Here just after midnight I was trying to read tomorrow's papers to see if anyone had much more light to shed on the revelations of the weekend. And all I can think to say is that this mess gives new meaning to the phrase 'train wreck'.
Here in the Post, for instance, you have Floyd Abrams, Miller's one-time and maybe still lawyer, coming pretty close to calling Miller a liar, twice.
Look at this passage closely ...
According to the Times story, one of Miller's lawyers, Floyd Abrams, was authorized in the summer of 2004 to talk to Libby's lawyer, Joseph A. Tate, about whether Libby, who had signed a paper waiver, "really wanted her to testify." The story said that "Tate had said she was free to testify," but Abrams added that "Tate also passed along some information about Mr. Libby's grand jury testimony: that he had not told Ms. Miller the name or undercover status of Mr. Wilson's wife."
With that information, the Times said, Miller concluded that Libby was sending her a message that he did not want her to testify. The newspaper added that "Mr. Tate called Ms. Miller's interpretation 'outrageous.' "
Yesterday, Bennett would not say that Tate was trying to steer Miller's testimony, but that he thought it "complicated things" and that "Judy felt she did not have the clear personal waiver she needed."
In an interview yesterday, Abrams declined to endorse Miller's account that Libby did not want her to testify unless she was going to exonerate him. "That's Judy's interpretation," Abrams said. Tate "certainly asked me what Judy would say, but that's an entirely proper question."
Abrams also minimized Miller's assertion that another source may have given her the name "Valerie Flame," as she recorded it in the same notebook used for her first interview of Libby. Abrams said others may have mentioned Plame only "in passing. . . . The central and essentially only figure who had information was Libby."
Remember, this isn't just another player in the case. This is her lawyer. Nobody expects him to lie for her. But he doesn't have to say anything.
I know using the word 'lie' here may seem overdone. And certainly Abrams is careful to phrase his words in such a way so as not to explicitly say she is being untruthful. But these are not minor points in her story that he is contradicting. They are close to the two most significant ones -- first, just why she initially refused and then agreed to talk, and, second, whether there are other mystery sources out there who could be the source of Plame's name.
On both points he is taking it upon himself to contradict her account publicly.
And one other point along these lines. In evaluating all that happened here, the Miller denouement, the actions of Times management and everything else, pay close attention to the never-quite-explained hand off of the case from Abrams to Bennett. I trust I won't be shocking anyone too greatly if I say that the claim in the Times' piece that Bennett's representation began after he and Miller "bumped" into each other on Capitol Hill isn't quite the whole truth.