Fitzgerald to announce new evidence against Libby

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald announced on Friday that he would introduce new evidence in the perjury and obstruction of justice case against former Vice Presidential chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

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One of the new pieces of evidence consists of handwritten notes that Vice President Dick Cheney left on the margins of ambassador Joseph Wilson's OpEd column questioning the administration's handling of evidence regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the run-up to the Iraq war. Fitzgerald charged that "those annotations support the proposition that publication of the Wilson Op Ed acutely focused the attention of the Vice President and the defendant - his chief of staff - on Mr. Wilson, on the assertions made in his article, and on responding to those assertions." Fitzgerald describes the notes as reflecting "the contemporaneous reaction of the Vice President to Mr. Wilson's Op Ed article" and views the relevance of these notes as "establishing some of the facts that were viewed as important by the defendant's immediate superior."

In the margins of Wilson's article Cheney wrote a series of questions about the legitimacy of Wilson's CIA-sponsored trip to Niger: "Have they done this sort of thing before? Send an Amb. [sic] to answer a question? Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did his wife send him on a junket?"

Lea Ann McBride, spokesperson for the Vice President, declined to comment on the publishing of the notes, but stressed that the Office of the Vice President continues to cooperate with the investigation.

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