Libby sentenced to 30 months...
June 05, 2007
This is breaking news from CNN:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in prison for lying to investigators about what he told reporters about CIA operative Valerie Plame, whose name was leaked to the media in 2003.
He also was fined $250,000. Libby was convicted March 6 of four counts in a five-count indictment alleging perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements to FBI investigators. He plans to appeal the verdict.
Libby was found guilty in March of lying to investigators about what he told reporters about Valerie Plame, whose identity as a CIA operative was leaked to the media in 2003.
Libby has maintained his innocence ever since he was indicted and resigned in October 2005.
On Tuesday, the judge released dozens of letters written to him by Libby's supporters and detractors, including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton.
In one letter, Robert Blackwill, who served as presidential envoy to Iraq and in several other posts under President Bush, said he has known Libby for 20 years.
"During these years at the White House, I encountered no one more driven by analytical temperament, fairness of mind and sound policy reasoning than Scooter Libby," Blackwill said.
"Mr. Libby in my judgment has been, over the decades, an exemplary public policy practitioner."
Another person, whose signature was redacted, wrote, "I am writing to urge that Scooter Libby receive the maximum possible sentence. Due to the crimes for which he was convicted, we may never know of the more substantial criminal activities for which he served as a firewall."
The case involves statements Libby made to the FBI and a grand jury during their probe into how the covert identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame was leaked. Libby was the only person charged in the probe. He was not accused of actually leaking classified material.
Plame's name became public when Robert Novak named her in his column on July 14, 2003. Her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, had openly questioned the Bush administration's basis for invading Iraq.
Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has admitted he disclosed the information to a reporter. Novak pointed to another "senior administration official" -- Bush political adviser Karl Rove -- as the second source for his column.
After the jury returned its verdict against Libby on March 6, lead defense attorney Ted Wells appeared on the courthouse steps with Libby and his other attorneys and declared, "We have every confidence Mr. Libby ultimately will be vindicated." Wells said he believes his client is "totally innocent and that he did not do anything wrong."