Posted by: drew | April 13, 2006

Followup on Libby-Bush Leak Story

Following up my post earlier in the week, Reuters reports that Libby is not saying that Bush and Cheney specifically ordered him to leak Valerie Plame’s identity.

A court filing by Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s defense team argues that CIA officer Valerie Plame was not foremost on the minds of Bush administration officials as they sought to rebut charges by her husband, Joseph Wilson, that they manipulated intelligence to make a case for invading Iraq.

“Mr. Libby plans to demonstrate that the indictment is wrong when it suggests that he and other government officials viewed Ms. Wilson’s role in sending her husband to Africa as important,” said the filing late Wednesday night.

Wilson investigated for the CIA an administration claim that Iraq had tried to buy uranium, a potential nuclear-weapons ingredient, in Africa, and he later wrote that the charges could not be substantiated.

Libby, Cheney’s former chief of staff, is charged with lying to investigators as they sought to determine whether Bush-administration officials broke the law by disclosing Plame’s identity.

Prosecutors said in court filing last week that Bush and Cheney ordered Libby to share a classified report with journalists to rebut Wilson’s charges against the administration.

Bush has acknowledged declassifying the information, prompting charges of hypocrisy from Democrats who say he has denounced some leaks while encouraging others.

In the court filing, Libby’s lawyers said they did not intend to argue that he was ordered to reveal Plame’s identity.

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