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Lewis Libby’s Trial Date Set, Charges To Follow

Just in time for a big build-up during the mid-term elections.

From those champions of justice at the terrorist loving Reuters:

Trial set for early next year in Libby case

Fri Feb 3, 2006

By Andy Sullivan and James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal judge on Friday set a trial date for early next year for a former top White House aide facing perjury and other charges stemming from the leak of a CIA operative’s identity to the news media.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said jury selection would begin on January 8 in the case of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff. He faces five counts of perjury, making false statements and obstruction of justice.

Libby, who attended the hearing, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which stem from a special prosecutor’s investigation into who in the Bush administration leaked CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity to the news media in 2003.

Her identity was disclosed after her diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of twisting intelligence on weapons of mass destruction to justify the war in Iraq.

A trial could put a spotlight on how the White House made its case for the Iraq war, and raise questions about the role of the news media and whether reporters should be forced to testify in court.

Walton asked Libby if he accepted the yearlong wait before a trial. "Yes," a somber-looking Libby said from the defense table in the only time he spoke during the 45-minute hearing.

Walton said he expected jury selection could be done in a few days. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald estimated it would take two weeks to present his case against Libby. Lawyer Theodore Wells said the defense also would probably need two weeks.

Libby’s lawyers have demanded that prosecutors turn over to them classified government information as well as notes collected from interviews with reporters in the case.

Fitzgerald told the judge he had turned over all relevant information, including an additional 1,000 pages this week. But Wells urged the judge to force Fitzgerald to turn over even more material.

"We believe there are thousands and thousands and thousands of pages that Mr. Fitzgerald is in possession of that he has decided not to give to us," Wells said.

The judge set the next hearing in the case for February 24.

Maybe in the intervening year Mr. Fitzgerald will be able to come up with a law that was broken.

Of course the only crime here is that Fitzgerald has squandered more than two years and two million taxpayer dollars investigating something that was never a crime.

But never mind such niceties. Mother Sheehan Fitzgerald has to nail at least one administration member’s scalp, or lose the fawning attention of the media.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, February 3rd, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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