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March 06, 2007

Libby Guilty on 4 of the 5 Charges

Scooter Libby was convicted of one count of obstruction, two counts of perjury and one count of lying to the FBI about outing Valerie Plame's identity as an undercover CIA agent.   He was found not guilty on one other count of lying to the FBI. 

The verdict came after 4 years of investigation, at the request of the CIA, a lengthy trial and 10 days of deliberation.  There was a lot that was uncovered during this critical trial - most importantly that Libby learned about Plame's identity from Vice President Cheney and that the entire Bush administration was focused on discrediting Plame's husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, about his findings that the administration lied about prewar intelligence on Iraq.

Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said that the case is over.  He does not plan to press any more charges in this case.  He also hit just the right tone about this case:

"The results are actually sad," Fitzgerald said. "It's sad that we had a situation where a high-level official person who worked in the office of the vice president obstructed justice and lied under oath. We wish that it had not happened, but it did."

Libby will be free until the sentencing in May or June.  There is not likely to be an appeal until that time.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi broadened the meaning of the trial nicely:

Today’s guilty verdicts are not solely about the acts of one individual.

This trial provided a troubling picture of the inner workings of the Bush Administration. The testimony unmistakably revealed – at the highest levels of the Bush Administration – a callous disregard in handling sensitive national security information and a disposition to smear critics of the war in Iraq.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid demanded that Bush promise not to pardon Libby.  He said:

It's about time someone in the Bush Administration has been held accountable for the campaign to manipulate intelligence and discredit war critics.

Nice work on the part of Patrick Fitzgerald and his team of prosecutors.  Nice to see that parts of our legal system are still working well.

Posted by Lynn Allen on March 6, 2007 at 12:39 PM in National and International Politics | Permalink


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