Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Bush and Cheney Indictments

Yes, in our opinion, a Federal Prosecutor can return an indictment against a sitting Vice President and President.

Warning: This is a guess.

The issue becomes: Will the House Judiciary Committee seek to forward the information to the full House for a vote; or is the House going to demand a re-examination of all the evidence.

Either way, Fitzgerald has a website to support this effort.

* * *

Cheney is likely indicted for one simple reason: He has two versions of his story floating around for quite some time.

They key isn't just the magnitude of the discrepancy, but the time the Grand Jury was led to believe something that apparently wasn't true.

The FT is reporting that Cheney has made inconsistent, misleading, and unsupportable statements in re the Plame leak.

The The New York Times report said Mr Cheney had talked with Mr Libby on June 12 2003 about the fact that the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson, a critic of the administration's claims about Iraq, worked at the agency. The identity of his wife, Valerie Plame, was first disclosed by Robert Novak in an syndicated column on July 14 2003, which triggered the inquiry.

The suggestion appears to contradict comments in late 2003 from Mr Cheney that he did not know who had sent Mr Wilson to Niger in February 2002 to investigate claims that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium.

If we are to assume that Cheney publicly stated in 2003 that he "didn't now" something; we have to assume that, at the time if questioned by the Grand Jury, he would have made a consistent statement.

Either one of two possibilities exist:

[a] Cheney made a consistent remark to the Grand Jury, but later evidence surfaced; or,

[b] Cheney was shown something that contradicted public statements, and has made a contrary statement than what Libby has stated.

However, Libby's revised testimony only came after Miller was jailed in 2005.

Therefore, we have to assume that the Grand Jury, since Cheney's statements in 2003, has been misleading; and that the Grand Jury would find that Cheney failed to timely correct the record.

Also, because Cheney is alleged to have been part of the conversations and it is documented, it is likely the Grand Jury would find that, despite knowing otherwise, the Vice President failed to correct the record.

* * *

A. Based on these three factors:

[1] the time delay since 2003;
[2] the apparent failure to correct the record until the Libby memo was discussed in 2005; and
[3] the apparent inconsistency between what was publicly asserted/verified by the Grand Jury, but later known to be true . . .

B. We conclude Cheney is most likely going to be charged with the following inter alia:

  • Alleged obstruction of justice

  • Alleged witness tampering, intimidation

  • Alleged perjury

  • Allegedly making false official statements

  • Alleged conspiracy to obstruct justice

  • Allegedly aiding and abetting in the original crime; and assisting in preventing the subsequent discovery of that crime;

  • Allegedly conspiring in the unlawful release of sensitive information about CIA personnel to others not authorized to have access to that information; and

  • Allegedly knowingly making false official statements to Congress

    * * *

    We conclude that the number of indictments is based on general categories, and that the number of personnel is in no way related to the number of alleged crimes.

    This is another way of saying that the laundry list of alleged crimes is far longer than the number of personnel we currently believe are targets of the investigation or in receipt of letters related to indictments.

    * * *

    Based on the apparent conflicting statements in the Libby memo and involvement of Tenet, and discrepancies in discussions between the White House, State, and CIA, we fully expect the indictments to relate to

    [a] the President's conduct in re Iraq, the decision to go to war; and
    [b] the lawfulness of these statements which Congress relied upon when making a decision about granting the President authority to use force.

    Yes, in our view there is nothing in the Constitution that prevents a prosecutor from laying out evidence in the form of an indictment.

    In my view, the Fitzgerald Grand Jury can lay out their findings in the form of an indictment and can charge the President of the United States with a crime; the issue becomes whether the House Judiciary Committee Congress will act on that indictment and bring articles of impeachment.

    A Grand Jury can secretly make findings of fact which the House Judiciary Committee may or may not act on.

    We fully expect all POTUS information to be discredited, raising the real likelihood that the President, in the Grand Jury's view, may have committed a crime.

    * * *

    It is well within the scope of possibility that the Grand Jury, after careful review of the evidence, believes both Bush and Cheney have committed crimes.

    * * *

    We believe the timing of the Federal Reserve Chairman's replacement is important.

    We consider the recent discussions between the White House and Fitzgerald to be on the level of "What critical issues need to be resolved before the public focuses on what are likely indictments against the President and Vice President."

    We suspect Bush's announcement of a replacement of Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan is the fruit of these pre-announcement coordination between the White House and Fitzgerald.

    The goal is to have a clear pathway in place, lay the foundation for the markets to have confidence in a path, and not be concerned about what may or may not happen with the indictments or allegations of criminal conduct within the White House.

    We believe the potential for indictments against the heads of State is what drove the President to nominate a "shoe in" for the Federal Reserve prior to the Fitzgerald announcement.

    We believe the White House decided that the financial markets would like to have confidence the process to appoint a replacement for Greenspan is underway, and any problems facing the White House will not be a factor in finding a replacement.

    Whether Greenspan does or does not have a replacement is now up to the Senate Banking Committee, and the White House and Executive Branch are out of the decision. Any activity related to the Fitzgerald indictments is no longer a factor for the markets to consider when looking at Federal Reserve Board leadership.

    * * *


    Clearly, given we have not had Fitzgerald's official statement, all the above is just a guess.

    We have no basis to say any of the above, nor do we have any access to the sealed indictments nor the secret Grand Jury testimony.