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On the November 8 edition of MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson, Fox News contributor and former Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein referred to special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald as "a thug" and lamented the indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, as a "horrible, Stalinesque persecution." Libby's indictment came as part of Fitzgerald's investigation into the alleged outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame.
From the November 8 edition of MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson:
STEIN: The real bad thing that's happened has been this horrible, Stalinesque persecution -- not prosecution, persecution -- of Scooter Libby, this putting the White House on trial for politics as usual, criminalizing defense of the president's policy in Iraq. It's just shameful. You could --
CARLSON: But it looks bad, though. I mean, it looks bad. Here you have a prosecutor who apparently --
STEIN: Of course it looks bad.
CARLSON: -- is holding out for hard time. You have him claiming he's caught Scooter Libby in seven separate documentable lies.
STEIN: You know something? You know something? If you -- I hope I'm not an excessively criminal person, but if you -- if you were giving me 30, 40, 50 phone calls a day, conversations with people, then called me in before a grand jury and said to recount what happened in each of those conversations two years later, I'm sure you would catch me in 700 inconsistencies. That is just standard business as usual. It is standard business as usual to pass out leaks to reporters in Washington. This prosecuting business as usual in Washington is just a way to break the political process down and make it into an illegal, criminal process. It doesn't have any role in the Constitution. This guy is a thug. This Fitzgerald is a thug.