Nearly an hour into the Scooter Libby sentencing hearing, the defense team is trying to argue for a light sentence on the ground that no one was charged with a substantive crime -- say, the outing of a covert CIA agent -- in the investigation Libby obstructed.
If the live blogging at Firedoglake is any indication, Judge Reggie B. Walton isn't buying it. Nor should he. As Patrick Fitzgerald explained the day that Libby was convicted: "Mr. Libby did not tell the truth to the system. And when someone doesn't tell the truth to the system, everyone suffers. The legal system suffers because we don't know what the actual facts are. And, frankly, lots of other people suffer since, when you don't know what the truth is, people draw all sorts of conclusions ... Mr. Libby, by lying and obstructing justice, harmed the system. And that was something serious. And that's the point we made to the jury, and obviously the jury agreed factually."
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.