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the Libby Trial

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Author Topic: the Libby Trial  (Read 333 times)
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« on: February 08, 2007, 01:39:35 am »

Libby: Memory clouded by volume of information
POSTED: 9:13 a.m. EST, February 6, 2007

Story Highlights
Libby told grand jury: "I can't possibly recall all the stuff I think is important"
Libby accused of obstructing probe into leak of CIA agent's name
Prosecution plans to end case with journalist Tim Russert on stand

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The criminal trial of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff continues Tuesday with jurors hearing a recording of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby saying he was flooded with more important information than he could remember.

"I can't possibly recall all the stuff I think is important, let alone other stuff that I don't think is as important," Libby told special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald during grand jury questioning on March 5, 2004.

Prosecutors are in their final days of laying out motive and evidence they believe will lead the criminal trial jury to convict Libby of lying to save his job at the White House.

The quote is contained in a filing from Libby's lawyers Monday night. They are fighting an attempt by prosecutors to link the admission of certain evidence to whether he takes the stand.

When Libby's defense team presents their case on Thursday, it will center on a theory their client was distracted by urgent national security matters if there are discrepancies in what he told investigators.

Libby has pleaded not guilty to a five-count indictment that includes allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Libby is accused of obstructing the FBI investigation into who leaked the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame, whose husband, Joseph Wilson, wrote a July 2003 New York Times piece accusing the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.

The issue developed after Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador, traveled to Africa in February 2002 to investigate whether Iraq, under President Saddam Hussein, tried to acquire uranium from the African country of Niger.

He told the CIA he doubted there were any transactions.
In the past two weeks of testimony and evidence, prosecutors have been trying to establish that Cheney was the first source of Libby's knowledge that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and sent him on the trip.

Libby, according to testimony from an FBI agent who interviewed him, forgot Cheney was the source until he found some of his notes produced as the Justice Department began its probe of how Plame's name got out.

Fitzgerald, after the grand jury recordings have finished playing for the jury in the criminal trial, will present two newspaper articles he believes will show Libby's state of mind when preparing to be questioned in the case.

The newspaper articles from October 4 and October 12, 2003, mention the damage caused by the disclosure of Valerie Plame's CIA connection, and refer to her classified status. Neither point has been brought forward through other evidence or testimony that the defense could challenge.

The disputed newspaper articles, Fitzgerald said during last Thursday's court session, show a state of mind that "you may be involved in something that is a big mess in terms of law, in terms of politics and in terms of getting yourself fired."

Prosecutors plan to rest their case after calling nearly a dozen witnesses, the last of whom is expected to be Tim Russert, the moderator for NBC's "Meet the Press."

Libby told investigators he first learned of Plame's identity from Russert.
CNN's Paul Courson contributed to this report.

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