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Cheney to Be Defense Witness in CIA Case

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/12/19/D8M452301.html Cheney to Be Defense Witness in CIA Case Dec 19 3:51 PM US/Eastern By MATT APUZZO Associated Press
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 19 3:45 PM

      Cheney to Be Defense Witness in CIA Case
      Dec 19 3:51 PM US/Eastern

      Associated Press Writer


      Vice President Dick Cheney will be called to testify
      on behalf of his former chief of staff in the CIA leak
      case, defense attorneys said Tuesday, ending months of
      speculation over what would be historic testimony.

      "We're calling the vice president," attorney Ted Wells
      said in court. Wells represents defendant I. Lewis
      "Scooter" Libby, who is charged with perjury and

      Sitting presidents, including Clinton and Ford, have
      testified in criminal cases, but presidential
      historians said they knew of no vice president who has
      done so.

      William Jeffress, another of Libby's attorneys, would
      not say whether Cheney is under a subpoena to testify.
      Issuing a court order to a sitting vice president
      could raise separation-of-powers concerns, but
      Jeffress said it was not an issue.

      "We don't expect him to resist," Jeffress said.

      Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who said last
      week he did not expect the White House to challenge
      his witnesses, said Tuesday he did not plan to call

      Wells immediately said he would.

      "That settles that," Fitzgerald said.

      Neither Jeffress nor Wells would say whether they
      expect Cheney to testify in the courtroom or offer
      videotaped testimony to avoid infringing on the
      separation of powers.

      "We've cooperated fully in this matter and will
      continue to do so in fairness to the parties
      involved," said Lea Anne McBride, a spokeswoman for
      the vice president. "As we've stated previously, we're
      not going to comment further on a legal proceeding."

      Libby is accused of lying to investigators about what
      he told reporters regarding former CIA operative
      Valerie Plame. Plame's identity was leaked to
      reporters around the time that her husband, former
      ambassador Joseph Wilson, publicly criticized the Bush
      administration's prewar intelligence on Iraq.

      Libby says he was focused on more important issues _
      including terrorism, Iraq and nuclear proliferation _
      and didn't remember his conversations regarding Plame.

      Cheney could bolster that argument by testifying about
      the many other larger issues Libby was responsible
      for. During cross-examination, Fitzgerald likely will
      press Cheney to acknowledge that Plame was a key
      concern for him, and thus would have been important to

      The trial could offer a behind-the-scenese look at the
      Bush administration's march to war and U.S. District
      Judge Reggie Walton said he planned to ask potential
      jurors whether their feelings on the administration's
      policies would interfere with their ability to serve.

      Cheney and Libby got to know each other when Cheney
      was defense secretary under the first President Bush.
      Libby has been extremely loyal to Cheney and, in
      return, had the vice president's unwavering trust.

      By 2000, Libby was working as a top adviser to Cheney
      in the presidential campaign and then followed him to
      the White House. In the White House, he was known as
      "Cheney's Cheney" for being as trusted a problem
      solver for the vice president as Cheney was for Bush.

      Even after Libby's indictment, Cheney called him "one
      of the finest men I've ever known."

      In addition to Cheney, other government officials and
      journalists are expected to be key witnesses in the
      trial, which is scheduled to start next month.

      Former New York Times reporter Judith Miller and NBC
      News Washington bureau chief Tim Russert are expected
      to be prosecution witnesses. Libby's lawyers said in
      court papers that several reporters will testify on
      Libby's behalf.

      Two unidentified reporters may resist testifying,
      Libby's attorneys said, but they expect to resolve
      that issue before trial.
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