Friday, April 07, 2006

There is no Question - Impeach

This diary speaks for itself. Anyone who is still on the fence about impeachment, or against it, must read. [Cross-posted Wholesale From:]

Fitzgerald Has Proof That Bush and Cheney Were At Center of NIE-Plamegate Leaks (Poll)!

by HoundDog

Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 06:40:43 PM ES

Jason Leopold has just published an article at TruthOut entitled, Bush at Center of Intelligence Leak,  that says the US Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will soon release proof that both President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were at the center of the NIE Plamegate leaks.  They authorized them, and were kept fully informed by emails that Fitzgerald has in his possession!

Attorneys and current and former White House officials close to the investigation into the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson said Thursday that President Bush gave Vice President Dick Cheney the authorization in mid-June 2003 to disclose a portion of the highly sensitive National Intelligence Estimate to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward and former New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

These current and former White House officials are among the 36 witnesses who have testified before a grand jury and have been cooperating with the special counsel's probe since its inception.

Finally, the Fitzgerald investigation is picking up steam. But before becoming too excited, please remember folks, that Fitzgerald can not indict a sitting President. He can only name him as an unindicted coconspirator, and we do not have any indication that he intends to do this...yet.

Fitzgerald can indict the VP. But a sitting President can only be tried and removed with an impeachment process. But the smoking gun evidence appears to be near.

Well, actually the Murray Waas' evidence is sufficient to prove the President lied to the American people.  But apparently these upcoming emails will establish a clear case of obstruction of justice, that in IMHO, should be a "slam dunk" for an impeachment process.

And with evidence this clear, we should have no difficulty obtaining the few cross over Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee to start the process now. This can not wait until after November. And should not.

The Smoking Emails!

The officials, some of whom are attorneys close to the case, added that more than two dozen emails that the vice president's office said it recently discovered and handed over to leak investigators in February show that President Bush was kept up to date about the circumstances surrounding the effort to discredit former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

The sources indicated that the leak probe is now winding down, and that soon, new information will emerge from the special counsel's office that will prove President Bush had prior knowledge of the White House campaign to discredit Plame Wilson's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who accused the administration of "twisting" intelligence on the Iraqi threat in order to win public support for the war.

The new information that surfaced late Wednesday places President Bush at the center of the probe for the first time since the investigation into the leak began more than two years ago and raises new questions as to whether Bush knew in advance the lengths to which senior White House officials went to discredit Wilson.

Murray Waas's article has already caused shock waves still making there first pass through Washington.

Even as I am writing this Chris Matthews of MSNBC has devoted half his program to this in breathless interviews asking guest after quest how serious this is. John Kerry did quite well. Lou Dobbsa and Wolfe Blitzer devoted substantial timea and are digging into details like aluminum tubes, Niger documents, and digging up videos of Bush's repeated denials of having any knowledge of this.

But these new emails that Fitzgerald has will apparently prove that Bush and Cheney were involved, initiated this, were informed and kept abreast of subsequent developments.

And that they lied about this to Prosecutor Fitzgerald.

The more I think of this the more I am wondering how he can not resign. I think it will take a little while to get folks to demand the proof. But if this turns out to be true, wouldn't the seniormost GOP encourage Bush and Cheney to Resign rather than but the nation through a tragic impeachment process? And perhaps take the GOP down with them?

In the court filing, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wrote that Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, "testified that he was specifically authorized in advance of the meeting to disclose the key judgments of the classified NIE to [former New York Times reporter Judith] Miller on that occasion because it was thought that the NIE was 'pretty definitive' against what Ambassador Wilson had said and that the Vice President thought that it was 'very important' for the key judgments of the NIE to come out."

"Defendant further testified that he at first advised the Vice President that he could not have this conversation with reporter Miller because of the classified nature of the NIE. Defendant testified that the Vice President later advised him that the President had authorized defendant to disclose the relevant portions of the NIE," the filing further states. "Defendant testified that he also spoke to David Addington, then Counsel to the Vice President, whom defendant considered to be an expert in national security law, and Mr. Addington opined that Presidential authorization to publicly disclose a document amounted to a declassification of the document. Defendant testified that he thought he brought a brief abstract of the NIE's key judgments to the meeting with Miller on July 8.

Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other things, that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium. Defendant testified that this July 8th meeting was the only time he recalled in his government experience when he disclosed a document to a reporter that was effectively declassified by virtue of the President's authorization that it be disclosed. Defendant testified that one of the reasons why he met with Miller at a hotel was the fact that he was sharing this information with Miller exclusively."

One More Example Of Bush Lies

"I mean this is a town full of people who like to leak information," Bush said during a press conference on Oct. 7, 2003. "And I don't know if we're going to find out the senior administration official. Now, this is a large administration, and there's lots of senior officials. I don't have any idea."

Details of President Bush's involvement in the effort to counter the former ambassador's claims came in a court document filed late Wednesday evening in US District Court in Washington by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, which was first reported by the New York Sun newspaper.

Grand Jury Transcripts Will Reveal Bush and Cheneys Deceptions In Fitzerald Intervew.

Leveymg has a diary up now informing us that Bush and Cheney did not have to be under oath to be guilty of Obstruction of Justice.

According to four attorneys who over the past two days have read a transcript of the President Bush's interview with investigators, Bush did not disclose to either investigators or the special counsel that he had authorized Cheney or any other administration official to leak portions of the NIE to Woodward and Miller or any other reporter. Rather, these people said the president said he frowned upon "selective leaks."

Bush also said during the interview two years ago that he had no prior knowledge that anyone on his staff had been involved in a campaign to discredit Wilson or that individuals retaliated against the former ambassador by leaking his wife's undercover identity to reporters.

The 39-page court document Fitzgerald filed late Wednesday included previously unreported testimony given to a grand jury by Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Libby was indicted in October on five-counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to investigators about how he discovered Plame Wilson's identity.

Libby testified that Cheney had received explicit instruction from President Bush to declassify a portion of the October 2002 NIE that said Iraq tried to purchase 500 tons of yellowcake uranium ore from Niger and share that information with reporters like Miller and Woodward, whose previous work proved to be sympathetic to the administration and would help to discredit Wilson, according to the court document and attorneys and current and former administration officials close to the investigation.

These Emails and Grand Jury Testimony Are Important Additional Evidence Worth Having

I'm concerned that some here may think this revelation is totaly redundent with the Waas story. But there is real value to having these details of the Bush interviews and what exactly Libby testified to on the Grand Jury record.

I'm not certain it will have independent legal standing for an impeachment hearing, but it takes the fluff charges right off the table.

The John Conyers Resolutin of Inquiry is a simple forward and appropriate request to get this evidence on the Congressional record so the House Judiciary Committee can have an intelligent and factually based discussion on whether this evidence merits a further debate in the full House. [Don't forget the Rutland Resolution, so the discussion can be forced to the floor as a point of privilege ... repeatedly. - Rhetoretician]

But the strong point here is that we do not have to jump up and down with vaque charges, or emotions, but merely say, hey look here at this formal grand jury evidence. If this guy was not President, this evidence would justify a request that a grand jury return an indictments for Obstruction of Justice. A felony, that qualifies as a high crime and misdemeanor under the constitutional rules for impeachment. (Could a constitutional person quote this section for us. I'm running behind schedule for a meeting on Impeachment Action Steps I don't want to miss.)

How many more smoking guns are we going to get folks?

How many are we going to need before the House Judiciary Committee will start sub-committee hearing on an Article of Inquiry to examine, organize, and present this evidence.

We have far surpassed the threshold of evidence required for the appointment of a prosecutor which is what the first stage of the impeachment process is folk.

There are five more steps of Go/No before the Senate has the trial.

We do not need to wait for absolute proof to start an initially inquiry.

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