How Many Conflicts With Journalists Did Libby Juror Have?

March 7th, 2007 4:14 PM

Over on The Corner, Byron York is puzzled over why Libby's lawyers wouldn't choke on the many conflicts of blabby juror Denis Collins, the former Washington Post staffer who worked for Bob Woodward, partied with Walter Pincus, shared a back yard with Tim Russert, not to mention the book-writing about the CIA:

From the day Denis Collins appeared in jury selection, reporters asked themselves one question: How did this guy get on the jury? From his account at the Huffington Post, he recounts telling the court about his many, almost unbelievable, conflicts:

Judge [Reggie] Walton read the query sheet I'd marked earlier.

You know someone on the prospective witness list?

I do. Bob Woodward was my boss at the Washington Post for three or four years.
Would you tend to give his statements more credibility than the statements of other witnesses?

I immediately picture a party Woodward hosted at his Georgetown home for the Metro staff about 25 years ago. When I went looking for my girl friend, I found her with some copy aides and reporters in an attic piled high with boxes of files for one of his books.

"Unbelievable," said one of the reporters. "Look at the file labels. This entire box is backup for one interview."

But not infallible. Didn't he write two different books about going to war in Iraq?
Know anyone else on the list?

Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus. I don't think I ever spoke to him during my 10 years at the Post, but twice in the last 14 months we talked at parties thrown by a mutual friend.

Anyone else?

Until a year or so ago, Tim Russert was a neighbor. His back yard and mine shared an alley and a basketball hoop where our sons played. I attended a few neighborhood barbecues in his back yard.

Attorneys at both tables are suppressing "ain't this a small town" grins.

Do you know Judith Miller?

No. And yet. I remember a scathing column about Miller in the New York Times and volunteer that I went to grade school with its author, Maureen Dowd. (Maureen had a crush on my brother Kevin. Her older brother Kevin was something of a hero to my youngest brother Brendan after he showed up to coach his grade school football team one Saturday morning in a convertible, with a gorgeous woman in a black cocktail dress in the front seat, and what appeared to be an empty bottle of champagne on the floor. They'd obviously been up all night. He obviously had game.)

I'm not eager to be on any jury for a six week trial, especially with a recently published novel to pimp. But the suggestion that I might lay down for a fellow journalist is starting to irritate. I had to work too hard to become a reporter. Started in the basement of the Washington Post pushing 400 pound rolls of paper to the presses, blah, blah, blah.

"From where you sit I'd be skeptical too," I tell them. "But I've also heard good things about Mr. Libby." Pregnant pause. "A friend who played in a 40 and older touch football league with him says he has a good arm."

Actual snickering.

One of the lawyers asks me the subject of my 2005 non-fiction book.

"You wrote about the CIA?"

"I did." The perfect storm.

Yet here I am.

It seems there would have been a good case for the judge to summarily strike him from the jury pool. But even so, why did the defense allow him on the jury? The only answer, it appears, is that Libby's lawyers believed other candidates from the DC jurors pool might be worse.