is shown that he was playing ball with Libby that street cred goes out the window not only with the liberals but also with future anonomous sources. I think Russert is lying through his teeth.
BTW is it kosher for govt worker Valerie to be pushing for her spouse to get a government job (I assume joe was paid for his Niger project)?Had Bush sent some unemployed relative of his on this assignment instead would the democrats have any problem with that?

Posted by: Carnak at February 9, 2007 12:34 PM
Comment #207345

gw We have to find about the lies and cover ups or we make the same mistakes again. To do other wise would make this country weak. I stand by my country not bush he lied took us to war on those lies. Iraq did not have anything to do with the war on terror it has made us weaker wasted or tax dollars worn out our equipment and wasted brave American troops. It has not made us safer this war is not about terror I don’t care how you spin it.

Posted by: Jeff at February 9, 2007 2:24 PM
Comment #207346

How do you figure Russert has an axe to grind! Only about 30% of americans and about 0% of the world are behind bush&co

Posted by: Jeff at February 9, 2007 2:27 PM
Comment #207348

Many witnesses have testified at the trial that Libby, Rove and Cheney were involved in spreading the information to reporters about both Wilson and his wife. Catherine J Martin, Cheney’s top press aide, testified that in May of 2003 she found out from the CIA that Plame worked there and had sent Wilson to Niger. This was a reaction to the New York Times article in May about an unnamed diplomat sent to Niger to investigate Bush’s allegation that Hussein tried to buy uranium from Africa. She told Libby and Cheney immediately. Thus began the campaign to smear Wilson. Marc Grossman undersecretary of state also confirmed the identity of Plame to Libby. Libby talks about Plame to Judith Miller on 3 different occasions in June/July. July 10 was the alleged Libby /Russert phone call. Novak column is July 14th, the first time this info goes public and when Russert testified he first learned this info.
I believe Russert. Seems pretty clear that Libby is a liar.
So when can we go after the big guy?

Posted by: Steve K at February 9, 2007 2:28 PM
Comment #207379

You kind of have it backward
When a Democrat disputes anything Bush Cheney says they are labeled TRAITOR!!
When it is pointed out that any of the crooked lying scheming low-life republican administation lied (have you caught my bias??) — it is disputed — faulty intelligence — misquoted, “not I didn’t say that” (only to be followed by video showing the person saying exactly what they deny saying)

When someone is questioned about what they said, and they deny (vehemently) having said it, and then it is SHOWN to them and they STILL deny (numerous times for Cheny, Bush and Rice) — they are at least guilty of LYING about having said what everyone knows they said.

I have seen numerous times where the repugnants have taken something said by a democrat, and completely restate it so as to be unrecognizable BEFORE lambasting the dem —!!

Give it a rest with the “Repubs as victim” routine — the repubs have victimized this country for 6 YEARS - — it seems they can dish it out but become whining little whimps when it is directed their way!!

Posted by: Russ at February 9, 2007 3:52 PM
Comment #207381

gw…I will try and not fall for your twisted logic but that said they are about the same thing. And by the way I have not painted all Republicans as bad nor have I said all Democrats are good but bush is bad. His v.p was most likley his undoing.

Posted by: Jeff at February 9, 2007 4:19 PM
Comment #207423

Steve K, the major flaw in your timeline there is that we don’t NEED the circumstantial evidence of a timeline leading up to Novak’s column to insinuate that Libby “leaked” to reporters. We already know exactly who Novak’s source was—Armitage. And that’s not what Libby is accused of anyway, so your comments are not relevant.

As for the rest of what you and others are saying, there is no crime in efforts to discredit Wilson. It’s perfectly fine to take on those who are trying to discredit you, and the only crime involved would be leaking the identity of an undercover operative. Not only is there no evidence that such a thing occurred, it’s irrelevant to the case since nobody has been charged with any such thing.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 9, 2007 9:37 PM
Comment #207433

Nothing to see here (explosions)

Move along now (fireworks and confetti)

Nothing important at issue in this case (singing and dancing)

No reason to look behind the curtain (Cheerleaders make a world record giant pyramid)

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 9, 2007 10:08 PM
Comment #207436

When can we get back to reality? That would be the place where if I were to tell you that our VP, the man with arguably more effective power than anyone else in America, spent his time NOT in dedication to finding terrorists, NOT in dedication to getting the military in tip-top shape, NOT running the senate or making all too needed non-partisan political alliances, but instead, he spent it trying to micro-manage really despicable and un-American smear campaigns against anyone who dared challenge his creative, impatient and mostly baseless assertions for war in Iraq.

I hope that were I to say this to any of you, you’d immediately respond that this country deserves better. That’s the real point of this case. Deny it if you like, but it affirms all the worst criticisms of this administrations practices and priorities. Based on every piece of formal evidence we have (which admittedly is not enough to go on a political witch-hunt), they are just not in line with what Americans want and need…any way you want to cut it.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 9, 2007 10:18 PM
Comment #207453


Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 10, 2007 9:10 AM
Comment #207480

Trial Exposes White House Crisis Machine

Posted by: Adrienne at February 10, 2007 12:53 PM
Comment #207546

The shear venom in this thread is amazing. You would think that your mother was outed instead. Why is it that Republicans are ALL lumped together as evil and ALL Democrats must therefore be right(left?) ? I guess my real question is …. WHO CARES? All of you act like this is something new… politicians are usually doing something that is shady at best and the people who work for them usually do the dirty work and go to jail if the dirty deeds come to light. Whichever group is not in power at the time cries fowl and the in power group denies wrong doing. It really doesn’t matter which group is which. There is plenty of history on both sides that show that either group is capable of stupid decisions, bad policy and really piss poor judgment. And reporters, especially in the last 20 years have shown that the “story” is just that, a story. Facts are made to fit the current managements position - not necessarily the truth. Who actually believes the news anymore? The “journalists” are mostly frauds who just want to further their careers and get on TV, write books and get rich. They don’t really care who they hurt.

There are more important things than trying to pick one liar from another.

Posted by: Ilsa at February 10, 2007 11:28 PM
Comment #207578

Well, I certainly don’t trust Wilson whom the bi-partisan democrats on the 9-11 commission discovered had lied to America about what he told the CIA and had actually discovered evidence that Sadam was most likely seeking yellow-cake in Africa.

Oh wait, you folks aren’t supporting liar Wilson any more are you?

This is about whether or not Libby lied under oath about outting someone whom it was not illegal to out? Shades of Bill Clinton….I thought you folks taught America that lying under oath which used to be a felony is actually ok?

Posted by: Steve at February 11, 2007 10:53 AM
Comment #207603


What the hell are you talking about?

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 11, 2007 2:06 PM
Comment #207643

I want a Government that doesn’t consider the wishes and dreams of the American people irrelevant to their policy. I want a government we can be proud of. I don’t want moral equivalency or more shades of black being painted as shades of grey or worse called shades of white.

I want a government I don’t have to keep a constant eye on to make sure they don’t start a war with another country when our backs are turned.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 11, 2007 9:25 PM
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