Indicted Libby Resigns as Cheney's Chief of Staff

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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WASHINGTON — Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, one of the most trusted and powerful aides in the White House, was indicted today on charges of obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury in a case that goes to the heart of the Bush administration's reasons for invading Iraq.

Libby resigned within an hour.

He was charged in connection with statements he made to FBI agents and to a grand jury investigating the disclosure of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Wilson, also known by her unmarried name, Valerie Plame.

The five felony counts were handed up by a federal grand jury, as the panel's term expired. If convicted on all charges, Libby would face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.

Libby and Karl Rove, President Bush's deputy chief of staff and the president's closest political advisor, have been at the center of the 22-month investigation by special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald.

Rove was left dangling.

"The special counsel has advised Mr. Rove that he has made no decision about whether or not to bring charges and that Mr. Rove's status has not changed," Rove's lawyer, Robert D. Luskin, said in a statement this morning.

"Mr. Rove will continue to cooperate fully with the special counsel's efforts to complete the investigation. We are confident that when the special counsel finishes his work, he will conclude that Mr. Rove has done nothing wrong," Luskin said.

The charges against Libby allege that he lied to FBI agents who interviewed him on Oct. 14 and Nov. 26, 2003. He is also charged with committing perjury while testifying under oath before the grand jury on March 5 and March 24, 2004. The indictment alleges that he engaged in obstruction of justice by impeding the grand jury's investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of Plame's CIA affiliation to various reporters in the spring of 2003.

The indictment alleges that Libby lied about information he discussed about the CIA employment of Plame in conversations he had in June and July 2003 with three reporters-Tim Russert of NBC News, Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, and Judith Miller of the New York Times.

In a statement, special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald said: "When citizens testify before grand juries they are required to tell the truth.

"Without the truth, our criminal justice system cannot serve our nation or its citizens," he said. "The requirement to tell the truth applies equally to all citizens, including persons who hold high positions in government. In an investigation concerning the compromise of a CIA officer's identity, it is especially important that grand jurors learn what really happened."

The indictment caps one of the most trouble-ridden weeks of the Bush presidency. His nominee to the Supreme Court, Harriet E. Miers, withdrew under fire from conservative activists who had been part of the president's political base. Early this week, the Pentagon reported that American deaths in the Iraq war topped 2,000.

It also hits the administration at a difficult time for the GOP as a whole. Party leaders in both the House and Senate are embroiled in ethical and legal troubles of their own: Onetime House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) has been indicted on money laundering charges; Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is under investigation for possible insider stock trading.

The indictment of Libby shines a new spotlight on White House efforts to defend its flawed rationale for going to war — the belief that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction — and the lengths to which it was willing to go to counter dissenting views. It provides a rare public window onto one of the administration's most crucial, but mysterious power centers — the office of the vice president.

While rumored for weeks, the indictment was a stunning conclusion to an investigation that has kept Washington on edge for the better part of two years.

...
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-102805leak_lat,0,2110081.story
 

zimv20

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Jul 18, 2002
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i want to hear mr fitzgerald speak, but right now all chicago stations are covering the white sox victory parade. i'm concerned they won't cut away. oy ve!
 

zimv20

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Jul 18, 2002
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IJ Reilly said:
Not to worry, this episode is just beginning. News conference coming up.
as morning wanes, clever me takes over and i turned on NPR. i kinda doubt the chicago stations will stop covering the parade, though wttw (public tv) might.

and i don't have the cable!

edit: yep, nothing but sox coverage. what horrible timing for that parade.
 

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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dejo said:
Hmm, Fitzgerald seems quite nervous during his press conference. Maybe he just doesn't do a lot of public speaking?
I doubt it. He's a career prosecutor. He probably recognizes the gravity of what he is saying, accusing a top White House official of lying.
 

jayb2000

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Apr 18, 2003
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one down, 6-100 to go!

1) Rove
2) Cheney
3) Bush
4) Rice
5) Wolfowitz
6) Douglas Feith
....

Add in the heads of the EPA, FTC, FCC, SEC, Bill Frist, Tom Delay, and a few other choice folks.

Now, that would be a nice Christmas present!:D
 

solvs

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Jun 25, 2002
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tristan said:
Also, i think it'll be tough to prosecute.
Doesn't matter. The damage is done. With everything else going on in this administration, people are starting to care. Just took a little while.

Oh, and schadenfraude.
 

zimv20

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Jul 18, 2002
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tristan said:
*shrug* I thought it would go a little higher. Also, i think it'll be tough to prosecute.
i don't think it's over. i suspect fitzgerald issued these, and talked about prosecution, in order to get libby to talk some more.

his prosecution in the illinois truck bribe scandal was a series of small indictment steps over time, eventually leading to indictments for ex-gov george ryan.
 

IJ Reilly

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I predict a plea bargain. Libby will take five years in a country club federal pen so as to avoid having to defend himself and by reference the administration, in court.
 

FFTT

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Apr 17, 2004
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I was very impressed with Mr. Fitzgerald.

I found myself wishing he was running for office.

He's a clever man and Libby's playing into the plan perfectly.

My guts tell me that he's going for a bigger fish
holding 30 years over Libby's head for motivational
purposes.

The president's comment about Libby's service to his country indicated to me that he's expected to be the fall guy, but that may not be enough to keep Cheney
and Rove out of trouble.

We now know that these men would stop at nothing to sell the American people an avoidable war in Iraq.
Cheney is the direct link to trillions in military spending and other corporate contracts.

Every single thing they have done was designed to fleece the American taxpayer for the benefit of their
cronys.



I honestly think this will lead to impeachment of the entire office.
 

toontra

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Feb 6, 2003
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FFTT said:
The president's comment about Libby's service to his country indicated to me that he's expected to be the fall guy, but that may not be enough to keep Cheney and Rove out of trouble.

We now know that these men would stop at nothing to sell the American people an avoidable war in Iraq. Cheney is the direct link to trillions in military spending and other corporate contracts.

Every single thing they have done was designed to fleece the American taxpayer for the benefit of their cronys.
I agree. What I got yesterday from the press conference was a glimpse into the rotten core of a deeply corrupt political organisation which was fully prepared to engage in cynical manipulation to suit an agenda driven by greed and personal profiteering resulting in an illegal war.

I'm not sure how much worse it could be.
 

Dont Hurt Me

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Dec 21, 2002
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pseudobrit said:
I predict that Libby was promised if he'll keep his trap shut and go to jail, he'll be pardoned by Bush on the way out.
Thats the way i see it and my guess is this guy is taking the Fall not for Rove but for someone else like the V.P. Funny how this lil gang of Republicans took us to war over lies and yet want to keep fighting a war they spun up. No American life is worth getting killed for these guys running and ruining our Country. Bush/Cheney and the rest are chickenhawks, nothing more. Its clear we were taking to war over spin,made up accusations. That makes them all a bunch of liars.
 

Deepdale

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May 4, 2005
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IJ Reilly said:
He's a career prosecutor. He probably recognizes the gravity of what he is saying, accusing a top White House official of lying.
Making direct accusations against high officials in a city like Washington, which is awash in corruption, has become commonplace. The public demeanor that he displayed may be his "normal" style.
 

iGary

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May 26, 2004
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Dont Hurt Me said:
Thats the way i see it and my guess is this guy is taking the Fall not for Rove but for someone else like the V.P. Funny how this lil gang of Republicans took us to war over lies and yet want to keep fighting a war they spun up. No American life is worth getting killed for these guys running and ruining our Country. Bush/Cheney and the rest are chickenhawks, nothing more. Its clear we were taking to war over spin,made up accusations. That makes them all a bunch of liars.
Just remember, before you go getting all "the Republicans did this" that many of your Deomcrat representatives signed teh resolution.

Yes, based on bad info, but they signed it none the less.

Let's be objective.