News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinecabal-elitew-administrationcia-identity-leak — Viewing Item

Libby charges dont address cia leak

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

Charges Don't Directly Address CIA Leak
Oct 28 3:37 PM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer


Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's first charges in the White House leak case don't get to the heart of his two-year probe: the leak.

The indictment of vice presidential adviser I. Lewis "Scooter' Libby Jr. is built on charges of obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury _ and it will rest primarily on testimony from a handful of Washington reporters.

"In some ways it seems less satisfying," said Michael Cahill, a Brooklyn Law School professor, adding that false statements might have impeded the probe into whether top Bush administration officials knowingly revealed the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Steven Reich, a New York attorney and former senior associate counsel to President Bill Clinton, said Fitzgerald has his reasons for not charging anyone with the leak. "Either he thought there was not a crime, or he thought he couldn't prove it. No one will know which but him," he said.

It may have been smart strategy, however, for the prosecutor to go with safer charges, considering the stakes in investigating the highest levels of the White House.

"Perjury and false statement can be remarkably easy to prove," said Andrew D. Levy, a criminal defense lawyer in Baltimore who teaches at the University of Maryland. "So often it's the cover-up that ensnares people."

Levy said the indictment is "very narrow, very focused: it follows, very provable."

The indictment alleges that Libby lied about his conversations with reporters. Witnesses at the trial will likely include Tim Russert of NBC News, Matt Cooper of Time Magazine and New York Times reporter Judith Miller, all of whom testified before the grand jury that returned Friday's indictment.

Erwin Chemerinsky, a Duke Law School professor, said it is not unusual for criminal probes to change their focus.

"What brought down the Nixon administration wasn't the burglary itself, but the cover-up of it," Chemerinsky said, adding that what caused Clinton's impeachment "wasn't that he had an affair with Monica Lewinsky but he lied about it."

The charges in the Friday indictment are similar to the ones used in Martha Stewart's criminal case. She was convicted last year for obstructing justice and lying about why she sold ImClone Systems stock, just before a negative government decision on an ImClone drug. She served a five-month prison term followed by home confinement.

"Very rarely do obstruction of justice cases and perjury cases come as neatly tied as Martha Stewart's ... it is by no means a slam dunk," said Viet Dinh, a law professor at Georgetown University and former Justice Department lawyer in the Bush administration.

The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Libby "knowingly and willfully" made false statements and lied to the grand jury. He could claim that any misstatements were not intentional.

"These are sophisticated people," Mark A. Godsey, a University of Cincinnati law professor, said of the top White House advisers. "Playing dumb, the jury might not buy that. At the same time they're extremely busy. Are they in the loop or not in the loop?"

Libby, a Columbia University law school graduate, has not been in trouble before.

"Although it always helps a criminal defendant not to have a criminal record, a D.C. jury will be open to the idea that politicians are willing to lie," said Gabriel J. Chin, a criminal law professor at the University of Arizona.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

Administration blows cover of whistleblower { August 8 2003 }
Agee calls leak dirty politics
Agee discusses leak of name
Agee sees whitehouse getting blowback
Another time reported testomy may help rove { December 12 2005 }
Appeals court upheld ruling against reporters over leak { February 15 2005 }
Ashcroft recused self from investigation { December 31 2003 }
Buchanan comments on mclaughlin july 15 05 { July 15 2005 }
Bush admits cia leak came from whitehouse { July 12 2007 }
Bush aide testifies leak probe { February 9 2004 }
Bush and lawyer huddle on CIA leak { June 2 2004 }
Bush commuted libby prison sentence { June 2007 }
Bush defends declassification of prewar report
Bush jokes to reporter about cia leak
Bush knew of pending cia leak
Bush toughens support of leak investigation { October 7 2003 }
Cheney advisor resigns after indictment
Cheney aide also linked to cia leak { July 18 2005 }
Cheney aide says bush approved leak { April 6 2006 }
Cheney and rove lose importance in whitehouse
Cheney may use executive privilege { October 29 2005 }
Cheney reportedly interviewed in leak of CIA name { June 5 2004 }
Cheney source of officer name to libby { October 25 2005 }
Cheney staff focus of probe { February 17 2004 }
Cheney to be defense witness in cia leak case
Cia blocks varerie plame book
Cia name leak from whitehouse { September 30 2003 }
Cia probe widens
Colleague says armitage was cia leak source { August 29 2006 }
Did rove blow spooks cover { September 16 2003 }
Doj investigation whitehouse reveal cia agent
Fitzgerald calls new grand jury after woodward testimony { November 19 2005 }
Judith freed to testify about source lewis libby { September 30 2005 }
Judith miller cant remember where name came from { October 16 2005 }
Judith miller retires from the times
Karl rove testifies before federal grand jury on leak
Last day of probe keeping whitehouse jittery
Leaders express outrage for libby commuted sentence { July 3 2007 }
Leaker said wilson wife fair game { September 28 2003 }
Libby charges dont address cia leak
Libby lawyer told miller to clear scooter libby { October 16 2005 }
Libby may have hidden cheney role { November 13 2005 }
Libby perjury worse than lewinsky perjury
Libby retains 5th amendment by avoiding pardon { July 3 2007 }
Libby says white house superiors approved leak { February 9 2006 }
Libby scapegoated to protect karl rove { January 24 2007 }
Libby trial delayed right after 2006 elections { February 4 2006 }
Matthew cooper testify after rove lawyers maneuvering { July 7 2005 }
Mcclellan cant clear cheney in cia leak case { June 20 2008 }
Memo central to leak delivered to powell { July 21 2005 }
Nbc russert rebuts libby testimony { February 7 2007 }
New tork times reporter jailed for concealing leak { July 7 2005 }
New york times reporter given top security clearance { October 16 2005 }
Novak claims book was source of leak { August 2 2005 }
Novak points to cia { October 1 2003 }
Novak pokes fun at cia leak
Novak wont give up source { October 1 2003 }
Pat buchanan says neocons behind whole thing { July 15 2005 }
Powell gives testimony to grand jury
Press secretary says bush behind leak { October 2007 }
Prison fines await those leak cia identities
Probe exposing cia identity { September 29 2003 }
Prosecutor investigating coverup of leak { July 27 2005 }
Prosecutors question Bush on CIA name leak { June 25 2004 }
Reporter held in contempt
Rove and libby worked damage control { July 22 2005 }
Rove blamed libby to jury { October 20 2005 }
Rove called to testify 5th time { April 27 2006 }
Rove confirmed plame indirectly lawyer says { July 15 2005 }
Rove emailed security official about matthew cooper { July 11 2003 }
Rove fight escalates { July 15 2005 }
Rove legal team furious efforts to convince prosecutor { October 27 2005 }
Rove mclellan interviewed cia probe { October 23 2003 }
Rove told cooper wilsons wife works for agency { July 11 2005 }
Rove wont face indictment in cia leak case { June 13 2006 }
Story from two senior whitehouse employees
Time magazine talked to rove for plane story
Time reporters in contempt of court for cia leak
Time reporters says he first learned of plame from rove { July 18 2005 }
Valerie plame does vanity fair spread { December 3 2003 }
Whitehouse press secretary contradicts libby { December 2007 }
Wilson suggested rove leaked { September 30 2003 }
Woodward attacked by liberals { November 18 2005 }
Woodward eyed after calling fitzgerald overzealous { November 17 2005 }
Woodward was told of plame before leak { November 16 2005 }

Files Listed: 85


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple