Libby Prosecution Witness Grossman Makes Defense Case

In cross-examination by Ted Wells, Marc Grossman, the first prosecution witness, explained the reason that neither he nor his boss Richard Armitage had read a high critical article by Nicholas Kristoff that sparked the chain of events of the Valerie Plame affair this way: “I had about a billion things to do” and “couldn’t be troubled” to find out what happened in the past because he was so occupied by Iraq and other issues.

That’s precisely the defense’s argument with respect to Libby.

Grossman has been a very good witness, though, in that he comes across as earnest, scrupulously honest, and a hard working civil servant that was “embarrassed” that he couldn’t immediately tell the vice president’s chief of staff some information well below his span of control. Indeed, he is very self-effacing about failings that are obvious only in hindsight.

I think Wells is making a mistake in being confrontational in questioning Grossman, who is clearly being honest and whose testimony is on very minor facts that were easily called into question early in the cross-x with no resistance from Grossman. Indeed, Grossman shows no signs of animosity to Libby or trying to do anything but rely events as he remembers them.

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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.


  1. Ugh says:

    James – how many days has the judge scheduled for trial?

  2. James Joyner says:

    It’s scheduled 4-6 weeks with meetings only Monday through Thursday minus a federal holiday or two.

  3. Ugh says:

    Thanks. Means I will likely miss the verdict, bummer.

  4. clarice says:

    Excellent reporting, James.
    When you can, you might want to read this:
    Maguire on Gregory

  5. bain says:

    Just because Grossman wasn’t obsessed with Wilson’s wife, doesn’t mean Libby wasn’t. Or Cheney wasn’t.

  6. Jane says:

    James, I’m really enjoying your coverage.

    Isn’t it Patrick Fitzgerald, not Peter Fitzgerald? Or are we referring to different people?

  7. Peach says:

    Just because Grossman wasn’t obsessed with Wilson’s wife, doesn’t mean Libby wasn’t. Or Cheney wasn’t.

    Armitage was. To the point of leaking and gossiping about her to a bunch of reporters.

    Of course Grossman busy pretending Wilson had never told him about his CIA connections.

  8. bain says:

    Oh yeah. Everyone is lying ‘cept ole Scooter …