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BREAKING: Cheney On Libby Witness List


Hot off the wires from the AP:

Vice President Dick Cheney will be called as a defense witness in the CIA leak case, an attorney for Cheney's former chief of staff told a federal judge Tuesday.

"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 obstruction.

Early last week, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said he did not expect the White House to resist if Cheney or other administration officials are called to testify in Libby's trial, expected to begin in January….

Cheney, who would be the trial's most anticipated witness, has said he may be called to testify. If so, prosecutors could ask how the White House responded to Wilson's criticisms. Cheney was upset by Wilson's comments, Fitzgerald has said, and told Libby that Plame worked for the CIA.

That conversation is a key to Fitzgerald's perjury case. Libby testified that he learned about Plame's job from a reporter.

Cheney could also help prosecutors undermine Libby's defense that he was so preoccupied with national security matters, he forgot details about the less-important Plame issue. Prosecutors argue that Plame was a key concern of the vice president, and thus would have been important to Libby.

Here are the things I'm wondering: (1) Is Cheney going to be called as a regular defense witness, or will they be calling him as a hostile witness to the defense?

(2) If Team Libby calls Cheney as a defense witness, this means that Patrick Fitzgerald and his team get to cross-examine Cheney on the stand.  (Yes, I am running through C/E scenarios in my mind, and they are all quite interesting.)

(3)  Beyond the annotated NYTimes Wilson op-ed piece, how many other things can you think of that Cheney will be able to help identify and elaborate on as evidence?  Libby's detailed notebook of oppo on Joe Wilson?  Notes from the WHIG meetings?  Libby's calendar? 

(4) How many questions can you think of regarding the plane ride on AFII?

And it just keeps going and going…is it January yet?

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com