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Archive for Saturday, September 23, 2006

Former chief of staff Libby plans to testify in CIA leak trial

September 23, 2006

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— Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff plans to take the stand at his upcoming trial to tell jurors that he never lied to investigators in the CIA leak case, defense attorneys said Friday.

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is charged with perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI about his conversations in 2003 with reporters regarding Valerie Plame's CIA job.

Libby plans to testify about President Bush's daily terrorism briefings and other classified information to persuade jurors that he had more important things on his mind at the time and didn't remember his discussions with reporters, attorneys said in court papers filed Friday evening.

"Mr. Libby must be able to discuss classified information to give the jury an accurate picture of his state of mind during the relevant time period and to show the jury that any errors he made in his statements and testimony were the product of confusion, mistake and faulty memory rather than deliberate misrepresentations," defense attorneys wrote.

The documents were filed as part of Libby's bid to use classified information at his trial in January. Defense attorneys plan to use a digital slide show to present material to jurors, according to court papers.

Prosecutors oppose the use of many documents, saying Libby is trying to torpedo the case by demanding information that is too sensitive to be released at trial. The tactic they described, known as "graymail," is used to get a case dismissed.

Among the documents Libby wants to use at trial, attorneys said Friday, are records related to former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's trip to Niger. Wilson, Plame's husband, discounted reports that Saddam Hussein's regime had an agreement with the African country to buy uranium for a nuclear weapons program - a claim that Bush later included in his State of the Union address.

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