The Defense Rests

Today the Libby defense rested. Closing arguments are scheduled for next Tuesday. Clarice Feldman describes how she thinks the jury may have interpreted things:

I want to say that after all the build up about this case, the jury will certainly be comparing the sloppy, often contradictory testimony of the prosecution's witnesses, with the crisp clear narrative of the defendant's. And it will not be overlooked how quickly the defense completed its case and the prosecutor offered no rebuttal. The sense that this is a trivial matter, not proven beyond a reasonable doubt was conveyed by the choreography.

Bottom line for me? First, from start to finish the whole "Plame Affair" has been a joke. It has shown the media to be the most corrupt institution we have in America. Sorry to sound so strident, but I don't think you can understate how low the traditional media in this country has sunk.

As for the verdict, my guess is that Libby will be acquitted of all charges, although you never know with a jury. A DC jury is going to be naturally predisposed to convict on something, if only because Libby has an "R" next to his name. But if there is any justice, this whole fiasco will be over by mid next week.

Regarding Russert, I'm pretty convinced that he carried his little white lie all the way to the witness stand and perjured himself when he got there. It seems likely that he knew about Plame on the dates that he claims he didn't. I think that's why the prosecution battled mightily to keep Mitchell off the stand, so she wouldn't have to perjure herself to maintain Russert's story. It shouldn't be lost in the details that she is the wife of one of the most powerful people in the world, by the way. That helps when you need stuff, like a nice ruling from a judge keeping you off the stand.

In any case, there are very few people who don't think Libby is innocent, including the scores of lefty bloggers who have been live blogging from the court room. Only the mainstream media types who have been misreporting the trial consistently will be able to say they anticipated a conviction. Included in that pathetic group is anyone associated with NPR. If you've been counting on that group for trial news, you have no idea what has been going on. Their reporting has been nothing less than pure fantasy. Ditto to a lesser extent the Washington Post and the New York Times. They are still consistently getting basic facts about the case wrong.

I'll let you know how the closing arguments go. But at this point, my prediction is that Libby walks.