Judge Reggie Walton has “another matter” he is dealing with most of today unrelated to the Scooter Libby case. So, the pool of potential jurors will not be returning until Monday. This break in the “voir dire” (fancy legal name for jury selection) has given me an opportunity to go back through my notebook and re-examine all that happened this week. Vice President Cheney’s testimony and role in the CIA leak investigation is going to be far more intriguing than previously thought. There were two clues yesterday. (1) A Libby lawyer, for the second time in this process, asked a potential juror how they will view Vice President Cheney if his testimony is “contradicted” by another witness. (2) Late yesterday, Patrick Fitzgerald asked a juror who expressed admiration for the office of the vice president whether that potential juror would have any problems if counsel (Fitzgerald) conducted an aggressive cross examination of the vice president?
Heading into the weekend, there are 30 jurors who have made it to the 2nd round. The court needs 6 more to have enough to withstand the prosecution and defense strikes and still have a pool of 12 jurors and 4 alternates.
Among those under consideration in round two, many of them delivered some memorable lines and quotes during their time on the witness stand. A retired math teacher originally from North Carolina was asked about Vice President Cheney and said, “I’m not sure I would like to go out bird hunting with him.” A statistician called Cheney “careless about the Iraq war” and then elaborated by saying,” I think he (Cheney) was taking a big stretch to make some of the statements he made about the war. That’s why I said it was careless.” A Lockheed-Martin executive is in the jury pool and noted that she is “currently chasing about a BILLION dollars in potential business.” This was followed by the revelation that people who “miss work” are paid by the court $35 per day. A woman whose son was arrested on drug charges and served time in prison noted that her son was sentenced by Judge Walton himself. The judge asked if the woman had any bad feelings about him or the court. The woman replied, “Not at all, it was my son’s fault.”
One woman who is no longer in the jury pool said she knew about the CIA leak case and revealed she had firm beliefs about the vice president. Asked what those beliefs are, she said, “I believe that the vice president had the defendant leak Ms. Plame’s name.” Asked by the judge if the woman has a firm view about Mr. Libby…she blurted out, “guilty.” The judge furrowed his brow and said, “Okay ma’am, you are dismissed.”