Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Closing statements of the Scooter Libby trial

By emptywheel at The Next Hurrah. Breaks down the power plays and manuevers by the opposing lawyers, their statements, actions and reactions:

Fitzgerald took Wells' mock outrage and mocked it right back. Not only did his judicious (ha! like that word) use of emotion grab the attention of the jury in a way that Wells' sustained faux outrage no longer could. But with just a few words, Fitzgerald managed to belittle the entire argument the Defense had been making.

But Fitzgerald wasn't done with reappropriating Wells' schtick. After doing a number of things with his rebuttal--finally establishing Valerie Wilson as a person, getting weedier than I have ever been, countering Jeffress' "Perry Mason moment" with his own, accusing Cheney of obstructing justice--Fitzgerald returned to his explanation of why obstruction was so important. He wasn't yelling, like Wells had done. Rather, he used the same barely controlled outrage voice he used in the press conference where he announced charges against Libby. His voice cracked, as it had before.

And he flipped Wells' outrage on its head. Rather than Libby as the aggrieved party, he put the American people in the role of aggrieved party. He picked up Wells' language about what Scooter deserved, and asked, "Don't the American people deserve the truth?!?!?!" Then he picked up Wells' language about "giving Scooter back" and flipped that too.

If as a result his wife had a job, she worked at CPD, She gets dragged into newspapers. People want to find out was a law broken when people want to know, who did it. What role did Defendant play. What role did VP play? He told you he may have discussed this with VP. Don't you think FBI desesrves straight answers. When you go in [that] jury room, your commonsense will tell you that he made a gamble. He threw sand in the eyes of the FBI. He stole the truth of the judicial system. You return [a guilty verdict] you give truth back.

It perfectly mirrored Wells' argument: Faux outrage, Real outrage; Libby and his family, Valerie and her live; Give Libby back ... or give the truth back.

No better way to put this trial--you can give Libby back, or the American people can have the truth back. Wow.

But never forget--it was all set up when Zeidenberg, not on anyone's radar as the alpha male in this trial, forced Ted Wells to defend himself, rather than defend Scooter Libby.

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