Libby Prosecution: Marc Grossman’s Testimony (Pt. 2)

The first full day of trial resumed with the continued cross-examination of Marc Grossman by Scooter Libby’s chief counsel, Ted Wells. Live blog below the fold, with any breaking news getting separate posts as well.

“You have no notes that you had such a meeting?” No.

“No emails?” No.

The emails were destroyed before investigation because the State Dept had a policy of destroying emails after 90 days.

Defense Exhibit 71: The INR report on the Wilson trip generated per Grossman’s inquiry pursuant to Libby’s question. Carl Ford, INR’s director, wrote the memo.

Paragraph one addresses “allegation” that INR had played a role in Wilson’s trip. “It is clear, however, that INR was not Amb Wilsons’ point of contact in either the Dept. or the intelligence community.” Nor was State a direct recipient of the report.nn”The reporting we have from his trip makes no mention of documents, fraudulent or otherwise.”

Another paragraph indicates that “Two CIA WMD analysts seem to be leading the charge on the issue” and that INR and State took strong issue with their dismissal of the Niger issue.

This launches a lengthy line of questioning about yellowcake and the nature of intelligence on Iraqi WMD, presumably with the intent of dispelling the notion that Cheney and company were intentionally distorting said intelligence. I’m quite surprised that the government is not objecting that this inquiry is irrelevant to whether Libby lied to the FBI or the grand jury about disclosing Valerie Plame Wilson’s CIA ties.

After several minutes, however, the prosecution called for a sidebar after which the judge ruled that the document is hearsay from the standpoint of establishing the truth of the assertions contained therein.

Defense Exhibit 428 is a different memo that says essentially the same thing.

“Your first interview with the FBI was on Oct 17, 2003, is that correct?” Yes.

“Is it correct that on June 9, 2003 Mr. Wilson placed a telephone call to you in which he complained that he had seen Condoleeza Rice on MTP on June 8 and he was very upset about her comments?” Yes. “He told you that he was furious?” “Yes sir. He was really mad.” The substance was “He was mad at the way he had been described . . . as a very low level person and he was upset about that, sir.”

You made no mention about this in the June 11 conversation to Libby? “You kept those comments to yourself. You didn’t tell anybody, did you?” “No sir, I did not.”

Elmo is broken, impairing PowerPoint usage. Wells is now scribbling dates on a piece of paper and projecting them on an overhead projector.

Grossman can’t recollect specific dates and the prosecution has stipulated that events occurred on those dates. Judge Walter explains to the jury that they “may consider such facts as undisputed evidence.”

Oct 17, 2003: 1st FBI interview

Feb 24, 2004: 2nd FBI interview

Mar 12, 2004: Grand Jury appearance

“Do you deny that you told the FBI on Oct 17, 2003 that you two or three telephone conversations with Mr. Libby during which you gave him information” about the Wilson matter “and that you did not make any reference to a face-to-face meeting?” Witness does not recall.

Wells refers him to page 2, paragraph 1, of the FBI interview memorandum to “refresh your memory.”

“I don’t know what to tell you.”

“Does it refresh your recollection that you told the FBI a different story than you’ve told the jury today?”

The night before your Oct 17 FBI interview, you had a private meeting with Mr. Armitage? Yes. “You knew he was a subject of that investigation, correct?” “I knew he had been interviewed with the FBI, correct.”

Prosecution Redirect: (Commenced 11:23)

Clarified the nature of his relationship with Armitage. Noted that he had met with defense counsel before trial as part of discovery process.

Why did you have INR come up with a report on “unnamed ambassador” if it was so unimportant? “To answer Mr. Libby’s question.”

Judge opens to written questions from jury. (11:28)

Did State have anything to do with sending Wilson on trip to Niger? No.

Who sent him? CIA as far as I know.

What documents did you review in preparation for your testimony here? The grand jury documents.

Witness excused at 11:30. Court in 10 minute recess.

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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. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.