West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Seventh Season Episodes * #705 "Here Today"
Written by: Peter Noah, Directed by: Alex Graves
Takes Place: "mid-August" before the election, starting just as the previous episode ended.
Broadcast: Sunday, October 23, 2005

Stockard Channing as Abigail Bartlet
NBC Universal: Chris Haston
We see the last few moments that we saw in the previous episode. Immediately after Toby tells C.J. that he "did it", she calls the Counsel's office while they wait for someone from the office to join them, Toby says,
"I just didn't want you to think---"
C.J. stops him, "We really can't have any further conversation without Counsel present."
And they say nothing else for many long minutes until Mike, an Associate Counsel comes. He asks for Toby's key to his office and then to accompany him to the Roosevelt room. Once there the he tells Toby not to talk to anyone.
"Every conversation you have from this point forward only increases the witness list."
Later Oliver Babish, the White House Counsel, having been called away from dinner, starts Toby's debriefing. "You're in some trouble. Um--- and I'm personally truly sorry about that.... Unfortunately, at the moment, that is of incidental concern in my capacity as White House Counsel. You've put this administration into some difficulty. So, my immediate professional concern is whether you put the President into jeopardy as well...."
The questioning:
"Were you the sole individual involved in leaking this?"
"Did anyone instruct you to leak this information?"
"Anyone suggest you leak it?"
"Nudge, wink? Did anyone employ nonverbal means of any kind to suggest in an explicit or implicit fashion that you leak this information?"
"No. It was conceived and executed solely on my own."
"Did you tell anyone you were planning on leaking this?"
"Discuss that you were considering doing so?"
"Did you speculate to anyone that an individual might be inclined to contemplate making such a leak?"
"We're going to be here for quite a while, aren't we?"
"I need you to answer the question."
"No. I didn't speak to anyone at anytime of any scenario involving myself or someone else thinking, planning, dreaming, or having an out-of-body experience related to the making of this sort of leak."
"That's cute, the out-of-body thing, but I don't recommend it with the FBI, the Congressional Committee, the Federal Prosecutor, or any of the people who'll be following me...."
"Did you have any private conversations with the President regarding the existence of a military shuttle?"
"Participate in any group discussions on that subject that included the President?"
"Did you have any internal White House conversations with anyone at any time about the United States possessing a classified military space shuttle?"
Toby pauses for a long time before answering. "Yes.".
"With whom?" Again there is a long pause. Toby doesn't want to answer this question. Bur Babish insists, "Who did you talk about it with?"
Toby decides to go with the truth, fearing that anything else might have unintended consequences for everyone. "C.J. Cregg."
Later Babish asks Toby if he knew when he gave the information to Greg Brock that it would be published and that is was classified. Toby answers, "You're asking me if I new the military space shuttle was classified? One of the most closely held pieces of information I've experienced in my seven and a half years in the White House; which no one would so much as hint at, much less acknowledge, much less ever actually discuss, which revelation of same caused a governmental security crisis, international consternation and the launching of three separate investigations; you're asking me realized it was classified? Yeah, I had a vague inkling."
Right after this Toby's attorney arrives and breaks things up but he wants to answer the questions:
"I really appreciate your concern, but I am taking full responsibility, and I am prepared and ready to face the consequences.
"Well that's very noble and very stupid.... You have to listen to me now. If you were truly the only one involved—"
"I was."
"Well, then that's unfortunate because it means that you have no bigger fish to turn over to the prosecutor which is what he and the Congress will be looking for and obviously would have been the best and fastest way to make a deal."
"I don't care about that."
"Well, it's my job to. And we're not starting with a lot of bargaining chips and we have less every time you open your mouth."
"I'm not looking to cut a deal."
"Oh, really? Because the last time I checked, the sentencing guidelines, even for someone who is a first-time offender, were 63 to 78 months jail time."
"Sixty-three to 78. How do they come up with those numbers: pick out of a hat, dart board?"
"...When you hire somebody like me you take on a responsibility to my reputation. If you decide you want to go down in some quasi-orgasmic blaze of self-pity and self-destructive self-aggrandizing attempted glory, all anyone's going to say is 'How did Alana Waterman, that smart, tough, savvy Washington infighter, let her client do something so crushingly, boneheaded moronic as to get himself six years in jail?'! Now, you have a decision to make. If you want me to continue as your attorney, when the White House Counsel re-enters the room, you either decline to answer any further questions or you watch me walk not only out of this room, but off the case."
When Babish comes back into the room Toby --- after a tug of war with himself --- declines to answer on advice of counsel.
While this is going on, Lou convinces Josh who convinces Santos that they need to make some changes in the personnel on the campaign. Santos tells Josh,
"Well, you're running this thing. It is a big layoff and it's going to get noted in the press, but if you think it's needed.... Anyone not getting the job done is going to go."
Back at the White House Kate and C.J. have been spending a lot of time in the sit room discussing the predictions of Mr. Frost and the events that seem to bear him out which might mean a face down between Russia and China over Kazakhstan. Meanwhile in the same building, Toby's counsel asks him,
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"Why did you do it?"
"To save lives." By this he seems to include not just the astronauts lives but to keep space from being weaponized. "I believe in an open society. You debate these things in the light of day. That's what's supposed to happen in a democracy."
"Yes, global pacifism, freedom of information; these are things that people will rally around. We can get a lot of lefty support: college campuses, Hollywood—
"Good, help defray my legal expenses.... I know what you charge.
"A couple of well-placed editorials, some cable news spots, public demonstrations; this could be very helpful. Certainly not going to hurt, huh?
"Will it keep me out of jail?
"There's a lesser criminal statute, 35 U.S.C. 799, which makes it a misdemeanor to disobey a regulation set forth by the NASA administrator. The penalty is likely a fine, no more than a year's jail time." Toby smiles knowingly, "Yeah, I know. It's a little pie-in-the-sky around the edges."
And Jed and Abbey Bartlet have a meeting with their daughter Ellie and her fiance about them needing to have a wedding as soon as possible. As the President considers the implications, he is pulled out of the family quarters to be told about Toby. When he's told, he says,
"Is it possible to be astonished and, yet at the same time, not surprised?" When C.J. and Babish go on about the politics, he continues, "The political fallout is not my first concern." But he knows what has to be done and after asking for a moment, he faces Toby and cuts off all support and ties.

The New York Times has an article relating the "West Wing" leak to the real world leak.

For anyone interested in guest stars of this episode (as well as more information),
let us recommend the West Wing Episode Guide.

28 Amendment
Don't miss Neal Rechtman's election thriller The 28th Amendment in which an actor
who portrays a fictional US President on television gets drawn into real-world politics
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