FROM THE COURTHOUSE: “I say, there’s a lot of people here for such a small note,” defense attorney Ted Wells said to special prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald in federal court this morning. He was referring to the more than 50-person crowd of reporters and lawyers who had gathered in the hallway of the D.C. federal courthouse while waiting for Judge Reggie Walton’s courtroom to open. They were there to hear about the latest jury note.
The faces in the crowd were largely familiar to anyone who sat through the four-week long trial, except for one: Hardball’s Chris Matthews. Matthews’ name had come up repeatedly during trial for his comments in July 2003 that incited Scooter’s ire. Libby attempted to avoid eye contact when he passed Matthews in the hallway, which was caught by a courtroom sketch artist.
Meanwhile, Wells and Fitzgerald exchanged stories of their troubled travels while trying to get back to Washington during the stormy weekend. Fitzgerald was apparently stranded in Chicago and forced to find his way to the District by car (though he declined to elaborate later, saying “nice try, I’m not trying to create news.”). Wells apparently waited at LaGuardia Airport for two hours on Sunday before heading to Penn Station to find all the trains sold out.
By 10:15 a.m. – 45 minutes later than expected – the courtroom doors opened, at which time all Judge Walton would say is that he wasn’t sure what the jury was asking – and that he would send another note requesting clarification. Wells objected. Walton wouldn’t budge. And the crowd remained in the dark.