Fall Guy

Bush needs to be 'Plutoed'.

Jury finds Libby guilty on 4 of 5 counts in case of unmasking of CIA operative

I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted Tuesday of lying to FBI agents and grand jurors who were investigating the unmasking of a CIA operative amid a burning dispute over the war in Iraq.

The jurors rejected Libby's claims of memory lapses as they convicted him of obstruction of justice, giving false statements to the FBI and perjuring himself, charges embodied in four of the five counts of the indictment. The jury acquitted him on an additional count of making false statements to the FBI.

The verdict brought to a dramatic conclusion what has been among the most politically charged criminal trials in the capital since the Iran-contra affair in the 1980s and the Watergate prosecutions of the 1970s. The trial involved some of the most powerful figures in the White House and in Washington journalism. 

A juror who met afterward with reporters, Denis Collins, said there was some sympathy on the jury for Libby. Indeed, several jurors agreed with defense lawyers that Libby was in effect a "fall guy" for more senior members of the administration.

During the trial, Wells tried to show that his client was being made a scapegoat to protect Rove, who was considered vital to Bush's re-election campaign in 2004.

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Bush must pledge not to pardon Libby for his criminal conduct

Democratic leaders urged President Bush not to pardon former vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was convicted on federal charges. Libby was convicted of lying and obstructing an investigation into the Bush administration's actions leading into the Iraq war.Novak attributed his information to "two senior administration officials" -- later identified as President Bush's political adviser, Karl Rove, and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Neither testified in Libby's trial. Prosecutors argued Libby lied about how he learned of Plame's CIA role to protect his job. Her role, they said, was deliberately released in retribution for her husband's report. "It's about time someone in the Bush administration has been held accountable for the campaign to manipulate intelligence and discredit war critics," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid."Lewis Libby has been convicted of perjury, but his trial revealed deeper truths about Vice President Cheney's role in this sordid affair. Now President Bush must pledge not to pardon Libby for his criminal conduct."  

This trial provided a troubling picture of the inner workings of the Bush administration. The testimony unmistakably revealed -- at the highest levels of the Bush administration -- a callous disregard in handling sensitive national security information and a disposition to smear critics of the war in Iraq.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said the investigation should go deeper.

"There's a lot more going on here than just this," Dean said

"We know that the president was not truthful with the American people when he sent us to war," he said. "We don't know if the president committed a crime or not; it would be interesting to find that out."

Jurors who found Libby guilty also found him worthy of sympathy, one juror said.

"We're not saying we didn't think Mr. Libby was guilty of the things we found him guilty of, but it seemed like ... he was the fall guy," Denis Collins said.

"I wish that he would express his sorrow for what has happened to my wife, whose career was destroyed as a result of this, and to the military service people for a war that was justified by lies and disinformation."

The jury was obviously convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had lied and obstructed justice in a serious manner.