[JURIST] US Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald [official website] suggested Wednesday that Vice President Dick Cheney may be a witness in the government's case against former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense profile; JURIST news archive], who is being prosecuted in connection to the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity [JURIST news archive]. Fitzgerald believes Cheney's testimony would help the government's case because Cheney can confirm that he wrote notes on a 2003 New York Times op-ed in which former US Ambassador Joseph Wilson criticized the US-led war in Iraq, and that the vice president gave the article to Libby and discussed the fact that Wilson's wife, Plame, was a CIA operative. Cheney's notes [image] read:
Have they done this sort of thing before? Send an ambassador 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?Further, Fitzgerald stated in Wednesday's court filing that Cheney's state of mind is relevant to whether Libby lied to investigators about how he learned of Plame's identity, and Cheney's notes jotted on Wilson's article will help corroborate what Libby told reporters.
Libby's lawyers argue that the prosecution will not be able to admit Cheney's notes into evidence [MSNBC report] because Libby testified to the grand jury that he did not see the article with Cheney's notes until months after Plame's identity was revealed. Libby's trial on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury [indictment, PDF; JURIST report] is scheduled to begin in January. AP has more.