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General News    H3'ed 6/4/08

Libby Links Cheney to Plame Leak

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In his rebuttal, Fitzgerald told jurors:

You know what? [Wells] said something here that we're trying to put a cloud on the Vice President. We'll talk straight. There is a cloud over the Vice President. He sent Libby off to [meet with former New York Times reporter] Judith Miller at the St. Regis Hotel. At that meeting - the two-hour meeting - the defendant talked about the wife [Plame]. We didn't put that cloud there. That cloud remains because the defendant obstructed justice and lied about what happened.

The jury convicted Libby of four counts, leading to a sentence of 30 months in jail. However, Bush commuted the sentence to eliminate jail time and left open the possibility that Libby might get a full pardon before Bush leaves office.

The way Bush handled Libby's commutation removed the chief incentive for Libby to cooperate further with prosecutors (to avoid or reduce his jail time) and dangled a possible reward down the road if Libby remains in the administration's good graces (a full pardon).

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Now, according to the transcript cited by Rep. Waxman, it appears that Libby did tell prosecutors in an earlier interview that it was "possible" that Cheney did order him to leak Plame's identity. Waxman is now pressing to learn what Cheney and Bush said in response to Fitzgerald's questions about exactly what they did or did not order their subordinates to do.

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Jason Leopold is Deputy Managing Editor of Truthout.org and the founding editor of the online investigative news magazine The Public Record, http://www.pubrecord.org. He is the author of the National Bestseller, "News Junkie," a memoir. Visit (more...)
 
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