Now Dickerson Knows How Libby Must Feel

Clarice Feldman
At yesterday's hearing in the Libby Trial, Ari Fleischer testified under an immunity deal that he had eaten a lunch with Libby, who told him Mrs. Wilson worked at the CIA, that she played a role in sending her husband to Niger and the whole thing  was "hush hush." Fleischer also testified that he told two reporters after hearing similar information from White House counsel Dan Bartlett, The names of the two reporters, David Gregory who works for Tim Russert's MSNBC and  John Dickerson who once worked for Time and now works for Slate, were surprising because David Gregory seemed to deny knowledge of Plame before the Novak article and Dickerson had long ago written an account at complete odds with this version.

Dickerson quickly wrote of the experience of suddenly finding himself singled out in this way by a claim at utter odds with his contemporaneous recollection of the events:
So, how to explain Ari's testimony? I've covered him for 12 years, since I reported on tax policy and he was a spokesman for the Ways and Means committee, and he's never lied to me. Shaded, wiggled, and driven me around the bend with his spin, yes. (I wasn't a fan of his book, either.) But he never outright lied, and I don't see how it would be in his interest here. More likely, he admitted to prosecutors more than he may have actually done because better to err on the side of assuming he disclosed too much than assuming he gave over too little. (Emphasis supplied.)

How does Ari's testimony affect the perjury and obstruction of justice case against Libby? It certainly complicates it. For starters, when this piece appears, it may get me out of my press seat and into that uncomfortable little witness box. It hurts the prosecution if Ari admitted something he didn't do, because they're relying on his memory. Libby is on trial for saying he didn't know about Wilson's wife and that he learned it from NBC's Tim Russert. Fleischer contradicts that. He claims that Libby told him about Wilson's wife at a lunch in early July, long before Libby ever talked to Russert. If they can poke holes in Ari's recollection of what he told me, they can raise doubts about what Ari remembers Scooter telling him.
If Gregory and Dickerson take the stand and deny what Fleischer said, it will surely undermine his credibility. Dickerson denied the story absolutely. If he admitted it, his two written accounts would impeach that admission.

But if Gregory confirms the Fleischer account, it becomes harder to believe Russert's fuzzy denial that he had no knowledge of the Wilson-Plame-CIA account. Either way, flaws in Fitzgerald's case are exposed.

Before this is over the media may find they should have been more skeptical of Wilson's account and less delighted that a special prosecutor with no constraints whatsoever was appointed to handle this matter.

Be careful what you wish for.
At yesterday's hearing in the Libby Trial, Ari Fleischer testified under an immunity deal that he had eaten a lunch with Libby, who told him Mrs. Wilson worked at the CIA, that she played a role in sending her husband to Niger and the whole thing  was "hush hush." Fleischer also testified that he told two reporters after hearing similar information from White House counsel Dan Bartlett, The names of the two reporters, David Gregory who works for Tim Russert's MSNBC and  John Dickerson who once worked for Time and now works for Slate, were surprising because David Gregory seemed to deny knowledge of Plame before the Novak article and Dickerson had long ago written an account at complete odds with this version.

Dickerson quickly wrote of the experience of suddenly finding himself singled out in this way by a claim at utter odds with his contemporaneous recollection of the events:
So, how to explain Ari's testimony? I've covered him for 12 years, since I reported on tax policy and he was a spokesman for the Ways and Means committee, and he's never lied to me. Shaded, wiggled, and driven me around the bend with his spin, yes. (I wasn't a fan of his book, either.) But he never outright lied, and I don't see how it would be in his interest here. More likely, he admitted to prosecutors more than he may have actually done because better to err on the side of assuming he disclosed too much than assuming he gave over too little. (Emphasis supplied.)

How does Ari's testimony affect the perjury and obstruction of justice case against Libby? It certainly complicates it. For starters, when this piece appears, it may get me out of my press seat and into that uncomfortable little witness box. It hurts the prosecution if Ari admitted something he didn't do, because they're relying on his memory. Libby is on trial for saying he didn't know about Wilson's wife and that he learned it from NBC's Tim Russert. Fleischer contradicts that. He claims that Libby told him about Wilson's wife at a lunch in early July, long before Libby ever talked to Russert. If they can poke holes in Ari's recollection of what he told me, they can raise doubts about what Ari remembers Scooter telling him.
If Gregory and Dickerson take the stand and deny what Fleischer said, it will surely undermine his credibility. Dickerson denied the story absolutely. If he admitted it, his two written accounts would impeach that admission.

But if Gregory confirms the Fleischer account, it becomes harder to believe Russert's fuzzy denial that he had no knowledge of the Wilson-Plame-CIA account. Either way, flaws in Fitzgerald's case are exposed.

Before this is over the media may find they should have been more skeptical of Wilson's account and less delighted that a special prosecutor with no constraints whatsoever was appointed to handle this matter.

Be careful what you wish for.