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Libby establishes legal defense fund

[JURIST] I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [NYT profile], the indicted former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, has established a fund to help pay for his defense against criminal charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in the investigation [JURIST news archive] into the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame [JURIST news archive], lawyers and people contacted about the fund said Tuesday. Republican communications strategist Barbara Comstock [Media Matters profile] has compiled a list of potential donors, and associates of Libby have already contacted some of them. The existence of the fund raises legal and campaign finance questions since Libby's defense could be designed in part to protect the administration from allegations of misdeeds. Regulations requiring government employees to limit contributions to $5,000 per donor and to disclose donor identities do not apply to Libby since he resigned his position in the VP's office on October 28 immediately after his indictment [PDF text; JURIST report] on five felony counts of lying to investigators and misleading a grand jury. Wednesday's New York Times has more.

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