'Probably most significant testimony in the case to date'
Monday January 29, 2007
Michael Isikoff has now added his commentary on MSNBC concerning former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer's testimony this morning at the trial of former White House aide I. Lewis Libby. Fleischer contradicted Libby's account, telling the court that he was given Plame's name days earlier and told that she worked at the counter-proliferations division.
A transcript of his remarks is below.
It is probably the most significant testimony in the case to date. Ari Fleischer testified that he had this lunch with Scooter Libby, passed along the information about Valerie Plame – few days before the conversation with Tim Russert where Libby says he first learned it. Russert, of course, denies that he ever had such a conversation with Libby.
What's significant is the detail that Fleischer provided. He said that Libby told him not just that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, but that she worked at the counter-proliferations division. That was a particular detail that is significant to people who know about the CIA. The counter-proliferations division is in the Director of Operations. That's the secret arm of the CIA. It's the most sensitive arm of the CIA. Something that Libby and his boss, Vice President Dick Cheney, very well knew. They knew the CIA like the back of their hands.
In addition, Fleischer said, that he believed that Libby provided her name, Valerie Plame. That's a detail we have not heard before. And of course, Fleischer said "hush, hush," "the QT" and Fleischer took it to be newsworthy – something that people would want to know.