WASHINGTON, D.C. A federal judge ordered the CIA on Friday to turn over highly classified intelligence briefings to Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide to use in preparing the aide's defense against perjury charges.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton rejected CIA warnings that the nation's security would be imperiled if the presidential-level documents were disclosed to attorneys for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff.
The judge said the CIA could delete highly classified portions from the briefing material and provide what amounts to a "table of contents" of what Libby and Cheney received six days a week. Or, Walton said, the CIA can produce "topic overviews" of the matters covered in the briefings.
The judge also ordered the CIA to give Libby an index of the topics covered in follow-up questions that the former White House aide asked intelligence officers who conducted the briefings.