Libby Prosecution: Craig Schmall Testimony (Pt. 2)

Day three of testimony began with the resumption of cross-examination of Craig Schmall, the CIA manager who briefed Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney during the period in question.

Live blogging below the fold with any breaking news also in separate posts.

Court began precisely at 9:30, as scheduled. Judge Walton is amazingly prompt, having begun all sessions my four days here exactly on time.

Reiteration that Schmall had “no independent memory” of the events in question, having only some very rough notes and the table of contents to jog his memory. Nor are there any emails or a briefing report, as would have been customary for something he considered particularly important.

Schmall reiterates that at the time he briefed Libby and Cheney about Mrs. Wilson, he had no information about her status as a covert agent.

Even after he had given sworn statements to the FBI and testified before the grand jury, he only vaguely remembers events that he has been involved in vis-a-vis this matter. Again, he’s been busy with his day job.

Cross-x ends at 9:40.

Redirect begins immediately.

During the first FBI interview, did you tell them about any conversations about the Kristoff and Pincus articles? “I didn’t have any independent memory of that.”

Concludes 9:43

Questions from the jury?

After a ridiculously long (over 30 minutes) pause, the judge finally called a recess at 10:15.

At return at 10:26, Judge Walton is denying a request from the jury to enter Schmall’s annotated table of contents into evidence, as it is not relevant to either side’s case. A modified version of the document, stripped of classified information, has already been admitted.

This is resulting in a lengthy back-and-forth with the defense insisting that it should be entered into evidence because it goes directly to Schmall’s credibility. The government contends that it is merely a back door way of getting in to the “memory defense,” which they are not legally permitted to do unless Libby testifies. It strikes me as obvious that the reason the defense wants to emphasize the document is, in fact, to point out how people’s memories of important things diminishes over time.

At 11:17, the judge instructed the jury that the questions about the content of the memo by Mr. Klein during cross-x are not evidence, only the responses by Mr. Schmall.

Walton also asked a question from a juror: “What do you mean when you say ‘independent recollection.'” “Yes sir. That’s recollection without reference to notes I have written.”

Another question from a juror: “Who wrote the notes on the documents.” “That was my handwriting, sir.”

Another question about what the “T” annotation meant. It referred to a tasker. The “T” visible on the memo in question was in reference to a redacted item, not the Wilson matter. “There are a lot of questions that I’m asked that I don’t put into a formal tasker.”

Witness dismissed at 11:21

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.