Fitzmas Update 12/1/06

Brian Zick

Cue scary music and Vincent Price voiceover. AP reports: Former White House aide I. Lewis ''Scooter'' Libby says that during the investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's identity he was preoccupied with terrorist threats, Iraq's new government and emerging nuclear programs in Iran, Pakistan and North Korea. Court records released Friday offered the first glimpse of the type of classified information Libby wants to share with jurors at his upcoming perjury and obstruction trial. (…) U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton ruled last month that Libby must have access to some classified information at trial but, until Friday, the topics were sealed. A redacted copy of Walton's opinion revealed that Libby wants to use 129 classified documents. Walton said Libby could discuss documents that fell on or near key dates in the case, such as when the aide spoke to reporters and investigators. Libby's bid for classified information is significant for two reasons. If the government decides the material Walton orders released cannot safely be made public, the case could be dismissed. If the case goes forward and the evidence is allowed, the trial could offer a behind-the-scenes look at the White House in the early months of the war in Iraq. Exactly what Libby may say about the classified topics is unclear. Prosecutors and defense attorneys continued to argue those issues behind closed doors this week.

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