Oh Fitz, Don’t Make Me Wait….


From the WaPo:

The trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, could be delayed, based on an appeal that a special prosecutor plans to seek in the case.

Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald notified the court last night that he plans to appeal U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton's ruling this month on the standards the judge will use for determining which classified materials Libby may use as evidence in defending himself. Libby faces trial on charges of perjury, lying to investigators and obstruction of justice.

With the trial set to begin in early January, the U.S. Court of Appeals has only one month to consider the matter as do the prosecutors and defense to work out other pretrial disputes over classified materials and the admissibility of other evidence. The substance of Walton's Nov. 15 ruling is sealed because of the classified materials it discusses.

Christy has a good rundown of where things stand with Walton's ruling.  I know some are worried about a pardon but I personally think it would paint a big, fat bullseye on the case for Henry Waxman (who hasn't yet decided what he wants to start investigating), and emptywheel argues that it would make a civil case a lot easier to win.  With jury selection is set to start on January 15 we will no doubt know something on the appeal soon.

Update:  Jeff, in the comments:   "[I]n fact Fitzgerald’s appeal is of Walton’s November 15 ruling on the use and admissibility of classified information by Libby, not Walton’s November 13, which is the one Christy discusses and which is Walton’s rejection of Fitzgerald’s first effort to offer a set of unclassified substitutions for some of that classified information deemed admissible."

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