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The Fitzgerald Prosecution

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The Wall Street Journal addresses Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald in its lead editorial today, and concludes the case against Scooter Libby is thin indeed:

All of this matters because it suggests that Mr. Fitzgerald is scrambling even now to explain why a seasoned attorney such as Mr. Libby would lie to a grand jury. The prosecutor’s original indictment doesn’t mention a motive. And his mention of our editorial suggests he’s now trying to invent a motive out of Mr. Libby’s attempt to defend the White House from Mr. Wilson’s manifestly false allegations at the onset of a Presidential election campaign. (Mr. Wilson joined the Kerry campaign until he was dropped after the official probes destroyed his credibility.)

There is all the difference in the world between seeking to respond to the substance of Mr. Wilson’s charges, as Mr. Libby did, and taking revenge on him by blowing his wife’s cover, which was the motive originally hypothesized by Bush critics for the Plame exposure. The more of Mr. Fitzgerald’s case that becomes public, the more it looks like he has made the terrible mistake for a prosecutor of taking Joe Wilson’s side in what was essentially a political fight.

Here’s what Mary Cheney said about Libby in our interview yesterday:

I think Scooter Libby is a great guy, I think he’s an honorable man. I think he has done a lot to help this country, and I think he’s done things to help this country, and to protect this country, that we will never know about, because they’re classified. I honestly don’t know what’s going on inside Fitzgerald’s investigation. None of us are supposed to. But I have complete faith in Scooter as an honorable man.

Those who know Fitzgerald proclaim his integrity and relentlessness, but it is possible for such qualities to keep a good prosecutor heading far down a wrong road. Next year’s trial will tell us if that is in fact what has happened here.


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