Thursday, February 08, 2007

Who To Root For?

Russert's being pretty slippery for someone who's supposed to be a Superhuman Truthteller.

...Jane writes in, as their site is focused on the liveblogging:

Russert is now saying that he did not disclose the Eckenrode FBI conversation because it was confidential. Yet in the letter from Fitzgerald limiting Russert's testimony under oath, it says:

"It is the understanding that while the Office of special Counsel requests that Mr. Russert keep his testimony confidential. Mr. Russert will have the same rights or disclose publicly what took place in the Deposition as he would if he had testified in the grand jury."

I can actually see why Eckenrode might not have wanted Russert to talk openly at the time so that they could get Libby on the hook, but once Libby was indicted Russert had absolutely no reason not to report on the Eckenrode conversation. To claim that it was a "confidential conversation" because Eckenrode was giving HIM information is incredibly dishonest. What, Eckenrode is now a source?

Further, Russert now says he didn't want to appear before the grand jury because he didn't want Fitzgerald to go on a fishing expedition, but Russert is admitting that he knew (because he signed an afidavit) that Fitzgerald had agreed to limit his questioning to the July 10, 2003 conversation. Russert says it would have a "chilling effect" on his ability to report if his sources think he would compromise them in such a fashion, but Fitzgerald admitted he did not want to ask about any of Russert's sources.

From Russert's affidavit to Judge Hogan (related to the Motion to Quash):

I understand, on information and belief, that the Special Procecutor is investigating the leak that disclosed to journalists, and then to the public, that Valerie Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, worked for the CIA. I further understand that, through his subpoena to me, the Special Prosecutor seeks to compel me to testify that I communicated with a special Executive Branch official on or about July 10, 2003, and to disclose the contents of any such communications. I cannot provide such testimony without violating the understanding that I share with my sources that our communications, including the fact that we have communicated at all, will be held i confidence. As a result, I can neither confirm that I had any substantive communications with the public official at issue during the relevant time period nor can I describe the nature or any discussions that we may have had. I can, however, state unequivocally that I was not the recipient of a leak of Ms. Plame's identity or her status as a CIA operative.

He is sweating and swinging.