It was cold as hell outside the Prettyman Courthouse when Patrick Fitzgerald was giving his statement and answering questions, and as I was shifting back and forth from one foot to the other I saw the courthouse's Sheldon Snook talking with Dennis Colins, the juror who had formerly worked with Bob Woodward of the Washington Post. I went over and started chatting and got to talk to him by myself for about 7 or 8 minutes before David Schuster came barrelling up to ask him if he wanted to be on Hardball, and then he was deluged. Sheldon eventually pulled him up to the microphones and he took questions for the cameras.
He was a very thoughtful guy who said the jury was very serious and took their responsibility very seriously, and that there were many tears at the end. I told him I ran a blog largely populated by people who were fascinated by the case and wondered if the jury had become likewise involved in mapping out the details (I didn't use the word "Plameologist" but I'm sure they'll hear it soon). He said that this was true and that the first thing they did was fill out 34 or so of the huge "post it" pads (2' x 3') with names, dates and details. Where have I heard that before?
Anyway, I asked him about the juror who was dismissed, if she was happy to be out of there. He said no, they liked her and he thought she was sorry to be gone. He said the other jurors may want to talk to the press at some point but for now they did not want to be identified. He was very impressed with how methodical they were and he used the word "dispassionate" to describe their deliberations. He said they deliberated for a whole week before they reached a verdict on any of the charges.
He eventually got dragged before the cameras and said that there was a lot of compassion on the jury for Libby, that they felt he was the"fallguy," and they wanted to know where Karl Rove was in all of this. He was loathe to answer questions about Dick Cheney beyond the fact that Libby was obviously doing whatever he did at Cheney's behest, and the Cheney notes on the Wilson July 6 article seemed especially damning. He wouldn't say whether testimony by Cheney would have helped Libby or not, and seemed unwilling to discuss anything that they were not tasked with deliberating.
He did say that Hannah's testimony totally screwed Libby, and I got a chuckle out of that. At the same time Hannah was talking about how bad Libby's memory was, he also claimed that Libby had an incredible grasp of detail, and the jury believed he just would not have forgotten so much in the way that the defense was trying to claim. They found Russert to be a credible witness but thought there was enough reasonable doubt in the Cooper false statement charge (he said/he said) for "someone" to assume reasonable doubt. It appears there was only one holdout on Count Three that kept Libby from a 5 count grand slam.
It was quite inspirational to get a chance to talk to him, and to hear how seriously the jury had deliberated. You never know what's going to happen with a jury until they come back and all I can say is -- it was worth every bit of effort we put into being here. There haven't been a lot of days in the past 7 years when you could say that justice triumphed, but the system worked and it felt damn good to be there when it did.
The question is -- who is going to press George W. Bush for a commitment that he will not derail justice and undo all the jury's hard work by pardoning Scooter Libby?