stregislibrarylounge.jpg

(Photo of the Library Lounge of the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Just the place for a cozy 2 hour tete-a-tete coffee during a busy work day, eh?)

After all of the build-up, the tedious long-winded discussion, and the meticulous questioning by Libby attorney John Cline of witness John Hannah, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald stood up for cross-examination and, suddenly, the spectre of the St. Regis by morning and Judy Miller reared up in all their glory.   To wit:

On cross-examination from Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, Hannah acknowledged that a crucial part of Libby's job was to defend Cheney's office in the media.

"It would be important to push back on those issues, yes," Hannah said.

Fitzgerald scored a key point when Hannah acknowledged that it was very difficult to get even an hour of Libby's time in any given day. In prior testimony, Libby has said he spent several hours with New York Times reporter Judith Miller in meetings in the St. Regis Hotel's dining room and in his office trying to rebut Wilson's claims in June and July 2003.

"So, during the time of all these threats if he gave someone an hour or two of his time . . . it was something Mr. Libby would think was important, correct?" Fitzgerald asked.

Hannah agreed.

"Is it fair to say that what was important to the vice president was important to Mr. Libby?" Fitzgerald asked.

Said Hannah: "Yes, that's correct."

Libby must be awfully tired of the root rot his aspens picked up from that one two-hour breakfast with Judy, wouldn't you say?