Libby Verdict: a Driven Prosecutor, a Determined Jury
Libby's wife, her face flushed and distraught, wrapped her arms around Wells and patted his back, saying, "Love you. Love you." Her husband, still impassive and looking small and tired, left the courtroom, walked past a phalanx of U.S. marshals, and went to be fingerprinted and photographed.
Later, outside, Wells, flanked by Libby, his wife, and defense lawyer William Jeffress, pronounced his client "totally innocent. Totally innocent."
But Denis Collins, the only juror who ventured outside the court to speak with the media, said that while jurors had a "tremendous amount of sympathy for Mr. Libby," the preponderance of evidence proved to them he had lied about when he learned about and first told reporters about Valerie Plame Wilson.
Collins said that as a journalisthe has worked at the Washington Post and written for other publicationshe chose to speak with reporters.
"Because I was a reporter for a lot of years I thought it would be hypocritical of me not to talk," he said at the bank of microphones outside the court. A true gift to the assembled horde.
And in terms eloquent and revealing, Collins painted a picture of a serious, methodical, and intelligent jury that spent its first week of deliberations simply mapping out the testimony, evidence, and timelines for each charge. They filled 34 poster-size Post-it notes with information, he said, calling them the "building blocks." On nine of them they recorded testimony and evidence that underminedsometimes directly contradictedLibby's version of events. It was, the jurors decided, too many times for the faulty-memory defense to hold.
The jurors believe, he said, that Libby was the administration's "fall guy," and at times wondered "Where's Rove? Where are these other guys?" and expressed sentiments ranging from "I wish we weren't judging this" to "This sucks."
"We had Libby sitting there in front of us every day," said Collins, who wore a green jacket, khakis, and brown leather deck shoes. "He was a very sympathetic guy."
When they decided to convict on the four counts, jurors were not happy, he said. There were tears.
Libby's lawyers will ask for a new trial, and failing that, will appeal. Libby remains free on bail. And Fitzgerald? He said he doesn't expect to file any further charges in the investigation. He wouldn't comment on rumors that President Bush may consider pardoning Libby, and said he would not be happy if Libby is granted a new trial.
So, for now?
"We're all going back to our day jobs." And with that, he exited, stage left.