Thursday, February 09, 2006

Libby Implicates Cheney in Plame Outing

It looks like Libby might not be taking the fall for Cheney after all:

I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, will in part base his defense on the claim that Cheney instructed and encouraged Libby to share classified information with reporters, sources familiar with the case tell NBC News. . .Legal sources close to the defense indicated the authorization to discuss classified information by superiors, including Cheney, will be a crucial part of Libby’s defense. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the case hasn’t gone to trial yet. . .

On Thursday afternoon, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., issued a statement saying that any implication of Cheney as the one who authorized release of classified information would require Bush to honor his promise to “clean house” of anyone who had anything to do with the Plame leak.

Perhaps Fitzgerald’s strategy is to prosecute Libby first in order to get the evidence against Cheney for the more serious charge of exposing a covert CIA agent’s identity.

Earlier today National Journal also ran a story reporting that:

Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, testified to a federal grand jury that he had been “authorized” by Cheney and other White House “superiors” in the summer of 2003 to disclose classified information to journalists to defend the Bush administration’s use of prewar intelligence in making the case to go to war with Iraq, according to attorneys familiar with the matter, and to court records.


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