Libby Guilty on Four Counts
From Raw Story:
Former White House adviser I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby has been found guilty of four of five charges, including perjury and obstruction of justice, in the federal court proceedings that resulting from the investigation of the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson. If he had been found guilty of all 5 charges, he could have been sentenced to up to 30 years in jail.
Libby will appeal the guilty verdicts, his attorney said.
The verdicts for the individual charges against Libby are as follows, according to the Associated Press:
* - Obstruction of Justice: GUILTY
* - False statements to FBI investigators (about Russert conversation): GUILTY
* - False statement to FBI investigators (about Cooper conversation): NOT GUILTY
* - Perjury to the Grand Jury (about Tim Russert conversation): GUILTY
* - Perjury to the Grand Jury (about the Matt Cooper conversation): GUILTY
According to blogger Marcy Wheeler at DailyKos, a May 15 deadline has been set for the government's sentencing report.
MSNBC commentator Tim Russert has suggested that the verdict bodes poorly for Vice President Dick Cheney, whom Libby served most directly.
"This isn't like a hunting accident where he can walk away for two days and let someone else make the statement," he said.
Ted Wells, Libby's lead defense attorney, made the following statement.
"We are very disappointed in the verdict of the jurors. This jury deliberated for approximately 10 days. Despite our disappointment in the jury's verdict, believe in the American justice system, we believe in the jury system. We intend to file a motion for a new trial and if that is denied, we will appeal the conviction and we have every confidence that ultimately Mr. Libby will be vindicated. We believe as we said at the time of his indictment that he is totally innocent, totally innocent, he did not do anything wrong, and we intend to keep fighting to establish his innocence."
Libby and Wells did not take questions.
The White House has reiterated its stance on not commenting on ongoing investigations.
Additional report from Raw Story's Ron Brynaert:
Democratic lawmakers are responding to the verdict in the CIA leak case trial, which found former White House aide I. Lewis Libby guilty on four of five counts.
A statement issued by Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) referred to revelations in the trial that Vice President Dick Cheney could be implicated further in the outing of former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson. Reid also implored President Bush not to issue a pardon for Libby.
"I welcome the jury's verdict," Reid's statement said. "It's about time that someone in the Bush Administration has been held accountable for the campaign to manipulate intelligence and discredit war critics."
Libby was found guilty of four of five charges, including perjury and obstruction of justice.
Reid continued, "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," Reid's statement concluded.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also released a statement which called attention to the Bush Administration's alleged role in the "outing."
"Today's guilty verdicts are not solely about the acts of one individual," Pelosi's statement read.
Pelosi's statement continued, "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."
When asked by the media whether Cheney might be the next target, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald demurred.
"I do not expect to file any furhter charges," Fitzgerald said.