Scooter Libby indicted on five counts, resigns
He scooted on out of there. Beautiful. (AP):
The vice president’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr., was indicted Friday on charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements in the CIA leak investigation, a politically charged case that will throw a spotlight on President Bush’s push to war.
Libby, 55, resigned and left the White House.
Karl Rove, Bush’s closest adviser, escaped indictment Friday but remained under investigation, his legal status casting a dark cloud over a White House already in trouble. The U.S. military death toll in Iraq exceeded 2,000 this week, and the president’s approval ratings are at the lowest point since he took office in 2001.
Friday’s charges stemmed from a two-year investigation by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald into whether Rove, Libby or any other administration officials knowingly revealed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame or lied about their involvement to investigators.
Libby’s indictment is a political embarrassment for the president, paving the way for a possible trial renewing the focus on the administration’s faulty rationale for going to war against Iraq â€” the erroneous assertion that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
It could also mean that Cheney, who prizes secrecy, will be called upon as a witness to explain why the administration launched a campaign against Plame’s husband, diplomat Joseph Wilson, a critic of the war who questioned Bush’s prewar assertion that Iraq had sought nuclear material.
Here is the indictment.
http://www.pamspaulding.com/graphics/libby_indictment_28102005.pdf”>PDF | MS Word
One count obstruction of justice
Two counts of perjury
Two counts of making false statements
Lied to FBI agents: Oct 14 and Nov 26, 2003.
Committed perjury: Mar 5 and 24, 2004.
Impeded investigation by engaging in obstruction of justice.
John at AmericaBlog has more on the Fitzgerald press conference.