Fitzmas Update 1/12/07

Brian Zick

The trial of Scooter Libby is scheduled to begin next week, and Murray Waas for the National Journal has reconstructed a few noteworthy exchanges that took place inside the grand jury, which he introduces thusly: In attempting to determine Libby's motives for allegedly lying to the FBI and a federal grand jury about his leaking of Plame's CIA identity to journalists, federal investigators theorized from the very earliest stages of the case that Libby may have been trying to hide Cheney's own role in encouraging Libby to discredit Wilson, according to attorneys involved in the case. (…) Both Cheney and Libby have repeatedly denied -- both publicly and to federal investigators -- that Cheney ever encouraged Libby specifically to leak information to the press about Plame. But since the early days of the leak probe in fall 2003, even before it was taken over by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, investigators have maintained that Libby devised an elaborate cover story even though he must have known that contemporaneous records and the testimony of others was very likely to show that he was lying. Other than the motive to protect himself, the only other driving force behind Libby's actions, federal investigators have theorized, was to protect Cheney or other superiors, according to attorneys who have been involved in the CIA leak probe. Emptywheel at The Next Hurrah reviews charges against Libby, along with the evidence known (or suspected) to exist relating to those charges: •false statement and perjury charges relating to Libby's conversation with Matt Cooper. •false statements and perjury charges relating to Libby's conversation with Tim Russert. •the obstruction charge.

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