A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Special prosecutor examines first Libby defense witness in CIA leak case

[JURIST] US special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald [official website; JURIST news archive] spent approximately three hours Thursday cross-examining the first witness presented by lawyers representing former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense profile; JURIST news archive]. The witness, psychologist Elizabeth Loftus [faculty website], was called to persuade US District Judge Reggie Walton [official profile] to allow memory experts [JURIST report] to help with Libby’s defense. While prosecutors claim that he lied, Libby blames faulty memory for the false statements made to investigators regarding his conversations with members of the press about former CIA operative Valerie Plame [JURIST news archive]. Walton has indicated that he was reluctant to allow such experts.

In his examination of Loftus, Fitzgerald challenged the validity of memory research, and dissected her work until she eventually admitted some errors and misstatements. Walton did not immediately rule on whether he will admit testimony and experts on memory at trial. Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, was indicted [text, PDF; JURIST report] last year for his role in the leak of Plame’s identity, which was revealed days after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, criticized the Bush administration's pre-Iraq war intelligence. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.