Since this is the big news of the day, I've updated and corrected below, and moved it up.Mr. Libby.
Let the pardon's begin!
Update: Digby makes a couple of good points
. The pardon may come before the appeals. During the appeal process Libby stays out of jail. I always figured they'd play out the appeals then do a pardon at the end of it. But the longer the legalities drag on, the more likely that Libby starts to blab. Facing, like, 30 years in club Fed will do that even to the stoutest of hearts. The other point Digby makes is that Fitzgerald had better start wearing a flack jacket ..... and perhaps not just figuratively.
What's happening is classic Fitzgerald. Work your way from smaller fish to larger fish. Ordinarily people fold prior to the trial. But sometimes they'll flip when it's clear that they are going to the Big House for a long time. The judge in this trial has been very very careful of decisions mindful of an inevitable appeal. If Libby's lawyers quietly tell him that his chances are nil in appeal, the pressure could seriously build. Even with a whispered guarantee of pardon, two years is a long time to wait for it and you know that based on the Fitzgerald case presentation, he will use all the heat he can to go after Cheney.
You gotta wonder what a pardon would do to the political equation. Done now, the fallout would be enormous, but more likely to fade by election time ..... maybe. Done just before the election .... well, let's just say I wouldn't want to be the GOP nominee if that happened.
Rock. Meet hard place.
I love it.
Correction: I had read elsewhere that Libby was facing 30 years. This piece suggests that it's 1.5-3 years.
Update: Apparently the jury was immediately unanimous
on one of the counts, and hung on one of the final counts (thus the notes). Thus, all the speculation was correct whether you thought it would be a slam dunk or whether it seemed they were deadlocked.
Update: Harry Reid demands
that Bush pledge not to pardon Libby.
Update: More from Firedoglake
Fitz was his typical self, not saying more than he could. He will not do a report. Will not file further charges unless something new comes up. He will not give his materials to Congress unless they ask for it (Hey, John Conyers! Did you hear that?) He would not comment on a pardon. He said that if Libby wanted to plea, he would treat him like any other defendant. Which sounds like, if Libby really expects a pardon, the firewall [the administration using Libby as a fall guy] will have worked.
Fitzgerald when asked if there was a cloud of the V.P.'s office or the White House:
"Sometimes when people tell the truth clouds disappear, and sometimes they don't"
Update: Well, here's a source that says 25 years
. We'll wait and see.
Update: Jury spokesman says the jury thought that Libby was a "fall guy". No kidding. The only question left is will Libby continue the fall or not.