Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ari Fleischer and the death penalty

Who's afraid the death penalty could be applied to him now?

Ari Fleischer, former White House spokesperson, requested immunity in order to testify in the Libby trial. Here's why from Penisto:

It turns out Ari Fleischer will be the next witness, once court resumes Monday [Jan. 29, 2007]. The defense team wants to note — for the jury’s benefit — that Fleischer demanded immunity before he would agree to testify, because this might cast Fleischer’s testimony in a different light.

And here Fitzgerald makes a nice little chess move: Fine, he says, we can acknowledge that Fleischer sought immunity. As long as we explain why. Turns out Fleischer saw a story in the Washington Post suggesting that anyone who revealed Valerie Plame’s identity might be subject to the death penalty. And he freaked. Of course, if Fleischer was this worked up about it during the time period in question, that suggests Libby would have been, too. (Which again undermines the notion that Libby had much bigger fish to fry.)

Can we extrapolate from this that the normally uber-unctious Fleischer was feeling a wee bit — what’s the word — guilty?