First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
News Story
 
Libby found guilty in CIA leak case

By The Associated Press
03.06.07

WASHINGTON — Former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted today of obstruction, perjury and lying to the FBI in an investigation into the leak of a CIA operative’s identity.

Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was accused of lying and obstructing the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity to reporters.

He was acquitted of one count of lying to the FBI.

Libby had little reaction to the verdict. He stood expressionless as the jury left the room.

The verdict was read on the 10th day of deliberations. Libby faces up to 25 years in prison, though under federal sentencing guidelines, he likely will receive far less.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered that a pre-sentencing report be completed by May 15. Judges use such reports to help determine sentences.

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who has led the leak investigation, said no additional charges would be filed. That means nobody will be charged with the leak, and Libby, who was not the source for the original column outing Plame, will be the only one to face trial.

Libby faced two counts of perjury, two counts of lying to the FBI and one count of obstruction of justice. Prosecutors said he discussed Plame’s name with reporters and, fearing prosecution, made up a story to make those discussions seem innocuous.

Libby’s defense team said he learned about Plame from Cheney, forgot about it, then learned it again a month later from NBC newsman Tim Russert. Anything he told reporters about Plame, Libby said, was just chatter and rumors, not official government information.

Fitzgerald said that was a lie. But Libby’s defense team had argued that it would be unfair to convict Libby in a case where so many witnesses changed their stories or had memory problems.

Libby’s defense attorney, Theodore Wells, said he would ask the court for a new trial by April 13. Such requests are common following criminal convictions.

“Despite our disappointment in the jurors’ verdict, we believe in the American justice system, and we believe in the jury system,” Wells told reporters outside the federal courthouse. “We intend to file a motion for a new trial, and if that is denied, we will appeal the conviction. We have every confidence that ultimately Mr. Libby will be exonerated. ... We intend to keep fighting to establish his innocence.”

Libby will be allowed to remain free while awaiting sentencing, which is set for June 5.

As the verdicts were read, Libby’s wife choked out a sob and sank her head. Moments later, she embraced the defense attorneys.

The jury acquitted Libby of one count of lying to the FBI about his conversation with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper.


Update
Libby gets 2 ½ years in prison in CIA leak case
Though he sees no reason to let former White House aide remain free pending appeal, federal judge says he will accept written arguments on issue and rule later. 06.05.07

Previous
Former senator contends Libby prosecutor out of control
Fred Thompson says Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald must have known from beginning that disclosing CIA officer's name was not a crime. 02.14.07

Related

CIA leak trial prompts scrutiny of news-reporting practices

American people 'are the real losers in this … because they will learn less information about matters of public concern,' says media attorney. 03.08.07

Plame sues CIA, accuses government of delaying spy memoir
Meanwhile, federal judge says he'll release more than 150 letters he received regarding June 5 sentencing of former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby. 06.02.07

Summary of charges against Libby

News summary page
View the latest news stories throughout the First Amendment Center Online.

print this   Print


Last system update: Thursday, August 21, 2008 | 18:15:21
 SEARCH  MORE
About this site
About the First Amendment
About the First Amendment Center
Video/RSS/podcasts
First Amendment programs
State of the First Amendment
reports

First Reports
Supreme Court
Experts
Columnists
First Amendment publications
First Amendment Center history
Glossary
Freedom Sings™
Events
First Amendment
Schools

Congressional Research Service reports
Guest editorials
FOI material
The First Amendment
Library

Lesson plans
freedomforum.org
Newseum
Contact us
Privacy statement
Related links