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Archive for Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Reporter adds another contradiction in CIA case

January 31, 2007

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— Reporter Judith Miller testified Tuesday that former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby identified a CIA operative to her on two occasions on dates earlier than he has told investigators he first heard the information from another reporter.

Miller, the former New York Times reporter who spent 85 days in jail trying to avoid revealing these conversations, said Libby identified the wife of a prominent Iraq war critic - Joseph Wilson - as a CIA employee in face-to-face meetings on June 23 and July 8, 2003.

Libby, then Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, told the FBI and a grand jury that he thought he was hearing of Valerie Plame's CIA job for the first time from NBC's Tim Russert on July 10, 2003.

Five government officials, including ex-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, also have testified that they discussed Plame and her CIA job with Libby before July 10.

Earlier Tuesday, the jury saw notes Libby took on or about June 12 that indicated Cheney himself told Libby then that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA.

The discrepancy over when Libby learned about Plame is a major element in the charges on which he is being tried. He is not accused of leaking her name but rather of perjury and obstruction of the investigation into how her name leaked.

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