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Jeralyn Merritt Headshot

Judy Miller Weathers Cross

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Team Libby has finished cross-examining Judith Miller. She was stronger today than yesterday and Bill Jeffress did not (in my opinion) make any inroads with her or trip her up. I think that the jury will find her credible.

Bottom Line: She is sure that Scooter Libby was the first to tell her that Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA and that it happened on June 23 and again on July 8. She can't say it with 100% certainty but that's her belief based upon her memory and her notes and she has zero recollection of anyone else telling her.

Libby told investigators and the grand jury he learned of Wilson's wife from Tim Russert on July 10th. He maintains he was so preoccupied with pressing national issues, he forgot that he first learned of Valerie Wilson from Dick Cheney.

If he was so busy with other matters, why was he having a two hour meeting with Judith Miller in the dining room at the St. Regis on July 8?

Fitzgerald redirects, it's a little bumpy but no big deal. It's followed by legal wrangling over Miller's notes and Libby's "Aspen letter" to Judy. Fitz now wants to introduce the letter, which he now deems relevant and videotapes of former press secretary Scott McClellan's white house briefings clearing Karl Rove. The Judge reserves ruling. Jeffress now wants access to all of Miller's notes. Again, the judge reserves ruling.

The jurors' questions for Judy Miller were pretty on point. Why didn't she call Libby for a waiver before going to jail? Why did she choose to go to jail? Was there a quid pro quo for Libby's agreement to provide her information?

Judy didn't get flustered today. Jeffress didn't hurt her. If she were the only government witness asserting that Libby had talked about Joseph Wilson's wife working for the CIA before July 10, the Government might have a problem. Given her lack of 100% certainty, some jurors might find a reasonable doubt that she was accurately remembering things today. But combined with Ari Fleischer, who also emerged unscathed from Team Libby's cross-examination, and Matthew Cooper, who is on the stand now, her recollection may carry greater weight.

Matt Cooper took the stand just before lunch. I really like Fitzgerald's questioning style. It's crisp, focused and he targets the relevant points, foregoing unnecessary detail.

There was one final surprise this morning concerning notes Libby made of a conversation with Mary Matalin. Since they are still wrangling over whether they will be admitted, I'm not going to spill the beans. But there are some priceless gems in there, so keep your eye out for mainstream media reports and check out Laura Rozen's live-blogging at War and Piece and Marcy Wheeler at Daily Kos.

(Jeralyn Merritt blogs daily at TalkLeft: the Politics of Crime.)